[Haskell-cafe] Re: Writing a compiler in Hakell

Simon Marlow marlowsd at gmail.com
Wed May 6 07:49:58 EDT 2009

On 06/05/2009 07:31, Luke Palmer wrote:
> On Wed, May 6, 2009 at 12:07 AM, Rouan van Dalen <rvdalen at yahoo.co.uk
> <mailto:rvdalen at yahoo.co.uk>> wrote:
>     Hi everyone.
>     I am designing my own programming language.
>     I would like to know what is the best way to go about writing my
>     compiler in haskell.
>     What are the tools available in haskell that can help with compiler
>     construction?
>     I know about Happy.  Is that a good tool to use?
> I don't like Happy.   Using a parser generator is like admitting defeat,
> when we have no defeat to admit.  I would recommend a parser combinator
> library like Parsec  (or if you like building things from the ground up,
> ReadP).

There are distinct advantages to using a parser generator over parsing 
combinators.  For example, you get a static guarantee that your language 
is unambiguous and doesn't need backtracking.  (and we like static 

I seem to recall there are parsing combinators that generate LR parsing 
tables at runtime, which might be a good compromise though.


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