The A-Z of Programming Languages: YACC

Computerworld interviews Stephen C. Johnson, the brains behind YACC Yet Another Compiler Compiler: The compiler was developed some 35 years ago and is still going strong today through various incarnations. Asked what he is proudest of in terms of YACC’s development and use, Johnson said: “I think computing is a service profession. I am happiest when the programs that I have written (YACC, Lint, the Portable C Compiler) are useful to others. In this regard, the contribution YACC made to the spread of Unix and C is what I’m proudest of.” And would he do anything differently? “I’d try harder to find a notation other than $1, $2, $$, etc. While simple and intuitive, the notation is a source of errors as grammars evolve.”


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