lexer : Java Glossary


Parsing is done in two stages, breaking letters up into groups called tokens, then analysing the syntax of those tokens. The first part is the job of the lexer, the second of the parser. Sometimes a single too will do both. The most famous lexer is LEX which came with early versions of Unix. It was paired with a parser called YACC (Yet Another Compiler Compiler). Lexers can also be used to implement finite state automata.

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