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Re: text processing as *the* problem

One Little Language that hasn't come up in this discussion of languages
designed up front for text processing is Calvin Mooer's TRAC.  I just
(re)discovered that it seems to be alive and well and has a robust
design and maintenance community despite the demise of its inventor
seven years ago.  Check out TRAC via:


For references to SNOBOL and ICON, thanks to Eric Raymond's "Retro-
computing Museum" [sic] links page, see:




-- David Presberg (Pres@mail2.gis.net)
     Programming-language involvement since the late '60s
     (Anyone interested in reviving the Greater Boston `SIGPLAN'
        series of lectures?  I am currently a member of the GBCACM
        Executive Board, volunteering on the Monthly Meeting Committee.)

RE Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs WROTE
   ON Wed, 28 Nov 2001 15:08:53 -0500 (EST):
>    X-Sender: dan@pop.sidhe.org
>    Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 14:56:56 -0500
>    To: "KELLEHER,KEVIN (Non-HP-Roseville,ex1)" <kevin_kelleher@non.hp.com>,
> "'ll1-discuss@ai.mit.edu'" <ll1-discuss@ai.mit.edu>
>    From: Dan Sugalski <dan@sidhe.org>
>    Subject: Re: text processing as *the* problem
>    At 11:42 AM 11/28/2001 -0800, KELLEHER,KEVIN (Non-HP-Roseville,ex1) wrote:
>    >Are there any languages, even big languages, that were *built* with
>    >text processing in mind?  Are there approaches that are not limited
>    >to an implementation of regular-expression matching?
>    Well, there's always SNOBOL... I'm not sure what there is past
>    regexes--they're pretty much the next logical step past state-machinish
> things.
> Well, one obvious step past regexes is parenthesis-balanced
> strings, which in general cannot be represented by regexes.
> Small surprise that SNOBOL had a built-in primitive for
> matching a parenthesis-balanced string.  Once you have that,
> you have Lisp (sort of); you can build string patterns that
> will take CAR and CDR.  Regexes alone don't quite get you there.
> --Guy

AND RE Neel Krishnaswami <neelk@cswcasa.com> WROTE (IN PART)
   ON Wed, 28 Nov 2001 15:06:22 -0500:

> There are two or three that I'm aware of. 
> First, there's Icon, which is Griswold's successor to SNOBOL. To 
> make string processing easy, it has generators and coexpressions 
> built in, which are rather like Prolog-style backtracking or cooperative 
> threading. This makes it easy to express string matching in code in much
> the same terms that you would describe to a human -- "find the third
> 'foo' in the file, back up two lines, and take the second word on 
> that line". (I'm describing it very badly, and simultaneously 
> overselling it and overstating its capabilities. The best thing to 
> do is to try out the language.)