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Re: library for parsing RTF

Subject: Re: library for parsing RTF
From: Andriy Gerasika <andriy.gerasika@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 22:58:07 +0300
Re:  library for parsing RTF
This seems about as useful as a regex C compiler, that compiles

main() { printf ("Hello world!\n"); }

and _nothing_ else.

C is procedural language, RTF is markup language. I am pointing that BNF is too heavy for markup languages, such as RTF, MIF, CSS, JSON -- parsing of that can be relatively easy performed w/ XSLT and regexps. At least I find it more difficult to deal w/ YACC compared to XSLT and regexps.

For example, I have created simple JSON to XML parser in XSLT using regular expressions:

IMHO it is more simple compared to parser on top of BNF

Just because you can make an regex for _one instanace_ of a grammer does not mean that you can (easily) use regexs to parse a generic format. RTF is generic - there are MANY valid ways to say similiar things in RTF.

This is semantics, not syntax.

General RTF syntax of curly braces and control tags prefixed w/ "\" is always the same for all vendors. The fact that Apple uses its own RTF control tags and Microsoft is using its own RTF control tags, does not change the RTF {} and \ syntax.

RTF is very similar to HTML and CSS -- syntax is always the same for all vendors, elements and semantics behind elements may be different. But it is not a question of parser, and I doubt BNF parser will handle the semantics.

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