on 1 May 1997
In general this book is very good, and I would highly recommended it for anybody using tools like lex and yacc. It covers all the areas (both good and bad) of these tools. However, I find that the book is frustrating and incomplete in two ways :-
(1) when it comes to solving some of the problems reported by such tools as lex and yacc, there is not enough of examples, especially less-trivial examples, and some of the more potentially obscure problems that can occur.
(2) it is very frustrating that the page numbers listed in the index are out by 1 or 2 pages. In this era of technology this should not happen.
on 8 March 2000
Except for the commercial versions of lex & yacc, there is scant documentation on these potentially very useful tools. This book ought therefore to be very welcome. Unfortunately it fails to deliver some important goods, like an explanation of the cryptic, mostly undocumented diagnostic messages that come out of yacc, or a substantial example of how to embed yyparse in another application--so as to do something useful, other than just validating syntax.
The review of different implementations is valuable, and the comments on portability were extremely helpful to me.
This book has been around for a while, and neither lex nor yacc have evolved much in the last many years, so the authors could reasonably have been asked to produce a more exhaustive second edition by now. It would necessarily have become a standard work. Unfortunately this present volume is often more tantalizing than helpful. Still, it's better than nothing.
on 6 March 1998
A really good book...this is basically the only good tutorial/reference on purely yacc/lex topics. If I have one complaint it is that it should be a little longer, but otherwise it's great; it covers all the lex/yacc versions including flex and bison, has good examples as well as thorough explanations of key concepts. If you need to parse a complex file format or compile a language, this is basically required reading.
on 1 June 1998
This book, along with the Dragon Book, forms the required reading for anyone interested in compilers and language processing. I was quite impressed by the clarity of the examples, and the breadth of the different lex and yacc implementations that it covers. If you need to do complex parsing or language design, definitely pick up a copy of this.