[plt-scheme] Natural Language parsing in CS1

From: Todd O'Bryan (toddobryan at gmail.com)
Date: Tue Jun 2 17:49:12 EDT 2009

When the only tool you have is a Dragon Book, everything looks like a ....

I'm not sure how to finish that sentence, but I'm sure there's a
punchline in there somewhere. :-)

On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 11:45 AM, Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adelphi.edu> wrote:
> On Jun 2, 2009, at 10:52 AM, Eli Barzilay wrote:
>> I think that a similar problem exists if someone reads the dragon book
>> (at least in the edition that I used) in an attempt to learn about
>> programming languages.
> Well, I already knew something about programming languages, but I read the
> dragon book the summer between high school and college to learn about
> compilers.  It was pretty heavy going, and the Greek letters contributed to
> that, I have to admit :-)  Two months later, in my first term in college, I
> was assigned to write a Roman-numeral-reading program.  I wrote down a
> regular expression for Roman numerals, converted it by hand to a DFA, coded
> it in Pascal, and (since the dragon book hadn't said anything about
> attaching semantics to a DFA) made up a seat-of-the-pants way to add actions
> to compute the value of the Roman numeral.  It was utterly incomprehensible,
> because all the states had integer names.  The teaching assistant wrote on
> my printout "I'll assume this works...."
> Stephen Bloch
> sbloch at adelphi.edu
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