[plt-scheme] Natural Language parsing in CS1

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Tue Jun 2 20:59:43 EDT 2009


On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 5:49 PM, Todd O'Bryan <toddobryan at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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