This tutorial will show you how to use a range of standard Perl features and several CPAN modules (in particular, Parse::RecDescent) to decipher and process a variety of complex data and command formats. It's a practical introduction to the techniques of grammar- based recursive-descent parsing.
You will learn:
- how to design and build parsers to process Apache configuration files and log data,
- how to process structured expressions (e.g. search engine queries),
- how to separate the code and comments in a C program,
- how to parse the ungainly syntax of C++ types,
- how to allow embedded Perl code in your own data format or command language,
- how convert natural language queries into SQL.
- how to write a natural language parsing program that does classic stand-up comedy.
Perl programmers who are familiar with simple regular expressions and the use of modules. The techniques presented are not restricted to the specific applications listed, and will be useful to anyone who needs to process structured input of any kind.