FAQ   [plain text]

Frequently Asked Questions about Bison:


Q1.  Is Bison Y2K compliant?

A1.  If you're looking for a guarantee or certification, I can't
     provide it.  With a little thought you can answer this one for
     yourself, though.  (Hint: does a parser generator rely on the
     date or time for anything?)  If you're still confused, see
     http://www.gnu.org/software/year2000.html for more information.


Q2.  I'm having trouble using Bison.  Where can I find help?

A2.  First, read the fine manual which comes with bison.  Beyond that,
     you can send mail to <help-bison@gnu.org>.  This mailing list is
     intended to be populated with people who are willing to answer
     questions about using and installing Bison.  Please keep in mind
     that (most of) the people on the list have aspects of their lives
     which are not related to Bison (!), so you may not receive an
     answer to your question right away.  This can be frustrating, but
     please try not to honk them off; remember that any help they
     provide is purely voluntary and out of the kindness of their


Q3.  I found a bug.  What should I include in the bug report?

A3.  Before you send a bug report, make sure you are using the latest
     version.  Check ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/bison/ or one of its
     mirrors.  Be sure to include the version number in your bug
     report.  If the bug is present in the latest version but not in a
     previous version, try to determine the most recent version which
     did not contain the bug.

     If the bug is parser-related, you should include the smallest
     grammar you can which demonstrates the bug.  The grammar file
     should also be complete (i.e., I should be able to run it through
     Bison without having to edit or add anything).  The smaller and
     simpler the grammar, the easier it will be to fix the bug.

     Include information about your compilation environment, including
     your operating system's name and version and your compiler's name
     and version.  If you have trouble compiling, you should also
     include a transcript of the build session, starting with the
     invocation of `configure'.  Depending on the nature of the bug,
     you may be asked to send additional files as well (such as
     `config.h' or `config.cache').

     Patches are most welcome, but not required.  That is, do not
     hesitate to send a bug report just because you can not provide a

     Send bug reports to <bug-bison@gnu.org>.


Q4.  Will Bison ever have C++ support?

A4.  Yes, it's in the works.  I will need beta testers, however (and
     people haven't exactly been lining up for the task).  When this
     feature is ready to be tested, it will be announced on the
     bug-bison mailing list.  If you're interested in testing C++
     support when it becomes available, please consider subscribing to
     the list, especially if you are willing to beta test other
     releases as well.


Q5.  What is involved in being a beta tester?

A5.  It's not terribly involved.  Basically, you would download a test
     release, compile it, and use it to build and run a parser or two.
     After that, you would submit either a bug report or a message
     saying that everything is okay.  It is important to report
     successes as well as failures because test releases eventually
     become mainstream releases, but only if they are adequately
     tested.  If no one tests, development is essentially halted.

     Beta testers are particularly needed for operating systems to
     which I do not have access.  I currently have easy access to
     Linux (x86 glibc 2.1), Solaris (SPARC) 2.6 and 2.7, and HP-UX
     10.20.  Reports about other operating systems are especially


Q6.  How do I join the help-bison and bug-bison mailing lists?

A6.  See http://www.gnu.org/ (the section about "GNU mailing lists")
     for more information.