[erlang-questions] PADS and Erlang

Ulf Wiger ulf@REDACTED
Sat Jul 5 14:53:55 CEST 2008

Very nice to hear. I've been quite interested in PADS since I heard
Kathleen Fisher present it a few years ago, but I've limited myself
to mentioning it on occasion, hoping that someone else would find
it interesting too.  (-:

Ulf W

2008/7/4 Richard A. O'Keefe <ok@REDACTED>:
> I'm currently slogging my way through the PADS manual and papers.
> PADS is a toolkit for Processing Ad-hoc Data Streams, that is
> for stuff like web logs, termcap, anything that's more complex
> than you could comfortably process with AWK but less standardised
> than XML.
> PADS/C takes a data description and generates C code that you can
> call to parse a data stream, either all at once or some at a time.
> You get a converter to XML and a crude tabulator/statistics tool
> for free with this.  The input language is somewhere between a
> grammar and C data declarations.
> PADS/ML does the same kind of thing, with a slightly different
> but semantically similar input language that looks more like ML.
> Sadly, the ML in question is not SML, but OCaml.  I am as fond
> of high speed as the next hacker, but fond as I am of SML, I've
> never been able to stomach OCaml syntax.
> Some of the applications of PADS are clearly in Erlang's general
> area: one of the running examples is some AT&T phone logs which
> are really very very large (so that you would have to be either
> a lunatic or a disc salesman to suggest converting them to
> [textual] XML).
> It might be interesting to speculate on the relationship between
> PADS (or "Data Description Languages" in general) and Erlang.
> I'm not sure that a PADS/Erlang would be much use, because you
> can probably get most of the way with the binary matching syntax
> parsing binaries.
> The word is _speculate_!
> --
> "I don't want to discuss evidence." -- Richard Dawkins, in an
> interview with Rupert Sheldrake.  (Fortean times 232, p55.)
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