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3.7.2 Token Type Names

The basic way to declare a token type name (terminal symbol) is as follows:

%token name

Bison will convert this into a #define directive in the parser, so that the function yylex (if it is in this file) can use the name name to stand for this token type’s code.

Alternatively, you can use %left, %right, %precedence, or %nonassoc instead of %token, if you wish to specify associativity and precedence. See Operator Precedence.

You can explicitly specify the numeric code for a token type by appending a nonnegative decimal or hexadecimal integer value in the field immediately following the token name:

%token NUM 300
%token XNUM 0x12d // a GNU extension

It is generally best, however, to let Bison choose the numeric codes for all token types. Bison will automatically select codes that don’t conflict with each other or with normal characters.

In the event that the stack type is a union, you must augment the %token or other token declaration to include the data type alternative delimited by angle-brackets (see More Than One Value Type).

For example:

%union {              /* define stack type */
  double val;
  symrec *tptr;
%token <val> NUM      /* define token NUM and its type */

You can associate a literal string token with a token type name by writing the literal string at the end of a %token declaration which declares the name. For example:

%token arrow "=>"

For example, a grammar for the C language might specify these names with equivalent literal string tokens:

%token  <operator>  OR      "||"
%token  <operator>  LE 134  "<="
%left  OR  "<="

Once you equate the literal string and the token name, you can use them interchangeably in further declarations or the grammar rules. The yylex function can use the token name or the literal string to obtain the token type code number (see Calling Convention). Syntax error messages passed to yyerror from the parser will reference the literal string instead of the token name.

The token numbered as 0 corresponds to end of file; the following line allows for nicer error messages referring to “end of file” instead of “$end”:

%token END 0 "end of file"

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