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From: Georg Rehm <>
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Subject: "flex scanner push-back overflow"
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 09:47:54 +0200 (MEST)
Reply-To: Georg.Rehm@CL-KI.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE
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Hi Vern,

Yesterday, I encountered a strange problem: I use the macro processor m4
to include some lengthy lists into a .l file. Following is a flex macro
definition that causes some serious pain in my neck:

AUTHOR           ("A. Boucard / L. Boucard"|"A. Dastarac / M. Levent"|"A.Boucaud / L.Boucaud"|"Abderrahim Lamchichi"|"Achmat Dangor"|"Adeline Toullier"|"Adewale Maja-Pearce"|"Ahmed Ziri"|"Akram Ellyas"|"Alain Bihr"|"Alain Gresh"|"Alain Guillemoles"|"Alain Joxe"|"Alain Morice"|"Alain Renon"|"Alain Zecchini"|"Albert Memmi"|"Alberto Manguel"|"Alex De Waal"|"Alfonso Artico"| [...])

The complete list contains about 10kB. When I try to "flex" this file
(on a Solaris 2.6 machine, using a modified flex 2.5.4 (I only increased
some of the predefined values in flexdefs.h) I get the error:

myflex/flex -8  sentag.tmp.l
flex scanner push-back overflow

When I remove the slashes in the macro definition everything works fine.
As I understand it, the double quotes escape the slash-character so it
really means "/" and not "trailing context". Furthermore, I tried to
escape the slashes with backslashes, but with no use, the same error message
appeared when flexing the code.

Do you have an idea what's going on here?

Greetings from Germany,
Georg Rehm                           
Institute for Semantic Information Processing, University of Osnabrueck, FRG

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