November 05, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology NewsNow with TextTransformer 1.4.0 look-ahead productions can be debugged as well, just like ordinary productions. A special button or shortcut starts look-ahead debugging, afterwards the same commands can be used to single step over or into productions, as in the mainstream debugger.
TextTransformer is a development environment for the analysis and automatic evaluation and remodelling of texts. At the analysis of a text disambiguation, i.e. the choice between alternative interpretations, can depend on sections of text which follow at later positions. E.g. the meaning of a letter can depend on the signature, or the existence of a semicolon can qualify the code being in front of it in a programming language. Such a look-ahead can be debugged now as well as it was possible till now only at the current position.
Now it's also possible to step backwards in the debugger, from a breakpoint or error condition. This backtrace allows to find out how this state was reached, without restarting the parser, and eliminates the need for writing specialized test cases, which otherwise may be required to reproduce a certain error condition.
These new debugging facilities were developed in connection with a big project carried out successfully: a parser for the programming language C++ has been built for the preparatorily translation of approx. 120000 lines of source code of a company software into Java code.