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I suspect he also knew the business about rand(). But with his many hours of real life experience trying to statically parse Perl, he focused on the stronger proof -- the one that would give him the most information about what he was up against in creating PPI.

You pretty much nailed it exactly.

From a practical perspective there's about 5-10 things that, in various combinations, make Perl impossible to parse.

However, there's a big difference between what we believe and what we can prove.

And so from the perspective of knowing absolutely that Perl 5 can't be parsed, the Halting Problem approach was by far the most straight forward way to do it (at least to a layman like me).

This realization let me finally put the possibility of a complete parser out of my mind, and once I wasn't distracted by completeness any more, I had the chance to evaluate and actually define what "good enough" would mean for a "Perl 5 parser".

And that perspective on the problem was the one that took the code in the direction of the working solution.

In reply to Re^3: Perl Cannot Be Parsed: A Formal Proof (meh) by adamk
in thread Perl Cannot Be Parsed: A Formal Proof by Jeffrey Kegler

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