Sunday, October 12, 2008
I had a look at the source code of VideoLAN’s popular VLC media player today. I like VLC because it supports all different kinds of media files and runs on all my favorite operating system platforms. But supporting all those different media file formats has downsides. VLC does a lot of parsing, and that often means a lot of bugs just waiting to be discovered.
According to Parsing Techniques: A Practical Guide by Dick Grune and Ceriel J.H. Jacobs, “Parsing is the process of structuring a linear representation in accordance with a given grammar.” A parser is software that breaks apart a raw string of bytes into individual words and statements. Depending on the data format, ...