TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Lexical Analysis
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Language Translation

Ambiguities and Lexical Analysis

By Clifford Story, Mount Prospect, IL

Part III. Ambiguities, Etc.

A. Introduction

This is the third part in my series on Language Translation. Language translation has three phases: lexical analysis, parsing, and code generation. The first two parts have dealt with building parsers using YACC; this is the final installment on that subject.

That will take up only about half the article. The remainder will begin the new topic of lexical analysis by presenting a skeleton filter tool.

B. Parsing

I now conclude parsing with a couple of miscellaneous topics. The first is a simple way to handle ambiguities in a grammar. Then comes the horrible question of error detection and reporting.

B(1). Ambiguities

Parser ambiguities, you may recall, are spots in the parse table where YACC’s generation algorithm would place a shift and a reduction, or two reductions. A naive grammar would generate an ambiguity when considering the input string

2 + 3 * 4

since it isn’t clear whether this means (2 + 3) * 4 or 2 + (3 * 4).

We faced this problem in the first part and solved it by re-writing the grammar to eliminate the ambiguity. YACC offers another way of handling ambiguities (also known as shift/reduce and reduce/reduce conflicts).

B(1)(a). YACC’s Default Rule

First, something you should know: YACC will work through any conflicts that it finds and produce a non-ambiguous grammar for you. It resolves conflicts automatically, and will only issues warnings, not errors.

Unfortunately, it does this by making assumptions about what you intended, and these assumptions need not be correct. You can get a grammar that simply does not do what you meant it to do, despite the lack of error messages. In my opinion, this is a design flaw in YACC; conflicts should be fatal errors.

Even worse, MACYACC (see the first part for a review) uses an inordinately complicated rule for resolving conflicts. Unix YACC uses a very simple rule, so you can guess what it’s going to do. MACYACC, no such luck.

Therefore, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS REACT TO CONFLICT WARNINGS AS IF THEY WERE FATAL ERRORS!

B(1)(b). Operator Precedence

Remember, conflicts arise when the parser doesn’t know which operation to perform first, as in the 2 + 3 * 4 example. We intelligent humans know that multiplication comes before addition: multiplication has a higher precedence than addition. The conflict is easily and correctly resolved if YACC knows the order of precedence among all operators in the grammar.

All that need be done is tell YACC:

/* 1 */

%left ‘+’ ‘-’
%left ‘*’ ‘/’

Multiplication and division have the same precedence (because they are on the same line), and higher precedence than addition and subtraction (because their line is after addition and subtraction’s line). That solves the problem (read on for an explanation of the “left” business).

But what about strings like

2 - 3 + 4

Is that 2 - (3 + 4) or (2 - 3) + 4? The above rules don’t seem to say, since subtraction and addition have the same precedence.

B(1)(c). What is Associativity?

Good question. In a string of the form

... • ID • ...

where ‘•’ is an operator and ‘ID’ an identifier, the • to the left of the ID will have a higher precedence than the • to the right if • is left-associative; and conversely. Thus,

2 - 3 - 4

is conventionally -5 because subtraction is left-associative. If it were right-associative, 2 - 3 - 4 would equal 2 - (3 - 4), or 3. Just about everything is left-associative.

So associativity defines order of evaluation among operators on the same level of operator precedence. And the line

%left ‘+’ ‘-’

says that addition and subtraction are left-associative among one another.

YACC also includes keywords %right, which means just what you might think, and %nonassoc, which means constructs of the form

... • ID • ...

are illegal (think of logical operators).

B(1)(d). The Lonely Minus...

There’s one more thing to worry about: unary operators. The classic example is the minus sign. Do you remember my asking why a hex calculator was easier to write than a decimal calculator? The answer is that a hex calculator doesn’t have to deal with unary minus...

The problem arises because the minus sign is used for both unary and binary operators (negation and subtraction). When we assign it a precedence in the %left statement, we’re thinking about subtraction, so we give it a lower precedence than multiplication and division. But negation should have the same precedence as multiplication and division.

The solution is to give a grammar rule a precedence. This can be done with the %prec keyword:

expr : ‘-’ expr %prec ‘*’

gives this rule the same precedence as multiplication. Thus, unary minus will have the right precedence, and everything is at last conflict-free.

B(1)(e).  An Example

%token  NUM
%left   ‘+’ ‘-’
%left   ‘*’ ‘/’
%left   MINUS

%%

prob  : expr ‘\n’
 {
 printf(“\t= %d\n”, $1);
 return(0);
 }
 
 ;

expr  : expr ‘+’ expr
 {
 $$ = $1 + $3;
 }
 
 | expr ‘-’ expr
 {
 $$ = $1 - $3;
 }
 
 | expr ‘*’ expr
 {
 $$ = $1 * $3;
 }
 
 | expr ‘/’ expr
 {
 $$ = $1 / $3;
 }
 
 | ‘-’ expr %prec MINUS
 {
 $$ = - $2;
 }
 
 | ‘(‘ expr ‘)’
 {
 $$ = $2;
 }
 
 | NUM
 {
 $$ = $1;
 }
 
 ;

%%

/***************************************/
#include “stdio.h”
#include “ctype.h”
#include “string.h”
/***************************************/
char    *input;
char    *token;
/***************************************/

#define yyerror(x)
 {
 printf(“\t%s [%s]\n”, x, token);
 return(0);
 }

yyparse();
int yylex();
 
/***************************************/
void main(int argc, char *argv[])
 {
 
 char   thestring[256];
 
 if (argc < 1)
 printf(“\tImpossible error!\n”);
 else if (argc > 2)
 printf(“\tHey!  One at a time!\n”);
 else if (argc == 2)
 {
 input = argv[1];
 yyparse();
 }
 else
 {
 printf(“? “);
 while (strlen(gets(thestring)) > 2)
 {
 input = &thestring[2];
 yyparse();
 printf(“? “);
 }
 }
 }
 
/***************************************/
int yylex()
 {
 
 token = strtok(input, “ “);
 input = 0;
 
 if (token == 0)
 return(‘\n’);
 else if (sscanf(token, “%d”, &yylval) == 1)
 return(NUM);
 else
 return(token[0]);
 
 }
/***************************************/

B(2). Catching Errors

You may have noticed that Pascal compilers write real error messages, while C compilers write error messages more cryptic than C itself. There’s a reason for this: Pascal compilers use recursive-descent parsers, while C compilers use table-driven parsers. Recursive-descent parsers are the sort of parsers a person might naturally write: get the next token; if it’s a ‘+’, do this, else get the next token and do that, and so on. A location in the code of the parser corresponds to a particular grammar structure in the input string, so it’s easy to insert appropriate error messages. Table-driven parsers make things more difficult. Ever seen an error message to the effect “Need an lval”? That’s a sign of the parser, not the language; from the YACC global yylval, you can probably guess what an lval is.

So writing meaningful error messages in a YACC-generated parser is a real problem.

B(2)(a). Semantic Errors

Semantic errors are easy. These are illegal operations, like division by zero, and other violations of data types (overflow, writing past the end of an array, and so forth).

The decimal calculator provides the opportunity to divide by zero. Let’s catch this error, and issue an error message instead. Division occurs in only one grammar rule:

/* 3 */

expr  | expr ‘/’ expr
 {
 $$ = $1 / $3;
 }

Just insert an operand check in the generated code:

/* 4 */

expr  | expr ‘/’ expr
 {
 if ($3 != 0)
 $$ = $1 / $3;
 else
 {
 printf(“Divide by zero!\n”);
 return(0);
 }
 }

I’m using a cheap trick here; the return(0) means abort. This is ok, because the calculator evaluates one expression at a time, and an error should cause an abort. But if this were a compiler, detecting a single error should not kill the compile; I want to know about ALL the errors.

B(2)(b). Illegal Characters

The language’s character set has nothing to do with the grammar, and hence nothing to do with the parser. It is entirely in the control of the lexical analyzer. And, of course, it’s easy for the lexical analyzer to catch illegal characters. But how can it report them?

Here’s my solution. First, I declare a new token at the top of the input file:

/* 5 */

%token  ILLEGAL

None of the grammar rules use this token, so should the lexical analyzer return it, the parser must sense an error.

Now, to get an error message out of this! I’m going to continue to declare the yyerror routine as a macro, so it can use the parser’s local variables and also abort the parser. Then I’m going to create a new error routine that yyerror will call, passing a couple of those interesting locals. The two I want are ‘tmpstate’, the current state of the parser, and ‘pcyytoken’, the type of the last token returned by yylex(). The declarations look like this:

/* 6 */

#define yyerror(x)
 {
 errordisplay(tmpstate, pcyytoken);
 return(0);
 }
void errordisplay(int state,
 int tokentype);

Then, in the errordisplay() routine, if ‘tokentype’ equals ILLEGAL, I print an appropriate message.

B(2)(c). Syntactic Errors

Errors of syntax are the hard ones (and my development of this topic has not been helped by my outliner’s just destroying my first approach to it. Especially since I wrote the outliner... A word of advice to aspiring Mac programmers: do not neglect the grow zone routine.) The problem is that these errors are detected by a table that we didn’t write, instead of nice readable code that we did.

But we can still zero in on the specific error. We begin with the .out file. If there’s an error in state 0, we know why: the parser was expecting a number, a -, or a (, but it got something else instead. So instead of saying just “syntax error”, we say “Expecting a number, - or (!”. We can do the same for each state, and write errordisplay() as follows:

/* 7 */

void errordisplay(int state,
 int tokentype)
 {
 
 if (tokentype == ILLEGAL)
 printf(“\tIllegal character!\n”);
 else switch (state)
 {
 
 case 0:
 case 3:
 case 4:
 case 7:
 case 8:
 case 9:
 case 10:
 printf(“\tExpecting a number,”
 “‘-’ or ‘(’!\n”);
 break;
 
 case 2:
 printf(“\tExpecting an “
 “operator or end “
 “of input!\n”);
 break;
 
 case 12:
 printf(“\tExpecting an “
 “operator or ‘)’!\n”);
 break;
 
 case 13:
 case 14:
 printf(“\tExpecting a ‘*’ “
 or ‘/’!\n”);
 break;
 
 default:
 printf(“\tImpossible error!  “
 “State = %d, token = %d\n”,
 state, tokentype);
 break;
 
 }
 
 }

All right, but we can do better than that. For example, since the parser is in state 0 only when it is reading the first token, an error in state zero means that the token is wrong for the beginning of input, so we might write something more to the point, like “An expression must begin with a number, - or (!”. Similarly, we can look closer at the other states and get a better idea of just what is going on in each. We can use the token type to further focus on the error. And so on.

And we can also keep track of just where in the input we are, so we can point to the location of the error:

? 2 - 3 4
        ^

Expecting an operator or end of input!

B(3). Last Words on YACC

And that’s it for YACC. Which is not to say that nothing in the remainder of the series will rely on YACC; on the contrary. But I will assume that my audience is now familiar with the tool and introduce grammar descriptions and such without apology.

The next topic is lexical analysis. And since I’ve got some space left this month, I’ll launch into it with a skeleton filter program.

C. Lexical Analysis

Next time, I will move on to lexical analysis, and replace my calculator example with a file filter. Filter programs are somewhat unusual in the Macintosh world, so perhaps a definition is appropriate: a filter program is one that reads one filter, massages it in some way, and writes the result. Such programs are common under Unix, where simple programs can be strung together in batch files with IO redirection and piping to create much more powerful utilities. For an example, see the discussion of Steve Johnson’s spell utility on page 139 of Jon Bentley’s Programming Pearls.

The calculator example I’ve used so far is not a filter, since it works from direct user input on the command line. It looks like the rest of this series will use filters, however; first with the lexical analysis examples, and then with the inline assembler. What I’m going to do now is develop a basic identity filter, to settle some issues once and for all, so I can then ignore them and concentrate on language translation.

C(1). Command Line

The first problem is reading the command line. I want the tool to read either one or more files named on the command line, or standard input if there aren’t any named input files. I want it to write to a named output file, or to standard output if none is named. And I want to be able to set a language type (for reasons that won’t become clear until next month) with command line options.

Recall that MPW passes the command line as an array of strings. The first string, argv[0], is the name of the tool, and the rest are the individual arguments.

C(1)(a). Input Files

Input files are specified on the command line by name alone, with no special flags. If a name appears unaccompanied by any flag, it is by default an input file. The tool can read arbitrarily many input files; if none are specified, then it reads standard input (which can come from IO redirection).

So I’m going to have an integer variable called “input” which I will initialize to the standard input unit. Then I’ll walk through the argument list, and if I find an input file, I will open it (using the “input” variable for its unit), append it to my input buffer, and close it. If, after reading the entire command line, “input” is still equal to standard input, then I know that no input files were named, and so I’ll read standard input into the buffer.

C(1)(b). Options

Options are command arguments that begin with a hyphen (this doesn’t have to be so; I have written a tool with an almost natural-language command line but -options are customary and easy to parse).

There are two kinds of options: the output file, and true options (the name of the output file isn’t a true option, of course, but it’s specified with option syntax).

C(1)(b)(i). Output File

The tool can write one output file, or write to standard output. A named output file is specified with a “-o” option followed by the name of the file.

Similarly to output, I have an integer variable called “output”, initially set to the standard output unit. If an output file is named on the command line, then I open it, and set “output” to its unit number. If “output” isn’t standard output, then I know an output file is already open, so I print a warning and ignore the new file.

C(1)(b)(ii). Language

I won’t be using the language option this month but I might as well get it in here anyway. The language can be either Pascal or C. Pascal is the default; it is reset by the first named input file with either a “.p” or “.c” extension, and this can be overridden with either a “-p” or “-c” command option.

First, I’ll declare a special type, “codetype”:

/* 8 */

typedef enum
 {
 nocode,
 pascalcode,
 ccode
 } codetype;

and a variable, “language” of type codetype, initially “nocode”. This indicates that the language has not been set.

As I walk though the command line, if I find an input file, “language” is still “nocode”, and the file name ends in either “.p” or “.c”, then I’ll set “language” accordingly. Thus, only the first such file can set the language.

If, on the other hand, I find a “-p” or “-c” option, I will set “language” accordingly, regardless of any previous setting. The options override filename conventions. (I don’t check for multiple options; the last one controls.)

Finally, if “language” is still “nocode” after reading the entire command line, then I set it to the default, Pascal.

C(2). IO Buffering

In the interests of speed, I’ll buffer both input and output. If you don’t think this makes a difference, just re-write the tool without buffering!

Input buffering is easy: I just read input, in 1K chunks, into a single buffer, which I can re-size as necessary to accommodate the amount to read. The MPW interface doesn’t provide any way to get the file size before reading it (not surprising, I guess; what’s the “size” of standard input?).

Output buffering is a bit more complex. This is an identity filter, so I just copy the input without modification to the output buffer. When the output buffer fills up, I write 1K of it to the output file, and shift what’s left to the front of the buffer.

C(3). The Program

Here’s the code. The file “managers” is a load file containing all the C include files; this makes compilation of the program faster.

/* 9 */

// Filter.c - Skeleton MPW filter tool
 
#pragma load “managers”
 
// Constants and Macros
 
#define nil 0
 
#define stdinfd  0
#define stdoutfd 1
#define stderrfd 2
 
#define stdunit(x) ((x >= stdinfd) && (x <= stderrfd))
#define notstdunit(x)(x > stderrfd)

#define nombuffsize1024
#define truebuffsize 1200
 
// Types
typedef enum {false, true} logical;

typedef enum
 {
 nocode,
 pascalcode, 
 ccode
 } codetype;
 
// Prototypes
 void initmac();
 int openoutput(char *thename, int output);
 int readinput(int input, Handle inbuffer, int buffersize);
 int filter(char *inbuffer, int buffersize, int output, 
 codetype language);
 int writeoutput(int output, char *outbuffer, int buffersize);
 
// main
// ----
// the “main” routine reads and
// interprets the command line,
// concatenates input files into an
// input buffer, opens the output
// file, and calls the “filter”
// routine to write the output.
 
int main(int argc, char *argv[])
 {
 int    index;
 int    input;
 int    output;
 codetype language;
 Handle inbuffer;
 int    buffersize;
 char   *thetail;
 
 initmac();
 
// “input” is the fd of the input file,
// initially stdin “output” is the fd
// of the output file, initially
// stdout “language” is the language
// to parse, initially unknown
 
 input = stdinfd;
 output = stdoutfd;
 language = nocode;
 
// “inbuffer” is the input buffer,
// initially empty but able to grow
// “buffersize” is the size of “inbuffer”
 
 inbuffer = NewHandle(0);
 buffersize = 0;
 
// command line interpreter: loop through command options
 
 for (index = 1; index < argc; index++)
 {
 if (argv[index][0] == ‘-’)
 {
 switch (argv[index][1])
 {
 
// “-p” and “-c” options set language
// type; these override any previous setting
 
 case ‘P’:
 case ‘p’:
 language = pascalcode;
 break;
 
 case ‘C’:
 case ‘c’:
 language = ccode;
 break;
 
 case ‘O’:
 case ‘o’:
 output = openoutput(
 argv[++index], output);
 if (output < 0)
 {
 fprintf(stderr, “Error - Unable”
 “ to open output  file %s!\n”,
 argv[index]);
 exit(2);
 }
 break;
 
 default:
 fprintf(stderr, “Error - Unknown option %s\n”,
  argv[index]);
 exit(2);
 break;
 
 }
 
 }
 else
 {
 
// if “language” has not changed since
// initialization, set “language”
// according to file name (the first
// input file thus determines language type)
 
 if (language == nocode)
 {
 thetail = argv[index] + strlen(argv[index]) - 2;
 if (strcmp(thetail, “.p”) == 0)
 language = pascalcode;
 else if (strcmp(thetail, “.c”) == 0)
 language = ccode;
 }
 
// open the input file (after this step,
// “input” will NOT contain a standard
// unit number) and read it into the input buffer
 
 input = open(argv[index], O_RDONLY);
 if (input < 0)
 {
 fprintf(stderr, “Error - Unable to open input”
 “file %s!\n”, argv[index]);
 exit(2);
 }
 
 buffersize = readinput(input, inbuffer, buffersize);
 if (buffersize < 0)
 {
 fprintf(stderr, “Error -  Reading from %s!\n”,
 argv[index]);
 exit(2);
 }
 
 close(input);
 
 }
 }
 
// if “input” is still a standard unit
// number, then no input file was
// opened, and input must be from standard input
 
 if (stdunit(input))
 {
 buffersize = readinput(input,
 inbuffer, buffersize);
 if (buffersize < 0)
 {
 fprintf(stderr, “Error - Reading from standard”
 “ input!\n”);
 exit(2);
 }
 }
 
// if “language” is still unknown, set it to Pascal
 
 if (language == nocode)
 language = pascalcode;
 
// the routine “filter” does the real work of the program
 
 HLock(inbuffer);
 filter(*inbuffer, buffersize, output, language);
 HUnlock(inbuffer);
 
// wrapup:  close “output” first if the program opened it
 
 DisposHandle(inbuffer);
 
 if (notstdunit(output))
 close(output);
 
 exit(0);
 }
 
// initmac
// ------
// initialize any necessary managers and whatnot.
 
void initmac()
 {
 
 InitGraf((Ptr)&qd.thePort);
 SetFScaleDisable(true);
 
 InitCursorCtl(nil);
 }
 
// openoutput
// ----------
// open the output file.  returns the
// fd or, if an error occurs, the
// error flag.
 
int openoutput(char *thename, int output)
 {
 FInfo  theinfo;
 
// if “output” is not a standard unit,
// then an output file must have already be open
 
 if (notstdunit(output))
 {
 fprintf(stderr, “Warning - additional output file %s”
 “ ignored!\n”, thename);
 return(output);
 }

// open the output file for writing
// (O_WRONLY), creating it if
// necessary (O_CREAT) and
// zeroing it otherwise (O_TRUNC)
 
 output = open(thename, O_WRONLY + O_CREAT + O_TRUNC);
 if (output < 0)
 return(output);

// if the file was created by “open”, it
// will be untyped, so set the type to TEXT and MPS
 
 if (getfinfo(thename, 0, &theinfo))
 {
 fprintf(stderr, “Warning - unable to get info for output file %s!\n”, 
thename);
 return(output);
 }
 
 theinfo.fdType = ‘TEXT’;
 theinfo.fdCreator = ‘MPS ‘;
 
 if (setfinfo(thename, 0, &theinfo))
 fprintf(stderr, “Warning - unable to set info for output file %s!\n”, 
thename);
 
 return(output);
 }
 
// readinput
// --------
// this routine appends an input file
// to the input buffer and returns
// the new size of the buffer or, if
// a read error occurs, the error flag.
 
int readinput(int input, Handle inbuffer, int buffersize)
 {
 int    readsize;
 
 SetHandleSize(inbuffer, buffersize + 1024);
 HLock(inbuffer);
 
 while ((readsize = read(input,
 *inbuffer + buffersize, 1024)) > 0)
 {
 buffersize += readsize;
 HUnlock(inbuffer);
 SetHandleSize(inbuffer, buffersize + 1024);
 HLock(inbuffer);
 }
 
 if (readsize < 0)
 return(readsize);
 
 HUnlock(inbuffer);
 SetHandleSize(inbuffer, buffersize + 1024);
 
 return(buffersize);
 }
 
// filter
// ------
// this routine does the main work of
// the program, which in this case
// consists of simply writing the
// input buffer to the output file.
 
int filter(char *inbuffer, int buffersize, int output,
 codetype language)
 {
#pragma unused(language)
 
 int    inposition;
 int    outposition;
 char   outbuffer[truebuffsize];
 unsigned char thechar;
 int    writesize;
 
// “inposition” keeps track of the
// current position in the input
// buffer, initially at the beginning
// “outposition” keeps track of the
// current position in the output
// buffer, initially at the beginning
 
 inposition = 0;
 outposition = 0;
 
 while (inposition < buffersize)
 {
// copy input to the output buffer, one character at a time
 thechar = *(inbuffer + inposition++);
 outbuffer[outposition++] = thechar;
 
// when the output buffer fills up, write it to output
 if (outposition >= nombuffsize)
 outposition = writeoutput(
 output, outbuffer, 
 outposition);
 if (outposition < 0)
 return(outposition);
 
 }
 
// write whatever is left in the buffer
// directly to output
 
 writesize = write(output, outbuffer, outposition);
 return(writesize);
 }
 
// writeoutput
// ----------
// this routine flushes the output 
// buffer by writing it to the output
// file.  It returns the new size of
// the buffer or, if a write error
// occurs, the error flag.
 
int writeoutput(int output, char *outbuffer, int buffersize)
 {
 int    writesize;
 
 writesize = write(output, outbuffer, nombuffsize);
 
 if (writesize < 0)
 return(writesize);
 
 buffersize -= writesize;
 BlockMove(outbuffer + writesize, outbuffer, buffersize);
 
 return(buffersize);
 }

D. Conclusion

Next time I’ll expand the Filter tool by adding a state machine to control the transfer of data from the input buffer to the output buffer. I’ll assume you’ve got the code just above, and won’t repeat it, except for the “filter” routine. So hang on to this issue of MacTutor!

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

iMazing 2.9.4 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
BBEdit 12.6.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
Final Cut Pro X 10.4.6 - Professional vi...
Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing solution. Completely redesigned from the ground up, Final Cut Pro adds extraordinary speed, quality, and flexibility to every part of the post-... Read more
Compressor 4.4.4 - Adds power and flexib...
Compressor adds power and flexibility to Final Cut Pro X export. Customize output settings, work faster with distributed encoding, and tap into a comprehensive set of delivery features. Features... Read more
Apple iMovie 10.1.11 - Edit personal vid...
With an all-new design, Apple iMovie lets you enjoy your videos like never before. Browse your clips more easily, instantly share your favorite moments, and create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood-... Read more
Motion 5.4.3 - Create and customize Fina...
Motion is designed for video editors, Motion 5 lets you customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions, and effects. Or create your own dazzling animations in 2D or 3D space, with real-time feedback as... Read more
Parallels Desktop 14.1.3 - Run Windows a...
Parallels allows you to run Windows and Mac applications side by side. Choose your view to make Windows invisible while still using its applications, or keep the familiar Windows background and... Read more
ffWorks 1.2 - Convert multimedia files b...
ffWorks, focused on simplicity, brings a fresh approach to the use of FFmpeg, allowing you to create ultra-high-quality movies without the need to write a single line of code on the command-line.... Read more
CleanMyMac X 4.3.0.3 - Delete files that...
CleanMyMac makes space for the things you love. Sporting a range of ingenious new features, CleanMyMac lets you safely and intelligently scan and clean your entire system, delete large, unused files... Read more
EtreCheck Pro 5.2 - For troubleshooting...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Call of Duty Mobile - Three other Activi...
This week Activision has revealed that Call of Duty Mobile is real, it's coming soon, and it looks pretty awesome. We got all of that from a trailer, but it also got us thinking about what other Activision games we'd like to see coming to mobile.... | Read more »
The best shooters on iOS
In case you missed it yesterday, Tencent and Activision announced they are putting out a new Call of Duty game for mobile. While details are pretty scant, they did put out a trailer (see above) and have a page where you can pre-register for the... | Read more »
The best games for iPhone - The definiti...
Hi there, and welcome to our ever-increasing list of the very best games for iPhone. We're going to be updating this regularly with new content, so make sure you check back often, because you're not going to want to miss out on even one of the... | Read more »
Everything you need to know to win in Sp...
Sure, Sprout: Idle Garden might be an idle game (we know, we know, it was pretty obvious from the name), but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of hints and tips you can exploit to make sure you're getting the best possible return from your... | Read more »
Huge new update for fantasy RPG Final Bl...
The hit fantasy RPG Final Blade arrived on western shores last month to much acclaim, thanks in large part to its successful mix of vibrant visuals, rich storytelling, and classic RPG mechanics. Now, the game is set to receive a whopping new update... | Read more »
Everything you need to know to win in Pe...
Pet Rescue Puzzle Saga is the latest game in King's long line of sagas. It's a match-stuff puzzler, as you might expect, but it's got a few new twists on the already established formula that, while they do keep things fresh, are likely to come as... | Read more »
REKT! guide - Is the latest content upda...
When REKT! first came out, I was impressed with the game’s ability to channel the gameplay of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in a small, streamlined package. Be that as it may, I was also pretty underwhelmed with the game’s lack of content. | Read more »
The best games for iPhone and iPad that...
Just like every Thursday, today we're taking some time to let you know what we think are the best games that have come out over the past week. We've had hands-on time with all of them, so you can trust us when we tell you that we're pretty clued... | Read more »
Mobile games you probably haven't p...
The App Store is bursting at the seams with all kinds of apps and games of varying quality, but one of the most consistent issues with it is discoverability. Despite having what seems like unlimited money and a full App Store editorial team, Apple... | Read more »
Get gorgeous characters and new skins in...
NetEase Games’s Onmyoji is reaching the last part of the crossover event with the classic anime Inuyasha. Once the maintenance on March13th is over you’ll be able to get Inuyasha, Sesshomaru, and Kikyo. You can get hold of these through any summon... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deal Alert! High-end 13″ 2.3GHz Quad-Core Mac...
Amazon has the high-end 2018 13″ 2.3GHz/512GB Space Gray Quad-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MR9R2LL/A) on sale for $1699.99 shipped. That’s $300 off Apple’s MSRP for this model. This is the same... Read more
New 2019 21″ 3.6GHz Quad-Core iMac already on...
B&H Photo has the new 2019 21″ 3.6GHz Quad-Core 4K iMac on sale, for preorder, for $1099 including free next day shipping (when it arrives). That’s $200 off Apple’s MSRP for this brand new iMac,... Read more
Apple has 13″ 2.3GHz Quad-Core MacBook Pros a...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ 2.3GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros available for $270-$300 off the cost of new models, with prices starting at $1529. Apple’s one-year warranty is included... Read more
Amazon continues to offer the lowest prices o...
Amazon is offering new 9.7″ WiFi iPads with Apple Pencil Support for $50-$100 off MSRP today, with prices starting at only $249. These are the same iPads found in Apple’s retail and online stores: –... Read more
Get a new 2018 Mac mini for $50-$100 off Appl...
Apple resellers are offering new 2018 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis for $50-$100 off MSRP for a limited time. B&H Photo has the new 2018 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis on sale for $50-$100 off Apple’s... Read more
Apple resellers drop prices on clearance 21″...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance, previous-generation, 21″ and 27″ 5K Apple iMacs by up to $300 off original MSRP. These are the same models offered by Apple in their retail and online... Read more
Preorder Apple’s new 2019 AirPods for up to $...
Apple today introduced new second-generation AirPods featuring 50% more talk time, hands-free “Hey Siri” capability, and an optional wireless charging case (also compatible with first-generation... Read more
12″ 1.2GHz MacBooks on sale for $100-$300 off...
B&H Photo has new 2017 12″ 1.2GHz MacBooks on sale for $100-$300 off MSRP today. Shipping is free: – 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook: $1199 $100 off MSRP – 12″ 1.2GHz Silver MacBook: $1199 $100 off... Read more
Learn Key Vocabulary Before Upgrading A Mac W...
FEATURE: 03.20.19- It’s the first day of Spring and in addition to sprucing things up around one’s living quarters, Mac users may be thinking about doing the same with their computers but whether... Read more
Apple drops prices on clearance refurbished 4...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2017 21″ 4K & 27″ 5K iMacs with models now available starting at $1059. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, shipping is free, and each iMac... Read more

Jobs Board

Student Employment - *Apple* Campus Rep - S...
The people here at Apple don't just create products - they create the kind of wonder that's revolutionized entire industries. It's the diversity of those people and Read more
*Apple* /MAC Support Technician - AECOM (Unit...
…DC, Washington, DC **Job Summary** AECOM has an immediate opportunity for an Apple Support Engineer to support a government agency's capabilities in Washington, DC Read more
*Apple* Certified and Windows Desktop Suppor...
** Apple Certified and Windows Desktop Support Engineer** **Preferred Qualifications** **About the team ** The Desktop Support Team is a fast paced, service oriented Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**680306BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 001540-Tuscaloosa-Store Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**680138BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000316-75Th& Lemont-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.