jamesdbrock/replace-attoparsec


Stream editing with Haskell Attoparsec parsers

License: BSD-2-Clause

Language: Haskell


replace-attoparsec

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replace-attoparsec is for finding text patterns, and also editing and replacing the found patterns. This activity is traditionally done with regular expressions, but replace-attoparsec uses attoparsec parsers instead for the pattern matching.

replace-attoparsec can be used in the same sort of “pattern capture” or “find all” situations in which one would use Python re.findall or Perl m//, or Unix grep.

replace-attoparsec can be used in the same sort of “stream editing” or “search-and-replace” situations in which one would use Python re.sub, or Perl s///, or Unix sed, or awk.

See replace-megaparsec for the megaparsec version.

Why would we want to do pattern matching and substitution with parsers instead of regular expressions?

  • Haskell parsers have a nicer syntax than regular expressions, which are notoriously difficult to read.

  • Regular expressions can do “group capture” on sections of the matched pattern, but they can only return stringy lists of the capture groups. Parsers can construct typed data structures based on the capture groups, guaranteeing no disagreement between the pattern rules and the rules that we're using to build data structures based on the pattern matches.

    For example, consider scanning a string for numbers. A lot of different things can look like a number, and can have leading plus or minus signs, or be in scientific notation, or have commas, or whatever. If we try to parse all of the numbers out of a string using regular expressions, then we have to make sure that the regular expression and the string-to-number conversion function agree about exactly what is and what isn't a numeric string. We can get into an awkward situation in which the regular expression says it has found a numeric string but the string-to-number conversion function fails. A typed parser will perform both the pattern match and the conversion, so it will never be in that situation.

  • Regular expressions are only able to pattern-match regular grammers. Parsers are able pattern-match with context-free grammers, and even context-sensitive grammers, if needed. See below for an example of lifting a Parser into a State monad for context-sensitive pattern-matching.

  • The replacement expression for a traditional regular expression-based substitution command is usually just a string template in which the Nth “capture group” can be inserted with the syntax \N. With this library, instead of a template, we get an editor function which can perform any computation, including IO.

Examples

Try the examples in ghci by running cabal v2-repl in the replace-attoparsec/ root directory.

The examples depend on these imports and LANGUAGE OverloadedStrings.

:set -XOverloadedStrings
import Replace.Attoparsec.Text
import Data.Attoparsec.Text as AT
import qualified Data.Text as T
import Data.Either
import Data.Char

Parsing with sepCap family of parser combinators

The following examples show how to match a pattern to a string of text and deconstruct the string of text by separating it into sections which match the pattern, and sections which don't match.

Pattern match, capture only the parsed result with sepCap

Separate the input string into sections which can be parsed as a hexadecimal number with a prefix "0x", and sections which can't.

let hexparser = string "0x" >> hexadecimal :: Parser Integer
fromRight [] $ parseOnly (sepCap hexparser) "0xA 000 0xFFFF"
[Right 10,Left " 000 ",Right 65535]

Pattern match, capture only the matched text with findAll

Just get the strings sections which match the hexadecimal parser, throw away the parsed number.

let hexparser = string "0x" >> hexadecimal :: Parser Integer
fromRight [] $ parseOnly (findAll hexparser) "0xA 000 0xFFFF"
[Right "0xA",Left " 000 ",Right "0xFFFF"]

Pattern match, capture the matched text and the parsed result with findAllCap

Capture the parsed hexadecimal number, as well as the string section which parses as a hexadecimal number.

let hexparser = chunk "0x" >> hexadecimal :: Parser Integer
fromRight [] $ parseOnly (findAllCap hexparser) "0xA 000 0xFFFF"
[Right ("0xA",10),Left " 000 ",Right ("0xFFFF",65535)]

Pattern match, capture only the locations of the matched patterns

Find all of the sections of the stream which match a string of whitespace. Print a list of the offsets of the beginning of every pattern match.

import Data.Either
let spaceoffset = getOffset <* some space :: Parser Int
fromRight [] $ parseOnly (return . rights =<< sepCap spaceoffset) " a  b  "
[0,2,5]

Pattern match balanced parentheses

Find the outer parentheses of all balanced nested parentheses. Here's an example of matching a pattern that can't be expressed by a regular expression. We can express the pattern with a recursive parser.

let parens :: Parser ()
    parens = do
        char '('
        manyTill
            (void (satisfy $ notInClass "()") <|> void parens)
            (char ')')
        return ()

fromRight [] $ parseOnly (findAll parens) "(()) (()())"
[Right "(())",Left " ",Right "(()())"]

Edit text strings by running parsers with streamEdit

The following examples show how to search for a pattern in a string of text and then edit the string of text to substitute in some replacement text for the matched patterns.

Pattern match and replace with a constant

Replace all carriage-return-newline instances with newline.

streamEdit (string "\r\n") (const "\n") "1\r\n2\r\n"
"1\n2\n"

Pattern match and edit the matches

Replace alphabetic characters with the next character in the alphabet.

streamEdit (AT.takeWhile isLetter) (T.map succ) "HAL 9000"
"IBM 9000"

Pattern match and maybe edit the matches, or maybe leave them alone

Find all of the string sections s which can be parsed as a hexadecimal number r, and if r≤16, then replace s with a decimal number. Uses the match combinator.

let hexparser = string "0x" >> hexadecimal :: Parser Integer
streamEdit (match hexparser) (\(s,r) -> if r <= 16 then T.pack (show r) else s) "0xA 000 0xFFFF"
"10 000 0xFFFF"

Pattern match and edit the matches with IO

import System.Environment
streamEditT (char '{' *> manyTill anyChar (char '}')) (fmap T.pack . getEnv) "- {HOME} -"
"- /home/jbrock -"

Alternatives

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/regex-applicative

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/regex

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/pipes-parse

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/stringsearch

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/substring-parser

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/pcre-utils

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/template

https://github.com/RaminHAL9001/parser-sed-thing

http://hackage.haskell.org/package/attosplit

Hypothetically Asked Questions

  1. Is it fast?

    lol not really. sepCap is fundamentally about consuming the stream one token at a time while we try and fail to run a parser and then backtrack each time. That's a slow activity.

  2. Could we write this library for parsec?

    No, because the match combinator doesn't exist for parsec. (I can't find it anywhere. Can it be written?)

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James Brock

Packages Referencing this Repo

replace-attoparsec
Stream editing and find-and-replace with Attoparsec monadic parsers.
Latest release - Published

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