jamesdbrock/replace-megaparsec


Stream editing with Haskell parsers

License: BSD-3-Clause

Language: Haskell


replace-megaparsec

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

replace-megaparsec 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-megaparsec 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.

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

  • 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 or Turing-complete grammers, if needed. See below for an example of lifting a Parser into a State monad for context-sensitive pattern-matching.

Examples

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

The examples depend on these imports.

import Replace.Megaparsec
import Text.Megaparsec
import Text.Megaparsec.Char
import Text.Megaparsec.Char.Lexer

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

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 :: Parsec Void String Integer
parseTest (sepCap hexparser) "0xA 000 0xFFFF"
[Right 10,Left " 000 ",Right 65535]

Pattern match, capture only the matched text

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

let hexparser = string "0x" >> hexadecimal :: Parsec Void String Integer
parseTest (findAll hexparser) "0xA 000 0xFFFF"
[Right "0xA",Left " 000 ",Right "0xFFFF"]

Pattern match, capture the matched text and the parsed result

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

let hexparser = string "0x" >> hexadecimal :: Parsec Void String Integer
parseTest (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 the Text.Megaparsec.Char.space1 parser (a string of whitespace). Print a list of the offsets of the beginning of every pattern match.

import Data.Either
let spaceoffset = getOffset <* space1 :: Parsec Void String Int
parseTest (return . rights =<< sepCap spaceoffset) " a  b  "
[0,2,5]

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 crlf (const "\n") "1\r\n\r\n2"
"1\n\n2"

Pattern match and edit the matches

Replace alphabetic characters with the next character in the alphabet.

streamEdit (some letterChar) (fmap 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.

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

Context-sensitive pattern match and edit the matches

Capitalize the third letter in a string. The capthird parser searches for individual letters, and it needs to remember how many times it has run so that it can match successfully only on the third time that it finds a letter. To enable the parser to remember how many times it has run, we'll compose the parser with a State monad from the mtl package. (Run in ghci with cabal v2-repl -b mtl).

import qualified Control.Monad.State.Strict as MTL
import Control.Monad.State.Strict (get, put, evalState)
import Data.Char (toUpper)

let capthird :: ParsecT Void String (MTL.State Int) String
    capthird = do
        x <- letterChar
        i <- get
        put (i+1)
        if i==3 then return [x] else empty

flip evalState 1 $ streamEditT capthird (return . fmap toUpper) "a a a a a"
"a a A a a"

Alternatives

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

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James Brock

Packages Referencing this Repo

replace-megaparsec
Stream editing and find-and-replace with Megaparsec monadic parsers.
Latest release v1.0.0.0 - Published

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v1.0.0.0 August 24, 2019

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