A simple and fast library for text-based parser combinators


Keywords
binary, elixir, parser-combinator
License
Apache-2.0

Documentation

NimbleParsec

Online Documentation.

NimbleParsec is a simple and fast library for text-based parser combinators.

Combinators are built during runtime and compiled into multiple clauses with binary matching. This provides the following benefits:

  • Performance: since it compiles to binary matching, it leverages many Erlang VM optimizations to generate extremely fast parser code with low memory usage

  • Composable: this library does not rely on macros for building and composing parsers, therefore they are fully composable. The only macros are defparsec/3 and defparsecp/3 which emit the compiled clauses with binary matching

  • No runtime dependency: after compilation, the generated parser clauses have no runtime dependency on NimbleParsec. This opens up the possibility to compile parsers and do not impose a dependency on users of your library

  • No footprints: NimbleParsec only needs to be imported in your modules. There is no need for use NimbleParsec, leaving no footprints on your modules

The goal of this library is to focus on a set of primitives for writing efficient parser combinators. The composition aspect means you should be able to use those primitives to implement higher level combinators.

Note this library does not handle low-level binary parsing. In such cases, we recommend using Elixir's bitstring syntax.

Examples

defmodule MyParser do
  import NimbleParsec

  date =
    integer(4)
    |> ignore(string("-"))
    |> integer(2)
    |> ignore(string("-"))
    |> integer(2)

  time =
    integer(2)
    |> ignore(string(":"))
    |> integer(2)
    |> ignore(string(":"))
    |> integer(2)
    |> optional(string("Z"))

  defparsec :datetime, date |> ignore(string("T")) |> concat(time), debug: true
end

MyParser.datetime("2010-04-17T14:12:34Z")
#=> {:ok, [2010, 4, 17, 14, 12, 34, "Z"], "", %{}, 1, 21}

If you add debug: true to defparsec/3, it will print the generated clauses, which are shown below:

defp datetime__0(<<x0, x1, x2, x3, "-", x4, x5, "-", x6, x7, "T",
                   x8, x9, ":", x10, x11, ":", x12, x13, rest::binary>>,
                 acc, stack, comb__context, comb__line, comb__column)
     when x0 >= 48 and x0 <= 57 and (x1 >= 48 and x1 <= 57) and
         (x2 >= 48 and x2 <= 57) and (x3 >= 48 and x3 <= 57) and
         (x4 >= 48 and x4 <= 57) and (x5 >= 48 and x5 <= 57) and
         (x6 >= 48 and x6 <= 57) and (x7 >= 48 and x7 <= 57) and
         (x8 >= 48 and x8 <= 57) and (x9 >= 48 and x9 <= 57) and
         (x10 >= 48 and x10 <= 57) and (x11 >= 48 and x11 <= 57) and
         (x12 >= 48 and x12 <= 57) and (x13 >= 48 and x13 <= 57) do
  datetime__1(
    rest,
    [(x13 - 48) * 1 + (x12 - 48) * 10, (x11 - 48) * 1 + (x10 - 48) * 10,
     (x9 - 48) * 1 + (x8 - 48) * 10, (x7 - 48) * 1 + (x6 - 48) * 10, (x5 - 48) * 1 + (x4 - 48) * 10,
     (x3 - 48) * 1 + (x2 - 48) * 10 + (x1 - 48) * 100 + (x0 - 48) * 1000] ++ acc,
    stack,
    comb__context,
    comb__line,
    comb__column + 19
  )
end

defp datetime__0(rest, acc, _stack, context, line, column) do
  {:error, "...", rest, context, line, column}
end

defp datetime__1(<<"Z", rest::binary>>, acc, stack, comb__context, comb__line, comb__column) do
  datetime__2(rest, ["Z"] ++ acc, stack, comb__context, comb__line, comb__column + 1)
end

defp datetime__1(rest, acc, stack, context, line, column) do
  datetime__2(rest, acc, stack, context, line, column)
end

defp datetime__2(rest, acc, _stack, context, line, column) do
  {:ok, acc, rest, context, line, column}
end

As you can see, it generates highly inlined code, comparable to hand-written parsers. This gives NimbleParsec an order of magnitude performance gains compared to other parser combinators. Further performance can be gained by giving the inline: true option to defparsec/3.

Installation

Add nimble_parsec to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:

def deps do
  [{:nimble_parsec, "~> 0.2"}]
end

Nimble*

Other nimble libraries by Plataformatec:

License

Copyright 2018 Plataformatec

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

  http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.