Pegex written in C'Dent
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Pegex - An Acmeist PEG Framework

Pegex is a PEG (Parser Expression Grammar) framework where each low level match is a regular expression call. It is intended to work in all programming languages the support regular expressions.

Pegex attempts to make it very easy to write a Parser for a DSL (like JSON) and have it quickly work in every modern programming language.

Pegex uses a Pegex grammar to parse Pegex. This means it is "self-hosting". The current Pegex grammar for Pegex lives here.

Pegex grammars can be precompiled to simple data structures that can be dumped to YAML or JSON. Here is the above Pegex Grammar (for Pegex) as YAML, and here it is as JSON.

As Pegex parsers match things, they call back the results to a "Receiver" class. The default receiver class will turn the parse events into a parse tree, also known as an AST. Receiver classes often organize parse data into structures needed by the next downstream process, however they are not limited to this.

Pegex Implementations

Pegex is currently implemented in Perl, Python and CoffeeScript (thus JavaScript) and available on CPAN, PyPI, and NPM respectively. A project called C'Dent is under way to make the CoffeeScript implementation, compile to many other languages.

An Example Pegex Grammar

The JSON Pegex Grammar is small enough to show inline:

# A simple grammar for the simple JSON data language.
# See for a Parser implementation
# that uses this grammar.

%grammar json
%version 0.0.1

json: map | seq

node: map | seq | scalar

    / ~ <LCURLY> ~ /
    <pair>* % / ~ <COMMA> ~ /
    / ~ <RCURLY> ~ /

    / ~ <COLON> ~ /

    / ~ <LSQUARE> ~ /
    node* % / ~ <COMMA> ~ /
    / ~ <RSQUARE> ~ /

    string |
    number |
    boolean |

string: / # XXX Need to code this to spec.
    <DOUBLE> # This works for simple cases,
        ((: # but doesn't handle all escaping yet.
            <BACK><BACK> |
            <BACK><DOUBLE> |
            [^ <DOUBLE> <BREAK> ]

number: /(
    (: 0 | [1-9] <DIGIT>* )
    (: <DOT> <DIGIT>* )?
    (: [eE] [<DASH><PLUS>]? <DIGIT>+ )?

boolean: true | false

true: /true/

false: /false/

null: /null/

The Pegex::JSON Perl JSON parsing module, uses this Receiver class:

# name: Pegex::JSON::Data
# abstract: Pegex Data Structure Builder for JSON
# author: Ingy döt Net <>
# license: perl
# copyright: 2011

package Pegex::JSON::Data;
use Pegex::Mo;
extends 'Pegex::Receiver';

use boolean;

sub got_map { +{map @$_, map @$_, @{(pop)}} }
sub got_seq { [map @$_, @{(pop)}] }

sub got_string {
    my $string = pop;
    # XXX need to decode other string escapes here
    $string =~ s/\\n/\n/g;
    return $string;

sub got_number { $_[1] + 0 }
sub got_true { &boolean::true }
sub got_false { &boolean::false }
sub got_null { undef }

Pegex Documentation

Full documentation coming soon.

Pegex Links: