Skip to content
C parser written in Python with automatic ctypes interface generation
Pull request Compare This branch is 654 commits behind albertz:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


A C parser written in Python. Also includes an automatic ctypes interface generator.

It is a bit loosely on the C grammer, i.e. it should support a superset of the C language in general.

Some of the support may a bit incomplete or wrong at this point because I didn't really strictly followed the language specs but rather improved the parser by iteration on real-world source code.

Similar projects

Why this project?

  • Be more flexible. It is much easier now with a hand-written parser to do operations on certain levels of the parsing pipe.
  • I wanted to have some self-contained code which can also easily run on the end-user side. So the end-user can just update the lib and its headers and then some application using this Python lib will automatically use the updated lib. This is not possible if you generated the ctypes interface statically (via some GCC-XML based tool or so).
  • I wanted to implement PySDL and didn't wanted to translate the SDL headers by hand. Also, I didn't wanted to use existing tools to do this to avoid further maintaining work at some later time. See the project for further info.
  • This functionality could be used similarly for many other C libraries.
  • A challenge for myself. Just for fun. :)


  • PySDL. Also uses the automatic ctypes wrapper and maps it to a Python module.

Parsed without (fatal) errors but not much checked otherwise:

  • zlib.h, readline.h, Python.h

TODOs / further directions

  • I'm quite sure that function pointer typedefs are handled incorrectly. E.g. typedef void f(); and typedef void (*f)(); are just the same right now. See cpre3_parse_typedef and do some testing if you want to fix this.
  • More testing.
  • Complete C support. Right now, most of the stuff in the function body is not really supported, i.e. function calls, expressions, if/while/for/etc control structure, and so on. Only very simple statements can be evaluated so far and it completely ignores operator priority right now.
  • With complete C support, it is not so difficult anymore to write a C interpreter.
  • Maybe C++ support. :)

--- Albert Zeyer,

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.