LR(1) parser generator for Rust
Latest commit 9791cdb Feb 11, 2017 @nikomatsakis committed on GitHub Merge pull request #184 from nikomatsakis/0.12.5
Release 0.12.5


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LALRPOP is a Rust parser generator framework with usability as its primary goal. You should be able to write compact, DRY, readable grammars. To this end, LALRPOP offers a number of nifty features:

  1. Nice error messages in case parser constructor fails.
  2. Macros that let you extract common parts of your grammar. This means you can go beyond simple repetition like Id* and define things like Comma<Id> for a comma-separated list of identifiers.
  3. Macros can also create subsets, so that you easily do something like Expr<"all"> to represent the full range of expressions, but Expr<"if"> to represent the subset of expressions that can appear in an if expression.
  4. Builtin support for operators like * and ?.
  5. Compact defaults so that you can avoid writing action code much of the time.
  6. Type inference so you can often omit the types of nonterminals.

Despite its name, LALRPOP in fact uses LR(1) by default (though you can opt for LALR(1)), and really I hope to eventually move to something general that can handle all CFGs (like GLL, GLR, LL(*), etc).


There is a tutorial available here that covers a fair bit of the features of LALRPOP. For the more advanced things are not yet covered, it also points you to tests that may help give you the idea. I plan eventually to build up a reference manual in the Wiki, but that's not even started.

Obligatory disclaimer

LALRPOP is still in its relatively early days. Not all the features I want are there, and the error messages are sometimes a bit opaque. But it's quite powerful already. It's also self-hosting, which is fun.


Configuring cargo

There are two ways to use LALRPOP. The recommended way is to configure Cargo to automatically change all .lalrpop files into .rs files by adding a file. Here is a "cheat sheet" for how to do that.

This section is for if you already know what you're doing and just want to copy-and-paste some code for adding LALRPOP to your Cargo project. To enable LALRPOP, add the following lines to your Cargo.toml:

build = "" # LALRPOP preprocessing

# Add a dependency on the LALRPOP runtime library:
version = "0.12.5"

version = "0.12.5"

And create a file that looks like:

extern crate lalrpop;

fn main() {

(If you already have a file, you should be able to just call process_root in addition to whatever else that file is doing.)

That's it!

More advanced configuration

The process_root applies the default configuration: so it will transform .lalrpop files into .rs files in-place (in your src directory), and it will only do so if the .lalrpop file has actually changed. But you can also use the Configuration struct to get more detailed control.

Running manually

If you prefer, you can also run the lalrpop crate as an executable. Simply run cargo install lalrpop and then you will get a lalrpop binary you can execute, like so:

lalrpop file.lalrpop

This will generate for you. Note that it only executes if file.lalrpop is newer than; if you'd prefer to execute unconditionally, pass -f (also try --help for other options).