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Ruby DSL to create Mealy FSMs
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A Mealy finite state machine

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Defining the machines

Define transition rules for your class, and include {Mealy} to make it a functioning state machine.

See {Mealy::DSL} for the class methods available for defining the machines.

Matching rules are chosen in the order of appearance, first match wins. {Mealy::ANY} represents a wildcard, so naturally rules with this token come last otherwise more specific rules can't match. The default token argument is {Mealy::ANY} so it can be omitted.

Simple example

This example reads ones until a zero, then returns how many ones we read.

class Counter
  include Mealy

  initial_state(:start) { @counter = 0 }

  transition(from: :start, to: :end, on: 0)

  read(state: :start, on: 1) { @counter += 1 }

  # once we are in this state we are stuck, but we still need to read the
  # rest of the input
  read(state: :end)

  finish { @counter }

counter =
counter.execute([1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0]) # => 4

Float parser

float FSM

class FloatParser
  include Mealy


  transition(from: :first, to: :before_dot, on: '0'..'9')

  read(state: :before_dot, on: '0'..'9')

  transition(from: :before_dot, to: :after_dot, on: ?.)

  read(state: :after_dot, on: '0'..'9')

  transition(from: [ :first, :before_dot, :after_dot ], to: :error) do |c, from|
    @error = "unexpected char #{c} @ #{from.inspect}"

  read(state: :error)

  finish { @error }

p =
p.execute('1'.chars) # => nil
p.execute('1.0'.chars) # => nil
p.execute('.0'.chars) # => "unexpected char . @ :first"
p.execute('1.2.0'.chars) # => "unexpected char . @ :after_dot"

Running the machine

There are two interfaces to run the machine and get results from it. {Mealy#run} and {Mealy#execute}.

{Mealy#run} can be used if one wants to {Mealy#emit} a stream of outputs as the machine is running. This can be useful for instance if we want to emit tokens from a lexer (our Mealy machine) to a parser.

{Mealy#execute} has a simpler interface. It is useful when we are just interested in a single value at the final state, let's say if something is parseable or not.

Emitting tokens

This example shows how one can emit a stream of tokens from a Mealy machine.

require 'mealy'

class TagParser
  include Mealy

  initial_state(:normal) { @text = '' }

  transition(from: :normal, to: :tag, on: ?<) do
    emit({text: @text}) unless @text.empty?
    @text = ''

  transition(from: :tag, to: :close_tag, on: ?/)

  transition(from: [ :tag, :close_tag ], to: :normal, on: ?>) do |_, from|
    emit({from => @text}) unless @text.empty?
    @text = ''

  read(state: [:normal, :tag, :close_tag]) { |c| @text << c }

  finish { emit @text unless @text.empty? }

p ='<h1>some title</h1>'.chars).entries # => [{:tag=>"h1"}, {:text=>"some title"}, {:close_tag=>"h1"}]

CSV parser

This example is motivated by the ruby quiz challenge. It correctly parses the test case file.


class CSV
  include Mealy

  initial_state(:start) { @line = []; @text = '' }

  read(state: :start, on: "\n")

  transition(from: :start, to: :comment, on: '#')
  transition(from: :comment, to: :start, on: "\n")
  read(state: :comment)

  transition from: [:normal, :start], to: :quote, on: '"'
  transition from: :quote, to: :normal, on: '"'

  transition(from: :start, to: :normal, on: ',') { @line << '' }
  transition(from: :start, to: :normal, on: ' ')
  transition(from: :start, to: :normal) { |c| @text << c }
  transition(from: :normal, to: :start, on: "\n") do
    emit @line << @text; @line = []; @text = ''

  read state: :normal, on: ' '
  read(state: :normal, on: ',') {  @line << @text; @text = '' }

  read(state: [ :normal, :quote ]) { |c| @text << c }

  finish { emit @line unless @line.empty? }

API documentation

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