Configuration file parser generator, that uses YAML for configuration files. Currently generates only C code
C Python
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examples Aliasing of tagged scalars now works ok Feb 1, 2012



CoYaml is a parser generator for configuration files.

Parsing configuration files is uneasy work. There are a lot of configuration file parsers, but syntax of most of them is ugly. Also all parsers I have seen before, require you fetch every option from configuration library and copy it to you own structure. Also it's not easy to make reusable parts for configuration file (they have only scalar variables usually). So...

  • We use YAML for configuration files (via libyaml)
  • We generate C structure, already typed appropriately, for your config
  • Command-line parser is generated automatically (command-line overrides configuration file options)
  • We use YAML config, to configure parser itself. So you decide the types of options, constraints, and command-line argument names
  • That configuration is also used to generate one of three types of sample config (full-blown with comments, minimal, and all defaults)
  • Code, to print runtime configuration (including command-line overrides) is also made
  • YAML has rich set of data types (arrays, mappings) which we use to make config useful (compare it with old .ini files)
  • We use YAML-builtin anchors to make reusable parts
  • We have extended YAML with runtime variables, substring substitution (and WILL implement some simple mathematical expressions)

All this to meet the following goals:

  • Embed configuration in your own application with ease
  • Add each option only in one place
  • Document it just as easy as adding


  • libyaml (-dev)
  • python3

Build Instructions

Build process is done with waf (if your default python is python3)::

./waf configure --prefix=/usr
./waf build
sudo ./waf install

If you have another python as default one you need the following::

PYTHON=python3 python3 ./waf configure --prefix=/usr
python3 ./waf build
sudo python3 ./waf install

(the first line tells waf to use python3 as the internal build tool called PYTHON, and other python3 prefixes are for running waf itself with correct version of python)