An ANTLR-based Dart parser. Aimed for compliance with the ECMA specification.
Dart ANTLR Other
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Latest commit 0ee9e55 Jun 29, 2016



An ANTLR-based Dart parser.

Eventual goal is compliance with the ECMA Standard.

Right now, it will need a lot more tests to prove it works.

Special thanks to Tiago Mazzutti for this port of ANTLR4 to Dart.


    dart_parser: ^1.0.0-dev

This will automatically install antlr4dart as well.


This library will be of absolutely no use to you unless you learn ANTLR, which is what I wrote it with.

The root node is compilationUnit. Dart compilation units consist of either a single libraryDefinition, or a partDeclaration. Most files, whether they use the library keyword or not, are categorized as libraryDefinition.

In general, the names of all rules are the same as those in the ECMA specification. However, some rules I had to change the names of. operator became op. I removed the IDENTIFIER_NO_DOLLAR rule, as it didn't gel easily with ANTLR.' I also split metadata into metadatum and ofType:

// Example, @override() @Expose("foo")
metadata: (metadatum)*;

// Refers to an individual metadatum within the above, i.e.
// @override()
metadatum: ARROBA ofType arguments?;

// Refers to the metadatum's type, i.e. 'override'
ofType: qualified (DOT identifier)?;

In addition, I had to change the way strings are lexed. This is out of line with the specification. The stringLiteral now looks like this:


To handle the contents of strings, you will have to do it manually, like via Regex. Sorry!

In addition, I modified the rules of external declarations, so that you could include metadata before the keyword external. The rule defined in the spec didn't permit that, although that's accepted by dartanalyzer, dart2js, etc.


Create a parser:

import 'package:antlr4dart/antlr4dart.dart';
import 'package:dart_parser/dart_parser.dart';

main() {
  String input = '''
  main() {
    print("Hello, world!");

  var source = new StringSource(input);
  var lexer = new DartlangLexer(source);
  var tokens = new CommonTokenSource(lexer);
  var parser = new DartlangParser..buildParseTree = true;

You can imperatively obtain a given parse tree type, but this only makes sense if you know beforehand what type of input you are receiving.

// Find which type an annotation is.
var annotation = parser.metadatum();

Otherwise, consider implementing a listener or visitor. The difference is explained here.

class MyListener extends DartlangBaseListener {
  void enterMetadatum(MetadatumContext context) {

class MyVisitor extends DartlangBaseVisitor<String> {
  String visitMetadatum(MetadatumContext context) {
    return context.getOfType().text;

main() {
  // For a listener
  ParseTreeWalker.DEFAULT.walk(new MyListener(), parser.compilationUnit());

  // For a visitor
  new MyVisitor().visitCompilationUnit(parser.compilationUnit());

Tree View

Tree View

This package includes a web app that diagrams your parse trees. Alternatively, you can use grun, which ships with the ANTLR tool itself.

The Future<dynamic>

Who knows what we'll see in the future? Now that we have a ready-to-go parser available for public consumption, it's extremely possible for the community to apply Dart to all kinds of broad horizons.

In fact, the original reason I made this parser was so I could compile Dart to x86 Assembly and make an operating system. However, I doubt that will actually happen anymore.

Somebody make a Babel for Dart (or isn't that the dev_compiler?).


As always, thanks for using this.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter, or to check out my blog.