bumble.sf.net language and parsing

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An implementation of the parsing language in C++


This directory contains an incomplete implementation of a parsing language, or a "parsing stream editor". This language has a number of similarities with the sed steam editor. See the directory /machine/doc/ for a detailed description of this language.

The class Parser reads and parsers a script and compiles the script into an internal format. This compiled program is stored in the class Program .The Program class also has the capability to execute the compiled script. The Program class contains a "Machine" Machine.cpp object. This object represents a virtual machine which has a number of internal "registers" or storage areas, as well as a set of instructions. For a detailed description of this virtual machine see the document /machine/doc/virtual-machine.txt.html .

The class Interpret , despite its name, does not interpret a script. Instead it parses a script and generates C++ code which has the equivalent functionality. In other words the Interpret class provides a way for a script to be converted into an executable. Unfortunately, the implementation is not complete.

This compiling version could be run on a ms-windows computer with a command such as

 type script | interpret.exe > script.cpp

The output file 'script.cpp' contains a c++ program which can be compiled into an executable. In order to compile script.cpp the files Machine.cpp Tape.cpp and various others which are in this directory are necessary (your compiler should tell you which they are).

The file "Parser.cpp" is incomplete in a number of ways. Jumps after tests are not working properly in the case of multiple tests. Negation of tests has not been implemented. The character "classes" do not seem to have been implemented.

The file "Machine.cpp" is important because it implements the virtual machine which is the core of the whole idea. This is a machine with a tape and a stack which are syncronised, in the sense that there is a pointer into the tape which reduces or increases depending on the stack "push" and "pop" operations. From a generative grammar →W point of view, this parallel structure allows the parse tokens to have attributes. To explain: the stack is designed to hold each token (parser) →W and the tape is designed to hold the attributes of those tokens. An example: if parsing an algebra the token might be "OPERATOR" and the attribute might be "*" (multiplies). (note, that for some reason parse tokens are often written in upper case but this is not reguired for the current system) so the machine actually allows shift-reduce parsing rather than recursive descent parsing. A reduction corresponds to several "pops" of the stack followed by a test operation (which looks like "/sometext/") and then followed by a "push" operation. For example, the script

   add "term";

This corresponds to the grammar rule: term → bracket expression bracket, and its corresponding reduction in a shift-reduce parser/ compiler. As can be seen the code fragment

is a test or corresponds to an "if" statement in a normal programming language or using pseudo-code
 if (workspace == "bracket|expression|bracket") ...
This test is equivalent to the sed tests. Unlike sed, braces are always required after a test. Also, unlike sed, the test is for simple equality, regular expressions are not supported (and probably shouldnt be needed).

The machine also contains a "workspace" where transformations are performed. for example the command

 add 'text';
adds the text 'text' to the workspace. The workspace is a string buffer which can be manipulated with some basic commands. Another example
clears the contents of the workspace. In other words after this command the workspace will contain nothing, or a string of zero length. Notice that all commands must be terminated in a semicolon (;) unlike sed which is more relaxed about this. The commands which affect the stack are
 push, pop

The commands which affect the tape are

 put, get

The language uses the unix idiom of receiving input from standard input and sending output to stdout, in the same manner as sed. Also like sed, each command in the script is executed for each character in the input (whereas sed executes each command for each line of the input). This means that there is an implicit loop around the script.

grammar rules

The scripting language does not permit all backus naur →W form →W grammar rules. For example the kleene star →W cannot be directly implemented used the language. In other words the formal (generative) grammar rule: "quoted-text → quote character* quote" does not have a direct implementation in the language. This is because test operations in the language do not include regular expressions →W. However these type of rules should usually be able to be "factored out" using a set of equivalent rules. For example

rule: quoted-text → quote characterset quote; rule: characterset → characterset character; rule: characterset → character character;

There may be more than one way of factoring a given rule.

The virtual machine

The language is based upon a virtual machine →W which has the following characteristics The machine looks like this.

stack token1 token2 token3
tape value1 value2 → value3 ... ...
workspace sometext
peep c

a workspace
This is where text manipulations take place and is similar to the sed stream-editor "pattern space". Is affected by the commands add, clear, push, pop, indent among others.
a peep character
this is a single character buffer which contains the next character in the inputstream and is used by the commands such as "until", "while", "whilenot". The character in the "peep" is added to the end of the workspace when a new character is read from the input stream (and that new character is placed in the peephole. This buffer is not directly manipulable (unlike the workspace)
a tape
This is designed to contain the "attributes" of the parsed input stream according to the rules of a formal language. This tape is affected by the commands "put" and "get". The tape has a pointer which is affected by the commands "++" and "--" which increment and decrement the pointer respectively. note that the pointer is also affected by the "push" and "pop" commands which act on the stack.
a stack
This stack is designed to contain the parse tokens →W of the formal language. but the stack can contain any text data. the stack is affected by the "push" and "pop" commands.
a counter
the machine will probably contain a counter or even a simple arithmetic accumulator which will be useful for compilers or translaters which need to perform arithmetic. An example of this is the need for a compiler to calculate memory address offsets for jump and data allocation. this counter has not been implemented yet.
The virtual machine is implemented by the Machine.cpp class. This class implements the basic operations which the machine can carry out, such as "push", "pop", "add", "clear", "print" etc. A version of this class was also written in java ( Machine.java ) . This java version was written first and does not contain some of the features of the c++ version. Also the java version is not an "interpreting" version. That is, it generates java code which can then be compiled to execute the script. Also the java version does not support the "until" command nor the "while" command. Also the java version does not support the "until" command nor the "while" command.

Language Commands

The philosophy followed in implementing these commands has been to avoid anything unnecessary, in the sense of a risc →W system. For this reason regular expressions have been avoided but may prove to be necessary in the long run.

Comments may be including in scripts between two hash characters like this: # a script comment #

exits the script without reading anything more from standard input. equivalant to the sed command 'q'
sets a flag in the virtual machine which can be used to indicate that a shift-reduce →W operation has been preformed and therefore another loop will need to be invoked. This is to ensure that all grammar rules are applied during each cycle of the program. This subject required more extensive explanation.
prints the workspace to the standard output stream (stdout). Equivalent to the sed command 'p'
sets the workspace to a zero length string. Equivalent to the sed command
replaces a string in the workspace with another string. I wanted to avoid implementing this command.
reads one more character from the stdin.
pushes one token from the workspace onto the stack. see "push" file:/machine/doc/push.txt.html
pops one token from the stack and adds it to the beginning of the stack and seperates it with the '|' bar character (this implementation needs to be changed: no "bar" character needs to be added- the script writer should include a seperator character in token names) see "pop" file:/machine/doc/pop.txt.html
puts the contents of the workspace into the current item of the tape (as indicated by the tape pointer)
gets the current item of the tape and adds it to the end of the workspace with NO seperator character
increments the tape pointer by one
decrements the tape pointer by one.
adds a newline to the workspace
adds two spaces to each line of the workspace. This may be useful for formatting applications.
removes the last character from the workspace
prints the current state of the virtual machine to stdout. maybe useful for debugging
add 'text'
adds text to the end of the workspace
while 'text'
reads characters from stdin while ...
whilenot 'text'
no explanation
until 'text' 'nottext'
reads characters from stdin until the workspace ends in the given text and does not end in the second given text. This maybe used for capturing quoted strings etc.

language test structures

/string/{ commands }
if the workspace matches the string (literally, since regular expressions are not supported) then execute the commands contained in the braces. The braces are always required even if only one command is contained in the block (unlike c or sed ). all commands must end with a semicolon.
<text> { commands }
if the workspace begins with the text execute the commands contained within the braces, otherwise skip the commands.

Example scripts

exp.txt was written before the introduction of the "while", "until" ... commands. These commands are designed to simplify scripts by providing some of the functionality which is normally provided by a lexer →W. For example parsing quoted text is greately simplified by the "until" command. An example
     /"/ { 
        until '"' not '\"'; 
        add '*quoted-text';
This script parses quoted text, preserving the value of the "attribute" (what is between the quotes), on the tape, and pushing onto the token stack the token "quoted-text". The "not" extension of the "until" command allows for escaped double quotes characters to be included in the quoted text. If the "until" command did not exist it would be necessary to write a rather tedious list of grammar rules (and script statements) to achieve the same thing. This is why traditional parsing and compilers →W are divided into lexers and parsers.


The c++ code was compiled using the bloodshed compiler (latest beta version). It has only been compiled on a ms-windows computer because that is the only OS I have access to with a compiler. The code can be compiled by loading the .dev file in the compiler (by opening a project). I do not think that the code contains any ms-windows specific code.

This explanation is incomplete.

una pagina en catala.

(the html is generated from the file "index.txt", the sed script file:/makehtml.txt , and the cgi script file:/text2html.txt )