The syntactical package

[Tags: bsd3, library]

Syntactical is an expression parsing library. It supports distfix operators and function application written as juxtaposition of symbols.

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Change logNone available
Dependenciesbase (==4.*) [details]
AuthorVo Minh Thu <>
MaintainerVo Minh Thu <>
Source repositoryhead: git clone git://
UploadedFri Jul 23 12:01:20 UTC 2010 by VoMinhThu
Downloads190 total (10 in last 30 days)
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StatusDocs uploaded by user
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Readme for syntactical-0.1

Distfix expression parsing library

Syntactical is a Haskell library to parse languages made exclusively, from a syntactic point of view, of operators and function applications. It is based on a modified shunting-yard algorithm. The modifications are done to allow distfix operators and function application written with juxtaposition of symbols (just like in Haskell).

The resulting parse trees are s-expressions. Further processing to create an AST specific to the task at hand is left to the user (but this should be straightforward).


To create a parser, it is just needed to provide an operator table. To give a feel of the library at work, here are some examples. The resulting parse trees (s-expressions) are displayed using the characters ⟨ and ⟩ instead of the parentheses (this is not enforced by the library).

-- input => output
1 + 2 => ⟨+ 1 2⟩
1 + 2 * 3 => ⟨+ 1 ⟨* 2 3⟩⟩
f a => ⟨f a⟩
1 + f a b => ⟨+ 1 ⟨f a b⟩⟩

-- parentheses for grouping are are just a closed operator
-- ␣ is the hole, in fact, the + above could be written ␣+␣
(a) => ⟨(␣) a⟩

-- if you know that parentheses are only used for grouping
-- (i.e. it can be viewed as an operator with the semantic
-- of the identity function), the parser can drop them.
(a) => a

-- the parser can also be configured to recognize two symbols
-- used to write directly s-expressions, here we use again the
-- characters ⟨ and ⟩. notice that a + b is written in infix
-- form.
⟨* (a + b) ⟨- 1 2⟩⟩ => ⟨* ⟨+ a b⟩ ⟨- 1 2⟩⟩

-- the library supports mixfix (also called distfix) operators
true ? 1 : 0 => ⟨␣?␣:␣ true 1 0⟩
# a => ⟨#␣ a⟩
a ! => ⟨␣! a⟩
1 + if true then 1 else a b + c => ⟨+ 1 ⟨if␣then␣else␣ true 1 ⟨+ ⟨a b⟩ c⟩⟩⟩
[ a | b ] => ⟨[␣|␣] a b⟩

Current state

The library works but is still a bit rough. Tests don't cover enough cases and it is simple to overlook one. Documentation is missing (but a look at tests/Simple is enough to start).

The HPC shows that a few things are not tested:

Future and/or wishes

Before pushing to Hackage