Welcome to Spirit

Spirit is a set of C++ libraries for parsing and output generation implemented as Domain Specific Embedded Languages (DSEL) using Expression templates and Template Meta-Programming. The Spirit libraries enable a target grammar to be written exclusively in C++. Inline grammar specifications can mix freely with other C++ code and, thanks to the generative power of C++ templates, are immediately executable.

Spirit is part of Boost Libraries, a peer-reviewed, open collaborative development effort.

May ’10 11

Finally, yesterday was the day! Joel and I presented the current status of our work related to the ‘Writing a Compiler’ effort. We submitted this talk to BoostCon 2010 and got accepted back in January. Having to present at BoostCon just put a nice pressure onto us to get moving and to start working on the project. I don’t want to go into any detail about the presentation itself. This will be done in future articles to be published after BoostCon. I just wanted to provide a link to the slides for those interested in having a look. Ok, here we go: A Framework for RAD Spirit, grab it while it’s hot!

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May ’10 08

Finally, the long wait and the preparations for BoostCon 2010 are over. The last weeks were dominated by writing the code and creating the slides for our talk ‘A Framework for RAD Spirit‘. Regular readers of this site probably have already wondered why we have been inactive here since mid-March. Well, that is mainly because of preparing for BoostCon turned out to be too time consuming to leave any room for writing posts and articles.

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Mar ’10 11

I have a mixed relationship with variant…

I just wrote a parser for S-expressions (that will be the basis of ASTs and intermediate types in my planned “write-a-compiler” article series). The parser itself is easy, but as always, I spent more time on the underlying data structures.

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Jan ’10 02

Thank you all for your warm feedback on the “Build a Compiler” post. It seems this has become very popular indeed. I guess it’s time to start. Your overwhelming feedback and comments is enough motivation to carry on with the article series.

In general, an imperative OO language seems to be the way to go. It’s not surprising that C++ is very popular. People want a C++ parser! Barring that, due to complexity, a subset or a sanitized/re-syntaxed C++ (e.g. SPECS) is also a popular request. Go is also quite popular. That language indeed looks good and modern. FP, especially LISP/Scheme and even Haskell(!) is also quite popular. And hey: Javascript! and Python! Life would not be complete without these fun languages:-).
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Dec ’09 02

I am considering writing a series of articles on compiler development using Spirit-2. It will be based on the series of BoostCon talks from 07 to 09. From the humblest calculator to a full blown programming language. Details are still sketchy at this point. All I can ascertain is that the final language shall use LLVM as a back-end. There are lots of questions I need to ask in order to get the bases covered. I’d like to solicit feedback and comments. Will it be an imperative language like C or a functional language like Scheme? I love the line oriented syntax of Python, but is a free format syntax with the all too familiar braces or begin/end blocks be better? Will it be statically typed like C++ or dynamically typed like Python or LISP? Will it be OOP? How complex or simple should it be? Remember, this is meant for instruction. Is a toy language good enough? How about basing it on a simple ISO-standard language like Pascal? Or fun languages like Javascript? How about features? Type inference? Lambda? Operator overloading? Etc., etc., etc.

Let me know what you think…

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