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DHParser
========
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A parser-combinator-based parsing and compiling infrastructure for domain
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specific languages (DSL) in Digital Humanities projects.
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Author: Eckhart Arnold, Bavarian Academy of Sciences
Email:  arnold@badw.de

License
-------

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DHParser is open source software under the [Apache 2.0 License](https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0).
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Copyright 2016-2018  Eckhart Arnold, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
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Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at
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    https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0e
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Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.
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**Exception**: The module ``DHParser/foreign_typing.py`` was directly taken from the
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Python 3.5 source code in order for DHParser to be backwards compatible
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with Python 3.4. The module ``DHParser/foreign_typing.py`` is licensed under the
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[Python Software Foundation License Version 2](https://docs.python.org/3.5/license.html)

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Installation
------------

You can install DHParser from the Python package index (https://pypi.org)*:

    python -m pip install --user --upgrade DHParser

However, as the software is still in an early beta stage, it is
recommended that you pull it directly from gitlab (see below).

Post-Installaton
----------------

It is recommended that you install the `regex`-module
(https://bitbucket.org/mrabarnett/mrab-regex). If present, DHParser
will use `regex` instead of the built-in `re`-module for regular
expressions. `regex` is faster and more powerful than `re`.

In order to speed up DHParser even more, it is recommended that you
run the `buildpackages.sh`-script (or `buildpackages.bat` on
Windows-systems) after installation. This script compiles the
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`stringview.py`-module to C-Code with the cython Python to C compiler
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(https://cython.org). This requires that you have cython and a
C-compiler installed on your system.


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Sources
-------

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Find the sources on [gitlab.lrz.de/badw-it/DHParser](https://gitlab.lrz.de/badw-it/DHParser) .
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Get them with:
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    git clone https://gitlab.lrz.de/badw-it/DHParser
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There exists a mirror of this repository on github:
https://github.com/jecki/DHParser Be aware, though, that the github-mirror
may occasionally lag behind a few commits.

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Please contact me, if you are intested in contributing to the
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development or just using DHParser.
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Disclaimer
----------

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DHParser is still in development stage. While it is already quite mature, 
there may still be changes to the API.

Features
--------

* _Python-based_ parser-generator for context free grammars that is very easy
  to use and set up.
  
* Specific focus on _XML-workflows_ as these are the most common in the digital 
  humanities. Other output formats are of course also possible. (For example,
  DHParser is self-hosting and uses Python-Code as output format.)
  
* Supports *unit-testing of grammars* and piecewise step-by-step development
  as well as debugging of grammars.

* *Customizable parsing errors and error recovery* to make it easy to locate 
  parsing errors at the right spot and deliver them with a meaningful error
  message for users that do not habitually deal with formal notations!  
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Purpose
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DHParser leverages the power of Domain specific languages for the
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Digital Humanities.

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Domain specific languages are widespread in
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computer sciences, but seem to be underused in the Digital Humanities.
While DSLs are sometimes introduced to Digital-Humanities-projects as
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[practical adhoc-solution][Müller_2016], these solutions are often
somewhat "quick and dirty". In other words they are more of a hack
than a technology. The purpose of DHParser is to introduce
[DSLs as a technology][Arnold_2016] to the Digital Humanities. It is
based on the well known technology of [EBNF][ISO_IEC_14977]-based
parser generators, but employs the more modern form called
"[parsing expression grammar][Ford_2004]" and
[parser combinators][Ford_20XX] as a variant of the classical
recursive descent parser.

Why another parser generator? There are plenty of good parser
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generators out there, e.g. [Añez's grako parser generator][Añez_2017],
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[Eclipse XText][XText_Website]. However, DHParser is
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intended as a tool that is specifically geared towards digital
humanities applications, while most existing parser generators come
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from compiler construction toolkits for programming languages.
While I expect DSLs in computer science and DSLs in the Digital
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Humanities to be quite similar as far as the technological realization
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is concerned, the use cases, requirements and challenges are somewhat
different. For example, in the humanities annotating text is a central
use case, which is mostly absent in computer science treatments.
These differences might sooner or later require to develop the
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DSL-construction toolkits in a different direction. Also,
DHParser shall (in the future) serve as a teaching tool, which
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influences some of its design decisions such as, for example, clearly
separating the parsing, syntax-tree-transformation and compilation
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stages. Finally, DHParser is intended as a tool to experiment with.  One
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possible research area is, how non
[context-free grammars](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Context-free_grammar)
such as the grammars of [TeX][tex_stackexchange_no_bnf] or
[CommonMark][MacFarlane_et_al_2017] can be described with declarative
langauges in the spirit of but beyond EBNF, and what extensions of the
parsing technology are necessary to capture such languages.

Primary use case at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
(for the time being): A DSL for the
"[Mittellateinische Wörterbuch](http://www.mlw.badw.de/)"!
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Further (intended) use cases are:

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* LaTeX -> XML/HTML conversion. See this
  [discussion on why an EBNF-parser for the complete TeX/LaTeX-grammar][tex_stackexchange_no_bnf]
  is not possible.
* [CommonMark][MacFarlane_et_al_2017] and other DSLs for cross media
  publishing of scientific literature, e.g. journal articles.  (Common
  Mark and Markdown also go beyond what is feasible with pure
  EBNF-based-parsers.)
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* EBNF itself. DHParser is already self-hosting ;-)
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* XML-parser, just for the fun of it ;-)
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* Digital and cross-media editions
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* Digital dictionaries
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For a simple self-test run `dhparser.py` from the command line. This
compiles the EBNF-Grammer in `examples/EBNF/EBNF.ebnf` and outputs the
Python-based parser class representing that grammar. The concrete and
abstract syntax tree as well as a full and abbreviated log of the
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parsing process will be stored in a sub-directory named "LOG".

Introduction
------------

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see [Introduction.md](https://gitlab.lrz.de/badw-it/DHParser/blob/master/Introduction.md)
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References and Acknowledment
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----------

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Juancarlo Añez: grako, a PEG parser generator in Python, 2017. URL:
[bitbucket.org/apalala/grako][Añez_2017]
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[Añez_2017]: https://bitbucket.org/apalala/grako
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Eckhart Arnold: Domänenspezifische Notationen. Eine (noch)
unterschätzte Technologie in den Digitalen Geisteswissenschaften,
Präsentation auf dem
[dhmuc-Workshop: Digitale Editionen und Auszeichnungssprachen](https://dhmuc.hypotheses.org/workshop-digitale-editionen-und-auszeichnungssprachen),
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München 2016. Short-URL: [tiny.badw.de/2JVT][Arnold_2016]
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[Arnold_2016]: https://f.hypotheses.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/1856/files/2016/12/EA_Pr%C3%A4sentation_Auszeichnungssprachen.pdf
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Brian Ford: Parsing Expression Grammars: A Recognition-Based Syntactic
Foundation, Cambridge
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Massachusetts, 2004. Short-URL:[t1p.de/jihs][Ford_2004]
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[Ford_2004]: https://pdos.csail.mit.edu/~baford/packrat/popl04/peg-popl04.pdf

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[Ford_20XX]: http://bford.info/packrat/
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Richard A. Frost, Rahmatullah Hafiz and Paul Callaghan: Parser
Combinators for Ambiguous Left-Recursive Grammars, in: P. Hudak and
D.S. Warren (Eds.): PADL 2008, LNCS 4902, pp. 167–181, Springer-Verlag
Berlin Heidelberg 2008.

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Elizabeth Scott and Adrian Johnstone, GLL Parsing,
in: Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science 253 (2010) 177–189,
[dotat.at/tmp/gll.pdf][scott_johnstone_2010]

[scott_johnstone_2010]: http://dotat.at/tmp/gll.pdf

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Dominikus Herzberg: Objekt-orientierte Parser-Kombinatoren in Python,
Blog-Post, September, 18th 2008 on denkspuren. gedanken, ideen,
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anregungen und links rund um informatik-themen, short-URL:
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[t1p.de/bm3k][Herzberg_2008a]
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[Herzberg_2008a]: http://denkspuren.blogspot.de/2008/09/objekt-orientierte-parser-kombinatoren.html

Dominikus Herzberg: Eine einfache Grammatik für LaTeX, Blog-Post,
September, 18th 2008 on denkspuren. gedanken, ideen, anregungen und
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links rund um informatik-themen, short-URL:
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[t1p.de/7jzh][Herzberg_2008b]
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[Herzberg_2008b]: http://denkspuren.blogspot.de/2008/09/eine-einfache-grammatik-fr-latex.html

Dominikus Herzberg: Uniform Syntax, Blog-Post, February, 27th 2007 on
denkspuren. gedanken, ideen, anregungen und links rund um
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informatik-themen, short-URL: [t1p.de/s0zk][Herzberg_2007]
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[Herzberg_2007]: http://denkspuren.blogspot.de/2007/02/uniform-syntax.html

[ISO_IEC_14977]: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-14977.pdf

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John MacFarlane, David Greenspan, Vicent Marti, Neil Williams,
Benjamin Dumke-von der Ehe, Jeff Atwood: CommonMark. A strongly
defined, highly compatible specification of
Markdown, 2017. [commonmark.org][MacFarlane_et_al_2017]
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[MacFarlane_et_al_2017]: http://commonmark.org/

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Stefan Müller: DSLs in den digitalen Geisteswissenschaften,
Präsentation auf dem
[dhmuc-Workshop: Digitale Editionen und Auszeichnungssprachen](https://dhmuc.hypotheses.org/workshop-digitale-editionen-und-auszeichnungssprachen),
München 2016. Short-URL: [tiny.badw.de/2JVy][Müller_2016]
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[Müller_2016]: https://f.hypotheses.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/1856/files/2016/12/Mueller_Anzeichnung_10_Vortrag_M%C3%BCnchen.pdf

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Markus Voelter, Sbastian Benz, Christian Dietrich, Birgit Engelmann,
Mats Helander, Lennart Kats, Eelco Visser, Guido Wachsmuth:
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DSL Engineering. Designing, Implementing and Using Domain-Specific Languages, 2013.
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[dslbook.org/][Voelter_2013]

Christopher Seaton: A Programming Language Where the Syntax and Semantics
are Mutuable at Runtime, University of Bristol 2007,
[chrisseaton.com/katahdin/katahdin.pdf][seaton_2007]

Vegard Øye: General Parser Combinators in Racket, 2012,
[epsil.github.io/gll/][vegard_2012]

[vegard_2012]: https://epsil.github.io/gll/ 

[seaton_2007]: http://chrisseaton.com/katahdin/katahdin.pdf
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[voelter_2013]: http://dslbook.org/
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[tex_stackexchange_no_bnf]: http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/4201/is-there-a-bnf-grammar-of-the-tex-language
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[tex_stackexchange_latex_parsers]: http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/4223/what-parsers-for-latex-mathematics-exist-outside-of-the-tex-engines
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[XText_website]: https://www.eclipse.org/Xtext/