See the JavaCC documentation for details. Also see the mini-tutorial on the JavaCC site for tips on writing lexer specifications from which JavaCC can generate. At the end of the tutorial, we will parse a SQL file and extract table specifications ( please note that this is for an illustrative purpose; complete. In this first edition of the new Cool Tools column, Oliver Enseling discusses JavaCC — the Java Compiler Compiler. JavaCC facilitates.

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We typically create parsers when we are creating our own programming language. Each token is associated with a ‘token kind’ which represents the type of the token. This process is called “backtracking”. The choice determination decision is therefore: We don’t want the parser to fail when we encounter a new line, but we also don’t have any use for them in the parser.

In this case, the generated parser has to somehow determine which of exp1, exp2, etc. Ant Build File build. We will see why I need those imports later.

The articles I found were very high level and theoretical, or they always solved the same problems basic arithmetic expressions. I plan on writing a couple of articles that are very hands on, very practical.

Similarly, the problem with Example5. Create a class in the package for representing a table: That is, you can attempt to make your grammar LL 1 by making some changes to it.

An Introduction to JavaCC

After successful compilation, you are ready to test a sample file. One of the features of JavaCC that I really like, is that the generated parser has no dependency on javacc. Rather than printing the Token. Let’s start with the language of integer expressions with addition and multiplication, with addition having lower precedence. You can use it to create your own custom parser.


JavaCC cannot parse grammars that have left-recursion. One can argue that this is javxcc a weird situation that it does not warrant any reasonable error message and that it is okay to make the wrong choice in some pathological situations.

The performance hit from such backtracking is unacceptable for most systems that include a parser.

Getting started in JavaCC

These kinds of parsers use next tokens to take the parsing decisions without any back tracing Look Ahead. Tutroial can provide the generated parser with some hints to help it out in the non-LL 1 situations that the warning messages bring to your attention. I found an awesome tutorial!!! Class for representing a token. The default values for each of these entities is defined below:. Vinod Viswanath Aug 8: In the majority of situations, the default algorithm works just fine.

However, it makes your application robust and error free, particularly when dealing files with a specific format. The parser is generated as java source files. The JavaCC grammar file. The BNF production rules are specified after the token declaration. One way to do this is to use a very large integer value such as the largest possible integer as follows: Every JavaCC project has a grammar file which describes valid input.

Implementation of the interface character stream jvaacc the lexer.

It’s very difficult to find this kind of document online. Now you can build and run “ParseDemoTest”. In this example, it defines the structure of the file as: In this case, the LOOKAHEAD calculation can stop as soon as the token “class” is encountered, but the specification forces the calculation to continue until the end of the class declaration has been reached – which is rather time consuming.


I have used a stop sign to indicate directories that should not be modified, because tutoral are generated. If an undefined state or production is encountered, the parser will throw a ” ParseException “. I will give examples of using the parser in the section below.

Using JavaCC

Between the first two curly braces there are two lines of code that are executed before processing the tokens. Note that the parser is still aware of the line number even when carriage returns are skipped. JavaCC does not place the generated parser in a subdirectory matching the package declaration. Articles Quick Answers Messages.

You’d make tutorixl nice function called parse perhaps, and call yutorial from your own code. Using JavaCC for such problems is overkill and will cause mor e problems than is solves. Throws exceptions on errors detected by the parser.

A couple of advanced topics follow. JavaCC produces 7 Java files in the output. What if the next tokens in the input stream are a very large number of “abstract”s say of them followed by “interface”? It is also returned from the toString method. You should call the Start method from your class declaration. Hence, the parser jzvacc now work properly for Example3. I do recommend acquainting oneself with the theory behind parsing, when working with parser generators.

The input matches this one too, so we are still OK.