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Parsing Expression Types

There are several types of parsing expressions, some of them containing subexpressions and thus forming a recursive structure:

"literal"
'literal'

Match exact literal string and return it. The string syntax is the same as in JavaScript.

Appending i right after the literal makes the match case-insensitive.

. (dot character)

Match exactly one character and return it as a string.

[characters]

Match one character from a set and return it as a string. The characters in the list can be escaped in exactly the same way they are escaped in JavaScript strings. The list of characters can also contain ranges (e.g. [a-f] means “any character between (and including) a and f, all lowercase letters”).

Preceding the characters with ^ inverts the matched set (e.g. [^a-z] means “all character but lowercase letters”).

Appending i right after the right bracket makes the match case-insensitive.

rule

Match a parsing expression of a rule recursively and return its match result.

( expression )

Match a subexpression and return its match result.

expression *

Match zero or more repetitions of the expression and return their match results in an array. The matching is greedy, i.e. the parser tries to match the expression as many times as possible. Unlike in regular expressions, there is no backtracking.

expression +

Match one or more repetitions of the expression and return their match results in an array. The matching is greedy, i.e. the parser tries to match the expression as many times as possible. Unlike in regular expressions, there is no backtracking.

expression ?

Try to match the expression. If the match succeeds, return its match result, otherwise return null. Unlike in regular expressions, there is no backtracking.

& expression

Try to match the expression. If the match succeeds, just return undefined and do not consume any input, otherwise consider the match failed.

! expression

Try to match the expression. If the match does not succeed, just return undefined and do not consume any input, otherwise consider the match failed (the expression was matched, when it shouldn't have).

& { predicate }

This is a positive assertion. No input is consumed.

The predicate should be JavaScript code, and it's executed as a function. Curly braces in the predicate must be balanced.

The predicate should return a boolean value. If the result is truthy, the match result is undefined, otherwise the match is considered failed.

The predicate has access to all variables and functions in the Action Execution Environment.

! { predicate }

This is a negative assertion. No input is consumed.

The predicate should be JavaScript code, and it's executed as a function. Curly braces in the predicate must be balanced.

The predicate should return a boolean value. If the result is falsy, the match result is undefined, otherwise the match is considered failed.

The predicate has access to all variables and functions in the Action Execution Environment.

$ expression

Try to match the expression. If the match succeeds, return the matched text instead of the match result.

label : expression

Match the expression and remember its match result under given label. The label must be a JavaScript identifier.

Labeled expressions are useful together with actions, where saved match results can be accessed by action's JavaScript code.

expression1 expression2 ... expressionn

Match a sequence of expressions and return their match results in an array.

expression { action }

If the expression matches successfully, run the action, otherwise consider the match failed.

The action should be JavaScript code, and it's executed as a function. Curly braces in the action must be balanced.

The action should return some value, which will be used as the match result of the expression.

The action has access to all variables and functions in the Action Execution Environment.

expression1 / expression2 / ... / expressionn

Try to match the first expression, if it does not succeed, try the second one, etc. Return the match result of the first successfully matched expression. If no expression matches, consider the match failed.