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Heron-Centric: Ruminations of a Language Designer
Biscuit : A Parser Framework Based on YARD
by Christopher Diggins
July 2, 2005
YARD, the compile-time recursive descent parser generation framework has spwaned its first offspring, Biscuit.


Some time ago I introduced a compile-time parser generation library which emulated EBNF (Extended Backus-Naur Form), called the YARD parser ( Yet Another Recursive-Descent parser ).

Well recently someone who goes by the moniker of mb2sync ( his/her Japanese name is unknown to me) has developed an open-source extension of YARD called Biscuit at ( ).

Biscuit extends the YARD parser generator by binding with the Boost finite state machine library. Biscuit was developed with the intention of using it to build a lightweight and efficient XML parser. According to mb2sync the YARD parser produced much smaller parsers than the Boost Spirit parsing library, and it did so much more quickly. I maintain that YARD is also more efficient at run-time than Spirit, but I only have performed a few experiements to verify this. Besides, being the original authour I can not be trusted to be unbiased.

I am watching the Biscuit parser project closely, and has a high likely of superceding the YARD parser. I am hoping to use it in the next iteration of the Heron parser, and to aid in its development.

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About the Blogger

Christopher Diggins is a software developer and freelance writer. Christopher loves programming, but is eternally frustrated by the shortcomings of modern programming languages. As would any reasonable person in his shoes, he decided to quit his day job to write his own ( ). Christopher is the co-author of the C++ Cookbook from O'Reilly. Christopher can be reached through his home page at

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2005 Christopher Diggins. All rights reserved.

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