Checkout page header1 keyword1
Checkout page header2 keyword1
Checkout page header2 keyword2
Use An Existing Library
The first option is the best for well known and supported languages, like XML or HTML. A good library usually include also API to programmatically build and modify documents in that language. This is typically more of what you get from a basic parser. The problem is that such libraries are not so common and they support only the most common languages. In other cases you are out of luck.
Building Your Own Custom Parser By Hand
You may need to pick the second option if you have particular needs. Both in the sense that the language you need to parse cannot be parsed with traditional parser generators, or you have specific requirements that you cannot satisfy using a typical parser generator. For instance, because you need the best possible performance or a deep integration between different components.
A Tool Or Library To Generate A Parser
In all other cases the third option should be the default one, because is the one that is most flexible and has the shorter development time. That is why on this article we concentrate on the tools and libraries that correspond to this option.
Note: text in blockquote describing a program comes from the respective documentation
Tools To Create Parsers
We are going to see:
- tools that can generate parsers usable from C# (and possibly from other languages)
- C# libraries to build parsers
Tools that can be used to generate the code for a parser are called parser generators or compiler compiler. Libraries that create parsers are known as parser combinators.
Parser generators (or parser combinators) are not trivial: you need some time to learn how to use them and not all types of parser generators are suitable for all kinds of languages. That is why we have prepared a list of the best known of them, with a short introduction for each of them. We are also concentrating on one target language: C#. This also means that (usually) the parser itself will be written in C#.