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Nonterminal
Description

A Nonterminal is a symbol in a Parsing Expression Grammar production that represents a grammar fragment. Nonterminals may self reference to specify recursion. This is one of the most important concepts and the reason behind the word "recursive" in recursive descent parsing.

Refinement of

Parser

Signature

Nonterminals can have both synthesized and inherited attributes. The Nonterminal's Signature specifies both the synthesized and inherited attributes. The specification uses the function declarator syntax:

RT(A0, A1, A2, ..., AN)

where RT is the Nonterminal's synthesized attribute and A0 ... AN are the Nonterminal's inherited attributes.

Attributes

The Nonterminal models a C++ function. The Nonterminal's synthesized attribute is analogous to the function return value and its inherited attributes are analogous to function arguments. The inherited attributes (arguments) can be passed in just like any Lazy Argument, e.g.:

r(expr) // Evaluate expr at parse time and pass the result to the Nonterminal r
_val

The boost::spirit::qi::_val placeholder can be used in Phoenix semantic actions anywhere in the Nonterminal's definition. This Phoenix placeholder refers to the Nonterminal's (synthesized) attribute. The _val placeholder acts like a mutable reference to the Nonterminal's attribute.

[Note] Note

Starting with Spirit V2.5 (distributed with Boost V1.47) the placeholder _val can be used in semantic actions attached to top level parser components as well. See The Parse API for more information.

_r1 ... r10

The boost::spirit::_r1 ... boost::spirit::r10 placeholders can be used in Phoenix semantic actions anywhere in the Nonterminal's definition. These Phoenix placeholders refer to the Nonterminal's inherited attributes.

Locals

Nonterminals can have local variables that will be created on the stack at parse time. A locals descriptor added to the Nonterminal declaration will give the Nonterminal local variables:

template <typename T0, typename T1, typename T2, ..., typename TN>
struct locals;

where T0 ... TN are the types of local variables accessible in your Phoenix semantic actions using the placeholders:

which correspond to the Nonterminal's local variables T0 ... T9.

Notation

x

A Nonterminal

X

A Nonterminal type

arg1, arg2, ..., argN

Lazy Arguments that evaluate to each of the Nonterminal's inherited attributes.

Valid Expressions

In addition to the requirements defined in Parser, for any Nonterminal the following must be met:

Expression

Semantics

Return type

x

In a parser expression, invoke Nonterminal x

X

x(arg1, arg2, ..., argN)

In a parser expression, invoke Nonterminal r passing in inherited attributes arg1 ... argN

X

x.name(name)

Naming a Nonterminal.

void

x.name()

Getting the name of a Nonterminal.

std::string

debug(x)

Debug Nonterminal x.

void

Type Expressions

Expression

Description

X::sig_type

The Signature of X: An MPL Forward Sequence. The first element is the Nonterminal's synthesized attribute type and the rest are the inherited attribute types.

X::locals_type

The local variables of X: An MPL Forward Sequence.

Models

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