A Parser In My Pocket: Modern Parsing in Smalltalk

Martin McClure



Most tools you keep in your toolbox. Your few most valuable tools, however, you keep in your pocket, where you can get at them quickly. The past several years has brought significant advances in parsing practice. Parsers are now useful in a wide variety of applications, and a good parsing framework is something that developers will want "in their pocket". In this talk we'll look at OMeta and PetitParser, two modern parsing frameworks for Smalltalk, and will investigate some unconventional applications for them.


Martin was first intrigued by Smalltalk 35 years ago. After a frustrating ten-year wait he finally got his hands on a running Smalltalk system and hasn't stopped since. As a senior engineer at GemStone Systems, he leads a team that designs and implements a distributed object system that acts as a bridge between a Smalltalk client and a GemStone Smalltalk server. Other career highlights include developing embedded and robotic systems in FORTH and assembly language, data modeling and architecting a telecommunications order processing system, designing and prototyping embedded hardware, and touring with a high-tech juggling troupe. When he's not in front of a computer, he can often be found contra dancing or blowing glass.