parse-cs — parses meta-programs with concrete syntax


parse-cs [-I dir | --Include dir] [--syntax syn] [--ensugar level] [-pp | -pretty-print] [-i file | --input file] [-o file | --output file] [-b] [-S | --silent] [--verbose level] [-k level | --keep level] [-h | -? | --help] [--about] [--version]


parse-cs is a generic parser for meta-programs with concrete object syntax, also known as embedded syntax. For proper operation, parse-cs must have information about

  1. the parse table

  2. the pre-explode desugaring component

  3. the exploder for embedded abstract syntax

  4. the post-explode desugaring component

  5. the pretty-printer

These components do are not provided on the command line, but rather in a meta-data file. For each file to be parsed, a specific meta-data file must be defined. It should have the following components:

  Syntax(lang),                      // name of language = main SDF module

If the component names are not absolute paths to files, the components are looked up in the XTC repository. Most of these components are optional, only one the syntax component is required.


Syntax Options

-I dir, --input dir

Include modules from directory dir.

--syntax syn

Use syntax syn.

-pp, --pretty-print

Invoke the pretty-printer as part of the process.

Common Input/Output Options

-i file

The input term given by the file name file.

In the absence of the -i option, input will be read from stdin.

-o file

The output will be written to the file given by the file name file.

In the absence of the -o option, output will be written to stdout.


The output will be written in the binary (BAF) ATerm format.

ATerms in the BAF format require a lot less space than ones in the TAF format, but the Java ATerm library does not currently support baf ATerms. ATerms in the baf format is the preferred format of exchange between Stratego tools.

Common Debugging Options


See --version.

-h, -?, --help

Display usage information.

--keep int

Keep intermediate results produced by the internal stages in the pretty-printing process. This is only useful for debugging. A high value of int indicates increased eagerness for keeping intermediate results.

Default setting is 0, indicating that no intermediates will be kept.

-S, --silent

Silent execution. Same as --verbose 0.

--verbose int

Set verbosity level to numerical value int. The higher the number, the more information about pp-aterm's inner workings are printed.

Alternatively, int can be set to either of the following verbosity levels, given in increasing order of verbosity: emergency, alert, critical, error, warning, notice, info, debug, vomit.


Displays the tool name and version.


Given a meta file in prog.meta and the program in prog.str, the following will parse a Stratego program with embedded concrete syntax:

$ parse-cs --syntax Stratego -i prog.str -o prog.trm

Reporting Bugs

Please report bugs to


Copyright (C) 2002-2005 Eelco Visser

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.