Comparison of parsers in python?

Peng Yu pengyu.ut at
Sun Sep 20 15:41:05 CEST 2009

On Sun, Sep 20, 2009 at 8:19 AM, andrew cooke <andrew at> wrote:
> also, parsing large files may be slow.  in which case you may be
> better with a non-python solution (even if you call it from python).
> your file format is so simple that you may find a lexer is enough for
> what you want, and they should be stream oriented.  have a look at the
> "shlex" package that is already in python.  will that help?
> alternatively, perhaps plex -
> - that is pure python, but greg ewing is a good programmer and he says
> on that page it is as fast as possible for python, so it is probably
> going to be quite fast.
> andrew
> ps maybe you already know, but a lexer is simpler than a parser in
> that it doesn't use the context to decide how to treat things.  so it
> can recognise something is a number, or a word, or a quoted string,
> but not whether it is part of a track definition line or a data value,
> for example.  but in this case the format is so simple that a lexer
> might do quite a ot of what you want, and would make the remaining
> plain python program very simple.

I don't quite understand this point.  If I don't use a parser, since
python can read numbers line by line, why I need a lexer package?


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