Monthly Downloads: 1,814
Programming language: Haskell
License: BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
Tags: Development     Alex    
Latest version: v3.2.5

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Alex: A Lexical Analyser Generator

Build Status

Alex is a Lex-like tool for generating Haskell scanners. For complete documentation, see the doc directory.

Alex is covered by a BSD-Style licence; see the licence file in the doc directory for details.

The sources are in the src directory and the documentation in the doc directory; various examples are in the examples subdirectory.

The source code in the src and examples directories is intended to work with GHC >= 7.0.

Build Instructions

If you just want to use Alex, you can download or install (via cabal install alex) an Alex release from Hackage; also note that distributions such as the Haskell Platform and other package manager-based distributions provide packages for Alex. Moreover, recent versions of cabal will automatically install the required version of alex based on build-tools/build-tool-depends declarations.

Read on if you want to build Alex directly from Git.

Alex is built using GHC & Cabal; so first install GHC and cabal-install-2.0 (or later).

Since Alex itself is implemented in terms of an Alex scanner, bootstrapping Alex is a bit tricky:

You need to have the build-tools alex and happy manually installed; either via your system package manager distribution, the Haskell Platform, or e.g. via (run this outside the Git repository!):

$ cabal install alex happy

which installs them into ${HOME}/.cabal/bin by default (make sure they are in your $PATH for the next steps!).

Variant A

First you need to generate the pre-processed templates via

$ cabal new-run gen-alex-sdist

(otherwise cabal install will complain about "data/AlexTemplate: copyFile: does not exist (No such file or directory)")

And then you can install alex simply by invoking

$ cabal install

from inside the Git folder.

Variant B

Alternatively, you can use the Makefile which automates the steps of producing a self-contained pre-bootstrapped source distribution with pre-generated lexer/scanners (and which also performs the cabal new-run gen-alex-sdist pre-preprocessing step):

$ make sdist
$ cabal install dist/alex-*.tar.gz

For convenience, there is also a make sdist-test target which builds the source source tarball and runs the test-suite from within the source dist.

Contributing & Reporting Issues

Please report any bugs or comments at https://github.com/simonmar/alex/issues

Share and enjoy,

Chris Dornan: cdornan@arm.com

Isaac Jones: ijones@syntaxpolice.org

Simon Marlow: simonmar@microsoft.com

and recent contributors.