jex

jexpr

A simple expression parser and evaluator for JavaScript

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BSD-3-Clause

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Jexpr

Overview

Jexpr is an expression syntax, parser, and evaluator for JS-like expressions.

Jexpr is designed for libraries that evaluate user-written expressions, such as HTML templating engines. Jexpr has a relatively rich syntax, supporting identifiers, operators, property access, method and function calls, and literals (including arrays and objects), and pipes.

Example:

(person.title + ' ' + person.getFullName()) | uppercase;

Usage

Installation

npm i jexpr

Usage

import {parse, EvalAstFactory} from 'jexpr';

// An EvalAstFactory produces an AST that can be evaluated
const astFactory = new EvalAstFactory();

// parse() returns the AST
const expr = parse('(a + b([1, 2, 3]) * c)', astFactory);

// evaluate() with a scope object
const result = expr.evaluate({
  a: 42,
  b: (o: Array<number>) => o.length,
  c: 2,
});

console.log(result); // 48

Features

Fast, small parser

Jexpr is a hand-written, recursive descent, precedence-climbing parser. It's simple, fast and small.

Pluggable AST factories

parse() takes an AST factory so that different strategies can be used to produce ASTs. The default factory creates an AST as defined in lib/ast.js. lib/eval.js exports an EvalAstFactory that produces evaluatable ASTs.

Null-Safety

Expressions are generally null-safe. If a subexpression yields null or undefined, subsequent property access will return null, rather than throwing an exception. Property access, method invocation and operators are null-safe. Passing null to a function that doesn't handle null will not be null safe.

Syntax

Property access

Properties on the model and in the scope are looked up via simple property names, like foo. Property names are looked up first in the top-level variables, next in the model, then recursively in parent scopes. Properties on objects can be access with dot notation like foo.bar.

The keyword this always refers to the model if there is one, otherwise this is null. If you have model properties and top-level variables with the same name, you can use this to refer to the model property.

Literals

Jexpr supports number, boolean, string, and map literals. Strings can use either single or double quotes.

  • null and undefined
  • Numbers: 1, 1.0
  • Booleans: true, false
  • Strings: 'abc', "xyz"
  • Objects: { 'a': 1, 'b': 2 }
  • Arrays: [1, 2, 3]

Functions and methods

If a property is a function in the scope, a method on the model, or a method on an object, it can be invoked with standard function syntax. Functions and Methods can take arguments. Arguments can be literals or variables.

Examples:

  • Top-level function: myFunction()
  • Top-level function with arguments: myFunction(a, b, 42)
  • Model method: aMethod()
  • Method on nested-property: a.b.anotherMethod()

Operators

Jexpr supports the following binary and unary operators:

  • Arithmetic operators: +, -, *, /, %, unary + and -
  • Comparison operators: ==, !=, ===, !==, <=, <, >, >=
  • Boolean operators: &&, ||, unary !
  • Nullish coalescing: ??
  • Pipeline operators: | (legacy) and |> (modern)

Expressions do not support bitwise operators such as &, |, << and >>, or increment/decrement operators (++ and --)

Array and Object indexing

Arrays and objects can be accessed via the index operator: []

Examples:

  • items[2]
  • people['john']

Filters and transformers

A filter is a function that transforms a value into another, used via the pipe syntax: value | filter Any function that takes exactly one argument can be used as a filter.

Example:

If person.name is "John", and a top-level function named uppercase has been registered, then person.name | uppercase will have the value "JOHN".

The pipe syntax is used rather than a regular function call so that we can support two-way bindings through transformers. A transformer is a filter that has an inverse function. Two-way transformers are not supported yet.

Acknowedgements

Jexpr is forked from polymer-expressions which is no longer officially maintained by the Polymer team. The JavaScript version of that library was ported from the Dart library of the same name, originally used in Polymer.dart.

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