1. React
  2. JSConf Hawaiʻi
  3. 2020
  4. Parsing Parsers

Parsing Parsers

Learn how to build a search query parser, in JavaScript. Starting with the building blocks of all languages and what a parser is, to a practical implementation.

Jenna Zeigen at JSConf Hawaiʻi 2020

Have you ever wondered how your code goes from being characters in a file to something that the computer can "understand" and do something with? A key part of this is the parser. In this talk, we’ll look at building a search query parser (all in JavaScript, of course). On this journey, we’ll first take a step back and learn about the building blocks of all languages, from letters to grammars, and how they represent meaning. Then, we’ll talk about what a parser is and does and why we might want one for our task. With this new knowledge, we’ll dive into building the parser, from tokenizing to building a data structure that represents the query and lets us build a UI around it.