Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] C++ Networking Library Release 0.5
From: Phil Endecott (spam_from_boost_dev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-01-31 06:08:53

James Mansion wrote:
> Phil Endecott wrote:
>> I have an HTTP request parser using Spirit, if you're interested. It
>> is a bit grotty as I wrote it as my first exercise using Spirit - but
>> it does work.
>> .
> Out of interest, is the parser suitable to use as a tutorial on how to
> translate from RFC specs?

You're welcome to use it in that way if you wish. Most of it was
translated directly from the BNF in the RFCs.

It also makes the point that almost no-one actually does implement
these things by taking the BNF, because if you do that it won't work.
There is at least one bug in the HTTP BNF that is documented on an
errata web page somewhere (the URL is in my source) but that has never
justified a new RFC after 11 years...

> It would be nice to build a library of reference parsers that handle
> assorted protocols. email is a very interesting one, since the standard
> (and not-standard-but-in-use) variations on sender, date and time etc
> are quite tricky, and I guess there is some commonality given that the
> RFCs tend to reference each other. (Sort of thing I'm thinking of is the
> comment parts embeddable in dates and the newlines etc).

If you try to parse email headers per the BNF in the RFCs you will fail
on a huge proportion of it. Somewhere I have a list of all the date
formats that I have seen; it is ridiculous. I think this is a
fundamental problem with text-based protocols; the "spec" is not the
real spec; the real spec is the deployed implementations (see e.g. HTML
parsers). Anyway, that's off-topic....


Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at