Compiler Support

Since AdaYaml is written in Ada 2012, you can currently only use it in conjunction with the GNAT compiler; there are no other compilers available supporting Ada 2012. Since GNAT is the only viable compiler anyway, the AdaYaml source makes use of some GNAT-specific features.

Moreover, AdaYaml integrates with other tools of the GNAT environment, particularly the build system GPRbuild. You can easily define AdaYaml as dependency of your project using GPRbuild, and you can easily install AdaYaml on your system using GPRinstall. This is all described in detail in the GPRbuild documentation.

API Concepts

Memory Management

AdaYaml uses reference counting for managing resources allocated on the heap. Since reference counting makes it necessary to use smart pointers instead of raw access types, AdaYaml uses naming conventions derived from Rosen ‘95 to communicate the nature of these smart pointer types:

The API has been designed so that a user does never need to actively deallocate anything, minimizing the danger of memory leaks.

Event Streams

Most parts of the API are concerned with either producing or consuming a stream of YAML events. A possible approach to make all consumers compatible with all producers would be to define a tagged base type that provides an abstract subroutine to query the next event from the stream. However, this would result in dispatching calls for every event query. Therefore, a different approach has been taken:

The API defines a package Yaml.Stream_Concept which does not contain any content other than generic parameters for a stream producer type, its reference, and a subroutine querying the next event. Any type that can be used to instantiate that package is considered an event stream producer. Basic packages like Yaml.Parser provide an instantiation of Stream_Concept as child package (Yaml.Parser.Stream in this case).

Any package that either takes an instance of Stream_Concept as generic parameter itself or provides a generic subroutine taking such an instance is considered an event stream consumer. So if you e.g. want to consume the event stream generated by a parser, you instantiate your generic consumer with the parameter Yaml.Parser.Stream. A consumer provided by AdaYaml would be Yaml.Presenter with its generic subroutine Consume.


This example code reads a file (or stdin, if no file is given on the command line) and writes the resulting YAML events to stdout.

with Ada.Text_IO;
with Ada.Command_Line;

with Yaml.Source.Text_IO;
with Yaml.Source.File;
with Yaml.Parser;

procedure Print_Events is
   Input : Yaml.Source.Pointer;
   P     : Yaml.Parser.Instance;
   Cur   : Yaml.Event;
   --  Input is either stdin or a file given as command line argument
   if Ada.Command_Line.Argument_Count = 0 then
      Input := Yaml.Source.Text_IO.As_Source (Ada.Text_IO.Standard_Input);
      Input := Yaml.Source.File.As_Source (Ada.Command_Line.Argument (1));
   end if;

   --  The parser takes ownership of the input and will deallocate it.
   --  Note that an input must be set before events can be queried.
   P.Set_Input (Input);

      --  Fetch the next event from the parser
      Cur := P.Next;
      --  Print the event to stdout
      Ada.Text_IO.Put_Line (Yaml.To_String (Cur));
      --  If the event was a Stream_End, exit the loop (emitting Stream_End
      --  is the parser's way of saying "there are no more events".)
      exit when Cur.Kind = Yaml.Stream_End;
   end loop;
end Print_Events;