1. Approach

This is a personality presentation.

I have firstly used microprocessors from 1978, in may master thesis. That was programmed in assembly with the Z80 processor. The microprocessor technology was very newly. Firstly I have written some programs to show and change RAM content and such ones.

But then I have realized that my Microcomputer (named "Microcombi" on the Technical University in Ilmenau, Germany, Thuringia) should have the capability of translating and editing assembly language. I have written a assembly editor based on immediately deal with the machine code, reassemble the machine codes, assembly changes but also insert statements with adjustment of jump addresses. This was newly and unfortunately not documented in a publication. But it was used from many people.

Later, from 1982 till 1985, Basic language becomes familiar and I have written a system with Basic, also possible to edit on the fly storing a meta machine code. It may be seen as similar to a byte code as in Java.

2. Zbnf Parser

In that time I want to write a complete and complex parser using the idea of graphical syntax diagrams https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syntax_diagram. But unfortunately in this time I have had only assembly language.

I the 1990th using C/ language I have tried to write this parser, but on the first hand I have not the necessary time, and second hand the C/ language and my development environment and knowldege was not enough powerful to do so.

Only when I used Java, the idea of a parser working on the principles of syntax graphs was successfully. I have written the first version of the parser on only one week end. Java which its capabilities for container and the before written class org.vishia.util.StringPartScan which has had its precursor in some C++ classes has enabled this work.

The result was org.vishia.zbnf.ZbnfParser This was in the year 2007, ~20 years after the first ideas.

This ZbnfParser.html was used firstly for parsing C language header and C files to translate to Java code: ../../../Java2C/index.html. Secondly I have used reflection for C/++ programming. To create the code of the reflection file, the parser was used with the same syntax as for Java2C translation. See ../../../Inspc/html/Reflect.html[].

Later all texts which I have parsed uses this parser.

The parser was written independently of other known parser principles. It works with a textual given syntax and does not need deep depending packages. Only some Java files all contained in the 1.4 MByte vishiaBase.jar package are necessary. Though the parser is fast enough for all practical approaches. The textual given syntax is firstly translated in internal pre prepared data, then it is used.

The parser is used also in some professional projects.

3. JZtxtcmd

JZtxtcmd is a script language with its interpreter to generate texts from Java data and also to invoke Java routines.

The basics for this script language idea come of course from the mail merge function from Word & co, but also from a generator which I have had written in about 1992 for dBase data. Ok, familiar concepts. For Java outputs I have firstly used the printf concept (in Java System.out.printf(…​)) in cohesion with text building capabilities of Java.

The idea to use a specific script language comes in the 2010th years. It was necessary that a customer may be change the textual output in details. And for that a script language is the best.

I have had also some experience for text or also XML generation with XSLT. But XSLT seems always to be to much complicated, not really nice.

The basic idea was only, write <&javaAccess> for the placeholder. And for the access to Java class members and also operations I have had some experience using Reflection in Java, and the important access class org.vishia.util.DataAccess was already written.

On using this pre-version of org.vishia.jztxtcmd.JZtxtcmd the idea was established, that also execution can be organized with this script, not only text generation. So the 'cmd' becomes a part of 'JZtxtcmd'

Of course, the ZbnfParser.html was used from beginning. Some ideas were introduces for text presentation, indentation, special character and some other detail.

4. OutTextPreparer

The org.vishia.util.OutTextPreparer can be seen as a light version of the JZtxtcmd. It was firstly created to have a similar capability for text creation in the C# language. For me the JZtxtcmd establishing for C# was a too high effort, but I want to have this similar approach.

The OutTextPreparer is a simple class which can be used to output texts which are generated from given templates. The templates can be simple influenced from user decisions. It is more simple as a complex JZtxtcmd script.

5. XML Writing, SimpleXMLOutputter

Firstly I have used https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JDOM, see also http://jdom.org/ for building and output of XML data. The other choice was XSLT, used from SAXON.

But, the first decision to use an own XML outputter was: The ZBNF parser should output XML: The license situation from JDOM was not clarified in about 2008. All in all output a simple XML information was simple. The necessary outputter was written on one afternoon, after decision that ZBNF should not depend on JDOM. This solution uses a node structure. The nodes thinking is basically for XML. But such a node structure is not complicated. The XML content is filled in that nodes. The class to write the node content to XML is:

Later, I have had data but not in nodes, the data may be sequential. They should not converted into nodes to output as XML. Writing XML is not complicated. The second form of the XML outputter is:

This class writes the XML content from simple data. The user should regard the sequence in the XML file. The difference is: The data are not stored before output in a XML-proper node structure. The data can present in any structure, independent of XML. The XmlSeqWriter writes XML content step by step with given data.

6. XML Reading

First I have used a library from Xerxes to read XML files. But it was sometimes to complicated and with too much dependencies.

On the other hand for simple C/++ usage some XML reader was familiar which are really simple and a little bit stupid, only for reading application-specific XML inputs.

Reading an XML file from texts is also a simple process. The basics for that in my Java classes (vishiaBase.jar) contains all necessaries, especially the org.vishia.util.StringPartScan with its extension org.vishia.util.StringPartFromFileLines

Of course some special paraphrases like &lt; for '<' should be known, and the principle of name spaces.

The essential reason for writing an own XML reader was: Selection of content from a given XML file. Some XML files, for example from Word & co but also Simulink (slx) contains too much stuff in there XML data. If only essential data should be read, the selection of the data should be done so early as possible.

The org.vishia.xmlReader.XmlJzReader selects the input data from a given XML file with a template, which as very similar to the given XML files. And this file contains also the destinations for the data, which are addressed by reflection.

This reader was written firstly in 2017/18, for using for Simulink slx files. But meanwhile it was using also for some professional projects and other XML files.

7. Conclusion

With parsing and generating texts and reading and writing XML the most important inputs and outputs are available in simple forms (only in a 1.4 MByte jar file vishiaBase.jar, see vishia/Java/deploy without other dependencies.

This four capabilities are used in some of vishia converters.