Reading Source Code

The reader is responsible for abstracting the interface to reading a character from a stream. This handles abstracting away the various encodings that the project is going to use, as well as backing formats for the stream.

Reader Functionality

The reader has the following functionality:

  • It reads its input lazily, not requiring the entire input to be in memory.
  • It provides the interface to next_character, returning rust-native UTF-32, and abstracts away the various underlying encodings.
  • It allows to bookmark the character that was last read, and return to it later by calling rewind.

Reader Structure

The lazy reader consists of the following parts:


The Read trait is similar to std::io::Read, but supports different encodings than just &[u8]. It provides the interface fn read(&mut self, buffer:&mut [Self::Item]) -> usize that fills the provided buffer with the data that is being read.

Any structure that implements std::io::Read also implements Read<Item=u8>.


The Decoder trait is an interface for reading a single character from an underlying buffer fn decode(words:&[Self::Word]) -> Char. The type of buffer depends on the type of the underlying encoding so that i.e. UTF-32 can use &[char] directly.

Example Usage

To put things into perspective, this is how the reader is constructed from a file and a string.

let string      = "Hello, World!";
let byte_reader = Reader::new(string.as_bytes(), DecoderUTF8(), 0);
let file_reader = Reader::new(File::open("foo.txt")?, DecoderUTF8(), 0);

Provided Encodings

The decoders currently provides the following input encodings.


Rust natively uses UTF-8 encoding for its strings. In order for the IDE to make use of the parser, a simple rust-native UTF-8 encoding is provided.


As the JVM as a platform makes use of UTF-16 for encoding its strings, we need to have a reader that lets JVM clients of the parser provide the source code in a streaming fashion without needing to re-encode it prior to passing it to the parser.


Rust also uses UTF-32 encoding for its characters. Therefore, this encoding is required in order to support inputs as &[char].


7/17/2020: The reader throughput is around 1e+8 chars/s (or 1e-8 secs/char).