pawelkaczor / scalexpr

Simple expression parser / evaluator

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Scalexpr is a expression parser and evaluator for Scala. The library has been created to provide a very simple way to parse expression Strings and evaluate them in a type-safe manner.


A sbt script is provided and can be used to build scalexpr. The only dependency is the incredible fastparse library.


On its simplest form, scalexp can be used as:

import scala.util.{Failure, Success}

val parser = ExpressionParser()
parser.parseIntExpression("10 + 5") match {
 case Success(expr) => println(expr.resolve()); assert(expr.resolve() == 15)
 case Failure(ex)   => println(ex)

The library also support more complex expressions containing relational and boolean operators:

val expr1 = parser.parseBooleanExpression("(10 + 5 > 12) && (4 - 3 <= 1)").get
println(expr1.resolve())     // prints true

And the use of variables:

 val ctx2: Map[String, Any] = Map("age" -> 19, "salary" -> 32000)
 val expr2 = parser.parseBooleanExpression("age == 19 && salary > 40000 ").get
 println(expr2.resolve(ctx2))  // prints false

In this case, age and salary are parsed as variables that are resolved in the resolve method based on the content of the context map.

Finally, the library also supports other data types, including Long, Double, String, and java.time.Instant:

 import java.time.Instant

val ts = Instant.parse("2015-10-01T12:00:00.000Z")
val ctx3 = Map("id" -> 10L, "name" -> "sensor1", "timestamp" -> ts)
val expr3 = parser.parseBooleanExpression(
   """(id == 10L || name == "sensor1") && timestamp > 2012-01-01T00:00:00.000Z""").get
println(expr3.resolve(ctx3))  // prints true

Advanced Usage

Context implementation

The library provides a ContextLike type class that must be implemented by classes whose objects can be used as context when resolving expressions:

trait ContextLike[T] {
  def get[B: TypeTag](ctx: T, field: String): Option[B]
  def nested(ctx: T, field: String): Option[T]

Objects of this type class are passed implictly to the resolve method and are used to obtain values based on the variable names. scalexpr provides a default implementation for Maps with String keys, but other implementations can be easily created.

Expression representation

scalexpr provides a DSL that can be used to create Expression objects independently of the parsing functionalities. The following snippet shows how the DSL can be used:


val expr1 = IntConstant(10) + IntConstant(2) * IntConstant(3)
println(expr1.resolve())          // prints 16

val expr2 = (DoubleConstant(6.0) / DoubleConstant(2.0)) > DoubleConstant(1.0)
println(expr2.resolve())          // prints true

val ctx3 = Map("name" -> "John", "age" -> 9)
val expr3 = (StringVar("name") == StringConstant("John")) && (IntVar("age") > IntConstant(10))
println(expr3.resolve(ctx3))     // prints false


The library has been designed to be as straightforward to use as possible and, right now, it already implements most functionalities originally planned. Nevertheless, the following functionalities are still missing:

  • Automatic conversion between numeric types
  • String functions (toUpperCase, toLowerCase, trim)
  • Alternative date representations

Contributions are welcome!