North West Ruby User Group

North West Ruby User Group

Title: North West Ruby User Group
Location: MadLab
Description: A group of people in the North West of England, with an interest in all things Ruby or Rails
Date: 21-02-2013
Start Time: 18:00
End Time: 20:00



This month Ash Moran will be giving a talk called Parsing for Fun & Profit – Building a Syntax Highlighter for Ruby in Ruby.

What’s the Deal?

Parsers aren’t just useful for building compilers and interpreters. They can also come in handy for much simpler applications, e.g. transforming data structures, calculating metrics or minifying code. During this talk, Ash will guide us through the process of building a syntax highlighter for Ruby, in Ruby! He’ll show us how to:

  • Define the syntax for a simple subset of Ruby
  • Write a grammar file in Treetop one rule at a time (doing it TDD with RSpec, of course)
  • Walk the data structure constructed by the Treetop parser
  • Transform this syntax tree into HTML, to be syntax highlighted with CSS

About the Speaker

Ash Moran is a freelance software developer & agile coach based in Manchester, and owner ofPatchSpace Ltd. He has been using Ruby for many years, and has yet to find another language that makes writing high quality software so much fun.

As always, all are welcome; whether you’re a Ruby pro or a complete noob.


  • 6:00pm :: Ruby/Rails Advice Drop-in Session – All levels welcome.
  • 7:00pm :: Talk: Parsing for Fun & Profit by Ash Moran
  • 7:45pm :: Q&A
  • After :: Post-talk drinks and discussion in Common

If you want more information email, call Adam on 07515 561 427 or tweet @adamholt.