CookCC comes with two unique features, which were the original motivations for this work.
- CookCC uses a unique approach of storing and loading DFA tables in Java that significantly reduces the starting up time. Many efforts have been made to maximize the generated Java lexer and parser performances, painstakingly line-by-line, case-by-case fine turning the lexer and parser code. I believe that CookCC is the fastest lexer for Java (see the performance test).
- CookCC allows lexer/parser patterns and rules to be specified using Java annotation. This feature greatly simplifies and eases the writing of lexer and parser for Java.
- CookCC can produce highly compressed DFA tables for both the lexer and parser, using the similar compression algorithm found in Flex.
- For the lexer, DFA states constructed were minimal. In contrast, Flex does not construct minimal DFA states.
The current release is 0.4 which requires 1.7+ to run, mainly due to the annotation processing API. The generated Java code can be compiled and run with earlier versions of Java. There are zero dependencies for the generated Java code unless you use extended grammar. So it is light and fast.
Before 0.4, CookCC uses the new BSD license. For 0.4+, it is moved to APL 2.0 license. It should be noted that the license only applies to CookCC itself. The code generated belongs to you.