Joel de Guzman
Hartmut Kaiser


Spirit is a set of C++ libraries for parsing and output generation implemented as Domain Specific Embedded Languages (DSEL) using Expression templates and Template Meta-Programming. The Spirit libraries enable a target grammar to be written exclusively in C++. Inline grammar specifications can mix freely with other C++ code and, thanks to the generative power of C++ templates, are immediately executable.

Spirit.X3 (3rd generation)


The newest Spirit shines faster compile times. Currently only a parser framework.

WARNING: C++14 compilers support will be dropped soon.

Spirit X3 in Boost 1.81 (scheduled to November 2022) will use C++17 features.

Supported compilers will be:

  • Clang 4 (currently 3.6)
  • GCC 7 (currently 5)
  • VS 2017 v15.8 (currently 2015 U3)

Spirit V2 (2nd generation)


The latest Long Term Support version of Spirit. A Swiss Army knife for data manipulation on any kind of input.

Consists of:

  • Qi: Parser framework.
  • Karma: Generator framework.
  • Lex: Lexical analyzer framework.

Runs on most C++03 compilers (GCC 4.1, Clang 3.0, VS 2005).

Spirit.Classic (1st generation)


An elderling member of Spirit. It receives only limited maintanance, but it is still used even inside Boost by Boost.Serialization and Boost.Wave libraries. It also contains Phoenix V1.

Spririt.Classic should support even ancient compilers.

Brief History

Date Boost Commit Event
2014-03-18 1.56 8a353328 Spirit.X3 is added
2013-12-14 1.56 c0537c82 Phoenix V2 is retired
2011-03-28 1.47 400a764d Phoenix V3 support added to Spirit V2
2009-04-30 1.41 5963a395 Spirit.Repository is appeared
2008-04-13 1.36 ffd0cc10 Spirit V2 (Qi, Karma, Lex, Phoenix V2) is added
2006-08-23 1.35 2dc892b4 Fusion V1 is retired
2003-01-31 1.30 81907916 Spirit is the part of the Boost