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RoboCup Client Parser (RCCParser)


RCCParser is a parser library for RoboCup clients for the RoboCup Soccer Simulator. It can be used for field players and coaches using protocol versions 7 to 9.

The parser is Flex and Bison based so it should be fast compared to a hand written parser.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU GPL as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This product includes software (Flex) developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.


Basic Installation

The `configure' shell script attempts to guess correct values for various system-dependent variables used during compilation. It uses those values to create a `Makefile' in each directory of the package. It may also create one or more `.h' files containing system-dependent definitions. Finally, it creates a shell script `config.status' that you can run in the future to recreate the current configuration, and a file `config.log' containing compiler output (useful mainly for debugging `configure').

It can also use an optional file (typically called `config.cache' and enabled with `--cache-file=config.cache' or simply `-C') that saves the results of its tests to speed up reconfiguring (Caching is disabled by default to prevent problems with accidental use of stale cache files). If you are using the cache, and at some point `config.cache' contains results you don't want to keep, you may remove or edit it.

If you need to do unusual things to compile the package, please try to figure out how `configure' could check whether to do them, and mail diffs or instructions to so they can be considered for the next release.

The file `' is used to create `configure' by a program called `autoconf'. You only need `' if you want to change it or regenerate `configure' using a newer version of `autoconf'.

The simplest way to compile this package is:

  1. 'cd' to the directory containing the package's source code and type `./configure' to configure the package for your system. If you're using `csh' on an old version of System V, you might need to type `sh ./configure' instead to prevent `csh' from trying to execute `configure' itself.

    Running `configure' takes awhile. While running, it prints some messages telling which features it is checking for.

  2. Type `make' to compile the package.
  3. Optionally, type `make check' to run any self-tests that come with the package.
  4. Type `make install' to install the programs and any data files and documentation.
  5. You can remove the program binaries and object files from the source code directory by typing `make clean'. To also remove the files that `configure' created (so you can compile the package for a different kind of computer), type `make distclean'. There is also a `make maintainer-clean' target, but that is intended mainly for the package's developers. If you use it, you may have to get all sorts of other programs in order to regenerate files that came with the distribution.

Compilers and Options

Some systems require unusual options for compilation or linking that the `configure' script does not know about. Run `./configure --help' for details on some of the pertinent environment variables.

You can give `configure' initial values for configuration parameters by setting variables in the command line or in the environment. Here is an example:

./configure CC=c89 CFLAGS=-O2 LIBS=-lposix

See Defining Variables for more information.

Compiling For Multiple Architectures

You can compile the package for more than one kind of computer at the same time, by placing the object files for each architecture in their own directory. To do this, you must use a version of `make' that supports the `VPATH' variable, such as GNU `make'. `cd' to the directory where you want the object files and executables to go and run the `configure' script. `configure' automatically checks for the source code in the directory that `configure' is in and in `..'.

If you have to use a `make' that does not support the `VPATH' variable, you have to compile the package for one architecture at a time in the source code directory. After you have installed the package for one architecture, use `make distclean' before reconfiguring for another architecture.

Installation Names

By default, `make install' will install the package's files in `/usr/local/bin', `/usr/local/man', etc. You can specify an installation prefix other than `/usr/local' by giving `configure' the option `--prefix=PATH'.

You can specify separate installation prefixes for architecture-specific files and architecture-independent files. If you give `configure' the option `--exec-prefix=PATH', the package will use PATH as the prefix for installing programs and libraries. Documentation and other data files will still use the regular prefix.

In addition, if you use an unusual directory layout you can give options like `--bindir=PATH' to specify different values for particular kinds of files. Run `configure --help' for a list of the directories you can set and what kinds of files go in them.

Optional Features

`configure' also allows you to select and deselect optional features when building RCCParser, the most relevant of these being `--enable-rccptest=ARG', `--enable-shared=ARG' and `--enable-static=ARG'.

`--enable-rccptest=ARG' can be used to enable of disable the building of the rccptest executable, which is used to test the parser by reading data to be parsed from stdin. By default, building rccptest is enabled.

`--enable-shared=ARG' and `--enable-static=ARG' respectively enable and disable the building of shared and static versions of the library. Both are enabled by default (that is, when the system supports shared libraries, otherwise only static libraries are built). There are advantages to using shared libraries (that I wont go into here), but they can be a pain when trying to debug a program. For that reason, it is recommended that you disable shared libraries when debugging.

Specifying the System Type

There may be some features `configure' cannot figure out automatically, but needs to determine by the type of machine the package will run on. Usually, assuming the package is built to be run on the _same_ architectures, `configure' can figure that out, but if it prints a message saying it cannot guess the machine type, give it the `--build=TYPE' option. TYPE can either be a short name for the system type, such as `sun4', or a canonical name which has the form:


where SYSTEM can have one of these forms:


See the file `config.sub' for the possible values of each field. If `config.sub' isn't included in this package, then this package doesn't need to know the machine type.

If you want to _use_ a cross compiler, that generates code for a platform different from the build platform, you should specify the "host" platform (i.e., that on which the generated programs will eventually be run) with `--host=TYPE'.

Defining Variables

Variables not defined in a site shell script can be set in the environment passed to `configure'. However, it is best to set them in the `configure' command line, using `VAR=value'. For example:

./configure CC=/usr/local2/bin/gcc

will cause the specified gcc to be used as the C compiler.

`configure' Invocation

`configure' recognizes the following options to control how it operates.

`--help' `-h' Print a summary of the options to `configure', and exit.

`--version' `-V' Print the version of Autoconf used to generate the `configure' script, and exit.

`--cache-file=FILE' Enable the cache: use and save the results of the tests in FILE, traditionally `config.cache'. FILE defaults to `/dev/null' to disable caching.

`--config-cache' `-C' Alias for `--cache-file=config.cache'.

`--quiet' `--silent' `-q' Do not print messages saying which checks are being made. To suppress all normal output, redirect it to `/dev/null' (any error messages will still be shown).

`--srcdir=DIR' Look for the package's source code in directory DIR. Usually `configure' can determine that directory automatically.

`configure' also accepts some other, not widely useful, options. Run `configure --help' for more details.


RCCParser can be easily removed by entering the src directory and running `make uninstall'. This will remove all the files that where installed, but not any directories that were created during the installation process.

Using The Parser

RCCParser takes care of parsing data from the simulator as a std::ostream, what it doesn't take care of is what to do with the parsed data. That is the job of your client. The default behaviour of the parser is to do nothing with the parsed data.

To overide the default behaviour, you need to subclass rcc::Parser and overide the virtual functions that the parser calls.

As a RoboCup message is parsed, the virtual functions will be called to from the bottom up. For instance for the message

(init l 2 before_kick_off)

The follwing functions will be called:

  1. rcc::Parser::doBuildLeftSide()
  2. rcc::Parser::doBuildBeforeKickOffPlayMode()
  3. rcc::Parser::doBuildInit()
You will also need to pass a rcss::Parser object (note the different namespace) to rcc::Parser when it is initialized. This so the rcssclangparser library that comes with rcsserver can be used to parse CLang messages (thus making sure the CLang parsing is always upto date).

Assuming the data to be parsed is in a char array, the following code would cause parsing to occur.

rcss::clang::MsgBuilder clang_builder;
rcss::clang::Parser clang_parser( clang_builder );
YourParser parser( clang_parser );


istrstream strm( buffer ); // buffer is the char array with the data
if( !parser.parse( strm ) )
   // handle error 

Instances of rcc::Parser derived classes can be used in a multi-threaded environment, but you will either need prevent simultaneous access by using a mutex before the call the parse, or by using a different instance in each thread. Normally clients only need one instance of the parser, which is only accessed from a single thread.


The RCCParser home page should be your main point of contact for all matters concerning RCCParser, like getting the latest versions, lodging support requests, bug reports and contacting other users of RCCParser library.

At the home page you will also find access the the RCCParser mailing lists, and

This secondary list is for reporting bugs or potential bugs in the parser. This could be anything like parse errors, building and installation problems, or even defects in the documentation. I've tried to make building, installing and using the parser as simple as possible, so if you run into any problems whatsoever, you should post it to this list.

The list is the main list for the RCCParser library, where you will mostly find announcements for the latest releases. If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to post them here.

I hope your team development goes well, that this tool makes it that little bit easier and I hope to see you at the next RoboCup World Cup.

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