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Snowcrash parser harness

API Blueprint Parser

Drafter is complex builder of API Blueprint. Internally it uses Snowcrash library, reference API Blueprint parser.

API Blueprint is Web API documentation language. You can find API Blueprint documentation on the API Blueprint site.

Additionally Drafter provide set of Wrappers for serialization, of parsing result, via SOS library into JSON and YAML format.

Drafter also provides the user ability to select the type of the output. There are two possible values:

  • API Elements Parse Result: Parse Result is defined in API Elements according to Parse Result Namespace.
  • Normal AST Parse Result: Parse Result defined by the API Blueprint AST Parse Result. The AST is deprecated and only available in the Drafter command line tool.

By default, Drafter assumes the Refract Parse Result.

Both the types of Parse Results are available in two different serialization formats, YAML and JSON. YAML is the default for the CLI.



OS X using Homebrew:

$ brew install --HEAD \

AUR package for Arch Linux.

Other systems refer to build notes.


Drafter is both a library and a command line tool.

Command line tool

The command line tool allows you to parse a blueprint and/or check the validity
of a blueprint.

$ cat << 'EOF' > blueprint.apib
# My API
## GET /message
+ Response 200 (text/plain)

        Hello World!

$ drafter blueprint.apib
element: "parseResult"
    element: "category"
        - "api"
      title: "My API"

See parse feature for the details on using the drafter command line tool.


Please refer to
for the full API documentation. See Drafter bindings for using the
library in other languages.

Parsing a blueprint to a JSON or YAML string

The drafter_parse_blueprint_to takes a source blueprint and returns the given
blueprint parsed and serialized as API
in YAML or JSON.

int drafter_parse_blueprint_to(const char* source, char ** out, const drafter_options options);
#include <drafter/drafter.h>

const char* blueprint =
  "# My API\n"
  "## GET /message\n"
  "+ Response 200 (text/plain)\n"
  "      Hello World!\n";

drafter_options options;
options.format = DRAFTER_SERIALIZE_JSON;
options.sourcemap = true;

char* result = NULL;
if (drafter_parse_blueprint_to(blueprint, &result, options) == 0) {
    printf("%s\n", result);

Checking the validity of a blueprint

The drafter_check_blueprint function allows checking the validity of a
blueprint. This function will return a drafter_result when the blueprint
produces warnings and/or errors. With a drafter_result, the
drafter_serialize function can be used to serialized the result as API
in YAML or JSON.

drafter_result* drafter_check_blueprint(const char* source);
#include <drafter/drafter.h>

const char* blueprint =
  "# My API\n"
  "## GET /message\n"
  "+ Response 200 (text/plain)\n"
  "      Hello World!\n";

drafter_result* result = drafter_check_blueprint(blueprint);
if (result) {
    // Serialize the result to print the warnings/errors

    drafter_options options;
    options.format = DRAFTER_SERIALIZE_JSON;
    options.sourcemap = true;

    char* out = drafter_serialize(result, options);
    printf("The blueprint produces warnings or errors:\n\n%s\n", out);

} else {
    printf("The given blueprint was valid.\n");


Compiler Support

Compiler Minimum Supported Version
Clang 4.0
GCC 5.3
MSVC++ 2015
  1. Clone the repo + fetch the submodules:

     $ git clone --recursive git://
     $ cd drafter
  2. Build & test Drafter:

     $ ./configure
     $ make test

    To include integration tests (using Cucumber) use the --include-integration-tests flag:

     $ ./configure --include-integration-tests
     $ make test

We love Windows too! Please refer to Building on Windows.

Drafter command line tool

  1. Build drafter:

     $ make drafter
  2. Install & use drafter:

     $ sudo make install
     $ drafter --help


Drafter bindings in other languages:

CLI Wrapper


Fork & Pull Request

If you want to create a binding for Drafter please refer to the Writing a Binding article.


MIT License. See the LICENSE file.

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