Fast Gherkin lexer and parser based on Ragel. Gherkin is two things:

  • The language that has evolved out of the Cucumber project.

  • This library

Generating and building the code

You'll need MRI (any version) if you want to build for MRI. To build the Java implementation you'll need JRuby. You'll also need Ragel installed and on your PATH. Finally you'll need the jeweler gem. (Jeweler will tell you what other gems you need when you run rake)


rake clean compile


rake clean jar

Running RSpec and Cucumber tests

rake clean spec cucumber

If the RL_LANG environment variable is set, only the parsers for the languages specified there will be built. E.g. in Bash, export RL_LANG=“en,fr,no”. This can be quite helpful when modifying the Ragel grammar.

Release process

  • Bump version in the VERSION.yml file and:

** java/pom.xml ** ikvm/Gherkin/Gherkin.csproj

  • Make sure both JRuby and MRI has the latest Cucumber installed (from source) otherwise the jruby gem might not get the jar inside it.

  • rake release:ALL

  • Announce on Cucumber list, IRC and Twitter.

Configuring Rake-Compiler for cross compilation

In order to build Windows binaries (so we can release Windows gems from OS X/Linux) we need to set up rake-compiler.

I didn't want to install macports (I'm on homebrew) and I couldn't figure out how to build MinGW myself. I got prebuilt binaries: - just add the bin folder to your PATH

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.

  • Run rake ragel:rb to generate all the I18n lexers

  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.

  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Commit, do not mess with Rakefile, VERSION, or History.txt. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but

    bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

Copyright © 2009-2010 Mike Sassak, Gregory Hnatiuk, Aslak Hellesøy. See LICENSE for details.