Publication Date

Fall 2018

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Thomas Austin

Second Advisor

Tim Disney

Third Advisor

Suneuy Kim


Macro Library, Python


Python lacks a simple way to create custom syntax and constructs that goes outside of its own syntax rules. A paradigm that allows for these possibilities to exist within languages is macros. Macros allow for a shorter set of syntax to expand into a longer set of instructions at compile-time. This gives the capability to evolve the language to fit personal needs.

Pantry, implements a hygienic text-substitution macro system for Python. Pantry achieves this through the introduction of an additional preparsing step that utilizes parsing and lexing of the source code. Pantry proposes a way to simply declare a pattern to be recognized, articulate instructions that replace the pattern, and replace the pattern in the source code. This form of meta-programming allows its users to be able to more concisely write their Python code and present the language in a more natural and intuitive manner.

We validate Pantry’s utility through use cases inspired by Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs) and go through five of them. These are requests from the Python community for features to be implemented into Python. Pantry fulfills these desires through the composition of macros that that performs the new feature.