achilles-csv-parser

1.1.0 • Public • Published

achilles-csv-parser

A minimal and fast CSV parser for Node.js or a web browser, without any dependencies. Satisfies the following requirements:

  1. Parses files adhering to the CSV format as defined in RFC 4180. As of version v1.1.0 also supports parsing files that use semicolon ; instead of comma for the value separator.
  2. Runs both in a web browser and in Node.js.
  3. Can handle large files reasonably well, with good memory and speed performance.

If you are curious about the story behind achilles-csv-parser, have a look at this blog post documenting how and why it came to existence.

Demo: Online client-side CSV to JSON converter tool

If you want to quickly test achilles-csv-parser with various inputs, or just need an easy-to-use, 100% private online CSV to JSON converter, you should use Achilles CSV to JSON Converter, which was created to showcase achilles-csv-parser.

API reference

achilles-csv-parser API is inspired by the native JSON.parse API.

The API is kept purposefully very small, and there is no desire to add bells and whistles (streaming parsing, events, reading/writing directly from/to files) in future versions.

It consists of a single public parse function with the following signature.

parse(
    csv: string,
    reviver?: (key: string, value: string) => any,
    options?: ParserOptions): Object[]

where options is an optional parameter with the following format

interface ParserOptions {
  separator: ',' | ';';
}

The options parameter can be used to parse CSV files that deviate from RFC 4180 by using semicolons as the value separator instead of a commas. When options is not provided, comma , is used as the default separator. Specifying any separator other than comma , or semicolon ; will result in a runtime error being thrown.

Example usages

There is no command line interface. The tool can only be invoked programmatically as shown below.

Basic usage (without a reviver function)

import {parse} from './node_modules/achilles-csv-parser/dist/esm/parser.min.js';

const csv = `
column1,column2,column3
value1,value2,value3`;

// Parse |csv| string to a JavaScript object.
console.log(parse(csv));

const csvSemicolons = `
column1;column2;column3
value1;value2;value3`;

// Parse |csvSemicolons| string to a JavaScript object.
console.log(parse(csvSemicolons, null, {separator: ';'));

Advanced usage (with a reviver function)

import {parse} from './node_modules/achilles-csv-parser/dist/esm/parser.min.js';

const csv = `
column1,column2,column3
value1,value2,value3`;

// Leverage the optional reviver function parameter to omit all values
// correspending to "column2" from the end result.
const obj = parse(csv, (key, value) => key === 'column2' ? undefined : value));
console.log(obj);

Whichever value is returned from the reviver function will be placed in the final result, or if undefined is returned (as in the example above) the value will be omitted.

NPM package

To download via NPM use the following command

npm install achilles-csv-parser --only=prod

The entire NPM package is 26.4kB (including LICENSE.txt, README.md, package.json files) and does not pull in any dependencies in production.

There is only one minified JS file distributed which should work both in modern Node.js versions (supporting JS modules) and any modern browser. You can find it in the node_modules/achilles-csv-parser/dist/ folder. The file is fairly small, only 686 bytes before any compression (excluding license header).

686 dist/esm/parser.min.js      # Same file for both Node.js or a web browser

Known issue: Handling of invalid inputs

Because RFC 4180 does not specify how to handle invalid inputs, there is no "CSV input invalid" error. The algorithm currently will keep charging ahead until it blows up or until it consumes all the input. In many cases of invalid CSV input, it will simply produce some nonsensical output (a.k.a. undefined behavior).

This is likely to be improved in future versions, so that an error is thrown for obviously invalid inputs.

Building locally

Firstly, install any development dependencies with npm install. Then execute the commands below.

Produce distributed files in dist/ folder.

gulp clean
gulp release

Build tests

gulp tsc --target=tests

Run tests

gulp test --target=parser

Contributing

As of this writing, there is no concrete plan on accepting community contributions, mostly because of other time commitments. Having said that, any PRs or bugs filed are greatly appreciated and will be considered as time permits.

Should you use achilles-csv-parser in production?

That's up to you to decide. Firstly, this project is published using the Apache-2.0 license. Secondly, it is provided as-is, with no SLAs on fixing any bugs within a certain timeline. If your project can be satisfied by the requirements stated above, about which CSV strings can be parsed (basically strings adhering to RFC 4180 + semicolon separator), then why not. It might make sense to wait until the "Known Issue" mentioned above, about better invalid input handling is addressed, or do any validation on your end, before passing any CSV strings to this library.

With all that said, I hope you enjoy parsing your CSV strings.

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npm i achilles-csv-parser

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Version

1.1.0

License

Apache-2.0

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Collaborators

  • dpapad