About the Author

Or why does this project exist?


When I started work in 1989 my first job out of college was working migrating data to and from what were then leading edge Computer Aided Software Engineer (CASE) tools. The company I was working for had a legacy codebase that included COBOL and Pascal that was proving difficult to work with. It became apparent very quickly that the technology needed refreshing and that is when I started working on next generation products using modern methods that included flexible grammars. BS6154 (the British Standard Syntactic Metalanguage - later to become ISO 14977) was my reference for building a new parser generator that used a custom object database to store data dictionary meta-data ready for regenerating it into new content.

That company went out of business, but the ideas for flexible model driven parsers and generators stayed with me. Its been a fascination of mine ever since and despite my career taking a different path, I never lost interest in how to build bettter parsers and generators.

NETS has been gestating (and worked upon sporadically) over a period of 30 years and in a moment in between jobs in early 2021 I thought it time to spruce up what I had, open source it and get it published. So that's what your looking at on this site - the result of 30 years of thoughtful speculation on parser generators.

I am not sure whether NETS is going to be useful to anyone, but at least it now has the chance to collect dust in public. And its been great to play with new technologies like LLVM, HTML5, JavaScript, Web Assembly, Google Cloud Functions, EPUB, POSIX, p_threads, WASI, Emscripten, Wasmtime, NodeJS and plenty of other things that have taken my fancy along the way.


I am an experienced IT business leader for enterprise software and recently served as Vice President International for Crawford Technologies Europe and Asia-Pacific. I am industry leader, influencer, and founder of growth initiatives in the information management and IT accessibility market segments. This project, whilst not part of my day-to-day job, ensures that I can still enjoy the simple pleasures of software engineering. Today I am a Director at Gartner covering the information management market sector. Whatever I am doing today I will always be, at heart, a software engineer.


Please reach out to me at timnelms@nets3.com if you have any questions, contributions or insights about this project.


NETS is published under an open source license. If you would like more details please contact me.