command-line ast inspector
Last updated 5 years ago by james.talmage .
Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install ast-walk -g
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.

ast-walk provides an easy way to inspect the ast created by javascript parsers. The interface provided is a lot like a typical shell, with familiar commands like cd and ls.

From the command line, it will load javascript files from disk and use recast to parse them. You can also provide ast's (potentially from other parsers) via code.

This project is a fork of jwalk which provides essentially the same utility for large JSON objects.


More documentation (and fewer bugs) coming soon. In the meantime, install it via npm:

npm install -g ast-walk


And then run it like this:

ast-walk somefile.js

It can also handle gzipped files. If the extension is .gz, it will decompress the javscript automatically. (This is a left over feature from jwalk, and unlikely to be useful in the javascript context).

ast-walk somefile.js.gz

Most of the documentation below is unmodified from jwalk, and so discusses json. Just apply the same principles to your ast nodes. New ast specific commands include print and find.

Possible Commands

Given the following json file

  "name": "jwalk",
  "version": "0.0.4",
  "description": "command-line json inspector",
  "preferGlobal": "true",
  "repositories": {
    "type": "git",
    "url": ""
  "bin": {
    "jwalk": "bin/jwalk"
  "dependencies": {
    "coffee-script": "1.4.0",
    "colors": "0.6.0-1",
    "filesize": "1.6.6",
    "underscore": "1.4.2"
  "engine": "node >= 0.8.x"


Shows this help message

jwalk obj{8} / $ help

cd navigates through nodes in the tree
clear clears the screen
cls clears the screen
exit quit jwalk
find performs a depth first search for the given node type
help shows this help message
keys examines the keys of an object node
ls examines a single node
print prints the ast at this point
quit quit jwalk


Prints the javascript at the current node

ast-walk obj{4} /program/body/0 $ print
function hello(name){
  console.log('hello ' + name);


Perform a depth first search for a given node type. The first argument supplied is the desired node type to find and provides autocompletion hints

ast-walk obj{4} / $ print

  var a = 'hello';
  function helloMessage(name){
    return 'hello ' + name;
  function byeMessage(name){
    return 'bye ' + name;
  function hello(name){

ast-walk obj{4} / $ find ReturnStatement
ast-walk obj{3} /program/body/1/body/body/0 $ print

   return 'hello ' + name;

ast-walk obj{3} /program/body/1/body/body/0 $ cd /
ast-walk obj{4} / $ find FunctionDeclaration 1
ast-walk obj{3} /program/body/2/body/body/0 $ print

  function byeMessage(name){
    return 'bye ' + name;

The optional second argument allows you to skip the first X elements of a given type. find FunctionDeclaration 2 would skip the first 2 FunctionDeclarations returning the third. Note that when a node is "skipped", none of it's children will be searched, this allows a (sorta-kinda) breadth first search. You can create a chain as long as you'd like:

 ast-walk obj{4} / $ find FunctionDeclaration 2 IfStatement 2 IfStatement ReturnStatement


Examines the current node

ast-walk obj{8} / $ ls
{ name: 'jwalk',
  version: '0.0.4',
  description: 'command-line json inspector',
  preferGlobal: 'true',
   { type: 'git',
     url: '' },
  bin: { jwalk: 'bin/jwalk' },
   { 'coffee-script': '1.4.0',
     colors: '0.6.0-1',
     filesize: '1.6.6',
     underscore: '1.4.2' },
  engine: 'node >= 0.8.x' }

Change Directory

Allows navigation through the JSON tree. Note 'cd' does support autocomplete by pressing the tab key.

ast-walk obj{8} / $ cd dependencies
ast-walk obj{4} /dependencies $ ls
{ 'coffee-script': '1.4.0',
  colors: '0.6.0-1',
  filesize: '1.6.6',
  underscore: '1.4.2' }


Clears the screen

ast-walk obj{8} / $ clear


ast-walk obj{8} / $ cls


Examines the keys of a node

ast-walk obj{8} / $ keys
[ 'name',
  'engine' ]


Exits the ast-walk application

ast-walk obj{8} / $ exit


ast-walk obj{8} / $ quit

Preferences File

You can create a JSON file at ~/.ast-walk to define preferences. Right now, all it supports is defining aliases for commands, like so:

  "aliases": {
    "l": "ls"


Bug reports and pull requests welcome!

Current Tags

  • 0.0.5                                ...           latest (5 years ago)

2 Versions

  • 0.0.5                                ...           5 years ago
  • 0.0.4                                ...           5 years ago
Maintainers (1)
Today 0
This Week 0
This Month 0
Last Day 0
Last Week 0
Last Month 0
Dependencies (5)
Dev Dependencies (0)
Dependents (0)

Copyright 2014 - 2016 © |