>> Have you considered making nix-instantiate --parse-only work with --xml 
>> like --eval-only does? May reduce the total effort needed (if it turns
>> out to be reasonably simple)
>I haven't, but it is worth considerating, indeed (but I fear that it
>would require some modifications to the nix parser in order to be
>useful for me). If nothing more, this could be a good way to test my
>parser against the official one.

For testing it can even be useful without adding XML output: 
--parse-only puts some parenthesis here and there, simplifies/unifies
some fancy parts of the syntax, etc. If you parse the code before and
after such processing to ASTs that are not obviously equal, you have
a good regression test case (after you fix the bug).

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