Generating Editors for Embedded Languages

Integrating SGLR into IMP

Lennart C. L. Kats, Karl T. Kalleberg, Eelco Visser. Generating Editors for Embedded Languages. Integrating SGLR into IMP. In A. Johnstone and J. Vinju, editors, International Workshop on Language Descriptions, Tools, and Applications (LDTA'08), pages 168—173 April 2008. [pdf] [bib


Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) increase productivity by providing a rich user interface and rapid feedback for a specific language. Creating an editor for a specific language is not a trivial undertaking, and is a cumbersome task even when working with an extensible framework such as Eclipse. A new IBM-guided effort, the IMP framework, relieves the IDE developer from a significant portion of the required work by providing various abstractions for this. For embedded languages, such as embedded regular expressions, SQL queries, or code generation templates, its LALR parser generator falls short, however. Scannerless parsing with SGLR enables concise, modular definition of such languages. In this paper, we present an integration of SGLR into IMP, demonstrating that a scannerless parser can be successfully integrated into an IDE. Given an SDF syntax definition, the sdf2imp tool automatically generates an editor plugin based on the IMP API, complete with syntax checking, syntax highlighting, outline view, and code folding. Using declarative domain-specific languages, these services can be customized, and using the IMP metatooling framework it can be extended with other features.

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More information about this project can be found at the Spoofax project homepage.

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