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  1. FAQ 319: What is eScript?
  2. FAQ 320: Language integration phase 1: How do I compile and build programs?
  3. FAQ 321: How do I load source files edited outside Eclipse?
  4. FAQ 322: How do I run an external builder on my source files?
  5. FAQ 323: How do I implement a compiler that runs inside Eclipse?
  6. FAQ 324: How do I react to changes in source files?
  7. FAQ 325: How do I implement an Eclipse builder?
  8. FAQ 326: Where are project build specifications stored?
  9. FAQ 327: How do I add a builder to a given project?
  10. FAQ 328: How do I implement an incremental project builder?
  11. FAQ 329: How do I handle setup problems for a given builder?
  12. FAQ 330: How do I make my compiler incremental?
  13. FAQ 331: Language integration phase 2: How do I implement a DOM?
  14. FAQ 332: How do I implement a DOM for my language?
  15. FAQ 333: How can I ensure that my model is scalable?
  16. FAQ 334: Language integration phase 3: How do I edit programs?
  17. FAQ 335: How do I write an editor for my own language?
  18. FAQ 336: How do I add Content Assist to my language editor?
  19. FAQ 337: How do I add hover support to my text editor?
  20. FAQ 338: How do I create problem markers for my compiler?
  21. FAQ 339: How do I implement Quick Fixes for my own language?
  22. FAQ 340: How do I support refactoring for my own language?
  23. FAQ 341: How do I create an Outline view for my own language editor?
  24. FAQ 342: Language integration phase 4: What are the finishing touches?
  25. FAQ 343: What wizards do I define for my own language?
  26. FAQ 344: When does my language need its own nature?
  27. FAQ 345: When does my language need its own perspective?
  28. FAQ 346: How do I add documentation and help for my own language?
  29. FAQ 347: How do I support source-level debugging for my own language?
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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

FAQ 334: Language integration phase 3: How do I edit programs?

After creating a compiler, a builder, and a DOM, writing an editor is a snap. To write an editor for a particular programming language, a few steps can be distinguished, all relying heavily on the existence of a DOM.

  1. Implement an language-specific editor. The JDT places the bar high for any subsequent language implementers. No matter how fast the compiler is and how well the build process is integrated, if your language has to be edited in the default text editor, you fail to even get close to being worthy of comparison to JDT. Writing an editor is not difficult. Many examples exist. The platform wizard has one for an XML editor. The examples shipped with Eclipse show a simplified Java editor. This book has a sample that shows how to write an HTML editor. For more details, see FAQ 335

  2. Add Content Assist. (see FAQ 336). The DOM, developed in phase 2, allows us to navigate the source code, analyze it, present it in multiple modes, and manipulate its structure, a process also known as refactoring. Content Assist uses the DOM to figure out all the possible context-sensitive continuations for a given input. Quick Fixes know how to solve a given compilation error. Refactoring relies on the DOM to find all call sites for a given method before we can change its name. An Outline view uses the DOM to show the structure of the code in a hierarchical summary format.

  3. Add Quick Fixes (see FAQ 339). After compilation errors have been detected, suggest how to fix the problem. How would you reason about code without an underlying model?

  4. Add refactoring (see FAQ 340). Implement operations on source code to restructure program constructs, following the semantics of your language. Again, without a model of the underlying language, this is a daunting, error-prone task.

  5. Add an Outline view (see FAQ 341). The Outline view presents a summary of the structure of a particular program. Using the same compiler and/or DOM saves a lot of time developing your language IDE. After completing your editor, you are ready to enter the Holy Grail of language IDEs; see FAQ 342.

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