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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 323: How do I implement a compiler that runs inside Eclipse?

First, a compiler like the eScript compiler should, of course, be written as a plug-in. In other words, the compiler will have dependent plug-ins, such as the core.resources plug-in to read source files and class files and to write resulting Java class files. The compiler has preferences, so it declares a preference page. Furthermore, to discover all kinds of structural information about the target platform, the compiler leans heavily on PDE to help out.

More important the compiler can itself be a publisher of API and can contribute a set of extension points to which other plug-ins can define extension points.

By making the compiler a plug-in, it automatically runs inside Eclipse, and it can keep information cached for later compilation runs. For instance, it can be quite expensive to compute the full list of classes available for class-name resolution if the compiler sees the word Shell and needs to determine that a reference is made to org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Shell. Such metainformation has to be recomputed each time the compiler is executed in an external process, such as when run from a command-line compiler. Keeping the metadata in memory allows for incremental compilation strategies, greatly improving the user experience and reinforcing the feeling of integration with the platform. Later, we discuss how to implement a compiler in Eclipse.


FAQ 325 How do I implement an Eclipse builder?

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