[antlr-interest] 3.0 feature discussion: Metadata
rd_clark at sbcglobal.net
Fri Aug 20 10:01:11 PDT 2004
One of the things that's become apparent in gluing ANTLR to eclipse is
that interactive tools would like to know the structure of the language
they're working on (e.g. to offer better error recovery, code
completion, etc.) ANTLR has all of that information, as reflected in
the code it generates, but the information is not actually available to
the generated lexer/parser at runtime.
So, I would like to ask if ANTLR could have an option to re-emit the
language definition in a compact machine-readable form when building
the lexer and parser. (Perhaps a canonical XML representation, though
calling that "compact" strains credibility ;) ) In that way, a smart
editor could find a definition in the language (e.g. "new expects a
className after it") and use that to offer advice on-screen.
I realize it's possible to take the ANTLR language definition itself
and alter it to make my own ANTLR meta-parser, but it seems silly to
duplicate the effort that ANTLR itself would be doing.
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