Alex is a Software Engineer working on Android development tools, especially Android Studio, at Google. His interests include Java, API design, OOP, IDEs and testing. Alex spends some of his spare time working on Open Source, blogging, writing technical articles, and speaking at international conferences. The opinions expressed here represent his own and not those of his employer. Alex is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 49 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Upgraded to Xtext 2.1: first impressions

11.27.2011
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During this past weekend I upgraded protobuf-dt to the new and shiny Xtext 2.1.1. I didn’t have a real need for the upgrade, the protocol buffer editor has been working well with version 2.0. It was mostly curiosity.

Once again, the Xtext team did a great job. We, Xtext users, got an early Xmas gift. Soon after upgrading I was pleasantly surprised by some pretty good improvements. These are my favorite ones:

  1. Removing grammar ambiguity is easier. The soon-to-be-released version 1.1 of the protocol buffer editor aims at supporting 100% of the language syntax and scoping rules. Unfortunately the grammar for the protocol buffer is ambiguous, and I was having a hard time cleaning it up (I’m still a Xtext newbie.) The syntactic predicates I added to remove ambiguity in the grammar did not work in 2.0, but they worked fine in 2.1!
  2. Speed, speed, speed. My tests now execute considerably faster. Now I can run them constantly (even the integration tests,) without losing context. Note: I don’t have any numbers to back up this claim (I wasn’t even expecting any speed improvements.) I was just amazed to see how fast my test suite now runs.
  3. Rename refactoring now works. In Xtext 2.0 I had a few use cases where rename refactoring did not work well. It is all fixed in Xtext 2.1.
  4. Marker customization. Xtext comes with a really nice framework for adding semantic checks to your editor. Unfortunately, in Xtext 2.0 all editor markers created by this framework were of type “Xtext Check.” There was no way to change such type (e.g. “Protocol Buffer Problem.”) Now this is fixed in 2.1 (tracked as bug 351963.)

Please note that these are just my first impressions after upgrading, I’m sure there are more goodies in Xtext 2.1 :)

As a side note, one of my sessions proposals, “Xtext Success Story at Google,” got accepted for EclipseCon 2012 as an early-bird pick. I hope to see you there!

 

From http://alexruiz.developerblogs.com/?p=2048

Published at DZone with permission of Alex Ruiz, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

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Amara Amjad replied on Sun, 2012/03/25 - 1:01am

The “XText Check” message was actually the reason I found out about XText. I think XText is a great framework, and the protobuffer editor is a nice example of what is possible with it.

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