Saturday Feb 24, 2007

Getting started with the new Generic Language Support Framework (Project Schliemann)

One of the main theme of NetBeans 6.0 is going to be - the support of scripting languages. There are many scripting languages sprouting almost every day. It is not possible to keep up and provide full support for these scripting languages in the IDE. However, using a declarative syntax, it is possible to provide the basic support for editing. That is precisely the goal of Generic Language Support Framework (Project Schliemann). It provides a declarative syntax for describing a new language. It is possible to add the editing support in a progressive manner.

  • syntax coloring
  • new file templates
  • code completion
  • code folding
  • hyperlink navigation
  • structure outline
  • documentation pop up
  • ...

I was playing with the new Windows powershell to do some scripting on my laptop. I though - "Hey, why not add the Windows powershell editing support to NetBeans using the new Generic Language Support Framework!". In about few hours I had the basic functionality implemented. Here is the screen shot showing the Windows powershell script being edited in NetBeans IDE.

Windows powershell script Editor Support

Currently the module implements:

  • syntax coloring
  • new file templates

TODO

  • code completion
  • hyperlinking
  • documentation pop up
  • structure outline
  • running the script

I have uploaded the Windows powershell script Editor Support module for Netbeans  6.0 to my NetBeans update center described here.

You will need to have the Generic Language Support Framework module.

Sources

DISCLAIMER: This module is experimental. So no guarantees. Use the module at your own risk.

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