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Implementing Domain-Specific Languages with Xtext and Xtend

Lorenzo Bettini

If you know Eclipse then learning how to implement a DSL using Xtext is a natural progression. And this guide makes it easy to get started through a step-by-step approach accompanied with simple examples.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781782160304
Paperback342 pages

About This Book

Learn to quickly develop a domain-specific language with Xtext Implement any aspect of a DSL using Xtend, a fully featured Java-like programming language Discover how to test a DSL implementation and how to customize runtime and IDE aspects of the DSL

Who This Book Is For

This book is for programmers who want to learn about Xtext and how to use it to implement a DSL (or a programming language) together with Eclipse IDE tooling. It assumes that the user is familiar with Eclipse and its functionality. Existing basic knowledge of a compiler implementation would be useful, though not strictly required, since the book will explain all the stages of the development of a DSL.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Implementing a DSL
Domain Specific Languages
Implementing a DSL
IDE integration
Enter Xtext
The aim of this book
Chapter 2: Creating Your First Xtext Language
A DSL for entities
The Xtext generator
The Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF)
Improvements to the DSL
Chapter 3: The Xtend Programming Language
An introduction to Xtend
Xtend – a better Java with less "noise"
Debugging Xtend code
Chapter 4: Validation
Validation in Xtext
Chapter 5: Code Generation
Introduction to code generation
Writing a code generator in Xtend
Integration with the Eclipse build mechanism
Standalone command-line compiler
Chapter 6: Customizations
Dependency injection
Google Guice in Xtext
Customizations of IDE concepts
Custom formatting
Other customizations
Chapter 7: Testing
Introduction to testing
Junit 4
The ISetup interface
Implementing tests for your DSL
Test suite
Testing the UI
Testing and modularity
Clean code
Chapter 8: An Expression Language
The Expressions DSL
The grammar for the Expressions DSL
Left recursive grammars
Forward references
Typing expressions
Writing an interpreter
Chapter 9: Type Checking
First validation rules
Type checking
Improving the UI
Chapter 10: Scoping
Cross-reference resolution in Xtext
Custom scoping
Global scoping
Providing a library
Dealing with super
What to put in the index?
Additional automatic features
Chapter 11: Building and Releasing
Release engineering
Introduction to Buckminster
Using the Xtext Buckminster wizard
Maintaining the examples of this book
Chapter 12: Xbase
Getting introduced with Xbase
The Expressions DSL with Xbase
The Entities DSL with Xbase
Chapter 13: Bibliography

What You Will Learn

Learn to write an Xtext grammar for a DSL Use Xtend as an alternative to Java to write cleaner, easier-to-read, and more maintainable code Write constraint checks for a DSL using the validator mechanism Learn how to write a code generator and an interpreter for a DSL Discover how automatic symbol resolution works in Xtext and how to customize it Build and deploy a DSL implementation so that others can install it Get well versed with the typical Xtext development workflow

In Detail

Xtext is an open source Eclipse framework for implementing domain-specific languages together with its IDE functionalities. It lets you implement languages really quickly, and, most of all, it covers all aspects of a complete language infrastructure, starting from the parser, code generator, interpreter, and more. "Implementing Domain-Specific Languages with Xtext and Xtend" will teach you how to develop a DSL with Xtext, an Eclipse framework for implementing domain-specific languages. The chapters are like tutorials that describe the main concepts of Xtext such as grammar definition, validation, code generation, customizations, and many more, through uncomplicated and easy-to-understand examples. Starting with briefly covering the features of Xtext that are involved in a DSL implementation, including integration in an IDE, the book will then introduce you to Xtend as this language will be used in all the examples throughout the book. We then proceed by explaining the main concepts of Xtext, such as validation, code generation, and customizations of runtime and UI aspects. By the end of the book, you will have learned how to test a DSL implemented in Xtext with Junit, in order to follow a test-driven development strategy that will help the developer implement maintainable code that is much faster and cleaner. A test-driven approach is used throughout the book when presenting advanced concepts such as type checking and scoping. The book also shows you how to build and release a DSL so that it can be installed in Eclipse, and gives you hints on how to build the DSL headlessly in a continuous integration server. "Implementing Domain-Specific Languages with Xtext and Xtend" aims to complement the official Xtext documentation to explain the main concepts through simplified examples and to teach the best practices for a DSL implementation in Xtext. It is a Beginner’s Guide which should set you up for professional development DSL and its Eclipse IDE tooling.


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