Eclipse – How to create a custom Eclipse Syntax Highlighter


I've been developing a compiler for a new language. I thought it would be neat to be able to demonstrate its development in a syntax aware environment. The language has quite a few custom keywords, and its structure is significantly different than common languages such as Java or C/C++.

How can I develop a custom syntax highligher for Eclipse? I've seen some references to a few plugins, but the documentation is not thorough enough for my beginner's needs.

I have a grammar/REs for my language, as well as lists of relevant keywords.

Best Solution

Sounds like you are dealing with a DSL (Domain Specific Language). What you are looking for sounds exactly like XText. Here's an extract from the page:

Xtext is a framework/tool for development of external textual DSLs. Just describe your very own DSL using Xtext's simple EBNF grammar language and the generator will create a parser, an AST-meta model (implemented in EMF) as well as a full-featured Eclipse Text Editor from that.

Also, check out this video which is an interview with one of the people behind it. I'm sure you'll take it from here :-)

You may also want to check out this plugin. Not exactly what you are looking for, but could be a nice start.