Towards Language-Parametric Semantic Editor Services based on Declarative Type System Specifications

Hendrik van Antwerpen

Date: Tue, March 26, 2019
Time: 11:45
Room: EEMCS (building 36), Snijderszaal LB 01.010, Mekelweg 4, 2628 CD Delft

Editor services assist programmers to more effectively write and comprehend code. Implementing editor services correctly is not trivial. This paper focuses on the specification of semantics editor services, those that use the semantic model of a program. The specification of refactorings is a common subject of study, but many other semantics editor services have received little attention.

We propose a language-parametric approach to the definition of semantic editor services, using the declarative specification of the static semantics of the programming language, and constraint solving. Editor services are specified as constraint problems, and language specifications are used to ensure correctness.

We describe our approach for the following semantic editor services: reference resolution, find usages, goto subclasses, code completion, and the extract definition refactoring. We do this in the context of Statix, a constraint language for the specification of type systems. We investigate the specification of editor services in terms of Statix constraints, and the requirements on a suitable solver.

This is joint work with Daniël Pelsmaeker and Eelco Visser

Part of the Symposium on Declarative Programming

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