The team around project lead Christian Dietrich has released version 2.18 of Xtext and Xtend. This version is also the one that enters the Eclipse release train number 2019-06, departing on time at June 19th.
More than 40 helping hands have made this Xtext release possible over the last quarter. A big shout-out especially to the first-time contributors! We are thankful for every reported issue, comment to a discussion, and proposed patch.
Even though the main focus was on stability and robustness, a couple of new features have been made available, too.
Playing catch-up with Java
Xtend eventually learned to understand the ternary expression and got support for try-with-resources. While the former is just expressing a matter of taste, being able to efficiently deal with closable resources is a big win. Forgetting to close a stream or a connection is just a little harder when you can benefit from the compiler auto-closing the thing. This is also available in legacy scenarios where code is still required to run on ancient Java versions.
Both features were implemented by Eva Poell, intern for 6 weeks at our Berlin office. We are thankful for her great work!
Improved “find references” view
When exploring a code base, software engineers navigate back and forth through the source, especially between references and declarations. If you want to take notes on the usage of a DSL concept, you can copy it directly from the “search results” page. Also, if you only want to deal with a subset of the results, it’s now possible to remove matches from the view.
New quick fixes for the Xtext grammar
The Xtext grammar editor received some love in this release cycle, too. The validation problems around invalid empty keywords can be automatically fixed from now on. Either a reasonable default is inserted, or the keyword is removed – it’s your call.