With Xtext 2.8 a new Formatter API was introduced, which is way easier to use and more flexible than the old one. Instead of using the DSL's Grammar Access it is now possible to work directly on the elements inside your document. This article shows how the Formatter API can be used to format text in tables. As an example, a small DSL is defined that allows the specification on tables in Wiki syntax.

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AUTOSAR models can grow to be quite complex and finding your way around the model is often not very easy. A simple search within a model is often not sufficient for a complex analysis.

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In Part 2 of this series we checked the requirements using NLP techniques in order to validate the use of domain specific concepts in their free text parts. In this part we will annotate the domain specific concepts and provide the user quick fixes to synchronize them with the glossary.

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In the first part of this series we defined a Xtext grammar based on boilerplates in order to control the use of natural language and create acceptable requirements as they are written. Another approach to improve the quality of textual requirements is the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to control their quality in terms of grammar and vocabulary after they have been written. Read on to learn more!

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There is currently some buzz around Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code (VS Code) editor and its ability to support rich code editing for potentially any language through its Language Server Protocol (LSP). Thanks to the work from TypeFox, the upcoming version 2.11 (release date Oct 18th) of Xtext will provide LSP support which enables integration of Xtext DSLs in code editors that support the LSP. This article explains how Xtext supports the Language Server Protocol and its implementation in detail and how a VS Code extension can be built and installed that uses an Xtext Language Server.

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Stakeholders usually document requirements informally, i.e. in natural language. Often using text processing programs which do not provide any input assistance related to the requirements and do not allow their automated validation or post-processing. This leads either to higher efforts for cost intensive and time consuming human review processes or to reduced quality which can have a negative impact on subsequent development phases. To compensate these disadvantages of the usage of natural language in requirements documentation, various approaches exist. One of these approaches is to control the use of natural language by using templates in order to create acceptable requirements as they are written. This series shows how to create a controlled natural language based on sentence templates (we call them 'boilerplates') using Xtext.

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If you use Xbase in your Xtext-based DSL, you are usually satisfied with the set of operators the expression language defines. They are closely related to what you are used to in Java or similar languages. But what if that's not enough and you need to customize keywords for operators? Here is how it's done.

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Xtext has become a framework not only for domain specific languages spoken, authored and read by programmers, but also by real (business-) domain experts themselves. Sometimes these people have reservations such as “a (textual) editor can never provide as much guidance as a form can”. The weirdos among them even want intuitive and fail-safe ready-to-go solutions instead of one week training bootcamps. In this post I will introduce Xtext features that meet such requirements.

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In this post I show how to (ab)use PlantUML to visualize Xtext models. Warning: This is about diagrams, not about UML.

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If you're fed up with the bad usability of your server maintenance tool then this may just be the thing for you: itemis Xtext expert Boris Holzer came up with an idea of a more usability-friendly tool and prepared a screencast showing you what it's all about.

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