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Eclipse Xtext 2.8 released at EclipseCon

| by Alex Blewitt Follow 4 Followers on Mar 11, 2015. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Today at EclipseCon, the Xtext project released the latest version of the DSL toolset, version 2.8. Xtext provides a generic DSL infrastructure and editor along with Xtend, a Java-like language for writing compact and performant code. Xtend is based upon Xbase, a generic expression evaluation language that can be used to build other types of langauge with common math features.

Xtext 2.8 adds support for whitespace-oriented languages such as Python and Makefiles where whitespace indents can be used to nest groups of statements, as well as different code generation options for being able to build upon a specific Java version. Previously Xtext generated Java class files that are compatible with Java 5; however, by enabling different code compilation options additional features such as generating strings-in-switch or, for Java 8, translating to Java lambdas.

New functionality in the Xtend editor is the ability to convert Java classes into Xtend classes. In most cases the translator will generate equivalent (but shorter) Xtend code, but in places where the source file cannot be completely translated FIXME lines will be added to enable manual fixing.

Finally, Sven Efftinge presented "The Future of Xtext" at EclipseCon, in which he highlighted work that is being done to enable Xtext to run in IntelliJ. Although the implementation is nearly finished, there is some final work to be done to enable cross-IDE support for Xtext and Xtend. The target date for the release of Xtext in IntelliJ is May 2015. To improve collaboration and encourage contributions, the Xtext repository has been moved to GitHub.

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