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  • Developing Custom Language Plugins for IntelliJ IDEA

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The easiest way to create a lexer for a custom language plugin is to use JFlex. IDEA contains adapter classes (FlexLexer and FlexAdapter) that adapt JFlex lexers to the IDEA lexer API. The Plugin Development package includes a patched version of JFlex 1.4.1 (tools/jflex) and lexer skeleton file (tools/jflex/idea-flex.skeleton) which can be used for creating lexers compatible with FlexAdapter. The patched version of JFlex provides a new command line option --charat which changes the JFlex generated code so that it works with the IDEA skeleton (which passes the source data for lexing as a CharSequence and not as an array of characters).

Notetip

For developing lexers using JFlex, the JFlex Support plugin can be useful. It provides syntax highlighting and other useful features for editing JFlex files.

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