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Multiple Language Syntax Highlighting, Part 2: C# Control

, 12 Mar 2003
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Fast and furious colorizing library for source code (C, C++, VBScript, JScript, xml, etc.)
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Introduction

This article is an upgrade of the code submitted in Multiple Language Syntax Highlighting, Part 1: JScript, where a syntax highlighting scheme was proposed.

The technique and ideas for parsing have not change and, therefore, I will not explain the parsing/rendering process in this article. The user who would need more detailled can refer the article cited above. I must also point out that this article is intended to replace entirely the Javascript code in a ( near ?) future. 

As the previous article was an exercice to learn JScript, XSL and regular expression, I used this one to get a first contact with C#.

In the rest of the article, I will refer to the Javascript version as v1.0 and the C# as v2.0.

Moving to C#

As a C++ developper, I can tell you I was glad to quit JavaScript and get started with C# who had a much better (C++) flavour.

Wrapping of the JScript methods in a single C# was quite straightforward and doesn't not deserve much comments.  

CodeColorizer Class

This class is the kernel of the parser. You can colorize code using CodeColorizer.ProcessAndHighlightCode( string ).

Having that job done and the ported code running after fairly small time, it was time to use the power of C# and get things better.

New features

Avoiding Regular Expression Object Construction

In the v1.0, regular expression objects were created each time the parser would change context, although the regular expression string was remaining the same. This was leading to a great number of allocation-compilation of Regex objects (although I have question about object pooling, see Open question below).

A first improvement of the library was to store the Regex objects into a HashTable when parsing the syntax. The class implementing this dictionary is Collections.RegexDictionary.

Hence, when parsing, regular expression object do not need to be built and can be retreived in constant time from the table.

Open Question: does .NET cache regular expression strings in a pool ?

Handling the Case

The case sensitivity of a language can be specified using the argument not-case-sensitive={"yes" or "no" (default)} with the node language.

Bencharkming

The parser contains a timer/counter ( see [1] for details ) to bench the transformation. At the end of the article, some benchmarking results are presented. 

Bencharkming quantities are:

  • CodeColorizer.BenchmarkPerChar who returns the number of second to parse a character.
  • CodeColorizer.BenchmarkAvgSec, the parsing time average,
  • CodeColorizer.BenchmarkSec, the last job parsing time

Easier Integration

The library comes with a custom web control that colorizes text.

The Project:

The projects shows the usage of the custom colorizer control. For further details, NDOC documentation has been generated.

You must modify web.config to specify where the xml, xsl files are. See ColorizerLibrary section.

TODO List

Reference

[1] High Performance timer in C#
[2] Multiple Language Syntax Highlighting, Part 1: JScript

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Jonathan de Halleux
Engineer
United States United States
Jonathan de Halleux is Civil Engineer in Applied Mathematics. He finished his PhD in 2004 in the rainy country of Belgium. After 2 years in the Common Language Runtime (i.e. .net), he is now working at Microsoft Research on Pex (http://research.microsoft.com/pex).

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralDistributing modified code PinmemberEric Woodruff15-Nov-06 20:12 
Generalrunning the demo PinmemberOri-2-Sep-06 3:38 
Generalsource code Pinmemberzikha14-Aug-06 0:33 
QuestionHow to integrate into the IDE PinsussAnonymous17-Dec-04 8:05 
GeneralC# Syntax PinmemberBassam Abdul-Baki27-Apr-04 3:24 
GeneralRe: C# Syntax PinmemberJonathan de Halleux27-Apr-04 3:40 
GeneralRe: C# Syntax PinmemberBassam Abdul-Baki27-Apr-04 7:20 
GeneralRe: C# Syntax PinmemberJonathan de Halleux28-Apr-04 22:19 
Thanks for the tedious workSmile | :)
 
Basically, you just need to edit the C++ grammar (replace the keyworkd specifications) to get C# highlighting...
 
Jonathan de Halleux - My Blog - www.dotnetwiki.org -
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GeneralRe: C# Syntax PinmemberBassam Abdul-Baki29-Apr-04 2:09 
GeneralRe: C# Syntax PinmemberJonathan de Halleux29-Apr-04 2:14 
GeneralHay alguna api para controlar llmadas telefonicas con net2phone PinmemberMarcelCH1-Apr-04 6:10 
GeneralRe: Calling C# functions from MFC/C++ PinmemberAlex Evans16-Feb-04 9:27 
GeneralRe: Calling C# functions from MFC/C++ PinmemberDave Bacher3-Mar-06 9:01 
GeneralCalling C# functions from MFC/C++ PinmemberAlex Evans15-Feb-04 19:10 
GeneralRe: Calling C# functions from MFC/C++ PinmemberJonathan de Halleux15-Feb-04 21:54 
QuestionRTF? PinmemberBeater23-Jun-03 18:58 
AnswerRe: RTF? PinmemberJonathan de Halleux23-Jun-03 21:07 
GeneralRe: RTF? PinmemberRicardo Mendes6-Oct-03 8:01 
GeneralRe: RTF? PinmemberJonathan de Halleux6-Oct-03 8:32 
GeneralOther langages supported PinsussDD le postier31-Mar-03 4:04 
GeneralRe: Other langages supported PinmemberJonathan de Halleux28-Jul-03 13:30 
GeneralGood stuff PinsussRudi Larno12-Mar-03 21:07 
GeneralWhen??? PinmemberJonathan de Halleux13-Mar-03 0:37 
GeneralIn answer to your open question... PinmemberCeiled12-Mar-03 5:56 
GeneralThough! PinmemberJonathan de Halleux12-Mar-03 7:24 

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