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CoffeeScript Eclipse Plugin

Build Status

This is a project to provide an Eclipse plugin for CoffeeScript, using Xtext. Development uses Xtext 2.1 (TODO update to the latest 2.4.3). It works as a regular Eclipse plugin (see Installation for details). Highlights include

  • syntax highlighting
  • variable autocompletion in the current namespace
  • autoindent

It's aimed at being mostly compatible with the original CoffeeScript project. There are some extra features and some missing, but you probably (and hopefully) won't notice the difference in everyday use.


Looking for owner and DIY mode

coffeescript-eclipse has not been updated for a year. Paul has contacted Adam Schmideg, the original author at FORMULA 400, and got blessing for Nodeclipse to be new home for CoffeScript Editor. Current Nodeclipse team lacks needed skills (and time) to continue the project, but tell the world that if there will be a person willing to make maintenance release and do some refresh (and possibly become project owner), we will include CoffeeScript Editor into Nodeclipse distributions.

In August 2013 0.3.0 refresh version was released, with no new features, except for icon and migration to maven/tycho build.

Old issues, and

If you found a bug, send Pull Request.

If you reference any issues in this repository add "Nodeclipse#", otherwise GitHub searches in repository.

Post in Eclipse XText forum XText based CoffeeScript Editor project is looking for new owner


Extra features

CoffeeScript is a dynamic language, the parser doesn't check the types or even the existence of variables, such mismatches are detected at runtime. This plugin is based on XText which is geared to static languages, providing some useful tools for dealing with these issues. Doing proper type inference for such a flexible language would be difficult, but there are some cases where more checking can be done than by the original CoffeeScript parser. Consider this snippet

foo = 1
bar = foo + increment

It is perfectly valid code, the increment variable is undefined, though. This plugin will issue a warning about a reference to an unknown variable. It works within string interpolation, too, so the next snippet will also give a warning

console.log "Incremented by ${ increment }"

Note that the console variable won't cause any warning, it's handled as a built-in variable.


The plugin handles properly most language constructs, including all examples in the coffeescript documentation folder. There are two cases it cannot handle, though, post-increment and assignment to a deeply nested property.

# Not working

# Workaround
glasses += 1

# Not working = 1000

# Workaround
tmp = my.secret = 1000

I guess they don't hurt that much... Getting the value of a deeply nested property is OK.

# This is working
borrowed =


in a word: drag-and-drop

  1. Get Enide Studio from or latest Eclipse Kepler from
  2. Enide Studio and Eclipse IDE for Java and DSL Developers both have required XText. Any Eclipse from can actually download the dependency automatically. For Eclipse version before Kepler there is quick installer on Marketplace.
  3. Use drag-and-drop
or update site `` (for 0.3) `` (for 0.4)

Below is original detailed instructions:

Installation (old way 0.2.2)

You will need an Eclipse instance with Xtext plugins. You can either install a complete Indigo distribution with Xtext, or install the required plugins into your existing workspace. See download Xtext 2.1 for details.

The update site is: So in Eclipse, perform these steps

  • Help -> Install New Software...
  • Add..., then use this url as Location
  • Work with..., and choose the location you just added
  • Select Coffeescript editor
  • Next and Finish

You may be given a warning, but that won't affect the plugin.


  • make grouping and error warning as optional and disable by default (Reason: there are a lot of tiny problem, false error detection. They are distracting developer.)



Embed coffeescript in a DSL (see the `example` directory)
Planned next release
Integrated build: convert coffee code to javascript, and run it


Maven build

Maven build (using Tycho plugin) is headless build, that doesn't require Eclipse.

From base folder just run mvn package. Run offline when to re-build mvn clean package -o.

Install (quick and simple way)

  1. Locate zip file under\target in Project Explorer, StartExplore-> Copy Resource Path to Clipboard
  2. Help -> Install New Software ...
  3. Add...
  4. Archive...
  5. Insert copied string into name and path.
    E.g. C:\Users\pverest\git\coffeescript-eclipse\\target\

For the next time just select the zip entry from Work With drop-down list.

Install from freshly built p2 repository (cool and long way)

  1. mvn package or mvn package -o for re-build offline
  2. npm install http-server -g
  3. http-server\target\repository -p 8010
  4. // start http://localhost:8010/
  5. // navigate http://localhost:8010/ in browser to check
  6. Help->Install New Software, enter http://localhost:8010/ in Work With field

Building in eclipse (old way)

If you want to contribute to the plugin, here's a quick overview how to setup and build it locally:

  1. Install / Version 2.1.x
  2. Clone this repository
  3. Import all projects into your workspace
  4. Right click csep/src/csep/CoffeeScript.xtext/CoffeeScript.xtext -> Run as ... -> Generate Xtext language artifacts
  5. Right click example/csep.example.cake/src/csep/example/cake/Cakefile.xtext -> Run as .. -> Generate Xtext language artifacts

After these 5 steps, the project should build without errors and you can startup a new eclipse instance and open any .coffee file using the coffeescript editor.


CoffeeScript plugin for Eclipse using XText (moved to Nodeclipse; looking for new owner)



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