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Xtext / Sirius Integration

This asset enables Xtext editors to be used as direct editor for Sirius diagram elements or Sirius property widgets. It’s mostly configured via the standard Sirius .odesign editor. Plenty of options allow fine-tuning for specific use cases.

Update Site

Main Features

Use Cases
  • Use Xtext as direct editor for Sirius diagram figures and connections

  • Use Xtext in Sirius property editors

  • Edit parts of the Sirius editor’s model with Xtext

  • Edit text stored in the model with Xtext

Configuration Options
  • Single-line or multi-line Xtext editor

  • Limit the editable features

  • Configure pre-selected features

  • Prepend or append text to model contents in order to provide a valid Xtext document

  • Ignore selected nested features

  • Use a different Xtext grammar for persisting and editing a model


The source code of all examples can be found at demo/.

Smart UML Class Attributes

Assume a model and diagram akin to UML class diagrams. Each class is represented by a rectangle with several compartments. The first compartment shows the class name, the second compartment list the class attributes.

Sample Class Diagram

Each attribute has

  • a visibility, denoted by a symbol (public/+, protected/#, private/-),

  • a name,

  • a type, that needs to be declared somewhere else in the model,

  • a multiplicity with lower and upper bounds, that may use constants declared elsewhere in the model,

  • a (possibly long) description text.

Error Reporting (invalid visibility)

Xtext / Sirius Integration allows to edit all the visible features of the attribute just as we see them, without fiddling around in property editors. It automatically checks for valid input (i.e. does not accept ~ as visibility) and provides auto-completion for references to declared types or constants.

Auto-completion for constants

We hide the description feature from the Xtext editor, as it makes no sense to edit it in-line. Also, we pre-select only the attribute’s name. This way, we changed only the name without touching the other features, if the user pressed F2, typed something, and pressed enter.

Pre-selected attribute name

We can still edit all of the features separately in the properties view.

Markup Language for Descriptions

Assume a model where every element can have a description. Formally, the description is just a string feature of the element. However, the user may use HTML-like tags in the description.

Partial HTML-like Xtext language in Properties View

Assume a build server task that collects the descriptions of all elements of one model and combines them into one HTML page.

Lastly, assume we have an Xtext grammar for HTML. As HTML goes, we need to start with a <html> tag, followed by a <head> section, and only in the <body> the user may add their description text. Also, we need to finish the text by closing both <body> and <html>.

We don’t want the user to add this boilerplate to every description, as it’s cumbersome, error-prone, and we’d need to remove it in the build step. Still, we’d like to use our Xtext grammar.

With Xtext / Sirius Integration, we define a prefix (<html><head><title>dummy</title></head><body>) and suffix (</body></html>). This way, the model contains only the actual description, and the user still benefits from all the goodies of our Xtext HTML language, like using only valid tags, or closing them in the correct order.

We can provide such an editor to the user within the diagram and/or in the properties view.

Smart UML Class Associations

Assume a model and diagram akin to UML class diagrams. Each class is represented by a rectangle, associations between classes are shown as connections.

Assume the model is persisted with Xtext. Example:

constant MAX_ROOMS = 23

class House {
  public name: String

class Room {
  public size: Integer[2..2]

association rooms House --> Room[1..MAX_ROOMS]

The Xtext grammar might be:

grammar com.example.classes with org.eclipse.xtext.common.Terminals

generate classes ""


  | Class
  | Association

  '=' initial=Value

// omitting Class, Value, ...

  source=[Class] '-->' target=[Class]
  '[' lowerBound=Value '..' upperBound=Value ']'

We want to display and edit the name and cardinality of the association as connection label. We want to get full Xtext support (e.g. auto-completion for referenced constants in cardinality).

However, for technical reasons, we can only hide features at the beginning and/or end of the element’s text. To solve this issue, we create another Xtext language and use this one in our diagrams:

grammar com.example.classes.edit with com.example.classes (1)

import ""

EditClassModel returns ClassModel:

@Override                                                 (2)
  '[' lowerBound=Value '..' upperBound=Value ']'
  source=[Class] '-->' target=[Class]                     (3)
  1. Extends the original grammar.

  2. Overrides the original Association grammar rule. All other grammar rules remain untouched.

  3. We moved the source and target features to the end of the element’s text. This way, we can hide them from the user.

Original Grammar vs. Editing Grammar

Please refer to the user guide for more details.

Required Dependencies