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Relationship between other projects

Other tagging engines

Exuberant Ctags

The origin of Universal Ctags.


Geany is a small and lightweight IDE. Geany maintains their own tagging engine derived from ctags. We are looking for the way to merge or share the source code each other.


Geany has created a library out of ctags


Their language parsers have many improvements to various parsers. Changes known by devs worth backporting:

  • Various fixes for D parser (c.c), but currently the code diverges from ours to some extent.

They have these additional language parsers:

Software using ctags


Pygments is a generic syntax highlighter.

It can utilize tags file as input for making hyperlinks. However, Pygments just looks at names and lines in tags file. scopes and kinds are not used. See here for details.

As far as I (Masatake YAMATO) tried, using Pygments from ctags is not so useful. There are critical gap between ctags and Pygments. ctags focuses on identifiers. Pygments focuses on keywords.

GNU global

GNU global is a source code tagging system.

I (Masatake YAMATO) don't inspect this much but GNU global uses ctags internally.

A person at GNU global project proposed an extension for the tags file format: See this ticket for details.

See also 'Source code reading' related sites.

GNU Source-highlight

GNU Source-highlight produces a document with syntax highlighting.

It can utilize tags file as input for making hyperlinks. See Generating References section for details.

I (Masatake YAMATO) have not tried the feature yet.


OpenGrok is a fast and usable source code search and cross reference engine.

I (Masatake YAMATO) don't inspect this much but OpenGrok uses ctags internally.

Linux kernel

See linux/scripts/ of Linux kernel source tree. It utilizes c parser to the utmost limit.

Other interesting ctags repositories

There are several interesting repo's with ctags around. These are interesting to integrate in the future.


VIM-Japan have some interesting things, especially regarding encoding.


Anjuta DevStudio is a versatile Integrated Development Environment (IDE) on GNOME Desktop Environment and features a number of advanced programming facilities.

They did not fork Exuberant Ctags, but they did natively include it in Anjuta. They have made several additions to their version of it including fairly extensive Vala language support.


Tagbar is a Vim plugin that provides an easy way to browse the tags of the current file and get an overview of its structure.

This is a gold mine of optlibs.