UDL suggestion - switch to general regular expressions



  • Hello,

    I have recently experienced a sizable dose of frustration when I tried to implement a few very simple UDL rules for Forth (see here: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/community/topic/12820/how-to-fix-bugs-in-custom-language-highlighting )

    Why don’t we just dump the whole UDL setup, which is quite complicated and yet very inefficient, as it appears, and why don’t we just replace it by a collection of regular expressions linked to the respective styling? There could still be some simple tool to generate rules from lists of keywords or operators (building RE from a list is quite trivial), but for any other elements there would be much more flexibility.

    I think maintaining the complex set of forms for UDL is not very useful if it cannot highlight even common situations in many common languages.



  • I’m guessing the UDL was developed by someone who wanted something to highlight unsupported file types in a manner that the average person can make use of. Without it, you would have to write a lexer for Scintilla, and not many NPP users are going to do that.

    I wish the UDL was more powerful (supporting regex in some ways, for example), but it offers a decent set of options for highlighting many types of “non-standard” files. I have certainly put it to good use–I have 13 UDL file types. :-)

    I’m afraid that your desire can only be met by someone who shares that desire to a great degree and who has the ability to write an NPP plugin that will fulfill that desire.


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