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"Infrastructure for parser based text analysis in Emacs."
Logo by David Ponce

Semantic is an infrastructure for parser based text analysis in Emacs. It is a lexer, parser-generator, and parser. It is written in Emacs Lisp and is customized to the way Emacs thinks about language files, and is optimized to use Emacs' parsing capabilities.

Semantic's goal is to provide an intermediate API for authors of language agnostic tools who want to deal with languages in a generic way. It also provides a simple way for Mode Authors who are experts in their language, to provide a parser for those tool authors, without knowing anything about those tools.

Semantic's Parser Infrastructure:

Lexical Analyzer & Preprocessor
Converts a language into a token stream. Preprocessor support with lexical macro replacement (C/C++).
Converts a lexical token stream into a table of tags defined by the language.
Parser Generator with Bison
David Ponce has ported Bison to Emacs Lisp. New languages can be supported via the wisent parser.
Language Parsers
Parsers that have already been implemented:
Emacs Lisp, Java, C/C++, C#, Python, Erlang, awk, Makefile, Scheme, HTML, Texinfo, Javascript, dot.
Also: Semantic's own grammar format (.by or .wy)
Persistent storage of parsed information. Speeds load time and provides standard way of cross referencing files. The database backend supports alternate parsers and file formats.
Incremental parser
Reparses minimal parts of a buffer as you edit.
Idle service manager
Reparses buffers in idle time, and also call other services.

Codinig Tools

Complexity of semantic.el
Semantic supports a wide range of user interface tools.
Smart Completion
Completes symbols actually available in a given context. Some tools call this intellisense.
Idle Summary and Completion
Show function help, or offer up smart completions in idle time.
Speedbar Browser
Code for browsing tag lists with Speedbar.
Documentation Generator
Identifies inline documentation in source code, and can convert it to texinfo. It can also create inline documenation.
Stickyfunc mode
Locks the function declaration you are editing in the header line. (Emacs only).
Create hierarchical imenu menus from parsed files.
Senator is a navigator that permits simple navigation through the parsed language. It also includes token highlighting, and magic cut & paste.
Decoration Modes
Decorate buffers using more than regular expressions, such as overlines for functions, highlight header files Emacs can't find.
Smart Bookmarking
Emacs tracks what you edit, and allows quick navigation by name.
Highlight bad code
text which does not fit the language is underlined.
Draw a chart of some things semantic can quantify.
Examines code, and references those names against a database of pre-parsed files to provide detailed information.

Contribute to Semantic

Semantic's potential scope is quite large. If you would like to help Semantic push forward, consider participating in one of these fields:

  • Write a language agnostic tool that uses semantic.
  • Write a language definition for an unsupported language.
  • Maintain one of the language definitions already in Semantic, like scheme or C++.
  • Test Semantic and send in bugs.
  • Help with documentation
  • Keep Semantic compatible with the many versions of [X]Emacs

Read the doc

The documentation for Semantic is built automatically and made available via randomsample.

Check it out here

Join the mailing list

Join the mailing list to ask question, or help develop semantic.

Other Tools that use Semantic

Java Development Environment (JDE) is a full development environment for Java. It uses Semantic to provide useful Java specific features.

Emacs Code Browser (ECB) lets you browse your files' contents. Uses the Semantic package.

COGRE (pronounced cougar) is a COnnected GRaph Editor for Emacs. As it matures, it will use semantic to reverse-engineer sources into UML diagrams.

SRecode The Semantic Recoder is a template management system that generates code from Semantic tags.


Downloading CEDET

All the CEDET tools are available from a single distribution file to ease installation.

Latest Stable Release: CEDET 1.1

Try out cedet-1.1.tar.gz.

CEDET 1.1 includes all the security fixes from 1.0.1, a long list of bug fixes, and additional new features to support Java, Android and Arduino programming!

Our goal for CEDET 1.1 is that this will be the LAST release using the current install and file organization schemes. This will also be the last release to support Emacs 22! Future released versions will use a new file system scheme compatible with Emacs 24.<

After building CEDET 1.1, consider joining the mailing list and help make CEDET better.

Previous Stable Release: CEDET 1.0.1

The previous stable release is cedet-1.0.1.tar.gz. You will need CEDET 1.0.1 for older versions of Emacs, such as Emacs 21 or 22.1.

About this Security Release:
CEDET 1.0 has a security issue related to loading project files with EDE. If you are using CEDET 1.0, please upgrade to CEDET 1.0.1 to recover from this issue. If you use Emacs 23.3 with built-in CEDET, please upgrade to Emacs 23.4 or later, apply the patch, or upgraded to CEDET 1.0.1.

CEDET Development

Did you find a bug?

If you encounter problems with a CEDET release, those issues may have already been fixed in Git! CEDET has an active community of users that help identify and fix these issues quickly. You can check the mailing list archives or just try the Git version directly.

When using CEDET from Git, please note that we are transitioning to a new file and install scheme to be more compatible with Emacs 24. Changes will be required in your .emacs.

Emacs Version Support:

CEDET 1.0.1, and 1.1* has TWO automated build processes, one via Make, and the other via starting Emacs, and executing a build command.

This table shows the automated testing done for the release of CEDET 1.1:

 Emacs 22Emacs 23Emacs 24
UBuntu 11.10
Debian Stable
OSX 10.6
Windows 7/cygwin

Emacs 21 CEDET's test suite will fail, but most parts still work for CEDET 1.0.1.

XEmacs Neither build process works with XEmacs 21.4. It is possible to build parts of it by hand it so it works however.

SXEmacs We have integrated patches to support SXEmacs, but we haven't tested it ourselves. Parts of CEDET have been reported to install and work.

Windows XP/7 If you do not have cygwin, you will need to use the cedet-build.el script to build CEDET.

If semantic kills font-lock, you need to get and use overlay-fix.el Thanks to David Ponce for creating this fix.

Get CEDET at SourceForge.net.
gnu Eric's homepage
Return to CEDET.
Send mail to cedet-devel to contact the developers.
Visit Siege-engine.com to see what I do in analog land.

Copyright(C) 1997,98,99,2000,01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11 Eric M. Ludlam
Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.