Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rapid Text Replacement in an M2T approach

Here is a very useful trick in Acceleo. Rapid text replacement allows you to quickly replace all occurrence of a chosen piece of text by some template invocation. Case differences are inferred generating toUpper() or toUpperFirst() depending on what's needed.

Here is an example:

In a classical bottom-up approach, you have written your code first, and you now implement the Acceleo template from this code. What you want to do here is to replace all occurrences of "att1" by a dynamic behavior, i.e. by a template call.

The easiest way to do this is to select one of the "att1" in the editor, and invoke the content assistant by hitting Ctrl + Space.

The completion assistant proposes to replace all occurrences of the selected text by a template call. A preview of the result is displayed in a tooltip close to the completion window.

When you accept this option, all occurrences are replaced and you can immediately enter the template invocation needed, which is simultaneously replaced in all relevant locations.

All occurrences of att1 have been replaced by [javaName()/] (because javaName() is what was entered manually), but Att1 has been replaced by [javaName().toUpperFirst()/].

The next thing you'd want to do in the above example is to replace all occurrences of int by something like [javaType()/], and implement the javaType template to write the java type of the class attributes.

Just proceed the same way and you're done. No risk to forget any occurrence of your type anymore!

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