syntax
Unobtrusive Syntax Highlighting
Last updated a month ago by rse .
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$ cnpm install syntax 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.

Syntax

Unobtrusive Syntax Highlighting Library

About

Syntax is JavaScript library (for use in Node.js and Browser environments) to apply Syntax Highlighting to a piece of input text -- usually source code. Syntax is based on four major design aspects:

  • Good Language Support: The language-specific determination of comments, keywords and literals should be a reasonable one. As syntax highlighting is a science of its own, Syntax under the hood uses the excellent Highlight.js library.

  • Unobtrusive Syntax Highlighting: The author, Ralf S. Engelschall, is a die-hard coder with a very strict opinion when it comes to source code. One of his opinions is that syntax highlighting has to be as unobstrusive as possible and hence should highlight comments, keywords, and literals only. As a consequence, Syntax intentionally(!) reduces the syntax highlighting of the underlying Highlight.js to just these three kinds of syntactical elements.

  • Anchors and Markers: In technical documentation it is regularily necessary to mark arbitrary pieces of code and interspice reference anchors. Unfortunately, whatever syntax is used for marking and anchors, this always conflicts with the language-dependent syntax highlighting as the marking and anchors renders the source code invalid. Syntax resolves this problem by first reducing the (rich) input text to plain text (by removing markings and anchors) and reapplying the markings and anchors during output generation.

  • Arbitrary Output Formats: Usually, having HTML or XML output format is sufficient, but sometimes one also wants to support other formats and for this one needs the precise offset information for anchors, markings, comments, keywords and literals. Syntax supports this by internally using such an offset based markup information and also exposing it in the API for external consumption.

Installation

Node environments (with NPM package manager):

$ npm install syntax

Browser environments (with Bower package manager):

$ bower install syntax

Example

The following is an example of Syntax in the Node.js environment:

import Syntax from "syntax"

let syntax = new Syntax({
    language: "javascript",
    cssPrefix: ""
})

syntax.richtext(
    "/* sample comment */\n" +
    "={function foo}= (bar, quux) {\n" +
    "    return 42 =(1)=\n" +
    "}\n"
)

console.log(syntax.plaintext())
// +--- output: ---------------------------
// | /* sample comment */\n
// | function foo (bar, quux) {\n
// |     return 42 \n
// | }\n
// +---------------------------------------

console.log(require("util").inspect(syntax.markup(), { depth: null }))
// +--- output: ---------------------------
// | { anchor:  { '1': 62 },
// |   marker:  [ [ 21, 33 ] ],
// |   comment: [ [ 0, 20 ] ],
// |   keyword: [ [ 21, 29 ], [ 52, 58 ] ],
// |   literal: [ [ 59, 61 ] ] }
// +---------------------------------------

console.log(syntax.html())
// +--- output: ---------------------------
// | <span class="comment">/* sample comment */</span>\n
// | <span class="keyword"><span class="marker">function</span></span><span class="marker"> foo</span> (bar, quux) {\n
// |     <span class="keyword">return</span> <span class="literal">42</span> <span class="anchor anchor-1"></span>\n
// | }\n
// +---------------------------------------

For an example of Syntax in the Browser environment, see the included Sample project.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Importing

  • import Syntax from "syntax"
    Import Syntax (ECMAScript 6 variant).

  • var Syntax = require("syntax").default
    Import Syntax (CommonJS variant).

Class Syntax

  • Constructor: Syntax(config?: Object): Syntax
    Create a new syntax highlighting instance with optional configuration settings.

  • Class Method: Syntax.version(): { major: Number, minor: Number, micro: Number, date: Number }:
    Return the Sugar library version. The date is in numeric format YYYYMMDD.

  • Method: Syntax#config(config?: Object): Syntax
    Set configuration settings. The available configuration options are:

    • language (default: "auto"):
      Control the syntax highlighting of comments, keywords and literals. By default, the language is guessed. See below for recognized language identifiers. Set to "none" to enforce no syntax highlighting of comments, keywords and literals at all (then just markings and anchors are recognized).

    • cssPrefix (default: "syntax-"):
      The CSS class prefix used in the HTML output.

    • xmlPrefix (default: "syntax-"):
      The XML tag prefix used in the XML output.

    • tabReplace (default: " "):
      The string TAB characters are replaced to in the output.

    • newlineReplace (default: "\n"):
      The string newlines (\r?\n) are replaced to in the output.

    • regexAnchorOpen (default: "=\\("):
      The regular expression (as a string) to recognize the opening of anchors. Remember to extra-escape the special characters and to pass this as a string, as Syntax internally has to assemble the regular expressions.

    • regexAnchorClose (default: "\\)="):
      The regular expression (as a string) to recognize the closing of anchors. Remember to extra-escape the special characters and to pass this as a string, as Syntax internally has to assemble the regular expressions.

    • regexMarkerOpen (default: "=\\{"):
      The regular expression (as a string) to recognize the opening of markings. Remember to extra-escape the special characters and to pass this as a string, as Syntax internally has to assemble the regular expressions.

    • regexMarkerClose (default: "\\}="):
      The regular expression (as a string) to recognize the closing of markings. Remember to extra-escape the special characters and to pass this as a string, as Syntax internally has to assemble the regular expressions.

  • Method: Syntax#richtext(input: String): Syntax
    Set the rich input text to process.

  • Method: Syntax#plaintext(): String
    Method: Syntax#plaintext(plaintext: String): Syntax
    Get or set the plain (output) text (the rich text after removing explicit markers and anchors). The plain text is updated when richtext() is called. If using a custom markup information it can be also set manually.

  • Method: Syntax#markup(): Markup
    Method: Syntax#markup(markup: Markup): Syntax
    Get or set the markup information. The markup information is updated when richtext() is called. But a custom markup information can be provided manually, too. The format of the markup information is:

    {
        anchor:  {
            <reference: String>: <position: Number>
            :
        },
        marker: [
            [ <start-position: Number>, <end-position: Number> ]
            :
        ],
        comment: [
            [ <start-position: Number>, <end-position: Number> ]
            :
        ],
        keyword: [
            [ <start-position: Number>, <end-position: Number> ]
            :
        ],
        literal: [
            [ <start-position: Number>, <end-position: Number> ]
            :
        ]
    }
    

    The positions are zero-based and end positions are at the first character not included in the range.

  • Method: Syntax#html(): String
    Apply the output markup information onto the output plain text and render the result as HTML, based on interweaved <span class="{cssPrefix}{type}"> and </span> tags.

  • Method: Syntax#xml(): String
    Apply the output markup information onto the output plain text and render the result as XML, based on interweaved <{xmlPrefix}{type}> and </{xmlPrefix}{type}> tags.

Language Support

By default, Syntax supports the following major languages (with the language configuration option identifiers in parenthesis):

  1. Web Languages: XML/HTML (xml), CSS (css), LESS (less), HTTP (http).

  2. Configuration Languages: JSON (json), YAML yaml, INI ini.

  3. Progamming Languages: C/C++ (cpp), Objective-C (objectivec), Swift (swift), C# (cs, csharp), F# (fsharp), Go (go), Java (java), Kotlin (kotlin), Groovy (groovy), Scala (scala), JavaScript (js, javascript), TypeScript (typescript), PHP (php), Perl (perl), Python (python), Ruby (ruby).

  4. Shell Languages: Bourne Shell (shell), Bash (bash), PowerShell (powershell), Makefile (makefile).

  5. Other Languages: SQL (sql), MarkDown (markdown), Diff (diff).

Those languages are pre-loaded in Node.js and bundled with Syntax in the browser. In Node.js more languages can be auto-loaded by just setting the language configuration to its official identifier. See Highlight.js' sources for the identifiers (it is just the filename without the .js extension). In browser environments, auto-loading additional languages obviously does not work. There you have to bundle the additional languages youself and call hljs.registerLanguage() yourself.

Implementation Notice

Although Syntax is written in ECMAScript 6, it is transpiled to ECMAScript 5 and this way runs in really all(!) current (as of 2015) JavaScript environments, of course.

License

Copyright © 2015-2020 Dr. Ralf S. Engelschall (http://engelschall.com/)

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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