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Home » Modeling » TMF (Xtext) » Xtext & ANTLR IP questions
Xtext & ANTLR IP questions [message #1730152] Thu, 21 April 2016 19:11
Ernesto Posse is currently offline Ernesto PosseFriend
Messages: 387
Registered: March 2011
Senior Member

I'm trying to understand the issues concerning IP related to Xtext and ANTLR. I know this has been an issue for a long time, but I am confused and I hope someone can clarify these issues for me.

I am part of an Eclipse project and we use the EPL, of course. Our project includes an Xtext-implemented DSL.

I understand that that Xtext uses the EPL as well (, and ANTLR 3.0 uses BSD ( I understand that in theory ( a BSD-licenced product could be included in an EPL-licenced product, but the ANTLR-3.0 case is more complicated ( and So apparently the ANTLR-3.0 runtime is approved by Eclipse to use (from an IP point of view), but not the generator. This is why Xtext doesn't ship with the ANTLR-3.0 generator but prompts the user on the first time an Xtext workflow is executed.

Since the post at saying that the Xtext team is implementing a new parser generator, is from 2009, I assume that that parser generator is already implemented. Is that correct? Is that the one invoked as "parser.antlr.XtextAntlrGeneratorFragment" in a workflow?

If this is so, why does Xtext continue to ask the user to download the parser generator from Is this generator the one from the original ANTLR or the one from Xtext? If it is the one from Xtext, wouldn't it be free from the IP issue?

What happens if the user doesn't download it? It falls-back to the Xtext Antlr generator?

If the XtextAntlrGenerator is sufficient and it is not the one in, is there a way to tell the workflow not to ask the user to download that one?

Furthermore, I am aware that there is an Xtext Antlr Runtime feature at Is this a replacement for the "official" ANTLR runtime?

I noticed this feature includes two plugins: de.itemis.xtext.antlr and org.antlr.generator. If it is called the "Runtime feature", why does it include the generator? And is that the Xtext-specific generator? If yes, why isn't it included in the main Xtext SDK feature?


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