Grammar Engineering Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use tab to help me figure out where my syntax error is?

tdl mode gives emacs some expectations about the syntax of tdl files. Based on those expectations, emacs will automatically align any line if you put the cursor on it and type tab.

If your syntax is correct, lines beginning with a feature name will align so that features of the same type (= features at the same depth within the feature structure) will be in the same column. Lines beginning with [ will line up so that the [ is in the same column it would be in if you hadn't put a newline before it.

If your syntax is incorrect, emacs will do its best to align things based on the syntax you have actually coded. This usually means that the feature or bracket will align somewhere that you can tell is wrong.

So, step by step:

  • Find the type where you believe the error is.
  • Don't bother with tab alignment on the line with := or the first line with [. (Sorry -- this is a bug in tdl-mode, it pushes the first [ much further to the right than you really want it.)
  • Put your cursor on the next line, and hit tab.
  • Keep doing down-arrow then tab until you get to the end of the type definition, or you see something aligned funny.
  • The syntax error is probably in the line above the line that aligned funny. Check your close brackets, commas, and ampersands.

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-- EmilyBender - 02 Nov 2004

Topic revision: r1 - 2004-11-03 - 06:35:12 - TWikiGuest

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