Xtext: deploy a command line version of the code generator

Generate a command line version of the code generator

Add the following entries to your mwe2 file (located side-by-side to your grammar; see e.g. (Bettini, 2016)):

language = StandardLanguage {
    generator = {
        generateJavaMain = true

When running the mwe2 script (compiling your grammar; see Compile and Run the Project), a Main.java file is created in the generator namespace side-by-side to your grammar.

Optional: Modify Main.java

The Main-class expects a model file to be processed: parsed, validated and generated code from the model.

  • You can manually set the destination path (change "src-gen" to something else).
  • There is no workspace for the model files; you must modify the Main.java file in order to manually add other model files (e.g. from some sub folder or specified via the command line). E.g.:
    protected void runGenerator(String main_model_filename, String[] all_other_filenames) {
        // Load the resource
        ResourceSet set = resourceSetProvider.get();
        Resource resource = set.getResource(URI.createFileURI(main_model_filename), true);
        List<Resource> all_resources = new ArrayList<Resource>();
        // Load all other required resources
        for(String m:all_other_filenames) {
            if (!m.equals(main_model_filename)) {
                Resource other = set.getResource(URI.createFileURI(m), true);
        // Validate all resources
        for (Resource r: all_resources) {
            List<Issue> list = validator.validate(r, CheckMode.ALL, CancelIndicator.NullImpl);
            if (!list.isEmpty()) {
                for (Issue issue : list) {
        // Configure and start the generator
        GeneratorContext context = new GeneratorContext();
        generator.generate(resource, fileAccess, context);
        System.out.println("Code generation finished.");

Manually create a runnable JAR file with the command line compiler

In eclipse you can "Export" your generator as "Runnable JAR":

  • Create a Run Configuration by right-clicking on your Main.java and select "Run as" / "Java Application".
  • Then right-click on the project containing the Main.java file and select "Export", "Runnable JAR file".
  • Select "Main" in the "Launch configuration".
  • Select "Package required libraries into generated JAR file".
  • Specify your destination JAR file name and click "Finish".

Create the command line compiler with gradle

See https://gitlab.com/Tim-S/xtext-dsl-headless-example for a very nice and compact description: you will learn how to deploy a command line version of the "Hello World" grammar using a few lines of code.

Create the command line compiler with maven

(work in progress)

  • Close eclipse
  • Clone https://github.com/basilfx/xtext-standalone-maven-build into some temporary directory (there is a good description there what to do)
  • Copy the ...standalone-folder into your ...parent folder (side-by-side to your other projects)
  • Rename the folder to match your project name (e.g. "org.xtext.example.mydsl.standalone" to "org.example.domainmodel.standalone")
  • Rename (find/replace) the project name (replace "org.xtext.example.mydsl" with "org.example.domainmodel") in all files in the copied folder.
  • Add the new folder/module to the modules list in your master pom.xml file (section "modules").
  • try "mvn package" in your master directory and check if the target in the new standalone module is created. The generated JAR file can then be tested as follows (assuming some model files are available):
    java -jar org.example.domainmodel.standalone/target/org.example.domainmodel.standalone-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.jar *.dmodel

Note: * no need to add (import) the standalone project into the eclipse workspace. * You can use the standalone code generator as "compiler" in a Makefile (like gcc). It will perform a model syntax check, a model validation and a code generation.