ECB is mostly designed to display parsing information for files supported by semantic. But beginning with version 1.94 it also supports other parsing engines like imenu and etags, so also files not supported by semantic but by imenu/etags can be displayed in the Method-buffer of ECB. See Definition of semantic- and non-semantic-sources for a description of “semantic-sources” and “non-semantic-sources”.
If support of non-semantic-sources is enabled then ECB will display the contents of all sources which can be displayed by speedbar too. This comes from the fact that ECB uses speedbar-logic to parse sources with imenu or etags.
In most cases imenu-parsing is preferable over etags-parsing because imenu operates on Emacs-buffers and needs no external tool and therefore parsing works also if current contents of a buffer are not saved to disk.
This section describes all important aspects about parsing and displaying file-contents of file-types not supported by semantic but by imenu and/or etags.
Enabling is simply done with the option
ECB offers an option
specify on a major-mode basis which parsing-method should be used:
imenu or etags. Normally there should be no need to change this option
but read the documentation of this option (see ecb-non-semantic)
for further details.
speedbar-use-imenu-flagmust be set to not
speedbar-dynamic-tags-function-listand - especially for etags -
major-modeswhich are not parse-able, neither by semantic, imenu nor etags. This is no problem because these files simply have an empty Methods-buffer. But nevertheless you will get a message “Sorry, no support for a file of that extension” which comes from the speedbar-library and can not switched off. Therefore if a
major-modeis known as not parse-able by semantic, imenu or etags it can be added to the option
ecb-non-semantic-exclude-modesand then it will be excluded from being tried to parsed and this (annoying) message will not occur.
In contrast to semantic (see
there is no built-in mechanism for autom. reparsing
non-semantic-sources and then updating the contents of the
For non-semantic-sources you have always at least to call
ecb-rebuild-methods-buffer (bound to C-c . r) or saving
the source-file (if
ecb-auto-update-methods-after-save is true)
to update the Method-buffer1.
Depending on the parsing-mechanism the following options have to be switched on so ECB can rebuild the methods-buffer for non-semantic-sources:
imenu-auto-rescan must be enabled and
imenu-auto-rescan-maxout has to be set big enough to auto-parse
big files too! But this results not directly in an autom. updated
Method-buffer. This is first done after calling the command
ecb-rebuild-methods-buffer or saving the source-file (if
ecb-auto-update-methods-after-save is true).
ecb-auto-save-before-etags-methods-rebuild is switched on
ecb-rebuild-methods-buffer rebuilds the
method-buffer with current source-contents. See description of this
option for an explanation.
Tip: If you want to program your own real. automatic rescan/reparse/rebuild mechanism for non-semantic-sources you can do:
after-change-functions a function F which either runs
ecb-rebuild-methods-buffer-for-non-semantic or which
adds only another function FF to an idle-timer and the function FF
ecb-rebuild-methods-buffer-for-non-semantic. The latter
approach has the advantage that the reparse/rebuild is not performed
immediately after every change but first after Emacs is idle for a
senseful interval (e.g. 4 seconds) after last change. Of course the
function FF has to cancel its own idle-timer at the end, so the next
idle-timer is first started again after the next change (i.e. by
function F which is still contained in
For non-semantic-sources ECB uses does no special organizing of tags in groups and sub-tags but it completely uses the tag-hierarchy the imenu- and etags-parsers of speedbar return. So the displayed tag hierarchy can only be customized with some options speedbar offers for this:
speedbar-tag-regroup-maximum-length. See the speedbar
documentation for details about these options.
With the option
ecb-method-non-semantic-face you can define the
face used for displaying the tags in the Method-buffer for
ecb-non-semantic-methods-initial-expand can be useful too.
 Maybe future versions of ECB (> 1.94) will offer an autom. mechanism for this.