An integrated development environment (IDE) monitors all the changes that a user makes to source code modules and responds accordingly by flagging errors, by reparsing, by rechecking, or by recompiling modules and by adjusting visualizations or other information derived from a module. A module manager is the central component of the IDE that is responsible for this behavior. Although the overall functionality of a module manager in a given IDE is fixed, its actual behavior strongly depends on the programming languages it has to support. What is a module? How do modules depend on each other? What is the effect of a change to a module?
We propose a concise design for a language parametric module manager: a module manager that is parameterized with the module behavior of a specific language. We describe the design of our module manager and discuss some of its properties. We also report on the application of the module manager in the construction of IDEs for the specification language Asf+Sdf as well as for Java.
Our overall goal is the rapid development (generation) of IDEs for programming languages and domain specific languages. The module manager presented here represents a next step in the creation of such generic language workbenches.