Language-parametric static semantic code completion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Downloads (Pure)


Code completion is an editor service in IDEs that proposes code fragments for the user to insert at the caret position in their code. Code completion should be sound and complete. It should be sound, such that it only proposes fragments that do not violate the syntactic and static semantic rules of the language. It should be complete, such that it proposes all valid fragments so that code completion can be used to construct all programs. To realize soundness and completeness, code completion should be informed by the language definition. In practice, the implementation of code completion is an additional effort in the implementation of a language.

In this paper, we develop a framework for language-parametric semantic code completion for statically typed programming languages based on their specification of syntax and static semantics, realizing the implementation of a code completion editor service with minimal additional effort. The framework builds on the SDF3 syntax definition formalism and the Statix static semantics specification language. The algorithm reinterprets the static semantics definition to find sound expansions of predicates and solutions to name resolution queries in scope graphs. This allows a search strategy to explore the solution space and synthesize completion proposals. The implementation of the strategy language and code completion algorithm extend the implementation of the Statix solver, and can be used for any language defined in Statix. We demonstrate soundness and completeness of the completion proposal synthesis, and evaluate its performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3527329
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages
Issue numberOOPSLA1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Language-parametric static semantic code completion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this