PLIEDIT - PL/I Editor for Eclipse
Copyright 2009 William Fenlason

June 7, 2009         Click here to visit the Pliedit forums (bulletin board)


The Pliedit plugin for Eclipse provides a PL/I language sensitive editor for the Eclipse framework.  When a file with an extension of ".pli" or ".pl1" is edited, it is processed by the Pliedit plugin.  

Syntax coloring is provided and is highly customizable, including the ability to specify foreground and background colors and font characteristics (face, size, etc.) at the token and individual keyword level.  Because keywords are not reserved in PL/I, the coloring is based on semantic usage rather than syntactic content. For example:

"IF IF = THEN THEN THEN = ELSE; ELSE ELSE = IF;"    can be displayed as

PL/I statement level syntax error checking is performed during source entry or modification.  Error and warning messages are provided in the Problems view.

The PL/I grammar (language specification) is inclusive, and is based on the full and subset ANSI standards with IBM extensions.  It is generally robust although some corrections, future enhancements and refinements are expected.  Preprocessor statement support is limited.

Performance with large PL/I source files (up to 100K characters) is quite reasonable.  For very large PL/I source files (up to 1M characters), performance is generally acceptable on modern machines.


The Pliedit plugin is essentially functional but numerous peripheral features are missing and it is still under development.  Because we believe it is usable and useful in its current state, a functionally incomplete, open beta test version is being made available at this site.  Our hope is that live user feedback will enable us to prioritize the needed features and extensions for future work.

We encourage any users who find this plugin useful to give us feedback.  All requests, suggestions, criticisms and bug reports are equally welcome.


Pliedit is most easily installed by using the Eclipse Update Manager. 

Pliedit may be installed on Eclipse versions 3.2,  3.3,  3.4 and 3.5.  A separate update site is provided for each Eclipse version, as follows:
The process of installing a plugin using the update manager is thoroughly described in the Eclipse documentation.  Basically all that is necessary for Pliedit installation is to use the appropriate URL from the above list. The installation will fail if the wrong update site is used.

The Java runtime level must be 1.5 or later for all versions.

After the Pliedit plugin is installed or updated, it must be enabled for use (one time) by selecting a check box located in the About... preference page.

NOTICE: If your downloaded version (0.0.4) does not run, please update the software to version 0.0.5 using the Update Manager.  There was an initial problem which has been fixed.

About the Terms of Use:

This functionally incomplete Pliedit plugin version is provided on an as-is, time restricted, open beta test basis.  It may be used casually for evaluation and for participation in the beta test. 

Currently there is no registration requirement and no attempt will be made to identify the users who download the plugin.  No dynamic usage feedback is provided to us via the web.  We hope you will send us email (at or become a registered user of the PLIEDIT forums to let us know who you are and how you use Pliedit. 

Here is an informal description of the Terms of Use in the license:

First, as with almost all other software licenses, Pliedit comes with no warranty and you assume all risk and liability for its use.  If you choose to participate in the beta test by using the as-is Pliedit plugin with development or production level PL/I code, you must understand and accept the risks you take.

Next, we tell you not distribute the plugin in any way.  Do not download a copy directly from the update site and save or distribute it.  You must use the update manager.  This is because we need to track the degree to which Pliedit is being installed by monitoring the update site activity.  If your colleagues want to use Pliedit, please tell them to use the update manager.  (Obviously we don't want you trying to sell it, either). 

During the beta test, we would like all copies of the plugin that are being used to be reasonably current.  Each beta version of the Pliedit plugin will have an enforced expiration date of a few months after it is made available.  The Eclipse update manager can be set to automatically update the Pliedit plugin to the latest version.  Our intent is to always have updated versions available (with a comfortable update window) until a formal release is made.

The process of enabling the plugin on the About... preference page is to inform you of the program expiration date, and to remind you of these Terms of Use in case they were missed during the installation process. 

Pliedit is currently closed source.  Be advised that there is no magic involved, and we will be happy to discuss the tools and techniques that are used.  In order to improve performance and reduce the size of the download file (our web host restricts file sizes), the Java code has been optimized and names have been reduced to one or two characters.

We don't want you to modify the program, or to decompile it so that you can modify it.   If you have a legitimate need for the source, please discuss it with us.  We retain copyright and ownership to insure orderly development of Pliedit in the future.

We think these terms are reasonable, and hope you do as well.  If you have questions or concerns regarding these Terms of Use, please contact us at  If you do not accept these terms, do not download Pliedit.  We reserve the right to change these terms in future updates or versions.

Using the Pliedit Forums:    Click here to visit the Pliedit forums (bulletin board)

The Pliedit forums do not require registration to be used.  All users may view the messages and post replies or new topics. 

In addition to General Discussion and Help forums, the Beta Test forum is provided to allow feedback from Bata Testers.  All feedback, positive or negative is welcome.

Registered user have a few additional capabilities.  We hope you will register.

Copyright  2009 William Fenlason - - last updated June 10, 2009