ctrl+shift+p filters: :st2 :st3 :win :osx :linux

Ecmascript Syntax

by bathos ST3

ECMAScript/JavaScript syntax (ES2015-ES2018, JSX, template highlighting, etc) with absurdly specific scopes



  • Total 24K
  • Win 13K
  • Mac 7K
  • Linux 4K
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Windows 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 3 0 0
Mac 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Linux 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0




Ecmascript Sublime Syntax

A sublime-syntax language definition for Ecmascript / Javascript / ES6 / ES2015 / Babel or what have you.

Sublime syntax is only available in Sublime Text 3.0.

New in 2.5


  • Logical assignment operators &&=, ??= (||= was already present)
  • Ergonomic private field brand checks (#foo in bar)
  • Class static blocks
  • Import assertions


  • The old bind operator proposal (::) has been dead for too many years to justify keeping around. Goodbye old friend — you were actually pretty cool.
  • The scope keyword.operator.assignment.conditional.mallet was changed to align with the pattern established for other augmented assignment operators.


  • Private generator methods no longer cause the class body context to stick around past the end of the actual class body.

New in 1.6

  • Nested syntax highlighting

A common use of mutli-line template literals is to embed snippets of code. For instance, it could be snippets of HTML/CSS in the browser or SQL queries in node.js. For those longer template literals, it may be useful to enable nested syntax highlighting and make snippets of code easier to read. You can enable this by adding a block comment directive before a template literal. The complete syntax for the directive is as follows:

/* syntax: {SYNTAX_NAME} */ tag? `contents`

Where the tag identifier may appear before or after the syntax block comment directive.

One of the perks to using this directive is that nested syntax blocks will inherit their usual functionality from their syntax definition, such as keybindings, snippets, autocompletions, and commenting:

Supported Syntaxes: Here's the list of currently supported syntaxes. I just went with all the ones that I assume are reasonable to use in the browser / node.js. Feel free to open an issue if you think another syntax would be useful.

  • bash | shell
  • css
  • html
  • javascript | js
  • json
  • dot (Graphviz)
  • glsl (GLslang for WebGL)
  • lua
  • sql
  • xml
  • yaml

And here is a demonstration of all the currently supported syntaxes:

New in 1.3

  • Improvements to JSX scopes
  • JSX fragment support
  • Styled JSX support
  • Numeric separators support
  • BigInt support
  • Regexp features: dotall flag, property escapes, named captures, lookbehinds
  • Private instance fields

The Styled JSX additions merit some explanation. Earlier I half-assed this by delegating to the CSS syntax definition when a JSX element with a template child met the expected conditions for styled JSX. This doesn’t work well in practice because of the context sensitivity of the matches in the default CSS syntax definition — that is, in any position after interpolation, one was apt to get bad highlighting of the CSS since the it no longer knew if it was in a selector or a value, etc.

To address this, I added a deliberately forgiving and imprecise, simple (“flat”) CSS matcher that is chiefly concerned with identifying lexical constructs for this context. It uses a subset of the same scope names as the pre-bundled sublime CSS definition, but some of the scopes needed to be conflated due to the lost context awareness. The end result is CSS highlighting for Styled JSX templates that should be consistent and helpful in the great majority of cases despite the lost distinctions.

Support for XML-style namespacing (ns colon) in JSX has been removed. It was in the official grammar, but afaict it is not used in practice and isn’t supported by Babel’s JSX transform. Instead, scoping for member expression style component names is improved, and html (lowercase / possible hyphens) names are scoped distinctly from component references (pascalcase / es identifier).

JSX fragments are a new way to indicate unkeyed groups of sibling nodes without the need for extraneous divs: <>stuff</>.

The numeric separators proposal, which permits underscores within numeric literals in most positions for improved readability of (mainly) hex and binary notated numbers recently advanced to stage 3.

The BigInt proposal did as well. This is a new numeric type which is represented syntactically by the suffixing “n” to a numeric literal.

The new RegExp features at stage 3 are the dotall (“s”) flag, Unicode property character class escapes, named capture groups and named capture backreferences, and positive and negative lookbehind assertions.

Private instance fields (prefixed with '#') are included, with the caveat that for practical reasons our definition can’t recognize most situations where a reference to such a property would be illegal.

Although not very thorough, some color schemes have been updated a bit to take advantage of the new scopes. (Always looking to add better color schemes if anybody has stuff to contribute!)

New in 1.1

  • Most currently-stage-3 proposals (likely ES2018) and some stage 2 now covered.
  • Added new theme, Haydn

New in 1.0

  • Highlighting for merge conflict markers (cannot be perfect by its nature, but better than nothing)
  • New theme, Sibelius, which is probably the first tasteful one. Between that and the fact that this has been around for a year, bugs seem under control, and a fair number of people are using this, I figured I should do '1.0'.

New in 0.3

  • JSX support
  • Adds source.js at root to increase compatibility with other packages

New in 0.2

Remaining Work

  • I’d like to provide more themes with the definition package itself. The first of these is ‘Excelsior,’ a kind of tacky attempt to demonstrate what can be done that I’ve grown very fond of as it matured. It’s (mostly) complete now. Still, it’s probably a bit much for many users.
  • The chunk of comment-delimited code starting at assignmentExpression_NO_IN is actually possible to generate as a build step. Doing so will reduce the chances of accidentally editing assignmentExpression without making the corresponding change in assignmentExpression_NO_IN. I’m not sure if this is worthwhile yet but it’s rolling around in my head.
  • A lot of the redundant-looking contexts exist for good reasons – but not all of them. There should be a clean-up and consolidation phase for contexts, but more importantly, for patterns (or more often, pattern components).

Why Bother

There are at least three tmLanguage syntax definitions available for Javascript right now, and two support ES6+: JSNext and Babel Sublime (which I think is a fork of the former). Since they’re actually great already, I should explain what the point of this fourth one is.

Sublime syntax is a brand new YAML syntax definition system that was introduced in Sublime Text dev build 3084 in April of 2015. Previously the only definition system Sublime supported was tmLanguage, originally from TextMate. In addition to cutting out the common build step of YAML -> heinous XML, Sublime syntax introduced a ‘context’ system for controlling what kinds of matches could take place at a given juncture.

Contexts exist in a FILO stack. They can be pushed, popped, or ‘set’ (pop-push). As in tmLanguage, matching cannot look past the current line, but using contexts bypasses some of the old consequences of that constraint, allowing more advanced and accurate scope assignment.

The number one reason why I made this is that it bothered me that many disparate elements of the grammar that just happened to look similar had to share generic scopes like meta.brace.curly. Thanks to Sublime syntax, Ecmascript Sublime doesn’t have to have scopes that describe what something looks like. In the case of braces, instead you will find scopes for block statements, object literals, object binding patterns, class and function bodies, namespace imports, etc – the things that the braces mean.

It goes a bit beyond that, too. If you like, you can color if statements differently from loop statements for example. Generators, methods, and accessors are also individuated. In fact there are far more very specific scopes available than anyone would ever reasonably use, but the point is to allow the theme designer to choose exactly which elements share colors (most good themes seem to have relatively small palettes, really).

However there are good reasons one might prefer one of the other choices for syntax highlighting. For one, maybe you like a theme that plays better with one of the others. There are also differences with the approaches taken that may or may not suit your style. And finally, Ecmascript Sublime is a lot more rigid by nature, so invalid token sequences will not often pass unnoticed – you may find this useful, or you may find it bothersome.

Here’s an early shot of Excelsior. I should add an updated one soon:

And here’s an example I’m fond of, using background colors to indicate the depth of matching groups in a regular expression:

Feature Coverage

ECMAScript Sublime tries to stay current with the editor’s draft ES spec and any stage 4 proposals that introduce new syntax.

Syntax-change proposals at earlier stages are supported in many cases. If a proposal gets withdrawn, we eventually remove it here too. To be included before stage 4, some combo of the following has to be true (but it’s not a science):

  • One or more engines have implemented it
  • The syntax is a reasonably settled aspect of the proposal
  • It’s specified clearly enough to not make us just guess
  • The proposal has high momentum/usage and the syntax is unlikely to change
  • The scope is small enough that it’s not costly to add or remove it

Some earlier-than-stage-4 proposals (as of mid 2021) which are supported are:

Non-JS extensions

Apart from the special handling for some tagged template strings, the only syntactic feature supported which isn’t either JS or proposed JS is JSX. This is due to its popularity, low complexity (esp. w/ regard to how “isolatable” it is), and the unlikelihood of collision with new grammar features of JS proper. It’s “safe.”

TypeScript isn’t supported. It’s a distinct language that merits a distinct syntax definition. TS syntactic extensions touch almost every production and many occur in “unsafe” places that would make preserving the signature feature of ES Sublime — its relatively high specificity — very difficult.

Also, despite its size, its grammar doesn’t seem to be specified! I thought that was pretty surprising when I first researched the viability here. I did find evidence of an early attempt at formalizing it, but it was pretty different from current TS (and it wasn’t a sound).

SublimeText Symbols

A Sublime syntax definition involves more than the definition proper. These other items use the tmPreferences format to describe how automatic indentation works, as well as how the “symbol list” is populated.

If you haven’t used Sublime symbol navigation before, I recommend checking it out. It’s a quick way to navigate the local file or all open files by keyboard shortcut (local is ctrl+r, global is shift+ctrl+r).

In Ecmascript Sublime, function, generator and class declarations will show up in Sublime’s symbol list, as well as default exports. It will also pick up function, generator, and class expressions that either have names or are directly assigned as part of a var, let or const statement. In this last case it will display the name of the variable the expression was bound to, and this can include arrow functions.

Note that only expressions that appear as the initializer in a variable or constant declaration will be added to the list, so const x = () => {} is added as ‘arrow x,’ but x = () => {} is not.

All of these are local-only except classes. If people want the others to be global (except default exports obviously), we can change that. This is what made sense to me, but I pretty much only ever use the local list myself so I wasn’t sure what habitual global users would like to see.


At present there are four:

  • Carthage (eh)
  • Excelsior (most elaborate; I love it, but it’s too much)
  • Sibelius (most sane)
  • Villa-Lobos (okay)

As of version 0.1.2, I’ve also added many additional scopes and tweaked a number of things to increase interoperability with existing themes. Monokai, Cobalt, and Brogrammer were my reference themes; the goal was to make them match as closely as is reasonable to how they look when using Babel Sublime. There’s a handful of things that cannot be made to match because of what I guess could be called philosophical differences, but it should now be possible to use Ecmascript Sublime with just about any theme without cringing.

If you’re interested in adding support for Ecmascript Sublime to your theme, or are developing a new theme with this in mind, you’ll probably want a list of the targetable scopes…


It goes without saying that only a minority of these will be truly useful to most themers; on the other hand, you get to decide which those are.

‘Official’ Scopes

These are the scopes generally intended for targeting. For readability, I’ve omitted the ‘.es’ suffix as well as ‘.begin.es’ and ‘.end.es’ for various punctuation, as these are only useful for debugging. Note that the scopes ending in ‘.regexp’ do not also have ‘.es’.

  • Comments & Directives
    • comment
    • comment.block
    • comment.line
    • comment.line.shebang (e.g. #!/usr/bin/env node)
    • comment.line.todo (matches the words 'todo' and 'hack' within comments)
    • meta.comment.body (content that is not part of the delimiter(s) or border)
    • meta.comment.border (includes anything that seems like a border, and //)
    • meta.comment.box-drawing (box drawing characters can be targeted)
    • meta.directive.use-strict (the 'use strict' directive)
    • punctuation.definition.comment (the delimiting //, /* or */)
  • Constants & Literals
    • General
    • constant
    • constant.language
    • constant.language.boolean
    • constant.language.boolean.false
    • constant.language.boolean.true
    • constant.language.null
    • constant.language.undefined
    • Arrays
    • punctuation.definition.array
    • punctuation.separator.array-element
    • Numbers
    • constant.language.infinity
    • constant.language.nan
    • constant.numeric
    • constant.numeric.binary
    • constant.numeric.decimal
    • constant.numeric.hexadecimal
    • constant.numeric.octal
    • meta.numeric.exponent.digit
    • meta.numeric.exponent.e
    • meta.numeric.exponent.sign
    • meta.numeric.prefix (0x, 0b, 0o)
    • meta.numeric.suffix ('n' of BigInt; may expand in the future)
    • punctuation.decimal
    • Objects
    • punctuation.definition.object (the braces in let x = { a: 1 };)
    • punctuation.separator.key-value (the colon in let x = { a: 1 }; and the equals sign in the class properties proposal)
    • punctuation.separator.object-member (commas between properties)
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.object-literal
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.object-literal.allCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.object-literal.initCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.shorthand
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.shorthand.allCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.shorthand.initCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.shorthand.rest
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.shorthand.rest.allCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.shorthand.rest.initCap
    • see also Functions for accessors and methods
    • Regexp
    • constant.character.escape.control-char.regexp
    • constant.character.escape.hexadecimal.regexp
    • constant.character.escape.null.regexp
    • constant.character.escape.pointless.regexp
    • constant.character.escape.regexp
    • constant.character.escape.unicode.regexp
    • constant.other.character-class.predefined.regexp
    • constant.other.character-class.set.regexp
    • constant.other.character-class.unicode-property-name.regexp
    • constant.other.character-class.unicode-property-value.regexp
    • keyword.control.anchor.regexp
    • keyword.operator.negation.regexp
    • keyword.operator.or.regexp
    • keyword.operator.quantifier.regexp
    • keyword.other.back-reference.regexp
    • meta.group.assertion.negative.regexp
    • meta.group.assertion.positive.regexp
    • meta.group.capturing.regexp
    • meta.group.non-capturing.regexp
    • meta.character-property.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.assertion.negative.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.assertion.positive.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.character-class.dash.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.character-class.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.character-property.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.string.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.group.capturing.regexp
    • punctuation.definition.group.non-capturing.regexp
    • punctuation.separator.character-property-name-value.regexp
    • string.regexp
    • string.regexp.flags
    • variable.other.named-capture.regexp
    • Strings
    • constant.character
    • constant.character.escape
    • constant.character.escape.hexadecimal (e.g. '\\x41')
    • constant.character.escape.newline (a terminal backslash)
    • constant.character.escape.null (i.e. '\\0')
    • constant.character.escape.pointless (an escape that is not needed)
    • constant.character.escape.unicode (e.g. '\\u0041' or '\\u{41}')
    • punctuation.definition.string
    • punctuation.definition.string.interpolated
    • punctuation.definition.string.interpolated.element
    • punctuation.definition.string.quoted
    • punctuation.definition.string.quoted.double
    • punctuation.definition.string.quoted.double.parameter
    • punctuation.definition.string.quoted.single
    • punctuation.definition.string.quoted.single.parameter
    • string
    • string.interpolated
    • string.quoted
    • string.quoted.double
    • string.quoted.single
  • Functions & Function-Related
    • General
    • Parameters
      • entity.other.property-binding.parameter
      • keyword.other.rest.parameter
      • keyword.other.rest
      • punctuation.definition.binding.array.parameter
      • punctuation.definition.binding.object.parameter
      • punctuation.separator.array-element.binding.parameter
      • punctuation.separator.object-member.binding.parameter
      • punctuation.separator.parameter
      • punctuation.separator.property-binding.parameter
      • variable.parameter
      • variable.parameter.rest
    • Execution & Do Expressions
      • keyword.control.do-expression.do (the keyword from ES7, not the loop)
      • meta.decorator.arguments
      • meta.instantiation (applied to identifier being instantiated)
      • meta.invocation (applied to identifier being invoked)
      • punctuation.definition.arguments (parens in invocation/instantiation)
      • punctuation.definition.block.do-expression (braces in do expression)
      • punctuation.separator.argument (comma in arguments)
      • variable.other.readwrite.tag (foo in foo&grave;str${ exp }&grave;)
    • Types
    • Accessors
      • entity.name.accessor.get (name of accessor)
      • entity.name.accessor.set (name of accessor)
      • keyword.control.flow.return.accessor (not sure why I gave it its own)
      • punctuation.definition.accessor
      • punctuation.definition.accessor.body (braces)
      • punctuation.definition.accessor.parameter (the param id in a set)
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.accessor (parens)
      • storage.modifier.accessor.get (keyword get)
      • storage.modifier.accessor.set (keyword set)
    • Async Functions
      • entity.name.method.async (name of async function)
      • entity.name.method.private.async
      • entity.name.function.async
      • entity.name.function.async.arrow
      • keyword.control.flow.await (keyword await)
      • punctuation.definition.function.async
      • punctuation.definition.function.async.arrow
      • punctuation.definition.function.async.arrow.body
      • punctuation.definition.function.async.body
      • punctuation.definition.method.async.body
      • punctuation.definition.method.private.async.body
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.function.async
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.function.async.arrow
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.method.async
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.method.private.async
      • storage.modifier.async (keyword async, general)
      • storage.modifier.async.expression (keyword async, in expression)
      • storage.modifier.async.method (keyword async, in method declaration)
    • Classes
      • entity.name.class
      • entity.name.constructor
      • meta.decorator
      • meta.decorator.parenthesized
      • meta.super-expression
      • punctuation.definition.class.body
      • punctuation.definition.class.body.block
      • punctuation.definition.constructor.body
      • punctuation.definition.decorator
      • punctuation.definition.method.private.body
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.constructor
      • punctuation.terminator.property
      • storage.modifier.extends
      • storage.modifier.static
      • storage.type.class
      • storage.type.class.expression
      • variable.other.readwrite.property.class.es
      • variable.language.private
      • variable.language.private.class
    • Functions
      • entity.name.function
      • entity.name.function.arrow
      • entity.name.function.allCap
      • entity.name.function.initCap
      • entity.name.method
      • entity.name.method.private
      • keyword.control.flow.return
      • punctuation.definition.function
      • punctuation.definition.function.arrow.body
      • punctuation.definition.function.body
      • punctuation.definition.method
      • punctuation.definition.method.body
      • punctuation.definition.parameters
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.function
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.function.arrow
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.method
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.method.private
      • storage.type.function.arrow
      • storage.type.function.async
      • storage.type.function.async.arrow
      • storage.type.function.async.expression
      • storage.type.function
      • storage.type.function.expression
    • Generators
      • entity.name.function.generator
      • entity.name.method.generator
      • keyword.control.flow.yield.iterate
      • keyword.control.flow.yield
      • punctuation.definition.generator
      • punctuation.definition.generator.body
      • punctuation.definition.method.generator
      • punctuation.definition.method.generator.body
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.generator
      • punctuation.definition.parameters.method.generator
      • storage.modifier.generator.asterisk
      • storage.modifier.generator.asterisk.expression
      • storage.modifier.generator.asterisk.method
      • storage.type.function.generator
      • storage.type.function.generator.expression
  • Operators
    • Assignment
    • General
      • keyword.operator.assignment
      • keyword.operator.assignment.conditional
      • keyword.operator.assignment.conditional.default (default initializer)
      • keyword.operator.unary.delete
    • Augmented
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.arithmetic
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.arithmetic.addition
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.arithmetic.division
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.arithmetic.exponentiation
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.arithmetic.modulo
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.arithmetic.multiplication
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.arithmetic.subtraction
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.logical
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.logical.and
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.logical.or
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.logical.xor
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.shift
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.shift.left
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.shift.right
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.bitwise.shift.right.unsigned
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.logical.and
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.logical.or
      • keyword.operator.assignment.augmented.logical.or.nullish-coalescing
    • Bitwise
    • keyword.operator.bitwise
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.logical
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.logical.and
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.logical.not
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.logical.or
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.logical.xor
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.shift
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.shift.left
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.shift.right
    • keyword.operator.bitwise.shift.right.unsigned
    • Comparison
    • keyword.operator.comparison
    • keyword.operator.comparison.equality
    • keyword.operator.comparison.equality.coercive
    • keyword.operator.comparison.equality.strict
    • keyword.operator.comparison.non-equality
    • keyword.operator.comparison.non-equality.coercive
    • keyword.operator.comparison.non-equality.strict
    • keyword.operator.relational
    • keyword.operator.relational.gt
    • keyword.operator.relational.gte
    • keyword.operator.relational.in
    • keyword.operator.relational.instanceof
    • keyword.operator.relational.lt
    • keyword.operator.relational.lte
    • Evaluative
    • keyword.operator.accessor
    • keyword.operator.accessor.decorator
    • keyword.operator.accessor.optional-chaining
    • keyword.operator.comma
    • keyword.operator.new
    • keyword.operator.pipeline (smart and F# pipelines proposals)
    • keyword.operator.spread
    • keyword.operator.ternary
    • keyword.operator.ternary.else
    • keyword.operator.ternary.if
    • keyword.operator.unary
    • keyword.operator.unary.typeof
    • keyword.operator.unary.void
    • Logical
    • keyword.operator.logical
    • keyword.operator.logical.and
    • keyword.operator.logical.not
    • keyword.operator.logical.or
    • keyword.operator.logical.or.nullish-coalescing
    • meta.idiomatic-cast.boolean (i.e. !!val)
    • Mathematic
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.addition
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.decrement
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.decrement.postfix
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.decrement.prefix
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.division
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.exponentiation
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.increment
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.increment.postfix
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.increment.prefix
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.modulo
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.multiplication
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.sign
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.sign.negative
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.sign.positive
    • keyword.operator.arithmetic.subtraction
  • Statements
    • General
    • entity.name.statement (statement label)
    • keyword.control.flow.break
    • keyword.control.flow.throw
    • punctuation.definition.block (braces of any block statement)
    • punctuation.separator.label-statement (statement label colon)
    • punctuation.terminator.statement (terminal semicolon or empty statement)
    • Conditional Statements
    • keyword.control.conditional
    • keyword.control.conditional.else
    • keyword.control.conditional.if
    • keyword.control.switch (the switch keyword)
    • keyword.control.switch.case (the case keyword)
    • keyword.control.switch.case.default (the default keyword, in a switch)
    • punctuation.definition.block.conditional (braces for if or else)
    • punctuation.definition.block.switch (braces for switch)
    • punctuation.definition.expression.conditional (parens for if)
    • punctuation.definition.expression.switch (parens for switch)
    • punctuation.separator.case-statements (colon after case or default)
    • Loop Statements
    • keyword.control.flow.continue
    • keyword.control.flow.loop
    • keyword.control.loop.do
    • keyword.control.loop.each (deprecated)
    • keyword.control.loop.for
    • keyword.control.loop.in
    • keyword.control.loop.of
    • keyword.control.loop.while
    • punctuation.definition.block.loop (braces in while (x) {...})
    • punctuation.definition.expression.loop (parens in while (x) {...})
    • punctuation.separator.loop-expression (semicolons in a C-style for)
    • Try Statements
    • keyword.control.trycatch
    • keyword.control.trycatch.catch
    • keyword.control.trycatch.finally
    • keyword.control.trycatch.try
    • punctuation.definition.block.trycatch (braces in all three)
    • punctuation.definition.parameters.catch (parens in catch (err))
    • variable.parameter.catch (err in catch (err))
    • Module Statements
    • entity.name.module.export
    • entity.name.module.import
    • punctuation.definition.assertions (braces in import x from 'z' assert { type: "json" })
    • punctuation.definition.module-binding (braces in import { x, y } from 'z')
    • punctuation.separator.assertion (colon in assert { type: "json" })
    • punctuation.separator.assertions (comma in assert { type: "json" })
    • punctuation.separator.module-binding (comma in import { x, y } from 'z')
    • storage.modifier.module.as
    • storage.modifier.module.assert
    • storage.modifier.module.default
    • storage.modifier.module.from
    • storage.modifier.module.namespace (the asterisk in import * from z)
    • storage.type.module.export
    • storage.type.module.import
    • variable.annotation.assertion.key (the key “type” in assert { type: "json" })
    • variable.other.readwrite.export
    • variable.other.readwrite.import
    • Nonsense
    • keyword.control.with (deprecated)
    • keyword.other.debugger (deprecated)
    • punctuation.definition.block.with (deprecated)
    • punctuation.definition.expression.with (deprecated)
  • Variables & Constants
    • Declarations
    • storage.type.constant
    • storage.type.variable.let
    • storage.type.variable.var
    • Binding Patterns (Destructuring)
    • entity.other.property-binding (y in let { y: z } = x)
    • punctuation.definition.binding
    • punctuation.definition.binding.array
    • punctuation.definition.binding.object
    • punctuation.separator.array-element.binding (comma in array binding)
    • punctuation.separator.binding-binding (the comma here: let x, y)
    • punctuation.separator.object-member.binding (commas in object patterns)
    • punctuation.separator.property-binding (colon in let { y: z } = x)
    • see also Functions for binding patterns in parameter declarations
  • Identifiers
    • General
    • variable.other.readwrite
    • variable.other.readwrite.allCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.initCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.property
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.allCap
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.initCap
    • Contextual References & Pseudo-References
    • variable.language.arguments
    • variable.language.function-sent (proposed generator initial next arg)
    • variable.language.import-dynamic
    • variable.language.import-meta
    • variable.language.new-target.fake-accessor (the dot in new.target)
    • variable.language.new-target.fake-object (the new in new.target)
    • variable.language.new-target.fake-property (the target in new.target)
    • variable.language.partial-application (partial application proposal)
    • variable.language.super
    • variable.language.this
    • variable.language.topic (smart pipelines proposal)
    • Special Properties
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.proto (i.e., x.__proto__; a certified Bad Part)
    • variable.other.readwrite.property.prototype (i.e. X.prototype)
    • Native (& Nearly Native) Objects
    • support.class.builtin (e.g. Array)
    • support.function.builtin (e.g. parseInt)
    • support.variable.builtin (e.g. Math)
  • JSX
    • entity.name.tag.jsx (html element name)
    • keyword.operator.accessor.jsx (access dot in ‘namespaced’ element name)
    • keyword.operator.spread.jsx (spread operator in attribute interpolation)
    • meta.interpolation.jsx (covers interpolated sequences)
    • meta.namespace.jsx (prefix sequence in component member expression)
    • punctuation.definition.attribute.begin.jsx (single or double quotes)
    • punctuation.definition.attribute.end.jsx
    • punctuation.definition.interpolation.begin.jsx (curly braces)
    • punctuation.definition.interpolation.end.jsx
    • punctuation.definition.tag.begin.jsx (element tag delimiter)
    • punctuation.definition.tag.end.jsx
    • punctuation.definition.tag.fragment.begin.jsx
    • punctuation.definition.tag.fragment.end.jsx
    • punctuation.separator.attribute-value.jsx (equals sign)
    • string.attribute.jsx (literal attribute value)
    • string.text.jsx (literal chardata)
    • variable.other.entity-reference.jsx (html/xml entity refs)
    • variable.other.attribute.jsx (attribute name)
  • Styled JSX (from Sublime’s CSS syntax)
    • comment.block.css
    • constant.numeric.css
    • entity.other.attribute-name.class.css
    • entity.other.attribute-name.id.css
    • entity.other.pseudo-class.css
    • entity.other.pseudo-element.css
    • keyword.control.at-rule.css
    • keyword.operator.attribute-selector.css
    • keyword.other.unit.css
    • meta.function-call.css
    • meta.property-name.css
    • meta.property-value.css (actually inclusive of many other items)
    • meta.styled-jsx.global.jsx
    • punctuation.definition.comment.css
    • punctuation.section.property-list.css
    • punctuation.separator.combinator.css (inclusive of calc operators, etc)
    • punctuation.separator.key-value.css
    • punctuation.terminator.rule.css
    • source.css
    • string.quoted.css
    • string.unquoted.css
    • support.type.custom-property.name.css
  • Other
    • invalid
    • invalid.deprecated (e.g. with)
    • invalid.illegal.newline (e.g., inside a single-quote string)
    • invalid.illegal.octal-escape (e.g. '\\101'; not valid since ES3)
    • invalid.illegal.token (syntax error)
    • invalid.merge-conflict
    • invalid.merge-conflict.delimiter (e.g. '<<<<<<< HEAD')
    • meta.whitespace
    • punctuation.definition.expression (parentheses of a parenthetic expression)
    • variable.other.readwrite.decorator (if a decorator expression begins with an identifier, as is typical, it will have this scope applied)

Symbol Helper Scopes

These scopes are used to facilitate proper population of the symbol list.

  • meta.symbol-helper.arrow.es
  • meta.symbol-helper.class.es
  • meta.symbol-helper.function.es
  • meta.symbol-helper.generator.es

Interoperability Scopes

These scopes exist alongside others above to maximize interoperability with existing themes, especially those targetting JSNext and Babel Sublime.

  • constant.other.object.key.js
  • entity.name.class.js
  • entity.name.function.js
  • entity.name.method.js
  • entity.name.tag.js
  • entity.name.type.new
  • entity.quasi.element.js
  • entity.quasi.tag.name.js
  • keyword.generator.asterisk.js
  • keyword.operator.module.js
  • keyword.other.js
  • meta.brace.curly.js
  • meta.brace.round.js
  • meta.brace.square.js
  • meta.delimiter.comma.js
  • meta.function-call
  • meta.function.arrow.js
  • meta.function.js
  • meta.instance.constructor
  • meta.separator.comma.js
  • punctuation.definition.tag.js
  • punctuation.quasi.element.begin.js
  • punctuation.quasi.element.end.js
  • storage.type.accessor.js
  • storage.type.extends.js
  • storage.type.function.js
  • storage.type.js
  • string.regexp.js
  • string.unquoted.label.js
  • variable.language.proto
  • variable.language.prototype

Nested Syntax Scopes

These scopes are for the contents of template strings that have a syntax directive, and are suffixed by the short name of their syntax.

  • meta.interpolation.syntax.css
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.html
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.js
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.json
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.dot
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.glsl
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.shell
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.sql
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.xml
  • meta.interpolation.syntax.yaml

About the Scope Conventions

I’ve used existing tmLanguage conventions, plus JSNext and Babel Sublime, as guides for scope naming. Nonetheless there’s a fair amount of divergence. Some of this is just the consequence of disambiguating previously conflated elements.

In a few cases, the original Sublime JS tmLanguage had errors, and Babel and JSNext preserved them. I chose to correct these at the risk of decreasing compatibility with existing themes. For example, ‘with’ is not an operator. But there aren’t many of these and they are usually minor things that won’t affect most themes.

Sometimes I opted to use a pre-existing tmLanguage convention over a domain- specific choice. For example, Babel uses quasi but many tmLanguages and themes already target string.interpolated. In cases like this I typically ‘double scope’ the tokens so that they can be targetted either way.

Other divergences stem from the objective of the definition, which may differ a bit. I wanted the scopes to be very reflective of the language’s grammar. For example, entity.name.function will appear in a function declaration, but it won’t appear in function invocations; to Ecmascript Sublime, in that context what you’re looking at is an identifier (which has a scope) and an invocation (which also has a scope), but not an entity name.

Many of the new scopes concern punctuation. The punctuation.definition scope namespace is the existing convention for these things. So for if statements, for example, you have the following to work with:

  • keyword.control.conditional.else
  • keyword.control.conditional.if
  • punctuation.definition.block.conditional.begin
  • punctuation.definition.block.conditional.end
  • punctuation.definition.expression.conditional.begin
  • punctuation.definition.expression.conditional.end

One would probably never have a reason to include ‘begin’ or ‘end’ but this kind of trailing specificity helps sometimes with debugging and in any case is an existing convention. Scopes are hierarchical selectors, so if you wanted to have one color for the whole statement, the definition in your YAML-tmTheme could look like this:

- name: If / else statements
  scope: >-
    foreground: '#FF0000'

If you’re new to theming, make sure you grab AAAPackageDev and ScopeAlways from Package Control. The former will let you translate human-readable YAML into tmTheme XML, and the latter will show, in the status bar, what scopes are being applied where your cursor is.

More Infobarf for Someone Hypothetically Curious About the Definition Itself

Why Is It Huge?

If you’re poking around in there you might think it’s insane to have so many redundant components. In many cases, similar results could be achieved using meta_scopes on a deeper context stack, since multiple scopes can appear in a selector.

To keep it brief…ish: this very un-DRY approach was the arrived at after a lot of experimenting. Sublime syntax is powerful, but I might be trying to do some stuff that wasn’t anticipated. Taking a very ‘grammatical’ approach (in fact I worked right off the ES6 final draft) is what lets us have all the new & disambiguated scopes to work with, but the price paid for syntactic precision is the need to pay special attention to failing as gracefully as possible when facing a bad token.

There are a few techniques I’ve found to prevent or mitigate ‘bad input cascade,’ and the most important is keeping the context stack as shallow as is reasonable at any given time – that is, preferring linear over vertical context transitions. This is what necessitates the repetition.

That said there certainly are places where we could merge things, especially by making tertiary contexts that exist only as includes for building others which are actually visited.

If it ever becomes possible to pop multiple contexts, like you can set multiple contexts, we could probably cut the complexity and repetitiveness of the definition by a ton.

The other main technique for preventing cascade effects is to handle some of the illegal cases explicitly. There’s quite a bit of this ‘handmade’ correction actually. Since we know what kind of things are likely to be temporary artifacts of someone being midway through typing something that will soon be valid, we can mark a single bad token invalid but then still transition to what we are pretty sure should be next. With time I plan to add more of this sort of thing, but I only discover good places for it with use.

Why Does Almost Everything Related to Expressions Appear Twice?

I was absolutely determined to disambiguate ‘in’ (operator) from ‘in’ (control word). As far as I can tell, this is the only way we can achieve that. This idea is actually present in the formal grammar definition, too; I didn’t make it up myself.

Does a Byzantine Maze of Context Transitions Make Highlighting Slow?

Surprisingly, no. Well, I haven’t noticed a problem anyway. I don’t know about the inner workings of Sublime Text, but if you think about it, if regex matches are the most expensive part, then sublime syntax with atomic contexts is probably efficient: each context will only try matching things that are actually expected to appear there.

How Do I Break It?

Wacky linebreaks! Actually it can correctly scope weird line break situations a lot more often than is possible in tmLanguage, because in linear grammar sequences, like those that define most statements, the context stack is all we need to get 100% perfect matches. But there are cases in ES expressions – more than I initially thought, too – where a token is ambiguous until accounting for a later token that is allowed to be on the next line (where we can’t look).

Fortunately, save one, all of these linebreaks are, while legal, totally asinine. That is, if a person really wrote this:

: {
  [ a,
  b=4 ]
  = [ (c)
  => { c * 2, d } ]

… they don’t deserve syntax highlighting. So consider it a feature.

However even in these cases, Ecmascript Sublime will make a noble attempt at recovering. In the example above. The binding pattern would be an array, but when it hit the =4 it would correct the remainder. The (c) would be an expression, but at the arrow it would figure out where it really is, etc. But not everything can be salvaged: the label would be an identifier, but the colon would seem to be invalid because at that point we have to assume we’re in a context expecting this series of tokens to resolve to an expression.

These are some of the cases where a technically-legal-but-obnoxious linebreaks can cause mismatching, where the pipe represents a problematic linebreak:

  • Distinguishing between ‘in’ and ‘in’ in a for loop depends on lookaheads for sequences that could cross lines.
  • Statement label | :
  • Parameter(s) | =>
  • function | *
  • async | function (but only in expressions – this is because async could also be an identifier, and accomodating that is important because of the popular Node library)
  • identifier | ( (identifier will not be recognized as an invocation)
  • identifier | “ (identifier will not be recognized as a tag)
  • There are various other situations similar to the last two, mainly concerning ‘secondary’ scopes like invocation rather than core scopes.

One more is a sore spot for me:

  • binding pattern | assignment operator

Unlike the others, this one could reasonably show up in code written by a sane person. But even so, it’s probably quite rare in practice.