Task and error markers

Task markers

Suppose you want to leave a note somewhere that you should update some section of a document. In the Eclipse Java Editor, it is possible to place TODO, FIXME and XXX keywords in comments, which will in turn appear in the task view along with the comment. A comment which starts with optional whitespace followed by the keyword TODO, FIXME or XXX is interpreted as a task marker and the text in the comment following the keyword is shown in the Task view, along with the file name and line number of the marker in question.

Error annotations

The plug-in tries to indicate if there are errors in the document. For example, if \ref or \cite are referring to references that do not exist, a warning annotation is shown. Also, subsections without a preceding section (or subsubsection without a preceding subsection) cause a warning annotation (the warning annotation is a yellow triangle with a black exclamation mark).

It is worth noting that referencing errors are displayed conservatively, i.e. a warning always indicates an unresolved reference (unless you use imports from outside of the project defining references), but some references without an error marker shown can be wrong. Since \thebibliography is not supported, bibliography entries defined with it are not taken into account when checking \cite -commands.

If there are some serious problems, e.g. unbalanced begin-end -blocks, the error annotation is shown (the error annotation is a red circle with a white X-mark). A common problem is a missing } -brace. { and } are always special characters in LaTeX (excluding the verb and verbatim environments) and in text you should escape them by writing \{ and \} if you want them to show up in the output.

There are many cases where TeXlipse warns the user of a situation that is likely wrong and issues a warning, but in situations that are obviously wrong, an error is issued. In particular, unbalanced begin-end blocks and missing } make it impossible to continue parsing the document, so the outline and code folds cannot be updated until these problems are fixed in the document. Some of the errors come as a result of building from the latex-program and these are all shown as error annotations.

TeXlipse 1.1.0 introduces the layout error, which is a new class of warning markers that represent layout errors reported by the latex-program, e.g. overfull hbox. These show up as regular warnings, but if they are disturbing, they can be filtered in the problems log.

The rule of thumb is that if the latex-program halts with the problem it is annotated with an error annotation. Otherwise it is annotated with a warning annotation.