Adding Configuration to an Incremental Generator


Incremental Generators solve a lot of problems with performance of source generators. They add a layer of caching around the generator which drastically improves performance. But to achieve this performance you need to play within a certain set of rules.

We must use IncrementalGeneratorInitializationContext to pull in our data via pipelines. By routing everything through this object, the compiler can keep track of values used between builds and cache them. It has the follow providers:

Take this initializer from a generator. We are using the AdditionalTextsProvider to find all the razor files in a project and extract CSS classes from them via a regular expression. We'll use AdditionalTextsProvider to access the razor files. Because we are accessing these files via this property, the compiler can keep track of which ones we are accessing and cache the transforms.

public void Initialize(IncrementalGeneratorInitializationContext context)
    var cssClasses = context.AdditionalTextsProvider
        .Where(static value => value.Path.EndsWith(".cshtml") || value.Path.EndsWith(".razor"))
        .Select(static (value, token) => value.GetText(token)!.ToString())
        .Select(static (value, _) =>  Helpers.GetCssClassFromHtml(value, @"(class\s*=\s*[\'\""](?[^<]*?)[\'\""])"""](?[^<]*?)[\'\""])"));

    context.RegisterSourceOutput(cssClasses, static (spc, source) => Execute(source, spc));

In this example we are accessing files with the extension .cshtml and .razor., extracting their full text and then using a regular expression to parse out all the css classes. In a regular source generator this would be madness. We'd have to parse every file constantly, dramatically slowing down the IDE. The caching of the incremental generator, however, will make sure we only parse when the file changes. The are two obvious things that we want to configure - the file extensions our generator cares about as well as the regular expression. An end user might also have some html files they want to include, or maybe they have some custom components that use cssclass as the attribute.

To configure our value provider we can use AnalyzerConfigOptionsProvider. This works like the value provider for AdditionalContext, but instead of looking at the files it looks at the config.

var config = context.AnalyzerConfigOptionsProvider.Select((provider, _) =>
    var regex = @"(class\s*=\s*[\'\""](?[^<]*?)[\'\""])"""](?[^<]*?)[\'\""])";
    var additionalFileFilter = new[] { ".cshtml", ".razor" };

    if (provider.GlobalOptions.TryGetValue("parser_regex", out var configValue))
        regex = configValue;

    if (provider.GlobalOptions.TryGetValue("parser_filter", out var fileFilter))
        additionalFileFilter = fileFilter.Split('|');

    return (Regex: regex, Filter: additionalFileFilter);

Here we are using the TryGetValue method to pull the two configuration values out and if we don't find them we'll fall back to our defaults.

We now need to adjust our original value provider to use these values. We'll use Combine to merge the two providers together. This will create a tuple with a left and right side. The left side, the one calling combine, will be the original value. The right side will have the configuration.

Add just the combine call makes our cssClasses value provider now looks like this:

var cssClasses = context.AdditionalTextsProvider
    .Where(static value => value.Left.Path.EndsWith(".cshtml") || value.Left.Path.EndsWith(".razor"))
    .Select(static (value, token) => value.Left.GetText(token)!.ToString())
    .Select(static (value, _) =>  Helpers.GetCssClassFromHtml(value, @"(class\s*=\s*[\'\""](?[^<]*?)[\'\""])"""](?[^<]*?)[\'\""])"));

Note that now we are access value.Left to get at the AdditionalTextProvider values. value.Right contains our configuration tuple.

We can now adjust our call to use that tuple instead.

var cssClasses = context.AdditionalTextsProvider
    .Where(static value => value.Right.Filter.Any(i => value.Left.Path.EndsWith(i)))
    .Select(static (value, token) => (Config: value.Right, Content: value.Left.GetText(token)!.ToString()))
    .Select(static (value, _) =>  Helpers.GetCssClassFromHtml(value.Content, value.Config.Regex));

Note that in the first Select we are creating a new tuple that passes the content and also the config along with it to be used in the final call.

So we are now using a configuration, time to actually do the configuration.

For this global option we'll use a global AnalyzerConfig file . file. These files look like an .editorconfig file, but everything is at the top level. The preferred naming convention is generatorname.globalconfig. E.g. if our generator was named CssClassGenerator our file name would be cssclassgenerator.globalconfig

For example, if we wanted to configure our regex to look for class and cssclass tags our config

is_global = true

parser_regex = (class\s*=\s*[\'\"](?<value>[^<]*?)[\'\"])|(cssclass\s*=\s*[\'\"](?<value>[^<]*?)[\'\"])

We'll put this file in the root of our project. But we still aren't done! Our last step is to tell msbuild about it. This requires adding a new element named GlobalAnalyzerConfigFilesto provide the value.

    <GlobalAnalyzerConfigFiles Include="cssclassgenerator.globalconfig"/>

Once this is all in place you can finally build and see our configured values in place!