jEdit Syntax highlighting for Asterisk AEL files

These days I’m doing some Asterisk work, creating AEL dial plan scripts for call center agents: Logging in and out, checking if the hotlines are staffed before allowing a pause, logging agent events to a separate logfile. For the scripts I’m using my favourite cross-platform editor jEdit. At the moment, jEdit has no syntax highlighting for AEL files, so I put one together myself. For a while, the file was hosted on but since I improved on it, I’d rather host it on GitHub for easier download and modification.

Here it is:

<?xml version=“1.0”?>

<!DOCTYPE MODE SYSTEM "xmode.dtd">

<MODE> <PROPS> <PROPERTY NAME="lineComment" VALUE="//" /> </PROPS>

    &lt;EOL_SPAN TYPE=&quot;COMMENT1&quot;&gt;//&lt;/EOL_SPAN&gt;
    &lt;SPAN TYPE=&quot;KEYWORD3&quot; NO_LINE_BREAK=&quot;TRUE&quot;&gt;
    &lt;MARK_FOLLOWING TYPE=&quot;KEYWORD2&quot;&gt;&amp;amp;&lt;/MARK_FOLLOWING&gt;
    &lt;MARK_FOLLOWING TYPE=&quot;LABEL&quot; MATCH_TYPE=&quot;KEYWORD1&quot;&gt;case &lt;/MARK_FOLLOWING&gt;
    &lt;MARK_PREVIOUS TYPE=&quot;LABEL&quot;&gt;:&lt;/MARK_PREVIOUS&gt;
    &lt;MARK_PREVIOUS TYPE=&quot;FUNCTION&quot; MATCH_TYPE=&quot;OPERATOR&quot;&gt;(&lt;/MARK_PREVIOUS&gt;
    &lt;SPAN TYPE=&quot;LITERAL1&quot; NO_LINE_BREAK=&quot;TRUE&quot;&gt;


How to install:

  1. Locate your jEdit settings folder. On Mac OS X and Linux it’s usually a folder called .jedit inside your home folder. On Windows it’s a folder also called .jedit in your home folder . It can be a hidden folder, so you may have to adjust the view settings of your file manager.
  2. Save the ael.xml file.
  3. Put the file in the folder .jedit/modes.
  4. Edit the file .jedit/modes/catalog and add the following line:
 <MODE NAME="AEL" FILE="ael.xml" FILE_NAME_GLOB="*.ael" />

jEdit will automatically detect all changes and refresh the syntax highlighting.

At the moment, handling of nested braces, for example in an expression like Set(MyExten=${EXTEN:0:${MyLength}}) is not highlighted properly. If you’d like to contribute here or do other changes, feel free to do so.