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Strengthening the Zipper

Tristan Allwood, Susan Eisenbach

Conference or Workshop Paper
LDTA 2009

The "zipper" is a well known design pattern for providing a cursor-like interface to a data structure. However, the classic treatise by Huet only scratches the surface of some of its potential applications. In this paper we take inspiration from Huet, and describe a library suitable as an underpinning for structured editors. We consider a zipper structure that is suitable for traversing heterogeneous data types, encoding routes to other places in the tree (for bookmark or quick-jump functionality), expressing lexically bound information using contexts, and traversals for rendering a program indicating where the cursor is currently focused.

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