ReSharper DevGuide

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Managing reference providers

To build a reference provider, you implement IReferenceProviderFactory, IReferenceFactory and IReference. It is very easy to get these mixed up with the ReferenceProviderFactory class and the IReferenceProvider interface, however, they serve different purposes. ReferenceProviderFactory and IReferenceProvider are facades that manage the responsibility of delegating and aggregating the creation of custom references to multiple custom reference providers.

The ReferenceProviderFactory class hides the complexity of maintaining a large collection of custom reference providers. It is a [PsiComponent] that maintains an IViewable<IReferenceProviderFactory>. It has one public method:

public class ReferenceProviderFactory { public IReferenceProvider Create(IPsiSourceFile sourceFile, IFile file); }

This method iterates over the collection of custom reference providers and calls IReferenceProviderFactory.CreateFactory on each, maintaining a list of the returned IReferenceFactory instances. It then returns a custom instance of IReferenceProvider that is based on this list of custom reference factories.

The IReferenceProvider interface is very similar to the IReferenceFactory interface:

public interface IReferenceProvider { ReferenceCollection GetReferences(ITreeNode element, ICollection<string> names); bool ContainsReference(ITreeNode element, IReference reference); } public interface IReferenceFactory { IReference[] GetReferences(ITreeNode element, IReference[] oldReferences); bool HasReference(ITreeNode element, ICollection<string> names); }

IReferenceProvider also acts as a façade, this time over the collection of IReferenceFactory instances, and in fact has a slightly different signature, more aimed at consuming references than creating them.

It is responsible for caching the references, and keeping them up to date when the PSI changes. If there is no data cached, or it is not up to date, it calls each of the IReferenceFactory.GetReferences implementations in turn, passing in the old references, if applicable. The returned new references are then cached and returned on demand. It will short circuit the cache update when possible by calling IReferenceFactory.HasReferences. If no reference factory has references here, the cache isn’t consulted or updated. It also includes an optimisation that restores the previously known references if the current PSI transaction is rolled back.

There should be no reason to use ReferenceProviderFactory or IReferenceProvider directly, and is documented to prevent confusion between similarly named classes and interfaces.

Last modified: 10 July 2017