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I'm pondering over doing indentation by using an AST created with an external (non-emacs) tool. But so far I do not really know where to start. Are there emacs packages which already did this? Any tips and hints are welcome.

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You could try to implement the LSP (language Server protocol) and use lsp-mode in conjunction with this. lsp-mode brings support for many languages already, but I'm not sure, if the LSP interface supports indentation.

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There is emacs-tree-sitter, which is a package that uses tree-sitter a parser generator tool that can be use to get a AST of some supported languages. Also emacs-tree-sitter support the option of get the AST of some languages so you can manipulate it and get some info, the documentation is interesting.

Good luck!

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