Full documentation for SonarQube has moved to a new location: http://docs.sonarqube.org/display/SONAR

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The rules must be written in XPath to  (version 1.0) to navigate the language's Abstract Syntax Tree (AST). For each language, an SSLR Toolkit is provided to help you navigate the AST. Each language's SSLR Toolkit is a standalone application that displays the AST for a piece of code source that you feed into it, allowing you to read the node names and attributes from your code sample and write your XPath expression. The proper SSLR Toolkit can be downloaded from the language plugin page. So, knowing the XPath language is the only prerequisite, and there are a lot of tutorials on XPath online (see http://www.w3schools.com/xpath/ for example).