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Visual Perl & ActiveState

by BBQ (Deacon)
on May 29, 2000 at 07:49 UTC ( #15245=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I recently read over at ActiveState's site that they are joining Micro$oft Visual Studio Integration Program(?) by teaming up with them to produce the Visual Perl and Visual Python applications for Visual Studio release 7. Me thinks that an embracement of this caliber comes in good timing. While there are many IT managers out there saying that Java will kill (take your pick) Perl, C, Ada, etc, it sounds like a step foward towards having perl accepted as the heavy-duty-all-purpose-glue language that it is.

Embracing is fine. Its the extending part that makes me worry. I've always thought that perl needs a good and solid IDE. But will MS be able to produce one? Even if they do, what kind of power will they have to corrupt the core of the language? Remeber what they did with Visual J++, adding their own stuff in as if it were part of Sun's original distribution?

So far, either MS is keeping this a big secret, or they just don't care that much, since I tried searching their site for more info and came up with zip. Does anyone know more about this?

Comment on Visual Perl & ActiveState
RE: Visual Perl & ActiveState
by athomason (Curate) on May 29, 2000 at 14:26 UTC
    Wow, this is great! I've been wanting exactly this since learning perl. I've recently found UltraEdit to be a solid editor, but I long for the debugging capabilities of Visual Studio. I never thought Microsoft would actually support a community with predominantly non-proprietary leanings, though. Hopefully since ActiveState is writing it they'll stick to the IDE and not try to mess with the language itself. I checked the MS website and couldn't find anything either; the Next Generation of Visual Studio page doesn't mention it.
      I don't trust them. They don't work for the common good, and that is what the open source community is all about. I don't want Perl and WinPerl. I hope my fears are unfounded.
RE: Visual Perl & ActiveState
by jjhorner (Hermit) on May 29, 2000 at 19:35 UTC

    Are you all MAD?!?!

    We don't want the Borg anywhere near perl! I hope Mr. Wall steps in and stops this. Look what M$ did to C and C++! They corrupted it with the MFC! M$ is the scourge of the IT industry. Bill Gates is an admitted anti-open source freak!

    When will people learn that the Borg do not help, they assimilate!

    I like my 'vi' editor. That is all the IDE I need. This scares me! When was the last time M$ did anything good for the industry?!?

    J. J. Horner

    Linux, Perl, Apache, Stronghold, Unix

    jhorner@knoxlug.org http://www.knoxlug.org

      doesn't M$ own a minority stake in ActiveState? (not that this gives them collective-mind status yet)

      "Be a heretic" - at least that's what the cookie in the upper left corner says ;)

      Having clicked the "reply" button, I have to step forward and bite your flamebait - I don't see where Microsoft did horrible things to C and C++ - the MFC is just a library (at least in my eyes - I don't program C or C++ for that matter) - it has extensive interfaces for Windows and some container classes etc. - I would applaud Microsoft for bringing some other means of (Win32) user interface programming to Perl (although I don't see much use for it, honestly). And let's be honest, there weren't much horrible things left to do to C and C++ anyway.

      If you are talking about implementations of C and C++, I don't see bad things there either - Microsoft is in the best company of Borland, Zortech and GNU C(++) for the various and differing implementations of C and C++ - and Perl is a settled "industry standard" already - maybe things would be getting interesting if Microsoft put Larry Wall on their paycheck to make some proprietary extensions to Perl, and Larry then refused to back-port these extensions ...

      I think you see this issue too narrow - the Spirit of Perl cannot be corrupted by Microsoft

      When was the last time M$ did anything good for the industry?!?

      They created the low-price PC market. Or would you prefer your PC to cost $10k?

      - Ozymandias

        I'm sorry but I can't let that slide! this is so much crap! Microsoft didn't invent personal computers or make them cheap. Lots of other people were in the personal computer market before IBM got involved and lots of them had better hardware designs too. It was pure luck on Microsofts part and incompetence on IBM's that gave Microsoft such a dominant position.

        If anybody made IBM compatible machines cheap, it was the clone makers who comoditised the market. The BIOS cloners were at least as important as Microsoft in that respect (if not more so).

        And yes this is an Anti-Microsoft rant, but I struggle with thier software every working day. I just wish my Senior management (read pointy haired managers) were enlightened enough to allow me to use a Unix derivitive on this machine.

        Nuance

        Baldrick, you wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing "Subtle plans are here again!"

        Well said. I also applaud Microsoft for doing that - way back when. You have to admit - many of us might not have desktops now if MS didn't forge the market with MS-DOS. Is that good or bad? IMO - it is both. 1: Yeah, there are the better among the whole - as always. 2: It's getting "too easy" ... I encounter fools on a daily basis. It gets worse by the minute. ( comment on 2: No, I'm not "throwing around my weight" - I'm stating things as I see them. People don't take the time to learn anymore. It's sad. ) I see it all the time - they get these "ready out of the box" systems - that cater to their every need. And, they expect the world to cater ... ah, I had best 'exit;' this while it's short! ( laughs )
      This is not entirely true.
      Bill Gates, while not the nicest kid on the block, is actually owns shares in
      Red Hat. Say what you will about his intentions, I don't think that even as a
      business man, he would purchase stock in a company if his only intention would
      be to crush it. He is a business man, and he wants to make as much money as
      possible, that is why he follows the business practices that he does.
      The end does not justify the means, I just wished to correct you on your statement
      that Bill Gates is anti-open source. He probably thinks it's a good idea, or he
      would not invest in it.

        I've got an mp3 for you. I'll send a link, once I find it.

        UPDATE: here it is.

        J. J. Horner

        Linux, Perl, Apache, Stronghold, Unix

        jhorner@knoxlug.org http://www.knoxlug.org

      Pico is my preference but you will probably seen MsCPAN that is 100% not compatable with what everyone else is doing. Then they will charge you $500 + for the Visual Studio suite.
        There is a lengthy and fairly nuanced response to the activestate/MS collaboration in a couple of the thePerlJournals (http://www.tpj.com). One is response to a rabid (if clever) letter from a MS-hater, the other is a reply from the boss at activestate as to what exactly the MS $$$$s will be doing for AS and what they will be expected to do in return. Never underestimate BG's ability to accept and subvert but perl may be the mouthful they can't swallow. Oh, and there is (though I've not used it) an amazing description of a visual (perltk) debugger, ptkdb: http://www.perl.com/CPAN/authors/id/A/AE/AEPAGE/ If half of what the article: http://www.itknowledge.com/tpj/issues/vol4_3/tpj0403-0008.html (but you probably need to get a login/passwd from tpj first) is true, it'd be a dream come true. 'course I'm more of the vi/httpd error_log sort of debugger, myself. a
        There is a lengthy and fairly nuanced response to the activestate/MS collaboration in a couple of the thePerlJournals (http://www.tpj.com). One is response to a rabid (if clever) letter from a MS-hater, the other is a reply from the boss at activestate as to what exactly the MS $$$$s will be doing for AS and what they will be expected to do in return. Never underestimate BG's ability to accept and subvert but perl may be the mouthful they can't swallow. Oh, and there is (though I've not used it) an amazing description of a visual (perltk) debugger, ptkdb: http://www.perl.com/CPAN/authors/id/A/AE/AEPAGE/ If half of what the article: http://www.itknowledge.com/tpj/issues/vol4_3/tpj0403-0008.html (but you probably need to get a login/passwd from tpj first) is true, it'd be a dream come true. 'course I'm more of the vi/httpd error_log sort of debugger, myself. a
Perl is not Java
by Corion (Pope) on May 29, 2000 at 20:24 UTC

    I don't see any problem with ActiveState and Microsoft cooperating closely - Perl is not Java. Perl does not have the (ridiculous) claim of "Write once run anywhere", Perl is the swiss army chainsaw. And if I can use Perl comfortably under Windows, why should I not want to ? Writing portable Perl is already possible and already needs lots of consideration and forethinking, as there are many modules that are either not available or not with the standard distribution on the different platforms - on the other side, there already are some cross-platform modules (like the path-conversion module whose name I forgot), but if I want to administer/do Win32 specific stuff, why should I not use Perl ? Should I use something else, because there is some "pureness" in Perl I have not yet seen ?

    There is nothing in Perl that Microsoft could extend or embrace that could not go to other platforms or be useful under Win32 only. For those Microsoft-haters, the whole thing has the drawback of making Win32 a more viable platform for administration, but hey, such is life ;).

    On a completely unrelated note, this will finally get my cross-platform Perl worm off the ground (Abigail is rumored to have written such a worm) - the possibilities ;) - Just imagine - I_Love_You.pl (pronounced "I love you Perl")

RE: Visual Perl & ActiveState
by takshaka (Friar) on May 30, 2000 at 04:17 UTC
    You can't fork Perl into a proprietary language and still call it Perl. The Artistic License forbids it.

    And including Windows-specific modules in a distribution is hardly evil. After all, the Perl core has several Unix-specific functions.

RE: Visual Perl & ActiveState
by dsb (Chaplain) on May 30, 2000 at 22:21 UTC
    www.solutionsoft.com has already developed and IDE for Perl called Perl Builder. If I remember correctly as of now it supports Active Perl5. I use it often at work and though I am new to Perl, I find it very helpful in Perl Development. Suffice to say the I don't like Microsoft. I resent having to pay more for software than I do in living expenses. Solution Soft offers a trial period with their Perl IDE. My own biases towards the MacroSoft Corporation make me hope that they do not corner the market on yet another facet to the Computer/Software Development Industry. OH YEAH!!! Solution Soft posted word that a Linux Version of their Perl IDE is in the works and should be released soon!!! - kel
      I've tried it, and there were a couple of things that kept me from using it on production:
      • no block editting mode
      • no support for multiple files
      until they get those two in there I'm not too inclined in switching from a great editor (UltraEdit is my poison) to a so-so (acutally pretty good) IDE.

      #!/home/bbq/bin/perl
      # Trust no1!
RE: Visual Perl & ActiveState
by Anonymous Monk on May 31, 2000 at 17:25 UTC
    Time to bring a little bit of sense to the discussion. The IDE is an addin that Microsoft has no hand in. Its like a new mode in EMACS. THIS DOES NOT EFFECT THE PERL LANGUAGE I'd hazard a guess that the reason ActiveState is involved with Microsoft is that Microsoft likes to maintain some (Low though they be) standards in their products and it's better to work together than ActiveState producew something that causes Windows to Crash even more and Microsoft get the blame. Also this should be viewed as an important Perl advancement as with the still rising popularity of Python on Win32 Perl may end up being a niche market. Without advances like this Perl will flounder Dean
      > causes Windows to Crash even more and Microsoft get the blame

      I'm sorry, but the phrase above makes it sound as if Microsoft had no part whatsoever in creating BSODs... I'm an NT Workstation user, and while I'll admit that it is 100 times more stable than 95/98, I can't help but think that this is because I'm typing on a VMS with a new shell. Even with this relative stability I just mentioned, there is no one but Microsoft to blame when Excel or Access crash on me. There's no excuse (except for hardware failure) for a program to crash, IMHO.

      I have seen some good products come out of Microsoft. I think IIS is anoying as hell, and I personaly wouldn't use it, but I can't help admitting that I think its a good webserver. The same applies to the Proxy suite. Sure version 1 was sucky, but they made ammends with version 2.0. That's a pretty good product. All they really need is to get their act together with the OSs and applications.

      You wanna know what MS products I love? Keyboards and Mice! That Intellimouse with the wheel kicks ass when changing weapons in Q3A. :o)

      #!/home/bbq/bin/perl
      # Trust no1!
RE: Visual Perl & ActiveState
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 01, 2000 at 01:22 UTC
    I know you will be able to get the same thing from Active State for a Linux box. Its called komodo>. Check it out.
      Komodo SOUNDS nice, but they only announced it a couple of months ago, so who knows how long it will be before an actual IDE comes out of it? At least it will be open-source! I too love UltraEdit when I'm using Windows and I personally like CoolEdit when I'm editing on Linux, BUT the lack of a decent IDE, IMHO is one of the biggest drawbacks that Perl programmers face vs. the VStudio/Websphere/VisualAge/ColdFusion crowd. And who says that we have to use the proprietary crap that MS will put in there? If there's an option to use their ActiveState/MS' IDE for only development, code versioning and debugging, then why not? Sure, I'd FAR RATHER use an OSS IDE with CVS tie-ins, but I sure don't see one out there yet...

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