temporal has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:


I typically do my Perl coding in Eclipse with the EPIC plugin. Eclipse has lots of great features and is pretty versatile.

I am currently doing some coding/testing on a remote server that only runs a Linux terminal. In days past I would just suck it up and use vim or similar, which is fine for smaller projects or quick scripting. This time I will be undertaking a larger project and I'd really like the convenience of a feature-rich IDE.

So I did some looking around and tried to use Eclipse, EPIC and RSE. The plan was to work on my remote project through RSE ssh. As it turns out, EPIC is not compatible with RSE - something about only using the local perl interpreter, blah blah. It simply won't allow me to create projects with RSE paths.

My workstation is Windows 7, so I cannot just set up a sshfs connection, which was my second thought and would've been a simple fix.

Now, I don't really need to be able to run/test my code through my IDE (though it would be nice). I'm working primarily on a Catalyst project, so code changes are incorporated automatically into my testing application.

So I'm on the prowl for a nifty new IDE or perhaps a workaround for EPIC+RSE. Any recommendations, what do you use?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing
by MidLifeXis (Monsignor) on Apr 09, 2012 at 18:14 UTC

    ${Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing} =~ s/vim/emacs/g;

    Also not looking to start any sort of editor-holy-war, but Emacs has a pretty nice remote editing environment in emacs tramp. There is also (although I have not had the tuits to configure it properly) the ability to run stuff under a remote perl. I am able to run under a remote command prompt (cd to the tramp path).

    Add into that Emacs Code Browser, emacs pde (perl development environment - evaluating ATM), emacs unittest.el, and other nice features that I am still learning, I think that I will have a hard time (not impossible, however, given sufficient reason to move) outgrowing the capabilities of emacs.

    All of this is said without stating that "emacs is better than $your_editor", as it is my opinion that an editor choice is somewhat emotional, individualized, and based more on past experiences than merits of any particular editor. My relationship with emacs is over 20 years, so I would definitely consider my opinion biased :-)


Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing
by halfcountplus (Hermit) on Apr 09, 2012 at 17:49 UTC

    In days past I would just suck it up and use vim or similar, which is fine for smaller projects or quick scripting. This time I will be undertaking a larger project and I'd really like the convenience of a feature-rich IDE.

    I'd reconsider vim. Not to start a timeless argument, lol, but I use (g)vim and eclipse for development in a bunch of languages including perl. IMO, the editing features in eclipse are between non-existent and pathetic -- it's just cut n' paste; you might as well be working in notepad. I think people who have not had much experience with software like vim don't recognize this. Note that most of the useful eclipse/IDE features -- autocompletion, subrountine indexing -- are available as plugins for vim and, at least WRT to perl, work better.

    Sigh. I sound like a rabid fan. But honestly, don't right vim off for this; it is hard to learn, but very much worthwhile in the end.

Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing
by temporal (Pilgrim) on Apr 09, 2012 at 18:42 UTC

    Thanks for the replies guys. It's certainly not my intention to start an "editor holy war" either, lol. I know this is a touchy subject and I wouldn't just point-blank ask what editor to use... I have a more specific problem and figured that some IDE would do this well. Specifically a Windows IDE which allows me to edit remote Perl files and debug/run them using the remote environment.

    I did half expect that the simplest solution (as your replies recommended) is to just ssh into the box and use some good plugins with CLI editors.

Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing
by fullermd (Priest) on Apr 10, 2012 at 03:23 UTC

    If the remote server is "close" enough to you, network-wise, you may be able to get away with just running a local X server (there are several for Win) and running Eclipse on the server displaying locally.

Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing
by scorpio17 (Canon) on Apr 10, 2012 at 13:26 UTC
    Another approach is to have a local development environment and a remote production environment. Use whatever editor you like, locally. Use a version control system (like git) to commit your local edits, then login to the remote production machine and do an 'update'. Ideally, your production and development environments should be the same, so you can run tests locally before publishing. Use a virtual machine if necessary.

      I would think that development would be difficult to keep the same as production. Test / Stage / QA, possibly, but development, no (at least what I have seen).

      You have too many try-it-and-see events, tools that are used, versions of libraries, and other situations that warrant an environment between development and production.


Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing
by salva (Canon) on Apr 10, 2012 at 14:13 UTC
    There is win-sshfs (I have never tried it myself).
Re: IDE for Remote Coding/Testing
by temporal (Pilgrim) on Apr 10, 2012 at 16:02 UTC

    Thanks again for your collective advice.

    I'd rather not maintain a local development environment, as MidLifeXis pointed out this can get tricky. This is the main reason why I was looking for something that would debug/execute under the remote environment.

    For the same reason, I don't think that using the Windows implementation of sshfs will help me out. I'd still be using the Windows perl interpreter in my editor.

    I think I will take fullermd's advice, run Eclipse through X forwarding as the server is local to my development machine. This seems to meet all of my requirements and I get to keep the IDE that I am accustomed to.