in reply to Re: Re: (OT) Programming as a craft
in thread (OT) Programming as a craft

think it might be a good step in the good direction when someone builds such a graphical editor in Perl for Perl . . .

Perl is highly non-trivial to parse, which is why a any Perl IDE will have a lot of problems, even for jobs as seemingly simple as syntax highlighting. So I think this is another thing will have to wait for Perl6, where parsing should be easier.

What I don't understand is why a Perl editor should be written in Perl itself. You're ultimatly dealing with a stream of bytes, which is as a completly language-agnostic concept as you can find.

----
I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
-- Schemer

: () { :|:& };:

Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

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Re: Re: Re: Re: (OT) Programming as a craft
by simonm (Vicar) on Dec 16, 2003 at 20:45 UTC
    What I don't understand is why a Perl editor should be written in Perl itself. You're ultimatly dealing with a stream of bytes, which is as a completly language-agnostic concept as you can find.

    But woolfy was specifically describing a Perl-specific code editor, not an arbitrary-stream-of-bytes editor.

    Beyond just syntax highlighting, such a tool might be expected to support the features of some advanced Java and Smalltalk code editors, like:

    • symbol name lookup (tab-completion for variable names, when typing a function name show an example of the arguments it takes, etc);
    • refactoring editor (for example, select a few lines of code and invoke the "move to new subroutine" refactoring, and automatically have those lines replaced by a call to a new subroutine with proper argument passing and return value assignment);
    • run-time/debugger integration (interpreting code as you type, setting break points, editing code in a running program and then continuing);
    • documentation support (WHYSIWYG POD editor, fill in some kinds of POD automatically);
    • testing support (automatic running of tests in the background, integrated display of profiling results and code or pod coverage analysis);
    • plugin support (to let others add support for working with Class::MethodMaker, Class::Contract, Aspect, or other specialized approaches to Perl coding).

    Even if it only implemented some subset of the above, I think such an editor would be providing real value, beyond the traditional solution of a good text editor with syntax coloring and automatic indenting.

    And I don't see how you could really do justice to such a tool without implementing it in Perl, or at least delegating key portions to an embedded Perl instance.

      And I don't see how you could really do justice to such a tool without implementing it in Perl, or at least delegating key portions to an embedded Perl instance.

      For most of the things you list, a Perl implementation isn't required--you just need the ability to parse Perl. In fact, since some of them will probably require hooks into the perl interpreter (or maybe Parrot), it's preferable to do much of it in C. In particular, the run-time debugger and symbol table lookups will probably be best with interpreter hooks.

      Test script support is probably best done by hooking into Test::Harness, unless there is a particularly good reason to come up with something else. It'd also be nice to be able to write plugins in Perl. However, neither of these things make it absolutely required to write entire editor in Perl (as long as proper hooks are in place).

      I'm not saying a editor written in Perl is a bad idea, just that I don't see what benefit it will bring to the user over any other langauge. There are already too many text editors/IDEs out there, and the same people who keep using vi or emacs will probably keep using them.

      ----
      I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
      -- Schemer

      : () { :|:& };:

      Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

Re: Re: Re: Re: (OT) Programming as a craft
by woolfy (Chaplain) on Dec 16, 2003 at 21:54 UTC
    Perl is highly non-trivial to parse, which is why a any Perl IDE will have a lot of problems, even for jobs as seemingly simple as syntax highlighting.

    Nah, I am using Crimson Editor (a Win app), in which scripts can be executed with a shortcut (create your own macros and make one macro to call perl) and that includes syntax libraries for Perl and other languages. It works nicely. It does not parse Perl, it does not need to, but it works nicely together with perl.exe.

    What I don't understand is why a Perl editor should be written in Perl itself. You're ultimatly dealing with a stream of bytes, which is as a completly language-agnostic concept as you can find.

    Well, in my opinion it should be possible with any good language to create an editor. So why not an editor, written in Perl. And why not a graphical editor. It is a proof of strength, of versatility. It is a goal in itself. Write code with something that is written in Perl code.

    Furthermore, such an editor would be (in addition to the test suites) one of the first things to check when a new release of Perl would be published. If it stopped working, it might be a good sign something is wrong with the new release (yes yes, I know, of course, any editor contains bugs).

    Lastly, a good editor included in the Perl distributions is a nice completion of the package. Install Perl and start working in Perl and with Perl. No extra's needed. And when we're at it, a nice module searching/finding/installation/updating feature in the editor would be much welcomed by at least me.