On May 26, 2005, at 10:03 AM, Piers Cawley wrote:

Stevan Little <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

... The way I
see it working is that the language itself has a bunch of minimal hooks that get triggered by various phases of compilation etc. Your editor then becomes something that instruments the compiler in such a way that loading a file for editing compiles it, but the compilation process hangs populates the data
structures you need for editing.

Sorry to have dropped out of this thread for so long. I'm glad to see such smart people thinking about this too.

I like what Piers is suggesting, not because I am in any way qualified to say how practical it is, but because the idea he presents really would make it possible to have much better tools for Perl.

The idea that the language will allow an editor (an IDE) to really find out the "knowable" information about the source code is the crucial thing.

Frankly, there are huge improvements in tools possible for Perl5, just by accepting some limitations - we probably cannot duplicate the refactoring support available for Java in Perl5, but we can do one heck of a lot better than just "extract subroutine" (which is the *only* refactoring available now in a Perl IDE.)

We are still not even at the "simple things should be easy" stage of a refactoring IDE for Perl, and I'd be happy to at least get there before worrying about the "hard things are possible" stage :-)

Once I saw how cool the features in something like Eclipse are for another language it really has made me see how far behind Perl is in this area. I'm really scared that Perl will be an unacceptable choice for larger projects in less than a two years.


Matisse Enzer <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
http://www.matisse.net/  - http://www.eigenstate.net/
415-225-6703 (work/cellphone)
415-401-8325 (home)

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