Random Perl ... rant

Dave Cross dave at dave.org.uk
Thu Apr 3 12:13:39 BST 2008

Quoting Iain Barnett <iainspeed at gmail.com>:

>>> While for Java or C# a good GUI can make the difference, I think
>>> that for dynamic and succint languages like Perl it only depends
>>> on personal style: I feel productive with a shell, Vim, and some
>>> ad hoc macros.
>> Komodo-editor is free, as is perly-sense for emacs, but then I don't
>> particularly like either - I don't want arg completion, I want the
>> docs for the API I'm using displayed in the next window or another
>> monitor.
>>> s/Vim/Xemacs and I agree completely.
> Are you all having a laugh? Or perhaps you're watching WarGames on beta
> max while listening to Meat Is Murder?

Actually, I think the practices we're talking about go back quite a  
bit further than that.

I do still listen to Meat is Murder occasionally though.

> Visual Studio s*** all over Komodo (the free one, don't know about the
> paid for one) and EPIC for Eclipse. Really. I'm not here to sell you a
> copy, but if you'd used it you'd realise it was light years ahead (and
> I don't mean back in the mists of time or for a week before you gave
> up). M$ may not do a lot of things well, but dotNet and Visual Studio
> are very very good. Perhaps Eclipse is really good for Java, too, I
> don't use Java. I get the feeling it would be better than EPIC, but
> EPIC needs more support (hint hint).

I don't think I'll be alone on this list for thinking that Visual  
Studio has one fundamental flaw - it doesn't work on any of the  
operating systems that I use for development. And I don't see that  
changing anytime soon (actually there are two things that I don't see  
changing anytime soon - Windows becoming an operating system I'm happy  
to develop on or Visual Studio becoming available on one of the the  
OSes I like).

So there's little chance of me being in a position to try it. But even  
if I was, you're just making vague claims about its brilliance. You  
haven't told me what I'm missing out on.

> I like Vim, I don't use emacs but it's alright. I like using terminals
> and white boards, and having extra screens (you can have extra screens
> in Windoze too!;). I'm happy for you all to work in your favoured way,
> as long as you don't break the trunk :)

Good :) And, likewise, I'm more than happy for you to use whatever  
tools you feel happy with.

> But you'll be killing off the language by clinging to old practices.
> Either you want to make it accessible to others, or you don't care
> because you've got unix and vi/emacs, and a copy of Programming Perl on
> your bookshelf.

I don't think there are any people saying that you shouldn't programme  
Perl using an IDE. Simply that they, personally, feel more productive  
without an IDE.

If people want to develop a Perl IDE then I have no problem with that  
at all. People have already mentioned PerlySense, Komodo and  
Eclipse/EPIC (all of which work on more platforms than Visual Studio).  
PerlySense and Eclipse/EPIC are both open source so it's (I assume - I  
haven't tried) to add features that you think are missing. I see that  
ActiveState have just open-sourced Komodo (see  
http://www.openkomodo.com/) which will almost certainly be a base for  
another open source Perl IDE.

So it's not that people want to stop other people using IDEs to  
program Perl, or even that those IDEs don't exist. It's just that some  
of us (and I'm only speaking for myself) have yet to be convinced of  
what we gain from using an IDE.

But feel free to try and enlighten us.



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