On Wed, Jan 06, 2010 at 09:23:09AM -0500, Bill Dueber wrote:
> There's a spectrum of how much an editor/environment can know about a
> program. At one end is Smalltalk, where the development environment *is* the
> program. At the other end is something like LISP (and, to an extent, Ruby)
> where so little can be inferred from the syntax of the code that a "smart"
> IDE can't actually know much other than how to match parentheses.
You've never tried SLIME in Emacs. All kinds of fancy LISPness for
pretty much everything you mention below.
> For languages where little can be known at compile time, an IDE may not buy
> you very much other than syntax highlighting and code folding. For Java,
> C++, etc. an IDE can know damn near everything about your project and
> radically up your productivity -- variable renaming, refactoring,
> context-sensitive help, jump-to-definition, method-name completion, etc. It
> really is a difference that makes a difference.
> I know folks say they can get the same thing from vim or emacs, but at that
> level those editors are no less complex (and a good deal more opaque) than
> something like Eclipse or Netbeans unless you already have a decade of
> experience with them.
I guess I did say that, but I'd argue that the opacity depends
on your definition of opaque. And I'd say it's more like five
years. Vim4life! :)