Re: IDE, IDL feedback needed.

Samuel Ziegler <> writes:

> Ok... here it goes.  As I see it, you guys are trying to reinvent
> the wheel. As the GUIDE web page states, the point of this project
> should be to "merge existing" utilities into a single IDE.  This
> should be the first step.  And it is no small step.  As I told Knud,
> whether or not the editor displays the source folded or not should
> note be the IDE's problem. 

What makes you think that this isn't what we are doing?  (Or, in my
case, not doing, at present.)  

People are *discussing* whether or not the editor ought to be a
folding one, and whether it ought to use XML as its format, and how
nice it would be to have a 3D view of the data whilst debugging.  I
don't think there's any reason to believe that anybody's actually
spending time coding these things, however.

Of the tools that exist, I think there are a couple that could do with
improving: I've not seen a version control tool that really seems
nice, and I've never found a GUI builder that I really got on with.
XEmacs does OK for version control (and ediff/emerge are superb),
however.  Both of these might well be a bit difficult to do generally,
however: the GUI builder in particular is presumably going to be tied
critically to a widget set.

I entirely agree that writing another editor strikes me as being
utterly irrelevant.  On the other hand, I'd have said the same thing
about window managers a few weeks ago (I've been using fvwm2 and fvwm
for 5 or 10 years, now), but I'm really getting to like icewm.

> The beauty of an IDE based on CORBA is that the IDE doesn't have to
> worry about the individual pieces, it just has to worry about
> connecting them all together.

I think the reluctance with CORBA is that it seems like it might be
overkill.  In addition, it might be better to abstract away from
specific mechanisms (perhaps using something really simple initially)
in order to work with a variety of mechanisms.  For example, there's
this OffiX thing, and Sun has Tooltalk, which it would be nice to

(What's the "IDE" to you?  Is it something which has its own GUI?
(Even if just a tiny one?)  (I ask because I've been thinking of the
IDE as being the collection of tools, not as a separate entity.  I'm
not disagreeing with the idea of a separate coordinating process, or
something; I just don't understand CORBA, and I want to make sure I'm
following your thoughts accurately, otherwise I'll get hopelessly

You, or somebody else, could easily end the argument by making it
obvious that CORBA will work just fine for this, and that it's pretty
easy to program for.  (Indeed, GNOME's panel seems to work fine, now
that I've finally got it to compile.  I've not ventured into the code,

Here's an example which I'd very much like to see: provide patches to
DDD (the debugger) and something for XEmacs (or Emacs) (I'm not sure
what this would be) so that using XEmacs for showing the source is
just as convenient as using DDD's text viewer.  (That's an end goal,
anyway---proof of concept would be implementing just a bit more than
DDD/XEmacs already does, and doing it without bloating anything.
Substitute your favourite tools for DDD/XEmacs if you prefer---they're
just mine.)

> If you want to write a fancy editor which folds text and does syntax
> completion, more power to you.  However, this has been done to
> death.

You seem to imply that all the required tools already exist, and all
that's needed are ways to glue them together.  (I'm sure you don't
really think that, but just for the record...)  

The thing that I really miss from the commercial world when I'm
playing around at home is a source navigator/source database type
thing.  Most emphatically *not* a class hierarchy browser---although
I'm sure that such a thing is useful, it's always struck me as a
particularly trivial kind of tool, but then I've never written much

I want call graphs, uses of global variables, instances of local
variables of particular types and that kind of thing.  I want my
editor to be able to show me everywhere a particular (C++)
user-defined implicit type conversion is used, for example.  (Needless
to say, the editor should refer to another tool to *get* this
information, using CORBA or whatever.)

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