[mercury-users] Off-topic: IDE/compiler trade-off

Ondrej Bojar obo at cuni.cz
Mon Jan 8 09:18:43 AEDT 2007


I'm not a fan of IDEs, but I understand some people use it and that
there are some advantages IDE can bring, starting with instant syntax
checking and syntax-informed completion. (Syntax highliting is quite 
easy to achieve in most configurable editors.) I have never used any of 
the Java IDEs but I heard that some perform instant type checking, too. 
This leads to a design question:

Where should the intelligent assistance to code writing be integrated? 
In the compiler, or the editor?

It's not wise to put more power in the editor than in the compiler (what 
if someone used a different editor, what if the file got randomly 
screwed up during file transfers).

In my opinion, what IDE developers should be after, is a tight interface 
between the compiler and the editor, so that all the intelligence will 
remain in compiler only, but we saved some cycles of constant rerunning 
of the compiler black box. (The main reason for all IDEs driving me nuts 
is the wasteful use of computational resources and typical slowdown of 
all text editing operations.)

Are there any standards on compiler-editor interaction interface?

Cheers, Ondrej.

P.S.: Rod, there are Mercury-extras, so try to get an approval to put
your Merca there.

RMJ wrote:
> */Jonathan Morgan <jonmmorgan at gmail.com>/* wrote:
>     vim/syntax/mercury.vim (in the mercury-compiler distribution) has all
>     the keywords that have been considered worth adding, plus a few other
>     rules for syntax highlighting. While it doesn't necessarily highlight
>     everything that I might highlight, it does a pretty good job.
>     What are you using/modifying to build your IDE? Is it available
>     anywhere to look at, or are you waiting until it is considered
>     finished to some degree?
>     Jon
> Lets face it, an IDE only for Mercury should have the best/perfect 
> highlighter and code completion. I don't think vim's falls in that 
> categeory. It's up to the developers now to make it possible for me to 
> make such a highlighter and code completing features, or not.
> Merca (that's its name) is usable now (even it compiles and runs what 
> you create in it) but still there are several gaps that must be filled 
> before I release it for testing. If the developers (of Mercury) decided 
> to, then it will be distributed with Mercury. Otherwise, I can send it 
> to any one who requests it as long as I'm on this list and 
> improving/adding features to Merca while I'm building my own project 
> using Mercury.
> I hope Mercury developers read our postings. Well maybe they don't want 
> a contributed IDE for their work, who knows?
> Rod
> __________________________________________________
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Ondrej Bojar (mailto:obo at cuni.cz)

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