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Re: [Caml-list] New Ocaml Plug-in for NetBeans
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Date: 2008-07-26 (02:57)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] New Ocaml Plug-in for NetBeans
On Saturday 26 July 2008 01:24:02 Erik de Castro Lopo wrote:
> Jon Harrop wrote:
> > If I might stick my oar in: why don't the OCaml community write an IDE
> > for OCaml in OCaml using Camlp4 for parsing with throwback and LablGTK
> > for the GUI?
> Most people who actually code in Ocaml do so using the best IDE on
> the planet, Unix. For those people an IDE is a step backwards and
> hence they have no interest in writing one.

Graphical throwback of documentation is invaluable for interactive API 
exploration, particularly in the context of GUI programming (I currently 
trawl through ocamlbrowser's useful but very basic interface). A GUI to 
browse and visualize performance profiles is useful (I currently browse 
gprof's output as plain text files using KWrite). A GUI to visualize 
dependencies is useful (I currently lookup the use of "dot" every time I need 
it and the PostScript output is typically mangled by GhostScript).

> So I have an idea; why don't *you* write a cross platform IDE and if
> it really is better than Unix then people would use it.

I shall see if it is feasible to develop such an application within an OCaml 
Journal article or two. I think it would be both very useful and a very 
instructive educational exercise combining several of OCaml's strengths.

However, the resulting program would most likely be difficult to distribute 
due to licensing issues (e.g. if you want to reuse OCaml's typechecker or 
top-level) and could not be a viable commercial product due to the 
limitations of OCaml itself.

Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.