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Re: [Caml-list] New Ocaml Plug-in for NetBeans
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Date: 2008-07-26 (09:03)
From: hmf@i...
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] New Ocaml Plug-in for NetBeans
Hello again,

Jon Harrop wrote:
> 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.

I am sceptical of comments such as those of Erik's (no disrespect
intended here). I suspect these people either have not tried using
an IDE or simply haven't made the effort to learn to use the IDE and
take full advantage of it. Which is surprising since mastering Ocaml
requires much effort, and all here seem to agree that the added
productivity of using Ocaml is worth it ;-). In fact mastering
emacs, vi, etc. with all those "modes" also requires a lot of
work. Why should the use of an IDE be any different?

> 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.

Jon, I would really be interested if you could report back on your

> 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.

I am not sure how it was done in OcalIDE but we have full function
signatures (we need only hover above the function). I guess if parsing
is done via another tool this would not be a problem. Could ask
the OcalIDE folks how its done.