[Openmcl-devel] Hemlock ain't Fred

Ron Garret ron at awun.net
Tue Oct 30 12:20:06 PDT 2007

On Oct 30, 2007, at 4:23 AM, Gail Zacharias wrote:

> I see you found the answer, but just a caveat: I'm working on  
> changing all this.

FWIW, here's some feedback on the IDE.

First, let me say that the current state of things seems to me to be  
90% of the way there already, so most of these comments are pretty  
minor.  But Fred set the bar mighty high :-)  So here's my list of  

1.  When typing a sexpr, matching-paren highlighting does not happen  
as you type.  Instead, the matching paren only starts to flash a  
second or two after I stop typing.  This really slows me down.

2.  Double-clicking on a close-paren doesn't do the right thing when  
the close paren is the last character in the file.

3.  If you evaluate a sexpr from an editor buffer and generate an  
error, cmd-. doesn't pop out of the debugger.  You have to go back to  
the listener, type cmd-., then go back to the editor.

4.  Monaco 9 is the One True Font, but it looks horrible in bold under  
OS X.  It would be nice to have a separate font selection for Lisp- 
generated output in the listener instead of just bolding the default  

5.  Calling hemlock-interface::delete-characters doesn't work and  
eventually results in a hard crash (but you probably knew that already).

6.  There are a few features that currently appear to be missing which  
I'm sure are easy to do and which are in the pipeline, but just to  
help you prioritize, the ones I miss most are: meta-point, macroexpand- 
current-sexpr, and command-key bindings for eval-buffer and backtrace.

7.  If the listener point is not at the end of the buffer, then the  
results of evaluating a sexpr using the enter key don't appear for a  
very long time (many seconds) and sometimes not at all until you  
scroll the listener window up and back down.

8.  In both the listener and editor windows, the enter key doesn't  
work if the current sexpr is atomic.

9.  Clicking on a previous input in the listener and hitting "return"  
copies the entire input sexpr instead of just the one corresponding to  
the current selection.  And clicking on previous output and hitting  
return or enter does nothing unless the output is actually selected.

Other than that I love it.  I'm happily hacking Lisp again for the  
first time in years.  Woot!

(There are some aspects of the new IDE that actually improve on MCL,  
e.g. immutable text in the listener window.  That's definitely the  
Right Thing.)


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