[Openmcl-devel] Contrib: window-parking

Rainer Joswig joswig at lisp.de
Fri Sep 11 12:29:26 UTC 2009

Am 11.09.2009 um 13:37 schrieb Glen Foy:

> Great suggestions as usual, Rainer.
> You're definitely right about  cl-documentation and hemlock-commands  
> having nothing to do with "context".  I put them there mostly to  
> show how multiple tools could be managed.  As the IDE evolves, they  
> should be put somewhere else.

Great stuff, Glen! I really like that. Both the cl-documentation and  
the hemlock-commands are very useful. Stuff like that is needed. Being  
able to explore with the GUI to see what is there, find the  
documentation, the source, inspect it. If one wants to learn from an  
editor command, look it up, look at the source, modify it.

 From Glen's tools:

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It's also interesting to see that there are quite a lot of Editor  
commands already. In the user interface the keyboard shortcuts should  
be mentioned, if available - that't would help.

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Even if that might not be the final UI and in the final place, it is  
exactly in the direction what the CCL IDE needs.

> You know as much about UI design in general and IDE design in  
> particular as any Lisper I know.  It's obviously something that  
> interests you and something to which you have given a lot of thought.
> Experienced programmers often look down their noses at IDEs. --   
> "Real programmers don't use IDEs".  And if an IDE doesn't hit the  
> target, they are right.  The trick will be to develop a Lisp  
> specific IDE that really hits the target.  Then we will have a  
> wonderful tool.

I like IDEs. I liked Coral Common Lisp ;-) and later the various  
implementations. I was always amazed how much could be done with so  
little code on a small machine - it was a cool achievement. I wrote  
some tools for MCL, as did some friends of mine. I'm glad that the  
experience is not lost and that the developers from Clozure are doing  
such a great job - in the tradition of MCL, but now with an improved  
implementation running on several platforms. Getting User Interfaces  
right is not an easy task. Everybody who tried to write UI stuff knows  
that. We should not take this road:  ;-)

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Individual tools should be simple and powerful. Simple first. As  
little clutter. You see what is wrong with the picture above? What the  
core of the problem is? Even if it is a caricature?  It's mostly a  
batch IDE. It mostly deals with dead things.

With CCL I need space for UI of the app I develop and for the listener  
where I interact with it. Because it runs side by side with the IDE  
and gets interactively and incrementally extended. That's a Lisp  
advantage. A lean IDE working with objects and functions that are  
running all the time. I don't want to build, start, debug, ...

> I would like to see you and Terje take the lead in this.  Even if  
> you don't have time to write code, your experience and overview  
> would be invaluable.

I hope to contribute some code in the future, when I use CCL more.  
With the recent improvements it starts to make sense, though I still  
have a Lisp Machine running and CL-HTTP runs better under  
LispWorks. ;-) Especially if people like you do the hard work ;-) and  
get some of the infrastructure going it now starts making sense to  
contribute to the IDE. I really like to encourage people to give  
feedback to developers like you, so that we get some basics right and  
contributing gets easier for those who want to add functionality, but  
don't have the time to write the basics.

> Thanks for your comments --

Thanks for your contributions!


Rainer Joswig

Rainer Joswig, Hamburg, Germany
mailto:joswig at lisp.de

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