2007-09-06

Dynamic languages tools

Link: http://blogs.activestate.com/ericp/2007/01/kid_adding_a_ne.html

I got a CD with Komodo Edit on it at XTech, but haven't tried it until now. The recent open-sourcing of the code, and then this post appeared on Planet Mozilla.

It looks like it would be good for DSL development, and playing with it Komodo Edit seems to be very usable. My current editor of choice is SciTE, which Komodo Edit embeds, but Komodo Edit gives projects, and language aware autocompletion and navigation (go to the definition of a function). I haven't found out if it's possible to go to definitions in other files, which would be very useful - I spend quite a lot of time doing Ctrl-C,Ctrl-O,[filename],Ctrl-F,Ctrl-V,Enter to jump around a JavaScript project. It also does polyglot programming - a simple XUL file with a script element switches nicely from XML highlighting to JavaScript highlighting in the script element's content.

The user defined language tool is lexer + state machine based; I'd have preferred it to be a packrat based one, which I've played with before. But I don't want to have to write a whole IDE, I like using the Scintilla editor control, and Komodo's approach seems to get the job done.

As a side note, del.icio.us seems awfully slow these days. You'd have though that Yahoo would be able to give it a couple more servers. I wonder if the competitors are any better.

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