[IPython-dev] Ace versus CodeMirror

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 17:39:05 EST 2012

On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM, Brian Granger <ellisonbg at gmail.com> wrote:
> Some questions:
> * Is Ace really that much better that it is worth us shipping/using it?
> * Do people like the ability to edit a single cell in a
> more-full-window capacity?
> Please check out the Ace capabilty in master and let us know what you think...

There are some limitations of CM that make it really painful for
editing longer cells:

- inability to rigidly indent/dedent whole blocks.  This is a killer
for refactoring just about anything.

- no indentation support (not even soft-tabs) inside docstrings.
Typing eight spaces at the beginning of each line in a method
docstring is ridiculously annoying.  I just type them in emacs and
paste them back in.

- no search and replace: also killer for refactoring.

These are the big ones for me, so I'm +1 on including Ace.

There's also the fact that in teaching/workshops, we often struggle
with the question of 'what editor should I use along with ipython'.
Once Ace is available, we can simply tell people to use it for editing
also their python scripts, all within the ipython workflow.  This may
not be the long-term solution they want if they become full-time
users, but when you only have a day or two to teach a group some
basics, having ipython provide them a complete solution out of the box
would be great, I think.



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