Live editing...

kirby.urner at kirby.urner at
Tue Jul 31 22:38:55 CEST 2007

There's been some chatter on edu-sig ( of late regarding
capabilities in the "edit/continue" tradition, meaning debugging
tools, and/or
IDE tools, that give the developer real time write access to running

I think a good design would be something like the ZODB, or the ZODB
to save the entire working environment, like a Smalltalk image, at
which point
a "supervisor Python" (a whole different instance, perhaps on another
could do "brain surgery" on the "hibernating Python" (like a patient

You basically simulate or emulate the "operating table" version,
without putting
yourself at its mercy.  If you break it completely, while doing your
brain surgery,
just abort the instance and roll back to the previously saved
version.  It's like
sitting on top of a version control system, while never getting to
directly edit the
currently operating version (the supervisor).

The alternative, allowing a developer to undermine his/her own running
seems to unnecessarily conflate a runtime and design time mode, which
just some stupid prejudice.

We need that separation, just as we keep distance between production
development copies of things.

Don't fix a running engine if you can fix an emulated running engine.
Once you're
happy with your changes, commit, and set it running for real.  It
still might crash,
which is why you're glad for rollback capabilities.

Smalltalk images meet CVS?

Python atop Mercurial?


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