special editor support for indentation needed.

John Yeung gallium.arsenide at gmail.com
Sat Nov 15 10:05:15 CET 2008


This is such a fascinating and compelling thread that it has pulled me
out of lurker mode.

Eric, I would like to say I also admire your initiative, but even more
so your patience.  You seem to handle comments of all types
gracefully.

Perhaps it comes from working with speech recognition so much.  I
imagine that if you are using a speech-based programming environment
and get frustrated with how stupid it is, and tell it off, you only
manage to create more of a mess for yourself to clean up.  I think
most of us who rely on our vision and typing lose our cool more
easily, partly because the penalty for us is not as great.

Anyway, sorry for being a bit off-topic.  I'm afraid I don't have a
lot to offer on the topic.  My thoughts as I was reading the earlier
comments is that Python, by its nature, is extremely flexible and thus
inherently tough to map to a speech-only interface.  "Flatter"
languages would seem better suited, but then they tend to be lower-
level, thus more verbose, thus what you gain in lack of ambiguity
might be lost in having to produce more code.

If it is to be Python after all, it seems the strategy you have in
mind is to make the typical patterns as easy as possible, and either
not allow for the more exotic ones or settle for making them much more
complicated to achieve.  You also seem to have a pretty clear idea of
the behaviors you want already.

I think your best bet is to stick with Emacs.  It's the only editor I
know of which is almost fully programmable without recompiling, and
it's available for Windows.  (I am not clear on whether you already
use Emacs for Windows, or whether you remotely use Emacs on Linux,
from Windows.)

It does sound like you have to do a bit of Emacs Lisp programming to
get what you want, but I'd guess that's easier than modifying some
other editor to do what you want, or modifying the way you issue
instructions to fit a more visually oriented style.

John



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