Dreaming of new generation IDE

John Bokma john at castleamber.com
Wed Feb 3 22:02:33 CET 2010

Phlip <phlip2005 at gmail.com> writes:

> John Bokma wrote:
>> my $x = ( 5, "hello", sub {}, [], {} )[ int rand 5 ];
>> what's $x? The answer is: it depends.
> That's why my blog post advocated (as usual for me) developer tests.
> Then you either mock the rand, like all developers should, or you get
> what you pay for, and Principle of Least Surprise still applies...

Yup, I agree with you that (to some extent) an IDE should be able to
determine types, especially if programmers don't reuse variables, like
(again Perl):

my $result = .... # int
if ( ... ) {

   $result = .... # string

# $result can be still an int, or either a string, depending on the
# test.

> Over the past decade, teams discovered that developer tests more than
> made up for the lack of rigor in dynamic languages. A dynamic language
> with tests can be more productive than a static language, even with
> its runtime type checks AND with its tests.

Yup, this matches up with my experience. I can't recall that I ever
bumped into an issue in Perl (the dynamic language I've been using
the most for the past years). Not saying that it hasn't happened, but I
just can't recall. Probably also the reason why a "new" language I am
learning is also dynamic: Python ;-)

> However, our editors must catch up to us. When I test, I am statically
> declaring a set of types, even if the language would prefer to
> dynamically fling them hither and yon. We should leverage that.

I am all for testing, but it should IMO not get into the way. I am quite
happy with Emacs as an editor (I "recently" switched), it satisfies most
(if not all) of the items on the check list.

John Bokma                                                               j3b

Hacking & Hiking in Mexico -  http://johnbokma.com/
http://castleamber.com/ - Perl & Python Development

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