[Haskell-cafe] Editor OT: streamofconciousness

Jules Bean jules at jellybean.co.uk
Tue May 22 02:15:30 EDT 2007

John Meacham wrote:
> It is somewhat depressing that immutable pre-packaged macros[1] and the
> simple brute-force inclusion of separate tools[2] into the editor are
> hailed as innovation, when new innovations, whether they are simple
> refinements of old ideas[3], excercises in orthoginality[4], or truely
> new research[5] are left to the wayside. But such is the power of the
> bullet point.
>         John
> [1] many (but not all) refactoring features i have seen.

This is a little harsh.

The refactoring features I've seen (in Eclipse) are more than macros; 
they are semantically aware. That is, they understand the scoping and 
typing of the language and they can distinguish between 'a' in an inner 
scope and 'a' in an outer scope, so they they can do a safe rename. Then 
can also distinguish between List (the class imported from 
my.cool.package) and List (the class imported from java.main.package) 
and do a safe multi-file rename so you have a true 'atomic' class 
renaming ability.

These things go well beyond syntactic macros. It is often stated that 
Java has such powerful IDEs because it's such a tedious language to edit 
without them, and I have some sympathy for that line of argument, but I 
would love to have local definition floating and project-global rename 
and so on in my haskell editor. I know people are working on this stuff.


More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list