[Haskell-cafe] Re: Editor

Ashley Yakeley ashley at semantic.org
Tue May 22 18:20:55 EDT 2007

Michael T. Richter wrote:
> I have a dream.  It's not a little dream.  It's a big dream.  I have a 
> dream that someday I can find a UNIX/Linux text editor for Haskell 
> hacking (and possibly two or three hundred other programming languages, 
> although that's optional) that can give me all of the following:
>    1. A real GUI environment that takes into account some of the HID
>       advances made in the past 30 years.  (Emacs and Vim don't count,
>       in other words.)

I don't suppose you're familiar with the Dylan programming language, or 
more to the point, have looked at the IDE that Apple included in their 
original implementation of the language (around 1993 or so)? 
Characteristic of Apple of that time, the UI was both highly innovative 
and a joy to use. It was based around "browsers", where each browser had 
a "subject" (such as a project, module, definition etc.) and an "aspect" 
(such as "contents of", "errors in", "references to", "direct methods 
of" etc.). Browsers could be linked so that the selection in one browser 
became the subject in another. This made it very easy to navigate your 

All code was stored in a database rather than as text files, and 
individual code definitions were separate objects in the browsers rather 
than pieces of text in a big file.

Info w/ screenshots: <http://osteele.com/museum/apple-dylan>
Needless to say, this goes in rather the opposite UI direction to the 
"Ctrl-M Ctrl-Meta-Z <esc> :edit qx" approach to editors that some people 

Dylan's not a bad language, and there are open source implementations 
available for Gnu/Linux. But if you want to check out Apple's IDE, 
you'll really need a 68K Mac, as the PPC version is very buggy and I 
don't think the 68K version will run in PPC.

Ashley Yakeley
Seattle, WA

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