Re: IDE for Pascal-family language
- From: Mike Sieweke <msieweke@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 23:01:19 -0500
Richard Engebretson <eng@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Any implication that FreePascal lacks development tools is wrong.
I don't know what you're replying to here. Just because there are
a lot of tools, that doesn't mean they are the best for every
developer. They do seem to please a lot of people, but they are
far from perfect.
I've been programming stuff for over 30 years. I'm now using Linux,
with 10 workspaces on X, NEDIT text editor, GENTOO file manager, a
tabbed HTML help browser (StarOffice5.2), and FPC command line
compiler in an Xterm launched from Gentoo. Never had it better.
Its good that you're pleased with your environment, but I _have_
had it better. Imagine an environment with these features:
- Multiple-window, language-sensitive editor with syntax
highlighting and automatic code formatting as you type.
It uses your choice of typeface and font size.
- Editor has a menu showing all functions defined in a module,
either in program order or sorted.
- Automatic lookup of library functions in an external help
browser. Select a name and then "lookup" menu or shortcut..
- Debugger integrated with the editor. Breakpoints are set in
the editor, and the current line is shown while paused.
- A separate debug window that always shows the call stack and
all visible variables. Updated at each breakpoint and while
single-stepping. You can click on any function on the stack
to see what variables are visible. Any variable can be
dragged to a watchpoint icon so every change to its value
will cause a breakpoint. Any variable can be viewed in hex
and have its value edited.
- A separate window where you enter expressions to be
evaluated when the program is paused for breakpoint,
watchpoint, single-stepping, or crash.
- A separate window where you can type any Pascal text to
be executed immediately. This can be used to update
program state while paused.
- Supports cut and paste from editor windows to the observe
and instant windows - even while paused or crashed.
- Supports object-oriented Pascal. Has a class browser
- A project window lists all source files and libraries.
Each source file has check-boxes for common options - debug,
range-checking, overflow checking.
- Automatic rebuild on any change in the program text, project
settings, etc. No need for a make utility.
- Supports building a full GUI application which runs in the
IDE or as separate task.
- Built-in function profiling.
- Every feature is fully integrated in a single tool with
consistent keyboard shortcuts and window behavior.
- It's also fully integrated in the OS environment, so you can
cut and paste from/to other applications with standard key-
board shortcuts or mouse/menus.
This tool debuted in 1985 (minus Object Pascal, which was
added around 1990). The product was discontinued around
1995, although it's now available for free.
I'm surprised that in all this time no one has developed a
similar product. Delphi has a lot of it, but not as well done.
[So what's the down side? It's a 680x0-only compiler that
runs in emulation on PowerPC Macs. Any application you
build has the same limitation. It doesn't support some
modern Object Pascal features. It only runs on older Macs,
since Apple doesn't support the 680x0 emulator on Intel
Macs. No support, no documentation, and no source code.]
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