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Re: [extremeperl] Better Development Tools for Perl

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  • J Matisse Enzer
    ... There is a plausible scenario where a new generation of Perl power users are drawn to better tools and as a result create lots of less-insane code. If the
    Message 1 of 107 , Jun 6, 2005
      On Jun 5, 2005, at 8:49 PM, Perrin Harkins wrote:
      > new tools can only succeed if you can convince people that the
      > collected wisdom in books like Code Complete really does apply to perl
      > too and they should turn down the insane-o-meter a little in exchange
      > for some help from new programming tools.

      There is a plausible scenario where a new generation of Perl power
      users are drawn to better tools and as a result create lots of
      less-insane code. If the tools really are good enough then the tools
      will make it as easy, or easier to achieve effective results with
      less-insane code.

      I agree with your call for less-insane coding, I feel that the best
      contribution I can make is to changing the culture is to help there be
      better tools. If you have other ways of influencing the culture I am
      open to learning to do them.

      I also want to emphasize that I understand that many (most?) current
      Perl power users already think they have a good toolset
      (vim/emacs/textpad, etc.) and that many (most?) do not subscribe to
      Agile/Extreme methodologies - I know that most of those folks are going
      to keep doing whatever they are doing, which is only human after all.

      There are new Perl power users yet to come, and new non-power users as
      well, and of course they are the future of Perl because people retire,
      die, etc. you have to keep making new ones to keep a culture alive :-)

      On Jun 5, 2005, at 8:31 PM, Chris Winters wrote:
      > I code Java in my day job with IDEA (www.jetbrains.com) and I'd LOVE
      > something like this for perl.
      Chris - I urge you to try Eclipse/EPIC, especially because you know
      both Java and Perl :-) and can contribute to the EPIC project.

      (I know it sounds like I have stock in Eclipse/EPIC, which I guess
      emotionally I do - it's also the only cross-platform Perl IDE that has
      any refactoring support and the best possibility of extending it.)

      > It's very difficult to impart how useful
      > refactoring is (as well as an editor that knows so much about the
      > language), but the best analogy I can draw is to unit tests.

      I completely agree - I'd go further by saying that it's very difficult
      to impart how useful the whole package of a good IDE is - having *all*
      of the following well-integrated into a single tool has huge benefits:

      # Syntax-coloring text editor
      # Syntax-checking - catch and display syntax errors as you type
      # Version control integration - checkout and compare code using CVS,
      subversion, etc.
      # Excellent refactoring support.
      # Support for creating and running unit tests.
      # Automatic code navigation - jump to declaration of a variable or
      regardless of file.
      # Code generation, create commonly used stub code.
      # Language-specific help (click on a keyword and the language-specific
      is available)
      # Managing of dependencies between code files, packages, etc.
      # Debugger - run your code under a debugger with real-time display of

      more from Chris:
      > It's hard for me to say that such a tool is preventing people from
      > learning perl or moving further along with Perl. But I suspect it's
      > what people using higher-level languages will expect from their tools
      > in the future. Will Perl6 make some of this possible? I hope so.

      I've asked Larry Wall about this in person and in perl.perl6.language
      he said

      On May 6, 2005, at 10:52 AM, Larry Wall wrote:
      > .... we should
      > just make sure that Perl 6 can interface easily to every existing
      > and future IDE, including any that might be written particular with
      > Parrot in mind.

      Larry also said (in person) that the design for Perl6 is "slushy" and
      my personal belief is that is it years away.

      Here's an anecdote that may illustrate my concern - it is only an
      anecdote and so of course not a scientific survey, I offer it *only* as
      an illustration, not as a proof:

      Last month I was invited to attend an open-house at Google. I was
      engaged in an intense conversation about Better Tools and Perl with a
      fellow invitee named Earl Everett and another invitee joined the
      conversation, that was Larry. Among other things Larry wondered if
      Google might be interested in supporting Perl6 development. I asked the
      guy who invited me, John Brewer who works at Google if there was
      anything valuable Perl could do for Google. John said something like
      this "Look, Google is a Java and Python shop, that's because of the age
      and background of the founders. If you want to make Perl more valuable
      you should forget about Perl6 and make better tools for Perl5."

      Now John wasn't trying to be mean or harsh, and I am recounting this
      tale just to illustrate that there are new, younger programmers coming
      into the world all the time, and the world they are coming into has
      excellent tools for some languages, especially when you are considering
      medium-to-large projects involving many developers and software that is
      expected to evolve over years.

      I *know* that lots of great software has been built with tools that
      aren't as good as what we have now, all I am arguing for is that we
      really try to *keep improving* the tools - not freeze them at 1989, or
      1995, or 2000, etc.

      This *is* supposed to be the "extreme perl" list right ? :-)

      Matisse Enzer <matisse@...>
      http://www.matisse.net/ - http://www.eigenstate.net/
      415-225-6703 (work/cellphone)
      415-401-8325 (home)
    • Siegfried Heintze
      Since there was a helpful discussion some time ago on USB keyboards and mice for pair programming that was not specific to perl, I wanted to solicit the group
      Message 107 of 107 , Feb 13, 2006
        Since there was a helpful discussion some time ago on USB keyboards and mice
        for pair programming that was not specific to perl, I wanted to solicit the
        group for information on network software (also not specific to perl).

        I just set up openVPN on my openwrt/WRT54G router for pair programming with
        a headset and skype.

        (1) Can any point me to the documentation on sharing desktops on windows? I
        need to create accounts on Win2003 XP Server. When I created an account
        belonging only to the user group, my partner could not log in. He was
        receiving some error message about not being permitted to log in
        interactively. However, when I added the administrator group (reluctantly)
        to his account, he could log in. Is there a tutorial somewhere on the web
        for creating user accounts in windows for use with remote desktop logins on

        (2) How do I share my remote desktop setting with a programming pair

        (3) What about sharing sessions when I'm booted with linux? I think there is
        a vnc program out there, but I don't know how to use it. I'll need to learn
        how to create accounts and share linux desktops with remote VPN users. Is
        there a tutorial on this?

        (4) Are video cams very helpful for pair programming?

        It seems that this kind of knowledge would be very common for pair



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