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Re: Project Center inspiration sshots

From: Adrian Robert
Subject: Re: Project Center inspiration sshots
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 10:59:10 -0500

On Jan 4, 2005, at 12:26 AM, Nicolas Roard wrote:

I repeat myself, but something that would be nice, is to have the ability to work on a more high-level than just files. Basically, what I'd like in a good IDE, is not just managing my files and my makefile (but of course, that's a prerequisite ;-) , but moreover to work directly on my objects, their relations, etc. That's something needed if you want more interesting features like refactoring for example.

Think also that, by having the possiblity of directly "playing" (messing ;-) with high-level structures like your project or your classes, you could easily plug Steptalk and have some powerful macros / scripts done, which would otherwise be very difficult to implement in a non-"high level aware" IDE ... (we can imagine things like aspects, "syntact sugar" macros, whatever..)

A good step here would be to implement some generic plugin facility in PC. It would support loading a plugin at startup. Plugins would be able to (for instance):

- provide a new button and panel / tearable window from the main panel
- provide new menu operations
- execute StepTalk scripts before / after / in place of ordinary build operations
- likewise for running / debugging

Having a standard plugin management facility providing for this functionality through documented interfaces will make plugin development and PC integration that much easier.

It would be best to design something like this using a couple of concrete test cases. dkautogen might be one -- if the plugin architecture can allow it to handle everything it needs in a UI-friendly way, then it will probably suffice for other similar extensions. A different example I have in mind to work on soon is integration of a GSdoc browser into PC.

I'm not sure the above list of requirements would be able to handle plugins for doing graphical design and/or browsing of the classes, and/or refactoring functions. It might be nice to embed the autogsdoc parser into PC and have it export an API providing access to the object structure in a project. This would significantly lower the energy barrier for developing useful "high level" plugins. On the other hand, maybe plugin parsing requirements will be too specialized to take advantage of a generic facility like this.

BTW, if anyone has familiarity with the Eclipse architecture (I don't), it might provide some good ideas for plugin management.

Just some random thoughts...

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