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Re: code completion

From: Richard G Riley
Subject: Re: code completion
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 17:06:06 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110007 (No Gnus v0.7) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

Bastien Guerry <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi Richard,
> Richard G Riley <address@hidden> writes:
>> It is also honest to state ones opinion as to the current state. And I
>> have requoted my original statements below in case they are further
>> misrepresented however unintentionally.
>>> other editors, not because it is dishonest, but because such an advice
>>> won't help make the Emacs implementation better.
>> And neither will "come on in, it all works perfectly."
> Well, I did not say that...

No, but it seemed that was what you meant ... All I did was suggest that
code completion in emacs is not very good compared to some other

>>> And the more constructive way is to give directions on how to help
>>> improving the feature.
>> I agree. What makes you think this has not happened? 
> I'm not saying that you don't agree with the above: but your first reply
> to the OP was not as helpful as the last ones, was it?

It was a general comment. And like I said, I did point him to
Semantic. You know, where he can read the docs etc? Other replies were
more helpful as the thread beefed out a bit more.

>> I get the feeling you take my words as some sort of attack? They are
>> not and I am mildly surprised at your reaction here. Possibly a late
>> night maintaining the (excellent) org-mode? :-;
> :)
> Believe me, no angriness/bitterness in my reaction, and sorry if I gave
> the impression that I wanted to lecture you about the good and bad ways
> of answering such requests... not my style.  Sometimes my answers are
> too shorts, and as english is not my first language it might sounds a
> bit "rigid".

No problemo.

>> He didn't ask about a specific tool. He asked about code
>> completion. 
> Well, he asked about code completion in Emacs.  He mentionned
> SlickEdit

Which is why I commented on my experiences with emacs and pointed him to
the semantic mailing list ....

> and Kdevelop, so I deduced he wanted to use Emacs, not one of the many
> other possibilities. 

You have me lost. I never pointed him to other editors. I merely
compared certain features. There is a big difference.

>> What is your experience of code completion? Have you used CEDET and
>> ecb etc?
> I tried CEDET Ecb etc. long time ago but thought it was not that
> straightforward to install.  And I don't really need code completion 

Me neither (re: installation). Difficult for a nOOb. It is very hard to
figure out what does what IMO. And another reason for my initial words
of caution. But I suspect my familiarity with it is better than yours.

> as I mainly speak elisp (yes, I'm a hobbist, not a programmer.)
>> As for suggesting the op switches to another tool, I would remind you of
>> what I actually said (including redirecting him to the semantic mailing
>> list):
>> ,----
>> | It's a commonly asked question and frequently goes without an answer. I
>> | tried semantic but couldn't really get it to work. You might ask on
>> | their mailing list as I think thats the only route. I have a nasty
>> | feeling that using emacs as a C/C++ IDE might be coming to the end of
>> | the road as it falls behind in many of the features (code completion,
>> | refactoring for an example) that more modern IDEs like Eclipse
>> | provides. The maintainer of ecb as good as said the same. A shame.
>> `----
>> What parts of this are wrong or misleading? 
> Nothing wrong or misleading.  I just said: "depressing".
> You said:
>   I have a nasty feeling that using emacs as a C/C++ IDE might be coming
>   to the end of the road as it falls behind in many of the features
>   (code completion, refactoring for an example) that more modern IDEs
>   like Eclipse provides.
> So what reaction do you expect from the OP?  If I were him, I would
> think of giving up Emacs for coding in C/C++.  This is what I found
> depressing.  

It might be depressing for you. But its also true. I have spent ages
getting emacs to work just right for my programming needs. But its a
trade off.

I dont think telling lies to keep him with emacs is good either. if you
keep the expectancy resonable then people wont be disappointed. I *am*
disappointed at the state of some of the tools in emacs - unfortunately
I'm not in a position (currently) to improve them although I have given
feedback where appropriate even some code snippets at times.

>> As i stated, the ecb developer HIMSELF has voiced his concerns at
>> emacs falling behind too.
> So what? 

I would think that was obvious. It was reaffirming my comments. From
someone who has put a lot of time and effort into developing IDE like
qualities in emacs. It doesnt mean we mean "drop emacs". It just means
"be prepared not to be at the leading edge of c editors in terms of
certain development tools".

>> The bottom line is that where emacs excels in some places, it is
>> lagging in others. Not all of us have the time or the ability to "do
>> it ourselves" and sometimes it saves people a lot of time and hassle
>> to forewarn them of possible pitfalls.
> Okay, but my bottom line was that it is more helpful to give directions
> on how to improve the feature (and you did somehow, telling him to ask
> the question on the semantic mailing list) rather than letting him that
> "emacs as a C/C++ IDE might be coming to the end of the road"...  

I did point him that way didn't I? And I also pointed out that emacs is
NOT so good at certain things which it isn't good at. It was letting him
know some facts. I am sorry you think that is not a good thing to do.

> You don't know, maybe the itch is strong enough for him that he will try
> his best to follow his direction.  If we all assume that nobody has the
> time to improve the features, then maybe we should close this mailing
> list?  I generally prefer to assume people at the end will be able to
> help !  

You are going ridiculously overboard on this. When someone asks about a
certain feature its best to be honest. Not everyone is a elisp
programmer and not everyone will implement what is missing.

I really am at a loss to understand your reaction to my comments.

People with a far better knowledge of these tools have said similar to

But to reiterate : it is a trade off. I continue to use emacs and
hopefully improve emacs despite the short comings in certain areas. It
is not up to me to second guess the OP - I just cautioned him as to the
state of two major "utilities" which are much better implemented
elsewhere. And also informed him of some other tools.

>> Using emacs is an obsession with some of us. 
> I know what you mean!  And sometimes, just people feel ashamed of this
> and they find a relief in "telling the truth" about modern editors.

I'm not ashamed. And I get no relief from telling the truth as I see it.

> Don't feel ashamed!  Don't surrender!
> :)

I really haven't. Emacs is the best thing I ever used. And it gets
better every day.

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