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Re: Emacs learning curve

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Emacs learning curve
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 01:06:07 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Miles Bader <address@hidden> writes:

> Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden> writes:
>> A few weeks ago I was required to translate an old, small Visual Basic
>> application to C#. I was less than thrilled with the job, but anyways
>> the first thing was to configure Emacs as a C# editor. 
> ...
>> I gave up
>> and tried certain popular IDE, out of despair. 15 minutes later my
>> client's application, on its basic inception, was running on the screen,
>> mostly thanks to an accurate and fast code completion system that not
> MS has spent vast amounts of resources pushing C# and .net as hard as
> they can.  It's not surprising that VS has very good C# support.

For the code completion, I don't think that a huge effort is
necessary. The most difficult part is to obtain the semantic info, which
MS does with the compiler and Emacs can do likewise with CEDET/Semantic
(or with a Free C# compiler.) Once you have that, you need the means for
displaying the suggested completions and the associated documentation on
a convenient way. Emacs already supports tooltips for the documentation,
and a floating listbox doesn't seem too hard to do.

This is for the code completion. I dunno about the real-time syntax
checking, the project manager, debugger, refactoring...

The most difficult part is to do it so it produces the Wow! reaction on
the user. His first reaction must be "that's what I want to use."

> But C# is a minor niche language in the sort of environments where Emacs
> is most popular.  Given relatively limited resources for Emacs
> development, and the unpopularity of C#, it's hardly surprising that
> Emacs C# support is less good....

C#, VB, F# are niche languages on the Unix world. But think about
Java. Actually, think about any statically-typed language, or a dynamic
one writing code at the same time the application is running. Once you
work with one of those smart IDEs (count the Free Eclipse and
SharpDevelop IDEs among them) you get addicted to those features and
will consider as inferior choices any editor that lacks them.

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