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From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: IDE
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2015 13:14:53 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:41.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/41.0

On 10/10/2015 12:40 PM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

I didn't ignore that.  I just don't see an effort to make Emacs a
modern IDE.  Working on separate parts of that in separate
uncoordinated activities is not the way we should pursue this, IMO.

At least we "have volunteers" for that.

It's inefficient at best, and at worst will end up with those
uncoordinated parts falling into oblivion when their driving forces
move on.

That would be accurate to say about projects at early stages of development, but the respective third-party packages already work now. If anything, we could keep them working, even Emacs undergoes large internal changes.

It needs to be actively developed.  Much more actively than it is now.

I suppose.

I don't know.  It's for someone who will work on this to find out.  I
know that a motivated individual in the GDB development team already
based a useful set of commands on it -- you can compile and inject
code into your program while debugging it.

That seems orthogonal to code completion capabilities, for where I'm standing. But I'm not a good person to judge.

This does make a good material for a feature request for Irony, unfortunately. Someone more knowledgeable should do that instead.

We definitely could have more in this department, yes. But what would
you even call an "IDE mode"? A fixed multi-window setup a la ECB?

I don't know, and neither do we as a project.  A useful step would be
to produce a detailed answer to that question.  That answer could both
serve as base for useful discussions, and might provide some anchor
for all those external packages you mentioned to target some coherent

"We need a common interface for refactoring tools" sounds like a good problem statement. I hope that capability can grow from the xref interface, but that needs more work and thought.

I don't believe comprehensive features such as IDE can be developed
exclusively bottom up.  There should be some basic set of assumptions
and design rules/decisions that everyone should target and abide by.
There should also be some unified leadership.

A comprehensive set of IDE features might be too lofty a goal for us, in the foreseeable future.

We didn't even decide that we want that as our mechanism.  Did anyone
consider how this compares with what the other modern IDEs offer?

completion-at-point-functions is the API for backends to implement. We have a few frontends for it already. Company can use it, for one.

What if we build our completion on a UI that today's developers will
dislike?  Unlike with many traditional Emacs features, which were
developed when there was no prior art, the IDE features have lots of
prior art.  No need to invent the wheel, just implement similar look
and feel.

Hence we're bundling Company.

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