A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Hi.

    I've been programming off and on for the past 30 years. Most of what I do now is done with fairly basic text editors and command line compilers. However, I miss the days when I could get things done with Qbasic 4.5 with its excellent contextual help that contained more than a full manual's worth of information on the language, including examples for nearly every command.

    Are there any FOSS IDEs available now with a fully comprehensive contextual help system for the languages that can be developed in them? By "fully" I mean that you can get help on every single language feature. It would also be nice if an extension framework is present which allows libraries to have their own help files seamlessly integrated into the contextual help system. If so, what languages are such IDEs available for?
    Last edited by gomipile; 2014-03-31 at 10:16 AM.
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    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Before the windows upgrade, Microsoft Visual Studio had a very comprehensive, though not exhaustive, help feature. Including auto-completion where , if you entered a Microsoft object in code, it would give you automatically a list of properties and available methods.

    Outside of Visual Studio, I can't think of many IDEs that pass that test. Eclipse and Netbeans are the ones I play with, but they tend to be divorced from any specific language. Most IDEs I've encountered seem to focus less on a specific language and more on the version control, with add-ons for specific tasks, such as servlet creation.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Thanks.

    If I can't use it natively in Linux (without Wine or a virtual machine) it's a non-starter for me. I just really miss the contextual help the 1980's Microsoft products had, and I'd like something similar for Python, Java, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    The reason you are unlikely to see a lot of IDEs in Linux is most developers use VIM or Emacs, and just customize it into a full IDE. What exactly do you want from IDEs? Just the contextual help / code completion? Or perhaps the build management? The built in usually terrible debuggers? Any specific language?

    By "fully" I mean that you can get help on every single language feature.
    And what do you mean by every single language feature? Including every standard library? How about obscure stuff that is only technically allowed by the Grammar and not encouraged? Etc.

    Honestly, I find that using the help files within an IDE are usually clunky and awkward. I much rather switch to my browser workspace, search the documentation for the relevant bit, and switch back. It also means I can check stack overflow for simple things I'm forgetting, or search for complex examples of an uneasy task.

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    I mean everything that would be included in a comprehensive manual of the core language, at a minimum.

    What do I want from it? I want an environment that fosters organic learning of new languages. I don't have much familiarity with Python or Java, but I'd like to.

    The way I learned C, C++, Basic, and Pascal back in the 90s was through contextual help in Microsoft and Borland IDEs. I'd like modern tools that offer a similar sort of self contained learning environment, both for my own purposes and to recommend to youngsters who'd like to learn to code.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    As far as Java goes, Oracle maintains a complete and thorough online reference as well as a set of highly useful tutorials .

    I get the impression that they found themselves in the position of maintaining web documentation OR building an IDE but not both. Given that pretty much everyone has a browser these days and is quick to use it, it seems like most of the players in the language world are moving towards internet-only support for documentation. With the newer IDEs, accessing the help feature simply opens up a web browser.

    This makes a certain amount of sense -- if you ship out IDEs with comprehensive help documentation, then in a year you've got millions of copies of outdated help which needs to be updated and upgraded. Far more sensible to make your help cloud-based, so that you can upgrade every user in the world with a few keystrokes.

    Bottom line: Since the advent of the cloud, not only context-sensitive help built into programs but the help feature and help files in general are on their way to obsolescence.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    KDevelop shows the type and scope of everything in context (inc. argument and return types for all overloaded functions, templates, etc). It also shows any code comments immediately prior to the declaration and provides links to that and to HTML documentation of the thing if available.

    Above applies to its C++ parser, I have very limited experience with the Python and none with the Java one.

    Screenshot (imgur)
    Last edited by FLHerne; 2014-04-01 at 02:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    I'll second pendell's suggestion of Eclipse.

    Also, I know there was an effort to convert the .NET framework to run on non-windows platforms (I think it is/was called Mono). They may have also put together an IDE that runs on Linux.
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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    I'll second pendell's suggestion of Eclipse.

    Also, I know there was an effort to convert the .NET framework to run on non-windows platforms (I think it is/was called Mono). They may have also put together an IDE that runs on Linux.
    I wasn't aware of Mono. It doesn't really interest me, but the idea is generating a lot of jokes in my head at Microsoft's expense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    I wasn't aware of Mono. It doesn't really interest me, but the idea is generating a lot of jokes in my head at Microsoft's expense.
    As much as people like to parrot Mono, it's still not quite as good as the actual .NET stack.

    Is there any particular reason why you want a FOSS IDE over... well, any other form of IDE?

    In practice, I've found that vendor tools are often excellent (if not the best) tools for developing on a specific platform. For instance, Visual Studio (now free!) is phenomenal (if you're into Windows C++ development), if a bit complex. Xcode is similarly free under OSX. I know several people on IRC who enjoy QtCreator, if you do stuff in Qt or similar. If you want a higher-level language, there's also PyCharm, for Python.



    What exactly are you looking to accomplish? There are many languages out there that remain very close to "type in text editor" -> "run in a shell" ... Language references and other similar documents are easily found online, and even with a complete language reference, you're likely going to end up on StackOverflow anyways.

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    As much as people like to parrot Mono, it's still not quite as good as the actual .NET stack.

    Is there any particular reason why you want a FOSS IDE over... well, any other form of IDE?

    In practice, I've found that vendor tools are often excellent (if not the best) tools for developing on a specific platform. For instance, Visual Studio (now free!) is phenomenal (if you're into Windows C++ development), if a bit complex. Xcode is similarly free under OSX. I know several people on IRC who enjoy QtCreator, if you do stuff in Qt or similar. If you want a higher-level language, there's also PyCharm, for Python.



    What exactly are you looking to accomplish? There are many languages out there that remain very close to "type in text editor" -> "run in a shell" ... Language references and other similar documents are easily found online, and even with a complete language reference, you're likely going to end up on StackOverflow anyways.
    Well, I want an IDE that is good enough for everyday problem solving, and will also run on hardware like a Raspberry Pi, etc. for teaching purposes. I'd prefer the type of built in contextual help I mentioned because the option to run offline with full help could be useful in an educational environment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    As much as people like to parrot Mono, it's still not quite as good as the actual .NET stack.

    Is there any particular reason why you want a FOSS IDE over... well, any other form of IDE?
    Well Microsoft just Open Sourced a .Net compiler under the Apache License. So, there's that. But I'm not a big .Net fan so yea...

    ANYWAY, I've heard of many good IDEs over the years. I don't know how many of them are open source, but I believe they're at least free. Eclipse is good for Java, and "usable" with other languages, but not great. I have heard good things about Sublime Text, as a simple, yet featured IDE. (I've been meaning to try it) VIM and Emacs have already been mentioned. I've used straight up Notepad/GnomeTextEdit for C/C++ work and just used a shell as my compiler. Also I've used Notepad++ for some odd stuff here and there, I don't think it really counts as an IDE, but it has a wide range of capabilities.

    As for FOSS IDEs I think only Eclipse, VIM, and Emacs call into that category. (Yay GNU and Eclipse Foundation)
    Last edited by Drumbum42; 2014-04-10 at 03:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbum42 View Post
    As for FOSS IDEs I think only Eclipse, VIM, and Emacs call into that category. (Yay GNU and Eclipse Foundation)
    No, I mentioned KDevelop just a few posts ago.

    There are also NetBeans , CodeBlocks and Geany.

    Then there are language-specific ones - QtCreator (C++), eric4/5 (Python 2/3 resp.).

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    Default Re: Languages with FOSS IDEs with full contextual help for their language.

    Quote Originally Posted by FLHerne View Post
    No, I mentioned KDevelop just a few posts ago.

    There are also NetBeans , CodeBlocks and Geany.

    Then there are language-specific ones - QtCreator (C++), eric4/5 (Python 2/3 resp.).
    Sorry, I was just listing IDEs that I mentioned, not a comprehensive list. There are many more FOSS IDEs then I listed. (Reading back over my post it does kinda sound like there are only 3 FOSS IDEs in existence...)
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