On Thursday, July 6, 2006, at 6:42:52 PM, Lothar Scholz wrote:

RJ>> I'd love to see someone do it, but it's not going to be easy, in my opinion.

> I thought about this too (well, i get paid for doing this :-).

> And i don't think it's so difficult to implement something that is
> getting closer to Smalltalk. But i'm not really sure if this will
> increase productivity very much, because i believe it is wasting a lot
> of time playing with things instead organized programming with writting
> test cases. It's just a different way to do things - but this is
> left for each one/project to decide what style to choose.

Well, I've worked in many languages, including Smalltalk and Ruby,
and I was way more productive in Smalltalk. I think that's the
general impression that people have who have done both.

Some of that productivity is surely in the language syntax, but I'd
think that was only a small part of it.

In Smalltalk, I can see the source code of any method available. I
can set a breakpoint in it, step through it, change it if I want to.
In Ruby, as it stands now, we don't even know what all the source
code is going to be, nor what it is now.

If we built a whole new Ruby system, that could be resolved. In
terms of an IDE on top of existing Ruby, I think it would be more
difficult. I'd expect it to wind up looking like Visual Studio, C#,
but without all the type definitions.

Surely you know more about it than I do, I only fiddled with it for
a little while. And I certainly hope someone will do it, so we can
find out for sure.

> The only problem that you can't solve is that there is no image.
> But i believe this is not really important. It's much more about
> interactivity (inspector) and the good code browsing of a Smalltalk
> System.

Well, that and senders and implementers and coding in the debugger
and then restarting the stack and quite an array of things. Even the
multi-window layout contributes to what makes Smalltalk what it is.
A flat IDE isn't the same.

> I did a little bit lisp programming in the past and the
> image was nothing that i would add to the killer features.

> Sadly too many people are black-and-white minded. They want this
> and exactly this behaviour and having trying to do it exactly
> like Smalltalk is impossible.

I don't know if it's impossible, but I'm convinced it's hard. And as
someone who has used all these languages, including Smalltalk and
Ruby, Ruby has a ways to go in the IDE area before it gets close to
Smalltalk, in my opinion.

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
Think!  -- Aretha Franklin