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Some ideas on method auto-completion in Padre June 9, 2009

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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12 comments

perlAuto-completion is a nice feature for an IDE. While Padre supports some auto-completion functions, method auto-completion is an important missing feature. This post is a short round-up of features present in other IDEs.

What auto-completion features does Padre support today?

Beside automatic bracket completion, Padre has a nice auto-completion implementation for variables (first character -including sigil- then ctrl + p):

padreautocomplete

Eclipse + Epic

Epic (an add-on to Eclipse) has a nice working auto-completion feature activated by the method invocator (->).

epicac

As a reference, the java auto-completion in Eclipse:

eclipseac

Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit also has auto-completion for methods, but does not show those inherited from parent classes making the feature rather useless for OO development.

komodeac

Netbeans

Netbeans has no Perl support, nevertheless the java auto-completion feature is a good example:

nbaujava

The method auto-completion feature is activated by the “.” (“->” in Perl). Not only you get a list of accessible methods (with expected parameter type and return value), but also the javadoc documentation for the selected method.

How should Padre support method auto-completion? Some ideas

  1. Method autocomplete should be activated by “->” and “::”. This way class hierarchies can be autocompleted as well. With “::” support for functions can be added.
  2. Private methods should be hidden. By convention, private methods start with “_”.
  3. Linking method autocomplete to perldoc is a winner combination when programming to not yet familiar APIs and certainly friendly to new Perl developers. While Perl is not strictly typed, a well formatted perldoc entry for a method should make clear what kind of parameters are expected and what the return value could be. However, documentation is rather freely formatted, so it would be difficult to implement in a generic way (without adding formatting restriction to classes).

JavaFX compiler for Linux very soon? May 11, 2009

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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1 comment so far

javafxGood news. It seems that Linux and Solaris are getting the JavaFX development kit. Finally. In the fight against Silverlight and AIR every developer counts. Still some questions remain open:

  • Will SUN open JavaFX completely now (don’t make the JDK error twice!)?
  • When will -at least- Netbeans get a JavaFX graphical editor in the same level as the Netbeans’ Matisse Swing editor?
  • And last but not least, what will Oracle do with JavaFX when it owns SUN?

Anyway, if the apparently well-informed rumour is true, it is indeed good news.

Netbeans tip & tricks: Swing dialogs with the wrong size (same as previous dialog) June 13, 2008

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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Netbeans has a killer feature: it’s graphical Swing builder (aka Matisse). It’s fast, flexible and it works. GUI application in no time. Great.

However, when not creating the GUI by hand, it can be difficult to track some bugs. I found out that when using different JDialogs in the same application, resulting in the dialogs having the same size as the first dialog opened. Pretty annoying. This is how to solve it. (more…)

Netbeans 6.1 is out && rant! April 29, 2008

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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I would have never guessed that one day I’d use Netbeans and like it. Netbeans is really a great IDE for java programming and make a lot of things really easy: db connections (mysql!), GUI graphical editor (aka Matisse) for Swing applications, Webstart (deploy your *desktop* apps from a website), jar creation including jar dependencies, webservices apis (Flickr!, Google, …), subversion support, etc, etc. Really a nice product that has improved a lot.

If only Netbeans would support perl and shell scripts (very important for sysadmins), it would become – at least for me – the IDE to rule them all. For now, I use Eclipse with the epic plugin for perl development (syntax checking, factoring, context assitance, debugging …), and the shelled plugin for shell scripts. Who knows what the future will bring, but working with two IDEs is kind of suboptimal…

EDIT: by now (november 2008) Netbeans 6.5 is out with improved SQL editing, a new PHP editor and beta Python support. A nice and huge step in the right direction, but still no Perl. The support of these similar dynamic languages make it obvious that a good base for dynamic languages entered the Netbeans archticture. Hopefully an implementation Perl will next in line…

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