[plt-scheme] Interacting w/ MzScheme

From: Don Blaheta (dblaheta at knox.edu)
Date: Fri Dec 10 00:21:03 EST 2004

Quoth Matthias Felleisen:
> Okay, I am not interested in random statements like "I like my Emacs 
> better." So do I. I know that DrScheme isn't Emacs. Something like "I 
> miss tagging" or "I miss a cvs mode" or "I miss a spell checker" is 
> useful.

As a general comment, I find it really frustrating that so many IDEs
(DrScheme included) all feel the need to write their own editors.  The
best of them just end up doing their best to be a pale imitation of
emacs.  And all of them leave vi users completely out in the cold.  I'd
much rather see an IDE that, instead of putting effort into reinventing
the wheel, would spend that effort on a really smooth integration with
vim and emacs.  Then, when someone comes up with the next new desirable
editor feature, it can just be added once.  (Well, twice.)

One feature I really miss (both for myself and on behalf of my students)
is keyword completion.  I think this is M-/ in emacs; it's ^N and ^P in
vim.  Not having it makes it difficult to use non-cryptic variable names.

With respect to the other languages that DrScheme supports, well, the
editor doesn't support them nearly as well as vim or emacs.  I'm not
saying it can't in principle; but it currently doesn't.  Once again,
provide a good integration with good editors and support for a wide
variety of languages comes for free.

And while I'm complaining about the DrScheme editor, I'll again note my
frustration with the non-openness of the snip system.  I love how
flexible and extensible it is, but if I want to read my students' files,
or (heaven forbid) process them automatically, I have to actually open
up DrScheme.  I can't write a mzscheme script because the editor% class
is drscheme-only, and I can't write a script in some other language
because there is no documentation of the format.  This is annoying when
major corporations do it, and it's not really any less annoying here.

-=-Don Blaheta-=-dblaheta at knox.edu-=-=-<http://faculty.knox.edu/dblaheta/>-=-
"Hell, yes, I support our troops! I support them so much that I want
them safe at home. I support them so much that, if it were up to me,
they would never have been put into danger in Iraq in the first place."

Posted on the users mailing list.