[plt-scheme] Re: On C#

From: Paulo J. Matos (pocm at soton.ac.uk)
Date: Tue May 22 12:03:06 EDT 2007

Ok, so let me explain the context so that everyone understands the issue.

Here in University of Southampton, Group of Dependable Systems and
Software Engineering we have a Software Engineering Special Interest
Group where we meet every week. This week we talked about
[requirements] traceability in agile methods. One of the suggestions
that came up was that we could develop a traceability tool which helps
user trace requirements/tests/code using linking identifiers, so that
you can for example say: This code implements this requirement or,
this test was developed to test this code in mind. Now guess you
change a requirement, the tool might alert you that you need to change
the code at that point, etc etc.

Well, as in a discussion lots of issues came to mind, one of them was
the programming language we could use.
(the resulting opinions from the 6 that were present)
- Java was down immediately since most of us didn't want to mess with Java.
- C/C++ was too low level for some.
- Haskell, Dylan were too mystic and 'mathematical' for others.
- C# came up as a possibility

Then I suggested PLTScheme or if people are against it, Ocaml.

After a lot of discussion Ocaml was scratched. C# and PLTScheme were
now up to discussion. I was mentioning that I had implemented some IDE
features in an internal tool and that I had tried to implement them in
PLTScheme without success mainly because I do not know the API and I
was not yet able to find examples to guide me through implementing
stuff like that. The main feature which was complained about was:
- Facility to get a list of class methods when you do "(send class "

This is not really important but what I saw is that it is _really_
important for them who are not used to programming in Scheme. However,
most, but not all, are inclined to C#, not because they know the
language but because the IDE has this feature.

It's quite hard to beat such argument. No matter saying that's not the
important thing. So, I told them I would try to look at the code and
see if it's easy to implement and I'll do a PLTScheme demo next week
so that they could see the IDE and some of the language features of
interest to us.

In fact, in a way I understand them, because most of them have used in
their classes during their degree Eclipse, or .NET and now if they
don't see an IDE full of class trees, way to generate code by filling
a couple of boxes etc, they get scared. One of the colleagues which
also supports Scheme because he wants to learn something new said that
as PhD students we need to research new possibilities instead of
getting stuck to the traditional ways but that remark didn't help to
the discussion, anyway.

Another thing I mentioned, probably a year ago but can't find it in
the mailing list would be to have a live helper frame showing up help
on the current keyword. Still I'm having a lot to do and I'm looking
at some syntax-case publications at the moment so trying to look
deeply into the DrScheme tools API or source code is unfortunately a
no go.

So, that's it.

Sorry for posting this to the wrong list but I was probably thinking
about plt-scheme and just wrote it in the sender instead of the
recipients name. Frustrating thing is, I noticed immediately after
pressing send. I still tried discard but gmail was too fast and sent
the email anyway.

Oh well... :)


Paulo Matos

On 5/22/07, Grant Rettke <grettke at acm.org> wrote:
> It is so hard to accept that with which we are not familiar.
> I can't stand reading dark on light for example...as you well know :) (thanks!)
> On 5/22/07, Robby Findler <robby at cs.uchicago.edu> wrote:
> > Still, you tantalize us :)
> >
> > Are the missing niceties the usual things people complain about (tab
> > completion, for example), or are they new ones?
> >
> > Robby
> > _________________________________________________
> >   For list-related administrative tasks:
> >   http://list.cs.brown.edu/mailman/listinfo/plt-scheme
> >

Paulo Jorge Matos - pocm at soton.ac.uk
PhD Student @ ECS
University of Southampton, UK

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