Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

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Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

Abby Spurdle
I've written what I refer to as an "Integrated Console Environment".
Similar to an IDE, but more console oriented, so suitable for running
scripts and dynamic programming languages.
Also, it's designed to be congruent with the file system.

Obviously, I want to support R.
However, the long term plan is to make the core system relatively language
neutral, and to support R via a plugin.

Here's my (early, partially complete) prototype:
https://sites.google.com/site/spurdlea/java/symbyont

And I have some screenshots, which give the general idea:
https://sites.google.com/site/spurdlea/java/symbyont/screenshots

This biggest problem is that I don't have a fully functional console (or
terminal).
I don't know how this works under Windows, but I have found some
information on how it works under Linux.
If anyone would like to contribute or make suggestions in this area, please
email me.

Currently, I'm simply forking child processes, which works most of the
time, including the Windows command prompt.
There are some complications running R this way.
However, running "R --vanilla --ess" produces a reasonable result.

Also, I'm interested to hear what people would like to see in an R user
interface.

Any suggestions are welcome.
However, here are some specific questions that I have:
(1) What would people teaching R, like to see?
(2) If running multiple versions of R at the same time, are there any
GUI-level features that would be desirable?
(3) What should an outline viewer for R, look like and do?
(4) Should there be a data editor, and if so, should it be able to edit R
objects directly?

Noting that point (4) is contrary to the principle of being console
oriented.

Other notes:
(1) It's written in Java, and Swing.
This was the easiest way to create a cross platform user interface.
(2) Currently, it only supports Windows, very sorry.
I'm planning to have it working on Fedora, in the near future.
Then after that, we'll see...
(3) It's dual licensed under GPL 2 and GPL 3.
(4) I wrote most of this in 2006 and 2007.
I pulled it out of my personal archives at the end of April.
(5) It's badly written, and has some bugs and other problems.
Please don't email me and tell me it's badly written or has bugs, because I
know.
(6) I'm planning to completely rewrite it.
I'm likely to do one or two updates before I start rewriting it.
And hopefully, I'll have most of the problems solved, very soon.

It would be good to get suggestions *before* I start rewriting it.


Abs

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Re: Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

Abby Spurdle
I thought that I'd get more feedback.
But it's ok, I understand.

I wanted to note that I've moved symbyont to GitLab, which is where I
should have put it, in the first place.

Also, I'm not planning to start another thread.
However, if anyone has suggestions six months from now (or six years from
now...), you're still welcome to email me, and I will try to listen...

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Re: Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

Iñaki Ucar
Honestly, I don't see the motivation for this. There are many similar
projects that are mature, so my feedback would be: don't reinvent the wheel
and contribute to those.

Iñaki


El vie., 14 jun. 2019 3:18, Abby Spurdle <[hidden email]> escribió:

> I thought that I'd get more feedback.
> But it's ok, I understand.
>
> I wanted to note that I've moved symbyont to GitLab, which is where I
> should have put it, in the first place.
>
> Also, I'm not planning to start another thread.
> However, if anyone has suggestions six months from now (or six years from
> now...), you're still welcome to email me, and I will try to listen...
>
>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>

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Re: Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

Abby Spurdle
On Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 7:24 PM Iñaki Ucar <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> There are many similar projects that are mature

I'm not sure what projects you're referring to.

If we create some constraints:

(1) Internal systems consoles (*plural*).
Rules out most things.
Noting that many tools are designed to bypass the console.

(2) Modern user interface.
Rules out Vim and Emacs.

(3) File system based rather than (IDE-dependent) project based.
Rules out Eclipse and many other IDEs.

(4) Multi-language focus.
Rules out RStudio and many other IDEs.

(5) Completely open source and completely free.
Also rules out RStudio, which limites many features to it's enterprise
edition.

(6) Cross platform desktop application, not web based.
(However, there is a need for web based tools).

None of the tools that I've looked at satisfy these constraints.
But if you know of some, I'd like to know... And I would consider
contributing...

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Re: Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

Iñaki Ucar
On Sat, 15 Jun 2019 at 01:24, Abby Spurdle <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> None of the tools that I've looked at satisfy these constraints.
> But if you know of some, I'd like to know... And I would consider contributing...

What about Atom, VS Code and the like? Or what about taking a project
that meets most of the constraints and pushing to cover all of them,
or even forking it and modifying the part you don't like?

Iñaki

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Re: Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

Abby Spurdle
> What about Atom, VS Code and the like? Or what about taking a project
> that meets most of the constraints and pushing to cover all of them,
> or even forking it and modifying the part you don't like?

I'm not prepared to endorse GitHub affiliated software.

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Re: Halfway through writing an "IDE" with support for R; Proof of concept, and request for suggestions.

frederik-2
On Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 01:13:07PM +1200, Abby Spurdle wrote:
>> What about Atom, VS Code and the like? Or what about taking a project
>> that meets most of the constraints and pushing to cover all of them,
>> or even forking it and modifying the part you don't like?
>
>I'm not prepared to endorse GitHub affiliated software.
>
> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

I'm trying to figure out what (of many possibilities) is wrong with GitHub.

Also, do good programmers really use IDEs? For me the problem is the "integrated" part; the more stuff is bundled together in one package (terminal, editor, window manager, build system), the more annoying it's going to be that I can't use the terminal/editor/window-manager/build-system of my preference.

When I use R, I use it on the command-line with a general-purpose terminal multiplexer, terminal, text editor, (tiling) window manager, and so on. The text editor and R are both running in separate windows in a terminal multiplexer session. I have custom key-bindings in my terminal and text editor which help me move text back and forth between R and the editor, and to do common tasks like sourcing the current file that I'm editing. For me this is much more flexible than anything I could get in a coherent package like RStudio, or something like what Abby is working on. For example, in my setup I never have to use the mouse, which is great for me.

Although Abby's IDE looks awesome, and like a fun project, I felt obliged to weigh in with my own opinions. Not that I'm a very good programmer, but I feel an IDE would make me worse. It seems more like a valuable tool for introducing beginners to the language. We have RStudio, which already fills this niche pretty well (to echo Iñaki).

I'm not even quite sure why I'm writing this, but I hope it may be vaguely useful...

Best wishes,

Frederick

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