Subject: Re: Still clinking to Java?
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 03:32:36 -0500
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
Kenny Tilton  <> wrote:
| Any newbie who shrugs off that discomfiture soon enough looks up
| and realizes, omigod!, I just wrote this wicked stuff without more
| than a few IDE tricks. Meanwhile, they are so orgasmic of the language
| per se that they never consider looking back, and instead toss off
| in half a day their own IDE tools.

Indeed. I wrote my first substantial CL app with nothing more than a
web browser and two XTerm windows: one running "vi" and another with
a Lisp REPL in it. Not *once* did I *ever* miss having a fancy "IDE".
Quite the contrary -- I was too busy getting stuff done with Lisp!!

Oh, I admit that some of what I did might fall under Kenny's "half a
day [on] their own IDE tools" rubric, e.g.: setting up "detachtty"
to front-end the app's REPL; setting up the web server config so an
ASDF:LOAD gets done every time any server page was accessed [do a
write in "vi" and hit "Reload" in the browser, and Voila! -- instant
recompilation of whatever's changed and their dependencies]; maybe a
few other tiny conveniences. But nothing major. A half-day sounds
about right, actually.

Might someone using Emacs+SLIME or a commercial IDE been faster?
Maybe, for the very tiny fraction of the total effort that *might*
have been sped up with those tools. But frankly, for me personally,
I probably would have lost more time trying to get some "better" tool
running than I ever would have made up by using it. IMHO. For me.

Give me *any* editor with which I'm already comfortable [that does
basic paren matching & shifting, which "vi" does], a Lisp REPL with
APROPOS & DESCRIBE, and some minimal build tools (ASDF, MK:DEFSYSTEM,
or a "half-day toss-off") and I'm ecstatic.

"We don' need no stinkin' IDE!"


p.s. NOTA BENE: This was *NOT* a "favorite editor" flame!! As I have
said here many times before, I wish nothing but the best for those of
you lucky enough to have fingers/minds that can hack Emacs. Mine don't
seem to be able to... not that it matters much. When I'm programming
Lisp, the editor that I'm using simply isn't ever an obstacle, AFAICT.

Rob Warnock			<>
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