Friday, November 8, 2013

Putting New Light into the IDE

I've written before about how every technology has an internal "genius" or set of inherent, cohesive, driving principles, which need to be recognized and employed when working with it. This the the right way to deal with "new wine." Which is to say, it's not putting it into old bottles! It's the right way to do things.

You'll see a perfect example of what I mean by rethinking new technology in new contexts. The REPL was great when the command line was the king of programming environments, before the GUI and IDEs. But today, the REPL can be so much more than a command line thing. Instarepl in LightTable is a wonderful example of this. You'll see a reduction in cycle time and instantaneous coding feedback in a way that the REPL could never afford.

Clojure Koans in Light Table, found here,  is a cool way to see a bit about Clojure and Light Table.

Not only can you see the instantaneous feedback of the Instarepl, but also get a feel for Clojure, not to mention how the "Koans" are an active approach to learning a new language. (As opposed, for instance, to the passive reading of a book, or even watching this video. So, to be pedantic and irritating, you'll get to see how excellent Koans are by passively watching someone do them, rather than exert yourself and get the real benefit by actively struggling through them and actually improving your knowledge).

Or, if you prefer, there is a short intro video here on the Light Table home page. You'll see that this offers a new way to organize development and code reading: one oriented around functions rather than around files. And that is the way that an IDE should be, when coding a Functional language like Clojure.

I Remain,


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