In late 2005 I was awarded a grant from the Perl Foundation for "Extending PPI Towards a Refactoring Perl Editor". You can see the original grant here.
My idea at the time was to take the recently completed PPI parser, fill in a variety of different supporting features, build some modules to improve platform integration, and then build a refactoring editor that used PPI and that would fire the imagination of what was possible in Perl.
A year and a half later in early 2007, I was forced to report the failure of the grant.
Not having anything like the time or experience to build an editor from scratch, I had intended to build a thin refactoring layer over the top of an existing Perl editor. For various reasons, I couldn't make this workable.
To my great surprise and astonishment, the Perl Foundation decided to pay out the grant anyway. Their reasoning was that I had indeed completed all the secondary goals, and the benefits provided by the creation of Vanilla Perl (later to become Strawberry Perl) which was NOT in the grant made the grant worthwhile anyway.
As Curtis noted at the time "Given that he didn't complete his grant, some might be surprised that we've decided to make the final payment...".
And indeed, from time to time the subject has come up here and there about getting paid despite not succeeding. Not often, and not loudly, but occasionally and ongoing.
It has also eaten at me. I hate not delivering on what I say I'll do, and I wanted the refactoring editor for me as much as for everyone else. While Padre has grown and improved, it's never quite met my expectations of what a great Perl IDE should be like.
So it is with great joy that with the landing of the Task 2.0 API I think Padre finally meets the criteria that I set for myself in taking the grant, a Perl Refactoring IDE that would let me give up Ultraedit and present Perl in a modern GUI setting.
Task 2.0 makes Find In Files, Replace In Files, and Incremental Search only a small amount of coding away from being created. These are the last features I need to finally ditch Ultraedit once and for all. The time has arrived, I think, to draw a line in the sand.
And so almost 5 years after the original grant, it is with great joy that I would like to formally report I have completed my 2005 Perl Foundation grant.
I have built, on top of the shoulders of Gabor and the rest of the Padre gang, a refactoring editor that I think will fire the imagination of Perl developers.
And I hope that this corrects and draws to a close one of the most persistently annoying failures in my Perl career.
Please enjoy the features in the new Padre releases as they appear over the next month and a half, leading up to Padre's second birthday party.
I am extremely proud of what the whole Padre gang has achieved in the last year, and I can't wait to stabilise a new group of features just waiting for the background support to firm up a little more.