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djberg96 (2603)

djberg96
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Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Wednesday September 01, 2004
10:03 AM

Intellisense

[ #20676 ]
From Darren Oakey's blog:

Anyway - I pointed out that the single most important productivity tool in modern languages is intellisense... without it, he can't hope to pull [Smalltalk] into the '90s.

I can count the number of times I've found intellisense useful on one hand. You see Darren, real programmers read and learn the API. Those few times we can't remember a particular method we just look it up. Of course, most languages don't have the bloated monstrosity of an API that Java has. But, as Dave says:

When your language is so verbose that it needs machine assistance to be usable, you've got a crappy language.

Amen.

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  • Perl actually does have intellisense. It's just not supported by a big bloated IDE with dropdown boxes that helpfully guess what you could possibly mean as you type. Instead, Perl uses huffman coded operators like grep, map, split, $scalar = @array , interpolation and so on.

    > When your language is so verbose that it needs machine
    > assistance to be usable, you've got a crappy language.

    Yep. A good language has intellisense for both reading and writing code. Giving you a crutch to write volu

    • Perl actually does have intellisense. It's just not supported by a big bloated IDE with dropdown boxes that helpfully guess what you could possibly mean as you type. Instead, Perl uses huffman coded operators like grep, map, split, $scalar = @array , interpolation and so on.

      This is a little disingenuous, isn't it? The examples you're quoting are all built-ins, and I doubt that most people use intellisense for such items. IME it's really useful for keeping on top of libraries, particularly those you don't

      • This is a little disingenuous, isn't it?

        Not really.

        The examples you're quoting are all built-ins, and I doubt that most people use intellisense for such items.

        That's precisely my point. One of the reasons why Intellisense is almost a requirement for programming in C/C++/C# and Java is because of the type system, and the over complexity of the programming model. With Java, you have big class hierarchies, interfaces, and dozens of classes with dozens of methods. For example, if I want to iterate

  • I started writing a reply, but it got upgraded to it's own journal entry [perl.org] :)
    • Heh - I read it. I think perhaps you misunderstood my point. I have no problem with Intellisense. If you like it, great. It's probably very handy for some people.

      What I'm really mocking is Darren's assertion that Intellisense is "the single most important productivity tool in modern languages". I mean, please people. That, coupled with the notion that Smalltalk failed because it didn't have a cool enough IDE.