Ide help for the confused

Discussion of Common Lisp

Ide help for the confused

Postby Hubertus » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:11 pm

Okay i am new and i need an Ide for Common Lisp.
I have read the Faq and i have still no clue at all.
i am confused. especially with "emac" .

First emacs used to be some sort of apple laptop. next thing i know its an text editor for linux. and then suddenly its an ide for common lisp on windows. but sometimes i read that there is a difference between common lisp and emac lisp.

i need some wise words and some helping hands to get to a nice solid ide. some overview wich ide is for what system and maybe a screenshot (a man can dream).

i use windows xp.
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby gugamilare » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:47 pm

I would suggest Quicklisp, there is a howto on how to set it up and it is pretty easy (you will need Emacs and to install Slime as instructed on that page).

Other suggestions are to set up Slime + Emacs on your own, clbuild (this is not very nice for Windows as it uses a Unix command line), Cusp (which runs on top of Eclipse, it is a bit heavy but looks gorgeous) and Able (which is a simple Emacs-like editor which is easier to use with Common Lisp, though I never really tested it myself).
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby Hubertus » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:24 am

:?:

okay. i'm afraid that i am still lost.
i choose the eclipse thing. because you wrote gorgeous and i still don't know what emac is or how to get it. (those "pretty easy" sides look like they are timetravellers from 1990 and dindn't help me at all).

downloaded cusp. wich eclipse version do i need?
http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/compare.php
no lisp no cusp spotted on that list.

am i extremly stupid or is it like not possible to get an ide for xp ?

edit1:
okay got eclipse to work with lisp.
heavenly overloaded. mucho dislike.

ain't there some simple ide?
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby Paul » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:17 am

Hubertus wrote:Okay i am new and i need an Ide for Common Lisp.
I have read the Faq and i have still no clue at all.
i am confused. especially with "emac" .

First emacs used to be some sort of apple laptop. next thing i know its an text editor for linux.


FWIW, it was a text editor decades before there was even such a thing as a laptop! :)

i use windows xp.


That's 90% of your problem right there.
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby gugamilare » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:54 am

Hubertus wrote:[...]
i choose the eclipse thing. because you wrote gorgeous and i still don't know what emac is or how to get it.


Don't you know how to Google?

Emacs
Download of Emacs for Windows

Hubertus wrote: (those "pretty easy" sides look like they are timetravellers from 1990 and dindn't help me at all).


I'm sorry, pal, but you will need to lose your fear to use the terminal or you won't be a good programmer at all, in any language.

Hubertus wrote:[...]
ain't there some simple ide?


I just remembered Lisp Starter Pack.
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby marcoxa » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:34 pm

Suggestion. NEVER use an IDE like Eclipse if you have not mastered the command line (or the "interpreter"); this suggestion is especially valid for Java and C++. Plus, CUSP locks you in with a single CL implementations.

Cheers
--
MA
Marco Antoniotti
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby gugamilare » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:20 pm

marcoxa wrote:Plus, CUSP locks you in with a single CL implementations.


That is not a problem for a newbie. You only need more than one implementation if you need to test your code on several implementations or if you want some feature present in one of them.
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby wvxvw » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:33 am

I have made my first steps in CL not so long ago, and I can understand your confusion. Well, I'll try to help, also keep in mind I've not gone much further then you, except for I feel comfortable with the IDE I have.
First, I do use Emacs on Linux, and I'm using it for many other things as well, not only Common Lisp. Emacs can do way too many things you would not even expect from your average text editor, but it may be very confusing (and hey, there are people who know Emacs and they still don't like it! So it's really the matter of preference).
Now, if you are a Windows user with zero Linux experience and you don't remember the times when Norton Commander was the way to navigate the file system... then probably it's good that you start with Eclipse. Eclipse on Windows isn't what it is on Linux. On Windows it's reasonably fast, way less buggy and it sort of fits into what you would expect a Windows program to do. It has nice interface with lots of buttons, forms, pop-up windows etc. In Linux Eclipse is a well-known CPU-hog and virtual memory thief. It's also extremely buggy and sluggish. Besides, it's trying to do things the Windows-way (i.e. it has poor command-line interoperability, but instead it offers ton's of pretty GUI stuff, which isn't really traditional there).

So, if you happen to have previous Eclipse experience it may be better that you start in there, but keep in mind, Emacs is a better (or, at least, more traditional) environment for Lisp, especially so because other IDEs for Lisp are mostly trying to mimic it in important aspects.

Now, there was another confusion (I also eventually ran into eLisp, aka Emacs Lisp, documentation when searching for Common Lisp documentation and it was confusing). So, Lisp is a general definition that describes several languages. Some are more frequently used, some are less common. Lisp is distinguished by the use of S-expressions (symbolic expressions - a writing form, where the name of the function is aligned to the left paren, and it's arguments are following on the right until meeting the right paren), which is the basic syntax element of the language. Even if someone develops a language based on S-expressions, and it has very little to do with other Lisps, they would say it's `like' Lisp (for example, Register Transfer Language, aka RTL). So, there is Emacs Lisp, which is a different language, it is still Lisp, but it's the language that Emacs (the program) is written in. If you use Emacs, then, eventually, you will write in this language some times, when, for example, you would want to configure something specific about the program. There is Shceme, another known Lisp, there's AutoLisp (the language used to automate AutoCAD), yet another Lisp.

Lisp is very old (older then me!) and you would have to deal with that some things will look more like history, then actuality. Well, on the other hand many of those things are still valid today, isn't that cool? :)

One more point re' IDE (which would be uncommon for someone from, for example, Java background) it's the concept of REPL (Read Eval Print Loop). This isn't only the way Lisp internally works, this is also the way you are writing the code. What I mean is that you must have it in your editor, or else it's not really a Lisp editor. In layman terms, REPL is a console window where you can type bits of your program and see them execute. SLIME (Superior Lisp Mode for Emacs) is a program, that beside other things helps you interact with REPL. It `knows' how to send certain pieces of your code to the Lisp interpreter and how to get the information back. So, for example, it may show you the function or macro parameters as you type (because while you type it can send a (describe 'your-function) code to Lisp interpreter, and it would reply with the description of the 'your-function function. SLIME will then parse the description and will display it to you.

After all, hey, Linux is free! Why would you not install it side by side with Windows at least to try? This won't only help you to program in Lisp, it would also explain some of the concepts in Emacs. It would also help you to grasp some things intuitively (like, how to get command line autocompletion, how to search for text inside files etc.) There's Wubi (Ubuntu packaged to run inside Windows) you don't even need to re-partition your hard drive to use it, it runs just like a regular program.
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby marcoxa » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:52 am

If the issue is Windows then you can always go with Lispworks personal edition. The IDE (read: a nice Emacs clone :) ) is very good and without the laziness-inducing Eclipse environment :) Laziness must be hard-won. I can use Eclipse now. The regular newbie no. :ugeek:

Cheers
Marco Antoniotti
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Re: Ide help for the confused

Postby I X Code X 1 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:24 am

I've just started using Common Lisp a few months ago and have experimented with many different implementations. I've used Clisp, ACL, CUSP (which is built on SBCL) and probably some more that I can't think of right now. I do like CUSP (because I've spent so much time with Eclipse from Java), but for learning the language I find this to not be the best choice. In my opinion, if you're trying to learn you should not use something that is going to do so much work for you i.e. auto-completion. I like ACL (express edition) because it matches parens, but it does not totally do auto-completion. It just shows you what should be following a function that you typed i.e.list args:(&rest ret).

That's just my opinion on the whole matter, learn the language by typing it yourself and then you can go to to auto-complete IDEs.
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