[General] Lively Kernel programming
Dan.Ingalls at Sun.com
Mon Apr 27 04:19:50 CEST 2009
Haowei wrote this question to me off list, but I figure the answer may
be of interest to a number of folks out there...
> may i ask what sort of IDE or editor do you use for Lively Kernel
I use the System Browser of the Lively Kernel itself exclusively now.
You can open this from the world menu Tools item to check it out. It
is mostly the work of Robert Krahn.
The System Browser starts by showing you a list of all the files in
the source repository. If you click on one, it will parse it (using
display it in a Smalltalk-style class/method presentation. When you
make changes, the files are appropriately updated [Note that you will
not be able to make changes to the files until you run it from a copy
of our repository]. You can also turn eval on, and it will cause
changes that you make to take immediate effect in the system you are
When I work on something that is not at the core of the system (like
the kaleidoscope), then I turn eval on, and there is no delay from
accepting changes to the time they take effect.
Over the past week I rewrote a lot of the text code which would have
been bad with eval on. This is because if you make a mistake, you not
only crash your system, but the changes are on file so you have to un-
make them before you can get back to work. In this case, I run two
browser windows, one with the LK System Browser in it (the IDE), and
the other with a test system running. I make some changes in the IDE
window (or tab), and then reload the test window. If it has bugs I go
back and fix them in the first window. This is classical cross-
debugging, but the time between cycles is only a few seconds, because
Config.skipMostExamples = true; // suppress examples that are slow (*)
in my localconfig file, so that a reload only takes 3 or 4 seconds.
Each time I get to a point where the test system seems solid, then I
reload the IDE window so that I am living with the changes for a bit
of extra testing. When things seem really solid, then I commit the
changes to the SVN repository, a one-line command that only takes a
Check out Robert's System Browser documentation at
(*) PS: There is a way to specify such changes with a URL flag, but I
always forget it. Robert or Krzysztof, if this is in the Wiki can you
say where and, if it is not, could you put a brief description along
with a list of some of the more useful ones (many can be learned from
a reading of defaultconfig.js
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