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Marco
24-Jul-2005, 11:37 PM
Hi all,

I was at a conference last week, and they showed the Eclipse
development environment. It seems that many development tool builders
are working on or are looking into creating plug-in's, for Eclipse so
they have a relatively cheap development environment with all features
of Microsoft Studio.

Instead of focussing on the generic features of any development
environment, all effort can be put into the specific plug-in for
making it work extremely well while developing their language.

So, I guess I would like to start a discussion with:
Should we ask DataAccess to look into building a plug-in for the (free
& opensource) Eclipse development platform, and slowly give up the
Studio for it?

Advantages I could see immediately are:
- Less time spend on not DataFlex specific editing requirements
- Much easier to start working with DataFlex if the programmer is used
to programming in Eclipse.

Any opinions?

Regards,
Marco

Chris Spencer
24-Jul-2005, 11:59 PM
Hi Marco
Was not there some discussion on a plugin being developed by Torkild Resheim
for VDF some time back?

Chris Spencer
TUFware Systems

"Marco Kuipers" <marco.kuipers@nci.com.au> wrote in message
news:kkq8e1hg2h70en86aqgrckf73anl9hnrni@4ax.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I was at a conference last week, and they showed the Eclipse
> development environment. It seems that many development tool builders
> are working on or are looking into creating plug-in's, for Eclipse so
> they have a relatively cheap development environment with all features
> of Microsoft Studio.
>
> Instead of focussing on the generic features of any development
> environment, all effort can be put into the specific plug-in for
> making it work extremely well while developing their language.
>
> So, I guess I would like to start a discussion with:
> Should we ask DataAccess to look into building a plug-in for the (free
> & opensource) Eclipse development platform, and slowly give up the
> Studio for it?
>
> Advantages I could see immediately are:
> - Less time spend on not DataFlex specific editing requirements
> - Much easier to start working with DataFlex if the programmer is used
> to programming in Eclipse.
>
> Any opinions?
>
> Regards,
> Marco

Torkild U. Resheim
25-Jul-2005, 05:53 AM
Marco Kuipers wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I was at a conference last week, and they showed the Eclipse
> development environment. It seems that many development tool builders
> are working on or are looking into creating plug-in's, for Eclipse so
> they have a relatively cheap development environment with all features
> of Microsoft Studio.
>
> Instead of focussing on the generic features of any development
> environment, all effort can be put into the specific plug-in for
> making it work extremely well while developing their language.
>
> So, I guess I would like to start a discussion with:
> Should we ask DataAccess to look into building a plug-in for the (free
> & opensource) Eclipse development platform, and slowly give up the
> Studio for it?
>
> Advantages I could see immediately are:
> - Less time spend on not DataFlex specific editing requirements
> - Much easier to start working with DataFlex if the programmer is used
> to programming in Eclipse.
>
> Any opinions?
>
> Regards,
> Marco
I guess I should toss in my few cents here since I've been developing a
Visual DataFlex plugin for Eclipse for about a year and a half :-) One of
the reasons for doing so is the lack of features in the VDF IDE, another is
the expandable nature of Eclipse. The latter allows developers to plug in
to existing plugins and expand/replace parts to suit their own needs.

The plugin is not quite ready for the public, there are still a few (minor)
bugs and some planned features are missing. However if you're really
interested and don't mind the lack of documentation, I'll let you try it
out. If so drop me a note. The plugin has been used in production by the
R&D team at Emma EDB since february and is now considered stable.

More information can be found at http://resheim.no/vdf

Regards,
Torkild.

Chris Spencer
25-Jul-2005, 06:58 AM
Marco

Sure the Studio could be better but I am happy with the Studio as is (even
with the limitations).

If Torkild has been developing a plug-in for 18 months it would seem that
any VDF specific stuff is not a trivial undertaking.
If DAW was to undertake any major project I would much rather see it on
Runtime stuff that benefits the end user (better classes, more classes,
proper manifest handling) than on a Studio replacement

Just my 2 cents worth

Chris Spencer
TUFware Systems

"Marco Kuipers" <marco.kuipers@nci.com.au> wrote in message
news:kkq8e1hg2h70en86aqgrckf73anl9hnrni@4ax.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I was at a conference last week, and they showed the Eclipse
> development environment. It seems that many development tool builders
> are working on or are looking into creating plug-in's, for Eclipse so
> they have a relatively cheap development environment with all features
> of Microsoft Studio.
>
> Instead of focussing on the generic features of any development
> environment, all effort can be put into the specific plug-in for
> making it work extremely well while developing their language.
>
> So, I guess I would like to start a discussion with:
> Should we ask DataAccess to look into building a plug-in for the (free
> & opensource) Eclipse development platform, and slowly give up the
> Studio for it?
>
> Advantages I could see immediately are:
> - Less time spend on not DataFlex specific editing requirements
> - Much easier to start working with DataFlex if the programmer is used
> to programming in Eclipse.
>
> Any opinions?
>
> Regards,
> Marco

Torkild U. Resheim
25-Jul-2005, 07:06 AM
Chris Spencer wrote:

> Marco
>
> Sure the Studio could be better but I am happy with the Studio as is (even
> with the limitations).
>
> If Torkild has been developing a plug-in for 18 months it would seem that
> any VDF specific stuff is not a trivial undertaking.
Actually, the problem was how I chose to implement the VDF parser and the
fact that the language itself is more or less unsuitable for modern tools.
However this has been resolved in a satisfactory manner and the VDF parser
is now pretty good at "understanding" VDF code. It would be possible to
write a VDF parser that only handles the "outline" of a program, ignoring
the rest in much less time.

Considering that this has been a hobby project I don't think 18 months is a
lot of time. These days I spend the time fixing bugs and adding user
friendly features so the dirty work is all done. A public preview will
probably be available in august.

> If DAW was to undertake any major project I would much rather see it on
> Runtime stuff that benefits the end user (better classes, more classes,
> proper manifest handling) than on a Studio replacement
I agree, besides I already have a Studio replacement ;-)
>
> Just my 2 cents worth
>
> Chris Spencer
> TUFware Systems
>

Regards,
Torkild.

Larry R Pint
25-Jul-2005, 09:57 AM
I can see advantages to both sides.

The current IDE is written in VDF. This has two advantages:

1) It demonstrates the capabilities of the product. What would be your
reaction to MicroSoft's Visual Studio being written in Delphi? Probably
that the MicroSoft languages were not capable of creating an IDE type
product.

2) I'm sure many of the enhancements to the runtime and classes have
been due to the IDE development staff needing additional features and
functionality. Without the IDE being written in VDF, would we have the
same features and functionality. Internal people saying they need these
items carries more weight than requests from external sources.

On the other hand ... If DAW no longer needed to expend as many
resources on IDE development, they could allocate those resources to
enhancing the runtime and classes and creating new products. (Like VDF
for Linux (x-windows?) or better yet, web app server for Linux.)

While I would certainly like to see the two Linux products, I think not
having the IDE written in VDF would be a big mistake.

Larry Pint



Marco Kuipers wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I was at a conference last week, and they showed the Eclipse
> development environment. It seems that many development tool builders
> are working on or are looking into creating plug-in's, for Eclipse so
> they have a relatively cheap development environment with all features
> of Microsoft Studio.
>
> Instead of focussing on the generic features of any development
> environment, all effort can be put into the specific plug-in for
> making it work extremely well while developing their language.
>
> So, I guess I would like to start a discussion with:
> Should we ask DataAccess to look into building a plug-in for the (free
> & opensource) Eclipse development platform, and slowly give up the
> Studio for it?
>
> Advantages I could see immediately are:
> - Less time spend on not DataFlex specific editing requirements
> - Much easier to start working with DataFlex if the programmer is used
> to programming in Eclipse.
>
> Any opinions?
>
> Regards,
> Marco

David Martinko
25-Jul-2005, 10:01 AM
But without DAW setting the standard for the IDE, in a few years it may be
impossible for each of us to help each other with problems that arise as
each developer uses their own plugins.

My 2 Cents.

--
David Martinko
Redeemed Software
248-535-7495
RedeemedSoftware(SHIFT+2)Hotmail(PERIOD)com
www.redeemedsoftware.com

"Larry Pint" <larry.pint@ntuminc.com> wrote in message
news:4B3ZRjSkFHA.3408@dacmail.dataaccess.com...
>I can see advantages to both sides.
>
> The current IDE is written in VDF. This has two advantages:
>
> 1) It demonstrates the capabilities of the product. What would be your
> reaction to MicroSoft's Visual Studio being written in Delphi? Probably
> that the MicroSoft languages were not capable of creating an IDE type
> product.
>
> 2) I'm sure many of the enhancements to the runtime and classes have been
> due to the IDE development staff needing additional features and
> functionality. Without the IDE being written in VDF, would we have the
> same features and functionality. Internal people saying they need these
> items carries more weight than requests from external sources.
>
> On the other hand ... If DAW no longer needed to expend as many resources
> on IDE development, they could allocate those resources to enhancing the
> runtime and classes and creating new products. (Like VDF for Linux
> (x-windows?) or better yet, web app server for Linux.)
>
> While I would certainly like to see the two Linux products, I think not
> having the IDE written in VDF would be a big mistake.
>
> Larry Pint
>
>
>
> Marco Kuipers wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I was at a conference last week, and they showed the Eclipse
>> development environment. It seems that many development tool builders
>> are working on or are looking into creating plug-in's, for Eclipse so
>> they have a relatively cheap development environment with all features
>> of Microsoft Studio.
>>
>> Instead of focussing on the generic features of any development
>> environment, all effort can be put into the specific plug-in for
>> making it work extremely well while developing their language.
>>
>> So, I guess I would like to start a discussion with:
>> Should we ask DataAccess to look into building a plug-in for the (free
>> & opensource) Eclipse development platform, and slowly give up the
>> Studio for it?
>>
>> Advantages I could see immediately are:
>> - Less time spend on not DataFlex specific editing requirements
>> - Much easier to start working with DataFlex if the programmer is used
>> to programming in Eclipse.
>>
>> Any opinions?
>>
>> Regards,
>> Marco

Torkild U. Resheim
25-Jul-2005, 11:56 AM
Larry Pint wrote:

> I can see advantages to both sides.
>
> The current IDE is written in VDF. This has two advantages:
>
> 1) It demonstrates the capabilities of the product. What would be your
> reaction to MicroSoft's Visual Studio being written in Delphi? Probably
> that the MicroSoft languages were not capable of creating an IDE type
> product.
Not really. VDF is very business rules/database centric while the IDE is
not. Note that the most important component in VDF Studio, the editor, is
not written in VDF. Guess why. If you look at the features the Eclipse
library is providing, you'd find that it's tailored for IDE development
which is exactly the reason why companies are rushing to take advantage of
it.
Who cares which language the IDE is written in as long as the language
you're using it for is providing the features you need for the job.
>
> 2) I'm sure many of the enhancements to the runtime and classes have
> been due to the IDE development staff needing additional features and
> functionality. Without the IDE being written in VDF, would we have the
> same features and functionality. Internal people saying they need these
> items carries more weight than requests from external sources.
Maybe, however I doubt it. I don't think you can find many VDF Studio
features that have had a great impact in the language. How many of you are
still waiting for VDF support for the "CoolBar"?
>
> On the other hand ... If DAW no longer needed to expend as many
> resources on IDE development, they could allocate those resources to
> enhancing the runtime and classes and creating new products. (Like VDF
> for Linux (x-windows?) or better yet, web app server for Linux.)
I think DAW needs to be in control of a VDF IDE, whatever language it's
written in.

I'd also really like to see a multi platform VDF. I think it would be a good
idea to do the UI in QT which is both GNU/Linux and Windows. This would
leave a much smaller portion that is platform specific.
>
> While I would certainly like to see the two Linux products, I think not
> having the IDE written in VDF would be a big mistake.
>
> Larry Pint
>
[snip]

Torkild

Marco
26-Jul-2005, 05:31 AM
Hi All,

This is really something to look into!

Right now I found as the main reasons to use this:
1. Integration with VDF is getting really nice, thanks to Torkild! It
even indicates all errors as you type, it has all the help included
etc.
2. I can maintain my CM programs in the same environment as the VDF
ones! The outline function is really spectacular!
3. I can write DB2 stored procedures, function etc also in Eclipse
using the DB2 plugin
4. I can integrate Visual Source Safe to version control all the above
using a VSS plug-in...

This is really worth spending a bit of time playing with (and getting
addicted to).

Cheers,
Marco

Torkild U. Resheim
26-Jul-2005, 06:44 AM
Marco Kuipers wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> This is really something to look into!
>
> Right now I found as the main reasons to use this:
> 1. Integration with VDF is getting really nice, thanks to Torkild! It
> even indicates all errors as you type, it has all the help included
> etc.
> 2. I can maintain my CM programs in the same environment as the VDF
> ones! The outline function is really spectacular!
> 3. I can write DB2 stored procedures, function etc also in Eclipse
> using the DB2 plugin
> 4. I can integrate Visual Source Safe to version control all the above
> using a VSS plug-in...
CVS is already included.

>
> This is really worth spending a bit of time playing with (and getting
> addicted to).
>
> Cheers,
> Marco
Thanks Marco :-)

I'd like to add a few points, features that we've found to be very helpful.

All comments are recorded in the metadata. So when you've properly
documented a class (or anything else) using comments. You can then point
the mouse at the class name in an object declaration and your comments will
hover above. Very useful. Let the mouse hover above any word in the code
and you'll soon learn which word types utilize this feature.

Have you looked at templates and content assist? Try i.e. "Find EQ CUSTOMER
by Index." (needs DEF file for customer). Or "SEND " [CTRL]+[SPACE] inside
a VDF program. Just [CTRL]+[SPACE] on an empty line suggest templates.

Also try selecting a keyword (such as the class name, or global variable)
then press [F3]. [Alt]+[<-]/[->] takes you between editor positions. If you
have a lot of editors open you'll [CTRL]+[E] useful.

Just of the top of my head.

Regards,
Torkild.

Chris Spencer
26-Jul-2005, 08:30 AM
Marco
What about the GUI stuff that the Studio does (design a view etc)
Is the plugin a matter of say throwing away Multiedit and using eclipse as
the editor
I am a bit vague on what the tool does for a VDF developer

Chris Spencer
TUFware Systems

"Marco Kuipers" <marco.kuipers@nci.com.au> wrote in message
news:c04ce1153pljlq0s23qgvn1m3lrvapv9ms@4ax.com...
> Hi All,
>
> This is really something to look into!
>
> Right now I found as the main reasons to use this:
> 1. Integration with VDF is getting really nice, thanks to Torkild! It
> even indicates all errors as you type, it has all the help included
> etc.
> 2. I can maintain my CM programs in the same environment as the VDF
> ones! The outline function is really spectacular!
> 3. I can write DB2 stored procedures, function etc also in Eclipse
> using the DB2 plugin
> 4. I can integrate Visual Source Safe to version control all the above
> using a VSS plug-in...
>
> This is really worth spending a bit of time playing with (and getting
> addicted to).
>
> Cheers,
> Marco

Torkild U. Resheim
26-Jul-2005, 04:15 PM
Chris Spencer wrote:

> Marco
> What about the GUI stuff that the Studio does (design a view etc)
It may be a part of the 2.0 release.

> Is the plugin a matter of say throwing away Multiedit and using eclipse as
> the editor
> I am a bit vague on what the tool does for a VDF developer
>
> Chris Spencer
> TUFware Systems
>
[snip]

The plugin is a collection of editors, views and a metadata model
representing all the VDF projects in the workspace. Take a look at this
article: http://resheim.no/vdf/articles/model

Regards,
Torkild.

Magnus Bergh
24-Aug-2005, 07:27 AM
Can you explain more what Eclipse is? Is it some stand-alone IDE
platform (like Visual Studio but for non-MS tools)?

Torkild U. Resheim
24-Aug-2005, 09:55 AM
Magnus Bergh wrote:

> Can you explain more what Eclipse is? Is it some stand-alone IDE
> platform (like Visual Studio but for non-MS tools)?
Hi Magnus,

Eclipse is a general tool platform which there is literally thousands of
plugins for. Amongst the languages supported is Java (default), C++, C#,
Visual Basic .NET, Perl, Ruby, Cobol, SQL, all web languages (HTML, CSS
etc.), Visual DataFlex and many more. Many server architectures is also
supported.

See:
http://eclipse.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_(computing)
http://www.eclipseplugincentral.com (plugin directory)
http://resheim.no/vdf (VDF support)

Regards,
Torkild.

Dennis Piccioni
24-Aug-2005, 11:16 AM
On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 14:27:57 +0200, Magnus Bergh <magnusb@sbbs.se>
wrote:

>Can you explain more what Eclipse is? Is it some stand-alone IDE
>platform (like Visual Studio but for non-MS tools)?
>

Hi Magnus,

yes, Eclipse is an open source IDE:
http://www.eclipse.org/

Regards,
Dennis

Dennis Piccioni
Data Access Worldwide
http://www.DataAccess.com/support