Re: Smart textual editors (Vijay Gupta)
20 Jul 1996 21:33:17 -0400

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From: (Vijay Gupta)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 20 Jul 1996 21:33:17 -0400
Organization: Texas Instruments
References: 96-07-103 96-07-115
Keywords: tools, parse

Jacob Navia ( wrote:
: This solves the syntax error problem. As the moderator rightly pointed
: out, syntax errors MUST be accepted by the editor's parsers to let the
: user type what he wants without the editor becoming an obstacle to the
: user.

Okay, the idea was not so much to give hints to the user. After reading the
responses, the editor I am now thinking of does not interfere with the user
at all, but only keeps track of relevant changes to the program.

E.g. in its most advanced form, it might do the following:

(i) automatically keep track of significant changes to the program
(probably indicated by the user using special commands, or by virtue of some
heuristics) so that it becomes easier for the user to recover older versions,

(ii) keep a history of the last few thousand useful key strokes, and

(iii) optionally keep track of finished procedures (by 'finished' I mean the
ones which are syntactically correct and which the user has not 'touched'
for some time). As you pointed out, braces and such things make even keeping
track of that difficult; but I am willing to use heuristics like matching
'{' with '}' internally in the state machine, without prompting the user.

The responses have been extremely helpful. Thanks for all your help.

Finally, is there any public domain editor which is already a bit
smart and which I can use a starting point to make my modifications ?
(If this can be done with the GNU emacs editor with some hacking,
then I would be extremely interested too).

Thanks again,

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