Light Table -- The IDE

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#1 Crockeo  Icon User is offline

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Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:22 PM

I don't know if someone else has posted this yet, but I recently found a project on Kickstarter entitled 'Light Table'. It seems to be a Lisp IDE, but how it's structured is just fantastic.

It seems to be very slick, very modern, and best of all, very useful.

Here is the Kickstarter.
And here is a higher quality video.


What are peoples' thoughts on it?
Do you think this could be the future of (at least interpreted) IDEs?

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Replies To: Light Table -- The IDE

#2 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:29 PM

It just looks like functional programmer porn to me.
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#3 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:35 PM

Their reward tiers are confusing as fuck.

So 15 dollars gets you a license of Light Table... but so does $50? 30 is a t-shirt, 80 is a t-shirt and a license? 50 "or more" gets you license and beta, but so does 100?

How well can they actually organize this damn IDE if they can't even get their damn rewards to make sense?



Oh and whoever speaks in that video just comes off super patronizing. Ugh, I hate that style of sales voice... I've met a lot of people like that, I just have strong desires to punch them in the face for some reason.



As for the IDE, it has some neat ideas. But it seems to go too strong the other direction and hides a lot of the, as they call it, "serialized data" from you. But yeah some pretty cool ideas here and there.



Oh and wtf is with calling it "open software" but having "licenses"... they do know that when one calls themselves "open software" they usually mean something along the lines of open-source and the sort...

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I'm a firm believer in open source software and open source technologies. I can guarantee you that Light Table will be built on top of the technologies that are freely available to us today. As such, I believe it only fair that the core of Light Table be open sourced once it is launched. At some level, this is an experiment in how open source and business can mix - it will be educational for us all.


Ok, that was vague. It's core is open-source technology, so you think the core should remain open-source. Well yeah... cause you just said the core isn't yours, and the rules of most open-source software is that it REMAIN OPEN-SOURCE.



In the end though, not really for me.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 02 May 2012 - 02:43 PM

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#4 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:16 PM

I like the 1 function per editor window and being able to move the functions around; I already have documentation on hand however; it's called my browser. I can see the dynamic code evaluation thing being useful until you create an infinite loop or huge calculation. it still has to restart the application to dynamically evaluate that stuff anyhow. I'm don't really care about the results of my program until I've done something meaningful yet at which point it takes me about .5 seconds to hit the right key combo to run my program.

1 function thing is kinda neat but that's about it. how does it store the code? if it uses a IDE specific file format then it prevents others from helping to develop a project unless they use that IDE.

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 02 May 2012 - 07:22 PM

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#5 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:47 PM

Another question, why couldn't he just do an Eclipse plugin? I really liked the live Clojure interface for JAVA/Eclipse. You could type up Swing applications and it would fire up in realtime.
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:11 PM

View Postlordofduct, on 02 May 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

Their reward tiers are confusing as fuck.

So 15 dollars gets you a license of Light Table... but so does $50? 30 is a t-shirt, 80 is a t-shirt and a license? 50 "or more" gets you license and beta, but so does 100?

How well can they actually organize this damn IDE if they can't even get their damn rewards to make sense?


This is the idea of kickstarter as "support" not just "pre-sale". If you want this to exist, you give them some money. If you want something back, you can pick whatever suits you.

I am amused by the $500 level gets you in on alpha testing. Whee!


Quote

Oh and whoever speaks in that video just comes off super patronizing. Ugh, I hate that style of sales voice... I've met a lot of people like that, I just have strong desires to punch them in the face for some reason.


Agreed. Or for no reason.


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Oh and wtf is with calling it "open software" but having "licenses"... they do know that when one calls themselves "open software" they usually mean something along the lines of open-source and the sort...


As I read it, he's going to make the code available and basically sell installers. So you can download the source or he'll sell you a "packaged" version. Presumably he won't go out of his way to make the source easy to work with. That's just a guess, though. Whatever he does, he seems like a total weasel. Clearly, though, he's going to get his $200,000 - probably before morning.

Obviously, I'm not going to be lining up for this one, but it'll be interesting to see what kind of takeup he gets on it. The javaposse list discussed this a few weeks ago, and the overall consensus was "not interested", so based on that and my own observations I think it's mostly going to appeal to the novices impressed by flashy design.

Is this the post-FLOSS world? Recycle a bunch of ideas already tested out in open source, rebrand them and put a slick look on top and sell it for a little more than zero dollars? I guess we'll find out.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 02 May 2012 - 10:12 PM

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#7 turboscrew  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:45 PM

Might be worth a better look.
I guess one has to try it to find out if it's good or not.
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#8 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:36 AM

It seems like this editor is going to end up as an open source project that is better than the original idea. Especially since the guy seems to have already built the fucking thing and have it working, at least to some extent. It's a text editor, for fucks sake.
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#9 creativecoding  Icon User is online

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:41 AM

I would probably get annoyed rather quickly if whenever I'm typing I have a strobe-light going off to the right listing out documentation of every single function I am currently typing. Could you imagine how annoying that'd be? I mean, if you're working fast you could type a whole bunch pretty quickly. Not imagine every time you type something, that box flashes with new information. It's going to get old pretty fast.
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#10 turboscrew  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:01 AM

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Not imagine every time you type something, that box flashes with new information.


That's what I used to hate menu-driven programs:
Selecting submenus and submenus and waiting for new menus to open for a quarter of an hour. I rather used command line if possible.

Today windows has ruined my typing. In Unix (back in 90's) you just couldn't afford typing errors, so you learned to type without errors. :D
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#11 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:41 AM

Disclaimer: I am close friends with Chris Granger, the person leading this project.

View PostWolfCoder, on 02 May 2012 - 09:29 PM, said:

It just looks like functional programmer porn to me.


It is dynamic programmer porn. This is in no way limited to functional languages. His prototype uses Clojure because that's his language of choice and was the easiest language to show examples in. He plans to make this work for other languages as well, including Python and C#.

View Postlordofduct, on 02 May 2012 - 09:35 PM, said:

Their reward tiers are confusing as fuck.

So 15 dollars gets you a license of Light Table... but so does $50? 30 is a t-shirt, 80 is a t-shirt and a license? 50 "or more" gets you license and beta, but so does 100?

How well can they actually organize this damn IDE if they can't even get their damn rewards to make sense?


Actually, these confusing reward tiers are the result of him caring about what people say. When this first started, it quickly became a historic hacker news thread garnering well over one thousand upvotes and stayed on the front page for a couple of days. Both of these are huge accomplishments if you want to get something in the programming community seen and heard. In this case, several people criticized the original reward tiers. He added duplicate tiers with different rewards, but kickstarter wouldn't allow him to merge the rewards. That's why they seem confusing. It definitely isn't his fault.

View Postlordofduct, on 02 May 2012 - 09:35 PM, said:

Oh and whoever speaks in that video just comes off super patronizing. Ugh, I hate that style of sales voice... I've met a lot of people like that, I just have strong desires to punch them in the face for some reason.


Eh? I haven't seen the video, but knowing this person IRL, I have to say, this sounds insane. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Please don't let his voice take away from his project.

View Postlordofduct, on 02 May 2012 - 09:35 PM, said:

Oh and wtf is with calling it "open software" but having "licenses"... they do know that when one calls themselves "open software" they usually mean something along the lines of open-source and the sort...


Most of it would be open source. At one point he mentioned that he might just make certain official plugins closed source. Either way, lots of completely or mostly open source projects still have a licensing scheme. It makes it similar to donations.

View Postishkabible, on 03 May 2012 - 02:16 AM, said:

I like the 1 function per editor window and being able to move the functions around; I already have documentation on hand however; it's called my browser.


And your browser is an entirely different application than your text editor. You have to switch between them or align windows, and it still isn't the same because you have to actively look up documentation. Light table improves a lot on this.

View Postishkabible, on 03 May 2012 - 02:16 AM, said:

I can see the dynamic code evaluation thing being useful until you create an infinite loop or huge calculation. it still has to restart the application to dynamically evaluate that stuff anyhow. I'm don't really care about the results of my program until I've done something meaningful yet at which point it takes me about .5 seconds to hit the right key combo to run my program.


There are easy ways around infinite loops and large calculation problems. That would be the least of my worries. I have no idea what you mean by 'it has to restart the application to dynamically evaluate that stuff anyhow', so I can't comment on that. As for when you want results, I guess, but that isn't how I work nor is it how most people I know work. Your code should be small and simple pieces that add up to a more complicated calculation. It is a lot easier when the majority of these functions are pure (have no side effects), and in general, they should be. Light table will be optimized for this style of development, which is how you should be developing anyways. You probably are and don't realize it.

View Postishkabible, on 03 May 2012 - 02:16 AM, said:

1 function thing is kinda neat but that's about it. how does it store the code? if it uses a IDE specific file format then it prevents others from helping to develop a project unless they use that IDE.


It will store code as files, AFAIK.

View PostChoscura, on 03 May 2012 - 07:36 AM, said:

It seems like this editor is going to end up as an open source project that is better than the original idea. Especially since the guy seems to have already built the fucking thing and have it working, at least to some extent. It's a text editor, for fucks sake.


He built a prototype. An actual working product will take quite a while and a team of developers, hence the kickstarter. Also, it is most certainly not a text editor, for fucks sake. It's plenty more than that.



Anything I said here is not me speaking for Chris Granger. It is my own opinion/comments based on what I know about the project and Chris himself. Just a heads up.

EDIT: Also, Jon isn't right. This wont be at 200k by morning. It is getting close, but the incoming pledges have slowed down significantly. I'd kindly ask that if you're not pledging simply because you think it wont need it, please go ahead and do so (if, of course, you want to support this project) because it probably does. It got where it is because of extreme publicity on Hacker News, a post by John Gruber, and comments by Uncle Bob Martin.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 03 May 2012 - 01:44 AM

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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:10 AM

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Also, Jon isn't right. This wont be at 200k by morning. It is getting close, but the incoming pledges have slowed down significantly.


This is correct - that was a wrong assumption on my part. I don't anticipate the project failing to meet its target, but of course Raynes is right: if you like it, you should support it. The precise nature of the licensing is not clear, and this seems a legitimate concern for a number of people. Presumably those people will like the project more once that's clarified: if Granger cares to, he can see to this and bring in those people.

I think I'm off the hook, personally, considering my fairly public dislike of software that gets in the way of my programming, but presumbly there are some people who like it, and they should support it.

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And your browser is an entirely different application than your text editor. You have to switch between them or align windows, and it still isn't the same because you have to actively look up documentation.


Why would switching to a browser be a problem? This is something I've never understood.


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Light table will be optimized for this style of development, which is how you should be developing anyways. You probably are and don't realize it


Raynes, I like you and I think you're a hell of a smart guy, but this is the sort of patronizing comment that makes just about everybody in the world think they hate functional programmers and functional programming. When you tell people what they should be doing, that's usually the last thing they hear of what you say - after that, they just wait for your lips to stop moving so they can yell at you.
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#13 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:20 AM

1) still his fault, though only accidental. Doesn't take away from the fact that the descriptions are super confusing and does not lend to giving me faith in his project.


2) different strokes, I find him patronizing. I've never met the guy IRL, he might be a cool guy. But that's not what I met, his 'sales' voice is patronizing... to me. I bet people around the world have thought me, or even you, to sound patronizing; that's fine, it's not insane.


3)His explanation is still very vague about open software. He alludes to using existing open-source for the "core", and that the "core" should remain open source. OK... if he does plan to make some of his stuff open as well, cool, but he didn't say that very well, if at all.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 03 May 2012 - 06:22 AM

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#14 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

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Raynes, I like you and I think you're a hell of a smart guy, but this is the sort of patronizing comment that makes just about everybody in the world think they hate functional programmers and functional programming. When you tell people what they should be doing, that's usually the last thing they hear of what you say - after that, they just wait for your lips to stop moving so they can yell at you.

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#15 thesixthsense  Icon User is offline

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Re: Light Table -- The IDE

Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:54 AM

Finally, someone innovating with IDE's. Love it.
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