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Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)

by diakonos (Hermit)
on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:14 UTC ( #204495=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

diakonos has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I don't know if the second part of the title is worth anything but I hope that it gets a few more people to look at this thread.

For many years I have been an advocate of the VI editor. All of my Perl programs have been written in VI and tested and debugged by the command line. I have purposely steered away from the gui programming tools because there seems to be a learning curve with each new release of a programming suite. Also, I have been able to accomplish everything that I have wanted via the VI editor and the debugging methods I use.

Those that work with me and for me are used to the gui suites which other languages have (such as Micro---- developer suite) and have inquired if anything can be purchased that allows you to highlight, step through, notate, debug, track changes, and etc all in one package. Obviously not too many colleges today teach anything about VI. Don't get me wrong I am not knocking the suites. I know that Active State offers a "plug-in" for one of the developer suites but I am seeking more information...

So my question to the monastery is the following: What is the community using to create their perl programs? (and why?).

A small definition of our setup is WIN2000 Pro dual boot Linux PC's on the developer's desks. The servers where all of the perl programs reside are Linux or AIX platforms. Thanks for hearing...

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Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by ajt (Prior) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:43 UTC
      Thanks everyone. I obviously didn't spend enough time in the search's. I will spend time with these links.

      Thanks, Doug

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by mjeaton (Hermit) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:24 UTC
    You may want to check Editor / IDE Consolidation

    I use Vim for most things, but have spent some time using Komodo. Komodo is nice, but a bit of a resource hog. I really like its built-in regex building/debugging capabilities.

    I continue to use Vim for most development tasks (not just Perl). It has the power that I'm looking for, along with allowing me to work in an efficient way.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Massyn (Hermit) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:20 UTC
    I love vi, mainly because I'm logged onto an AIX box via PuTTY for 25 hours each day. I tend to do a lot of my programming with vi, because it's a lot easier to work on the AIX box than to develop and upload. At times, I want to do some development offline, and then I'd either use notepad.exe, or CodeGenie. CodeGenie's main feature for me is it's syntax highlighting, and best of all, it's free.
      Just use vim for windows - it's free, does syntax highligting, and you get the full power of vi (and more!). AND, you use the same editor in all enviroments, which leads to more proficiency.

      -- Dan

      I don't know any tool that does syntactical hilighting. What they do is lexical hilighting when this is possible, that is when tokenization is orthogonal with parsing. A real tool will have to hook to the Perl parsing engine to do a decent job in all cases. More generally I don't know of any litterate development environment in the Open Source world. We still use age old tool like emacs and vi which is a sure sign how backward we are.

      BTW:I am told that MS-Visual tool are far mode advanced.

      This is very odd because litterate tools would fit more naturally in Open Source world than in a closed one.

      -- stefp -- check out Nemo

        Source Insight does more than "just" lexical parsing to highlight keywords. However, it doesn't hook the Perl parsing engine. Admittedly, the concept is much more useful in a strongly-typed language like C++, where I can see a list of available members and word-completion after typing an expression thus-far, because it knows the type of that expression result and can look up the class definition.

        For Perl, limited typing of lexicals are available, and simply scanning the Package lexically to find potential member names is not going to work in "fancy" frameworks.

        Using Perl's parsing engine is not enough. It would need to execute the script to some point to determine what gets set up on-the-fly in the package's symbol table, and even then, you can't truely know the set of all X where $p->X is legal, because of AUTOLOAD tricks for lazy loading, generation of members on first-use from a declared template, etc.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by sch (Pilgrim) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:27 UTC

    I'm programming in 2 environments:

    • HP-UX 11.00
    • NT

    On HP-UX I also use vi - love it, and have been using it for about 15 years. As for debugging, mainly it's down to a liberal sprinkling of prints :)

    On the NT side, I'm currently using PerlIDE, which allows some debugging - seems to work pretty well, both as an editor (colour-codes context, keywords etc) and as a debugging environment.

      At home under Linux it is for fun, I use EMACS with cperl-mode. Work requires Windows NT and gets:

      - NT Emacs with CUA.el for Windows-like Keys
      - Open PerlIDE

      As more I use Emacs the more I love it: hilite, CVS integration, debugging support, ediff etc.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by neilwatson (Priest) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:39 UTC
    My personal favorite has always been Vim on the left and a command line or web browser (depending on the type of code) on the right. Alt-tab from one to the other.

    Vim gives me all the power I need for fast efficient editing. As for debugging: never under estimate the power of the print command.

    Neil Watson

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by alfie (Pilgrim) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:51 UTC
    vim has a GUI, too. And not a bad one. I think it might be really helpful to some people. Especially in the evim (easy vim) mode it should be no problem for the people to use it. It sets itself in insert mode automatically so people can use it just like notepad or such, with the added value of all that vim offers, of course:
    • folding: You can collapse functions to just one line to improve readability
    • syntax highlighting: There are syntax file for almost anything
    • block mode: Especially useful if you want to comment out big paragraphs, just mark the lines as block, Insert a # infront of them and you are done.
    And, vim for win32 has even an ole interface with which you can integrate in quite many programs directly. It was originally done for Visual Studio but can be used for other things aswell.
    use signature; signature(" So long\nAlfie");
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by busunsl (Vicar) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:27 UTC
    Super Search on 'development tool' brings up lots of threads.
    Just have a look!

    Personally I use vim for editing, print and Data::Dumper for debugging.

      I guess it's time for me to put on my Data::Denter zealot hat! Really, try it, it's very cool. Mostly the output is more compact than with Data::Dumper.

      For extra buzzword brownie points you can also use Data::DumpXML ;--)

        You're right, I heard Brian Ingerson talk about Data::Denter and it sounded really cool!

        But Data::Dumper almost always fits my needs, and since Data::Denter isn't in the Perl 5.6.1 Core, I'm too lazy to install it. :-(

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by helgi (Hermit) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:54 UTC
    I use emacs on Linux, which is pretty much OK. Many of our machines (about 300) don't have the proper emacs setup and if I have to use those in a hurry, I'll use pico, because I can't really stomach vi. Big handicap, yes I know.

    Most of the time however, I code on Win2000 using Perl Builder from SolutionSoft. I grew up on Turbo Pascal, so I kinda like an IDE, and I like a lot of PerlBuilder's features, such as the ability to step through code, set watches, study the contents of variable by waving the mouse over them and so on. It's nice.

    Helgi Briem
    helgi AT decode DOT is

      I, too, was once a devout GNUEmacs user. I have only been coding Perl professionally for the last 6 months, but w/ in the first two months, Emacs was quickly jetisoned for vim. I have also begun to use syntax highlighting, which I fear has made me lazy. I can only imagine what an IDE would do to my discipline. The features available from some of these products sound terribly convenient, but I would be cautious. One wouldn't want to lose one's edge over an IDE.
        If anything, an IDE helps discipline. Of course it has syntax highlighting, but then so does emacs. I can't imagine why anyone would want to do serious programming without it. I'm not into hair shirts.

        For the life of me I can't imagine why you think one would "lose one's edge over an IDE". Maybe with one of the super IDE's like IntelliJ or Delphi that write most of the code for you and you just sort of point and click, but Perlbuilder at least is not like that. You have to type everything in yourself.

        PS I just downloaded an evaluation copy of Perlbuilder 2. I must have it, NOW! It fixes all the minor annoyances I used to have with version 1.

        Helgi Briem
        helgi AT decode DOT is

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Flame (Deacon) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:40 UTC
    I for one operate off of Win98 SE as well as Linux, however I've gotten quite fond of the (relatively) no-nonsense approach of TextPad. Then again, there's ActiveState's Komodo, which was built specificaly for Perl/TCL/TK and a few other languages they ported to Win32.

    Editors have been discussed many times; everyone has their favorite. You can easily find other discussions through the search.

    My code doesn't have bugs, it just develops random features.

    Flame ~ Lead Programmer: GMS | GMS

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by barrd (Canon) on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:59 UTC
    Just so the Mac Community gets a mention I use Barebones BBEdit. As Barebones themselves mention "BBEdit: It doesn't suck.®". Its the finest GUI editor I've used under any OS and has MacPerl facilities built in... I could waffle all day, but if using a Mac its well worth a look.

    Anyhoo, that's when I'm using my Mac laptop, under *nix its either vi or emacs.

      I also use BBEdit for all of my Perl coding on my laptop, and I like it a great deal. It's definitely has an impressive set of customizations and options. One thing of note (to new users):, you will have to set your newline character to 'UNIX newline' before you write your code. Using the default newline char in BBEdit left my code full of ^M's when I checked it out in emacs. Overall though, the fact that you can choose which newline character (DOS/Windows, UNIX, or Macintosh) BBEdit defaults to is really neat and useful.

      ++ on BBEdit. Been my editor of choice for many years. The perl integration does, indeed, not suck.

      The new shell worksheets on the Mac OS X version are also very useful. I've got one setup to do SQL queries to my local dev database.

      If you've on a Mac and haven't tried it do so now :-)

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 11, 2002 at 13:37 UTC
    I prefer xemacs. There are versions available for Unix, Linux and Windows. See for more info. xemacs offers color coded datatypes, Perl formatting, and an interface to CM some systems. I use SCCS because my needs are simple, but others are available. It also knows about C, Java, XML, etc.
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by dreadpiratepeter (Priest) on Oct 11, 2002 at 14:06 UTC
    Emacs all the way. Love the Emacs.
    Been using it for 18 years. It brings to editors what Perl brings to programming lanuages, flexibility, extensibilty, a host of productivity tools, the ability to roll your own tools, the ability to completely change the editor to suit your needs.
    Sorry, I get a little carried away about Emacs

    Actually I'm getting one of those little 128mg usb key-ring drives to load emacs,ssh and ActiveState Perl on to bring to client sites so I will always have my development environment with me. (Especially since Emacs can transparently edit remote files using ssh or ftp).

    "Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by PrakashK (Pilgrim) on Oct 11, 2002 at 15:02 UTC
    I use Xemacs as my primary development tool. Its cperl-mode is awesome.

    I develop on both Linux (workstation) and Solaris (server) environments. I run Xemacs on my workstation. The efs feature makes it a breeze to edit remote files transparently as if there are local files. For some reason, this very useful feature of emacs doesn't get much mention.

    Another plus is that it integrates nicely with CVS, so I can check in/out files from within the editor.

    You can even start the perl debugger inside Xemacs, but it is less useful for the kind of programming I do (mostly web apps). Although, I do use perl debugger a lot for testing out code snippets.


Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by George_Sherston (Vicar) on Oct 11, 2002 at 14:07 UTC
    I write mine on a tiny windows laptop and ftp them to a huge server over a cable modem. So I'm editing with a windows text-processor. For a long time I used editpad and now I use editplus. I ftp with webdrive which gives me the illusion that all that amazing space on the server is on my dainty laptop - though editplus has pretty good ftp too. I work in different places, and wherever I am I use whatever they've got there. Why? Because for reasons of history, and because it's easier, I am on the thin client / fat server model, so I've never had occasion to learn the nix editors - though I could get them via SSH now I suppose - but then, also I work on different computers which always have a text editor and some kind of ftp, but not always SSH. And I like the colours I get with editplus.

    George Sherston

      I am a big fan of editplus, it loads up instantly. has the about the best approch for multidocument editing, with its tab strip. It's syntax highlighting is extensible, and there are syntax files for every launguage i've ever needed to code in. You can set up macros(like to run perl code in a cmd console, or compile and execute the current java file), preview HTML (and HTML templates).

      In my opinion though, its best feature is the FTP menu, i never need to use another application for ftp when i use this, cause you can open and save to a list of FTP sites you define, automatically.

      For some code however, i prefer gvim for windows, especially for large files with complex regexes, POD, here docs. Vim's syntax highlighting is second to none.

      On unix i use gvim or vi.

        I've found the editplus ftp very good, certainly quick and convenient. But I have sometimes had cause to bless the automatic mirroring of all my uploads which webdrive does without my asking...

        George Sherston

      I also use editplus, also on a tiny laptop (overloaded IBM TP 240) when working on windows (and sometimes on KDE as it installs seamlessly with wine). On windows, I use leechftp for the ftp work (It's multithreaded so the loads go fast).

      One thing I really like is the command-line user tools that you can add, so I am able to run perl -c, perl, make, make install, and make dist from the IDE.

      Caution: on wine the tools dont work and there are some real performance issues with some of the functionality.

      I also use kdevelop on linux which is fairly pretty.

      Of course, I can't get around vi when talking to machines in secure zones or DMZs. But I *wish* vi found its way out of the 70s. The versions I'm forced to use using really seem to be in the deep functional stone age.


Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Oct 11, 2002 at 15:22 UTC
    vi is the way to go for me. It has been, and will be there on any box I have worked or will work on. It's always there. Whether it's out-of-the-box, hardened, secured, or with six kitchen sinks. All vendors have it.

    (And for those who say it isn't there on Mickeysoft boxes, I don't consider those to be any other that toys).


Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Washizu (Scribe) on Oct 11, 2002 at 15:06 UTC
    I use Editpad for writing perl code( ) and I use Devel:ptkdb for debugging. ptkdb is a perl debugger with a GUI interface written in Perl/Tk. It has been a life saver for me when trying to isolate problems. Using most expensive IDEs are like driving a car to your neighbor's house. It's expensive, you barely use the feature set, and you may not even get there any faster. Taking the analogy further, using an expensive IDE on a large project is only useful if you know how to drive.

    Acoustic Rock

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Jaap (Curate) on Oct 11, 2002 at 14:41 UTC
    One BIG advantage of Activestate's Komodo is that it (test-)compiles your code as you type, so you see errors immediately.

    This way, you dont have to keep clicking 'reload' in the browser or 'arrow up, enter' in bash ;) (oh and alt-ab to get there)
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by bcole23 (Scribe) on Oct 11, 2002 at 15:16 UTC
    When scripting perl or sh or anything other than HTML, I use VI. I don't need all that fancy sword waving. For HTML, I use wordpad and 1stPage 2000 cuz I do my HTML programming on a windows box most of the time.

    VI. It's all you really need.
Related question: remote access to unix
by neilwatson (Priest) on Oct 11, 2002 at 15:20 UTC
    My workstation is Linux. Accessing a unix server via a good xterm (aterm in my case) is easy. Sometimes, I have to work on Windows workstations and accessing unix servers is terrible. Is there anything, at a reasonable price, that is as useable as a good X xterm but for Windows?

    Neil Watson

      One word: cygwin. It has X Windows, including xterms for Windows.


        ++ to cygwin. For those occasions when I have to work on Windows boxes (mostly for testing), cygwin helped me keep my sanity.

        Also, cygwin can be installed without X windows too. And, it comes with rxvt (xterm compatible) and ssh which can be nicely used together to log in to *nix boxen. All without the overhead of X-windows (it was pretty slow to work with xterm in cygwin's X-window environment on Windows).

        Another bonus is that cygwin comes with sshd too, and I have set it up on my win2k box, so if I am not using any windows graphical applications, I can just ssh into my windows box from my linux box.


      You might like to give PuTTY a try -- it is really worth it. It is the best ssh client for windows I am aware of, is free software/open source and able to send all of the special characters over. Of course it also supports ansi colors. Give it a try, if you need a good terminal emulation for windows which supports both ssh and telnet (useful for reading websites *gg*), you won't regret it.
      use signature; signature(" So long\nAlfie");
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 11, 2002 at 14:00 UTC
    Those that work with me and for me are used to the gui suites which other languages have (such as Micro---- developer suite) and have inquired if anything can be purchased that allows you to highlight, step through, notate, debug, track changes, and etc all in one package.

    Yes something can be purchased. Its called an education.
    Fire these lamos that must use a "gui suite" to do there
    job before they infect the entire world! I find that vi and bash
    is the only "suite" anyone needs.

      I find that vi and bash is the only "suite" anyone needs.

      Bash! Feh! Command and filename completion? Working arrow keys? Try the C shell (not tcsh, too easy) on NetBSD. REAL men edit files with "echo" and "cut." :-P

        Along these lines, I submit for your consideration the button at the bottom of's site, which says "This site powered by cat and ^D. Editors are for wimps."
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by xtype (Deacon) on Oct 11, 2002 at 18:42 UTC
    Hmmm... no mention of NEdit.

    I love NEdit for coding. I used to be hard core vi/vim and I do still use it for quick edits over a terminal or when NEdit is not available. Once I discovered the power of NEdit I made sure it was on all of my machines. I even ported it to HP-UX back when (10.20 and 11.00). NEdits srv features are cool too. Save processes. And it takes little memory. At first glance it may look like a simple notepad-ish editor, but there is everything you could want and more. It is like "vim++" or "vilm" maybe (lots more). Hmmm... "vilm" I like that, perhaps there should be a cross editor to incorporate some of the vi shortcuts to NEdit.

      Funny, it was the other way around for me. ;-) I went from NEdit, which eased the culture shock of switching from Windows, until I got used to the ropes and started getting into vi. Now I make sure to have g?vim on any box I ever have to work on.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by defyance (Curate) on Oct 11, 2002 at 20:03 UTC
    My home server doesn't have a monitor, so I get to use PuTTy for any access to it from the windows machine, at which time, I use vi ( Purrty Colors ). When I need to access it from work however, there is a problem. We don't have any ssh client installed, and they don't want us making connections outside the LAN via the sun boxes. During this time, I end up having to use a Java SSH client, it blows, I know, but its on a .htaccess protected dir. Back to the point, On this client, emulation sucks, so vi doesn't look right with the setup I have in the rc file, so I get stuck with pico, which I found can be pretty useful if you know how to use it, just like any other tool..

    P.S.This would make a great poll

    -- Can't never could do anything, so give me and inch, I'll make it a mile.

      I agree! It would make a GREAT poll. The information here is good. Now it would be nice to see the numbers.


Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Reverend Phil (Pilgrim) on Oct 11, 2002 at 19:12 UTC
    I'm working in a windows shop, and have been doing all of my perling in NoteTab. It's a good simple text editor with some great features, including a (somewhat limited but good enough) regexp search-and-replace that can span all open documents. There's also a clip programming language that I haven't even touched, which you can use to write your own color coding, code completeing, etc environment with. In fact, though I haven't really played with it, there are some Perl clip books available from other people to download. Lastly, I think I read something in the help docs about being able to include perl/awk/etc scripts IN the clip book.. such that you can select text, click a button, and it processes that text with your external script.

    I feel so slack for having not played with these features, but I guess I've grown accustomed to finishing my own sentences and dotting my own eyes.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Popcorn Dave (Abbot) on Oct 11, 2002 at 20:09 UTC
    One program that hasn't been mentioned yet is the one I use: DZSoft's Perl Editor.

    It's a windows based editor that integrates with ActiveState and highlights syntax (which is customizable). The two things I particularly like are the fact that I can do a quick syntax check with the F-12 key and it's got a browser so you can see what CGI programs will look like as well.

    All in all, worth every penny of the $49 or so that I paid for it (shareware).

    Now if they just had it for Linux...

    There is no emoticon for what I'm feeling now.

      I added the following to my .vimrc noremap <F4> <ESC>:make<C-M> and the following, among others, to .vim/ftplugin/perl.vim setlocal makeprg=perl\ -Mstrict\ -wc\ % Now hitting F4 gets me a syntax check. In fact I've added a handful of other lines, so that F5 gives me a new window with clickable error messages that put the cursor on the line in question, and Ctrl-PageUp/Dn moves me from error to error as well. And once you master effective use of the ex command and the visual block mode, text almost edits itself.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by sauoq (Abbot) on Oct 12, 2002 at 01:43 UTC

    Some of the most used tools in my environment include:

    • bash
    • screen
    • ssh, scp
    • vi
    • perl -e (-i, -p, -n, -l, -a as needed.)
    • perl -d
    • man, perldoc
    • RCS and CVS
    Of course, I also regularly use other tools at my disposal like cat, echo, grep, head, tail, less, xargs, gzip, tar, find, make, wget, nc, tee, locate, w, sudo, gcc, rsync, lsof, ping, traceroute, netstat, strings, diff, cmp, sort, uniq and many many many more.

    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by barbie (Deacon) on Oct 11, 2002 at 23:41 UTC

    I have been using VI on Unix systems for over 15 years and there isn't much i don't know about, so why learn another, although I now use VIM, which is really just a newer version of VIM.

    However on Win32 systems I use EditPlus, which has a style similar to VI, and has syntax files and the like which can make coding alot simpler. I also like the fact that it has a power regex search. It can search the current file, the currently loaded file list or a directory on disk. It can also search and replace using regexes, for all the currently loaded files, much like a simple SED.

    Barbie Birmingham Perl Mongers
    Web Site:

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by rah (Monk) on Oct 12, 2002 at 02:27 UTC
    I'll chime in with the Mac folk on BBEdit. My only gripe with it is that it's Mac only. If there were a *nix and Win32 port it would be my only editor. Since it's not, I agonized over this issue for a long while. I finally opted for vi/vim/gvim.

    As a sys admin, proficiency in vi is essential, so why learn another editor? vi is like Unix itself, you can be immersed in it for years and still learn something new almost every day. Anything it can't do is likely only a shell escape away.

    As GVIM, I get all the GUI features I need, syntax coloring, customization, consistency, etc. I can run the same editor on MacOS (9 or X), Win32, and *nix, and it behaves the same way. The admins that work for me and I agreed on a .exrc/.vimrc set up to help us enforce our shell/perl scripting standards.

    When vim/gvim is not available there is always vi. By using vim/gvim I maintain my vi proficiency. That way when the axe falls, and I'm down in single user mode, I'm ready to rock. No worrying about what the proper syntax is for that global search/replace or whether or not I can mount that file system I had emacs/pico/joe/etc. installed on.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Akira71 (Scribe) on Oct 11, 2002 at 18:14 UTC
    Well we have various Sun boxes that I am Tera Term 'ing in from a Windows XP box. I use VI and think that is all that is necessary. Of course, there are better tools perhaps, but I say use what is most effective for you.
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Dog and Pony (Priest) on Oct 13, 2002 at 11:54 UTC
    Usually textpad on Windows and emacs on Linux. But I've just started trying out Komodo 2.0, and I am seriously considering starting to use an "IDE" (if Komodo can be called a such) for the first time in my life.

    Komodo 1.X when I tried it out sucked big hairy monkey... erm... ears, but now it seems to actually work, and it is the first time ever I've tried any such editor that actually not gets in your way more than it helps you. All other Perl specific editors slow you down (unless you are the author, possibly), but this one doesn't.

    I'm buying the personal edition at the end of this month. Think it was like $30, which is close to nothing for a great tool. Only drawback is that it is based on Mozillas XUL system, which is bloated and slow (like Mozilla). In the long term, I suspect that basing it on Mozilla is actually a good thing though, if they just can get around to optimize the GUI rendererer sometime... :)

    It also is available on Windows and Linux, which will make it really nice... no more switching back and forth.

    You have moved into a dark place.
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by narbey (Initiate) on Oct 14, 2002 at 05:54 UTC
    The following are my primary development tools/environment:

    • emacs (X)
    • ssh
    • emacs over ssh (X forwarding)
    • Devel::DProf
    Devel::DProf++ btw.


Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by bnanaboy (Beadle) on Oct 11, 2002 at 20:10 UTC
    My favorite editor is UltraEdit. It's great for programming in Perl, Java, C/C++, PHP, SQL... pretty much every language I've ever tried using it for. It has built-in dictionaries and does command word high-lighting based on the file extension of the file being edited. I don't know though how many platforms it's available on, I use it in Windows and FTP the files when doing Unix/Linux development, and use vi for small changes directly on the server.

    UltraEdit is available for download at with a free 45-day trial, then it shuts down and you have to register it. Registering is fairly cheap, though, and goes directly to the programmer who wrote it in his spare time.
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by quinkan (Monk) on Oct 11, 2002 at 23:05 UTC
    In the Win32 environment, xemacs used to be a favourite, but Optiperl (particularly the latest version 4 -- in beta) is now indispensible. I had tried Komodo earlier, but found it too clunky -- maybe it's improved. Eventually paid for Opti (it's pretty cheap) and now have ballooned perldoc, configurable syntax colouring that includes block and parenthesis marking, cgi testing with in built web server,or with local apache, remote ops, a code library to take snippets for easy insertion, a regex tester, perl tidying, debugging, file unzipping, project and CVS interfaces, and a handy code explorer detailing imports, variable usages etc.. etc.
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 12, 2002 at 15:20 UTC
    Just curious. How well does Oasis work? Also you may want to read this review of Komodo.
      Maybe someone else should answer that, but I just put a few screen shots and a mini tutorial on the site which might help you get an idea.


Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by haxordan (Novice) on Oct 14, 2002 at 15:42 UTC

    So I am not alone. I too have been using the vi/command-line development suite for as long as I can remember. There are a few reasons for my use of vi/command-line development (and not just for Perl).

    First, is just as you said, there is a necessary time period needed to familiarize yourself with a new programming environemnt. With my current development habits, I can go from language to language with no need to spend time on learning the interface. In my opinion, this also lets me focus more on the code that I'm writing and not on looking for the "Compile" button.

    Secondly, it helps when working on older systems. I know that everyone has got an old clunker that they have to work on at some point as part of their job, and an IDE would floor the system. The combination of vi/command-line lets me get my work done and not kill the system in the process.

    Another reason that I have shied away from IDE's is horrible error messages. I have found that some suites simplify/group errors into generic messages that often make debugging difficult. For example, Borland started using the "Error: Thread stopped." (or something to that effect) a little too much to be useful. You'd get that error if you overstepped memory bounds, used the incorrect type, or even if the server handing out the headers was being stubborn.

    I personally don't see myself changing how I develop in the near future. I plan to keep on using vi as my development suite for years to come.


    If the world is to end in a whisper, I hope that it's not someone whispering,"I wonder what this button does?" -DTB

ddd debugger -- when editing isn't enough
by blssu (Pilgrim) on Oct 11, 2002 at 20:39 UTC

    Lots of info on editors, so I'll offer up something else: the ddd debugger. It's a graphical interface to the perl debugger (and many other command line debuggers). ddd has very nice data structure browsing/watching features. Highly recommended.

Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by cciulla (Friar) on Oct 11, 2002 at 21:49 UTC
    If you're developing on a Win32 environment, CodeWright rocks. It even supports perl as an embedded macro language.
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Theseus (Pilgrim) on Oct 11, 2002 at 22:04 UTC
    Visual Studio.NET is an excellent IDE for the languages it's specialized for, but ActiveState's Visual Perl plugin isn't up to par with the support for the rest of the languages. Hopefully Microsoft will build it in and release it themselves(at least, I can hope, can't I?).
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by ejf (Hermit) on Oct 13, 2002 at 10:18 UTC

    Maybe I'm just odd, but most of my coding is done in FTE ( It's fast, lenient, textmode, and offers just about everything I need -- which, admittedly, isn't much. Some decent syntax-highlighting (still with errors, it especially likes to munge HERE docs), CVS integration, and just the "feeling" I like.
    Of course, I may be influenced by my strong liking of the Turbo Pascal 6 / Borland Pascal 7 IDEs.

    If FTE is not avaiable, mcedit does a nice job for quick editing of small scripts as well (though it breaks apart completely if you have more than one or two sourcefiles).

    vim, emacs, etc. are nice editors, though I never really need all their power.

      I enjoy coding in Komodo. It is kind of resource hoggish (in much the same way that your run-of-the-mill C++ compiler is), but that isn't a terrible problem. If I do a moderately sized project, I almost always use komodo, as I find it helps me keep track of what I'm writing with better ease than notepad.

      As well, I like the fact that it resembles compilers I have used in the past, (MetroWorks Codewarrior for example), and I just like that feel to programming.

      So I would probably say my vote goes in for Komodo.

      work it harder make it better do it faster makes us stronger more than ever hour after our work is never over.
Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on Oct 14, 2002 at 19:15 UTC
    I use Source Insight version 3.5. It's compelling feature is live cross-referencing of everything the cursor points at.


Re: Perl Programming Tools - (who, what, where, when, and why)
by Agyeya (Hermit) on May 24, 2004 at 05:07 UTC
    I am new to perl and Linux. I work on a Red Hat 9.2 Machine. When I started I used to work with "gedit". But when gedit crashed and refused to come up, I discovered "kate". Now the thing about kate(K Advanced Text Editor), is that
    1. It does automatic colour highlighting of text.
    2. It indicates the corresponding parenthesis if you reach any one of the pair.
    3. There are even shortcuts to comment and uncomment multiple lines.
    4. There is also a file browser and shell prompt. So that you can execute your programs from within the application.

    There maybe other qualities as well, but I am satisfied with the ones above.
      FYI, Emacs/XEmacs does all of that too. It also does a lot of other things, like auto-indentation, debugger integration, quick lookup of highlighted text in the perl man pages, etc. It's not easy to learn, but may be worth it if you plan to do a lot of coding on Linux.

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