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Discussion on: Why is an IDE for Interpreted Languages "Overkill?"

gypsydave5 profile image
David Wickes

This is a fair question. I think it's because the peeps writing 'compiled' languages are used to type hints and all that mess, while those who write 'interpreted' languages are used to not getting all of that mess. I think a lot of this is tied up with having a compiler - the compiler will provide some static analysis as a part of compilation. So editors with a good relationship with the compiler will tend towards becoming IDEs. It's a bit of a guess.

Pedantic point: there are no interpreted or compiled languages - just languages with compilers and languages with interpreters. Or both.

This isn't my area of expertise, but it strikes me that there's no reason an IDE/language couldn't provide the a lot of the same information for most languages. And if the issue was one of getting type information, well - dynamic languages could easily be extended to add declarations that could be read by the analyzer.

Anyway, back to listening to IntelliJIdea make the fans whir on my Kotlin project...

hawkinjs profile image
Josh Hawkins

That brings up an interesting point - is it by conditioning? Are most javascript, python devs in their first-language? Are they not yet knowing how to use build tools like compilers to their advantage, and see compiler/linter errors/warnings as the enemy still? I don't know, I feel like I'm thinking too extreme, but you bring up some really good thoughts in your first paragraph, thanks!

Pedantic point:

Sure - but we all know what I mean, right? In the "old days", that was less true, but today, it strikes me that to say a language is interpreted is to say that its reference implementation is implemented via an interpreter, as opposed to an ahead-of-time compiler. I dunno.