Wish: Idea working on a text terminal

Hey there JetBrains. A wish for you. It seems like you are following the MVC trend in Idea, properly separating and abstracting the M, the V and the C. Wonder how much it would take for you to make the C into a text-based terminal I could launch remotely with a ssh session.

For Eclipse, there is such an effort, namely so called "eclim" - what it does, it exposes Eclipse libraries functionality to VIM which I can run on a text terminal. Eclim is raw, rough around the edges, bad enough to stick just with the plain VIM instead, but I do like the idea. For me, what it means, instead of launching the Linux UI environment (which is a pain in the back remotely), I just just fire up Putty and be good with it, and using GNU screen makes it even better: I can reattach the current session to any terminal used to log in into the box where it's running.

Not sure about other markets, but here in the US you may win quite a few hearts with this feature. If I showed Idea working on a text terminal, I would have 2-3 instant converts, some on a high management levels.

So, cheers to $ ./idea.sh --textterm vt100 !

8 comments
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Just can't imagine visual IDE running on text terminal, won't you lose all advantages of IDE over just advanced text editor?

P.S.: still watching pr0n using aalib? :-)

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Actually, the majority of IDEA's value is in its semantic capabilities: the things it understands about Java code, not anything that is intrinsically tied to a mouse-and-menu user interface.


Randall Schulz

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ex-frigging-actly. An editor is just an editor, no big deal, but ability to see bigger picture (hierarchy), zoom in and out on a conceptual level, refactor, structural search, code ops etc - that's what mekes me paying customer and Idea promoter as long as it keeps saving me time==money.

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IMO the most important features of IDEA are code completion, navigation, refactoring and inspections. None of them require a graphical UI and nearly everything is accessible with keyboard, so it would be possible to create a text UI with the same features and keyboard shortcuts. Although I doubt that JetBrains would think that there is enough business value in creating a text UI version of IDEA...

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IMO the most important features of IDEA are code completion, navigation, refactoring and inspections. None of them require a graphical UI and nearly everything is accessible with keyboard, so it would be possible to create a text UI with the same features and keyboard shortcuts. Although I doubt tha
t JetBrains would think that there is enough business value in creating a text UI version of IDEA...

I think a "simpler" solution would be using this framework:
http://www.pitman.co.za/projects/charva/index.html

It basically converts a Swing GUI to a text based one, see:
http://www.pitman.co.za/projects/charva/Screenshots.html

Now, of course, it's not working with IntelliJ - but this is an issue of
that framework (it would need lots of improvements), but it works with
simpler Swing applications (I did quite a few admin applications with it
in the past).

That is an open source project, so everybody could contribute if they
would want to. After that, I think Jetbrains could take a look at it
(e.g. the IntelliJ built in "migration" feature already helps to make a
Swing application "text aware" with just one click).

Demetrios.

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I've never seen a terminal application showing a code completion popup...

Tom

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I will take that as a simple statement of fact.

Surely there's nothing about code-completion pop-ups (or any others whose purpose is to select from among a list of textual items) that cannot be implemented in a character-mode display.

And by using a custom font even the various small icons could be replicated.

I think it's totally feasible in principle. However, it seems that the fact that IDEA is not (as I understand it) a completely stock Swing application would prevent CHARVA from working properly or fully. (This is, as Dmitry J. mentioned when I reported the problem, the reason that the TabReorder plug-in no longer works in IDEA 8.0)

Anyway, programming is at least 99% textual expression, so it remains eminently amenable to a purely textual presentation, even if it's very unlikely to happen for IDEA.


Randall Schulz

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I mentioned Eclim in my first post - that's one term based that does code completion with a popup. VIM 7.2 does it if properly configured. Emacs can be configured to do that, not with a popup but with cycling but I can live with that. All three can run in a text term.

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