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This page is primarily for recording the conclusions of ongoing design discussions. That is for documenting the internal design of hIDE.


1 Plugins in General

Almost the whole of hIDE will be dynamically loaded, except for a tiny static core which is responsible for bootstrapping the main application and providing a plugin loading service. You can read more about this application architecture in the paper "Dynamic Applications From the Ground Up".

Plugins will be ["Cabal"] packages. This provides a number of advantages over simple object files:

  • Provides a build infrastructure
  • Allows plugins to depend on each other easily
  • Allows plugins to be built seperately or "out of tree"
  • Provides useful metadata like author, description, license etc
  • Big advantage: anyone who's written a cabalised library potentially has written a plugin for us. All they need then do is work out a gui wrapper (perhaps we should provide a skeleton for this).

2 Base components

2.1 The bootup sequence

3 Project management

Desired features:

  • No import overhead. Must work with all Cabal projects without any user interaction.
  • Nice interface for running Cabal commands like 'build', 'haddock' and 'test'.
  • Management of the meta info in *.cabal.
  • GUI independance.

4 Editor

4.1 Yi

The core editor functionality will be provided by Yi, which provides both a standalone editor along the lines of vi or a stripped down emacs, and also a plugin interface.

5 Dependencies, and plugin structure


   darcs get


   darcs get

6 Desirable Plugins

Add more as you think of them:

  • The GHC api.
  • TeX typesetting (Easier if you have syntax tree available)
  • HaRe ( automatic refactoring )
  • Darcs ( revision control )
  • Pugs ( perl scripting )
  • GHCi ( haskell scripting )
  • On-the-fly haddockizing?
  • Cabal management, a la VH
  • Hoogle
  • Pointless ( Thomas Jaeger's pointfree refactorer)
  • Support for construction of QuickChecks
  • Ginsu? (very emacs-ish ;)
  • Jump-to-definition in standard library
  • Spell checking comments
  • auto indenting based on pretty printing the syntax tree
  • module dep graph as a module browser view
  • compilation via ghc-api (with -fasm)
  • automatic insertion of type declarations for expressions
  • automatic handling of minimal module imports
  • talking to external theorem provers, for example, a la ProofGeneral
  • alternating background colour based on bracket level as part of syntax highlighting (syntax backlighting?)
  • Harmonia (, which gives advanced language-aware facilities

7 Division of labour

Notes on who is doing what, and anything that is unassigned:

  • dcoutts
    • develop the UI
    • help with misc gtk issues
    • config subsystem
  • dons
    • get yi back into 100% functionality (fill out the broken Yi.Core)
    • complete yi gui based on gtk (i.e. minibuffers, window splitting etc)
    • indenting plugin based on Ppr
    • embed ghci
    • clean interface to syntax highlighting in Yi,
    • get quickcheck tests working with new gtk buffer
    • plugin/standalone-neutral access to ui
    • Reducing dependences
    • pugs plugin for perl scripting?
    • look at darcs plugin

  • lemmih
    • CommonSense
    • project management / build support / cabal integration
  • unassigned
    • win32 support. See ["hIDE/Win32"]