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Re: Software Development Progress

>The conversation about Dylan/Newton was really interesting.  Thanks to
>the participants for some good debate.  I'd like to use that as a
>springboard for some issues about Dylan I've been pondering.  
>One of the nice things about Smalltalk is that it is has a well
>conceived development environment BUILT-IN.  Development environments
>for C/C++ are big business.  That's because the systems of any
>complexity written in these languages are huge and require tools just
>to keep track of them.  But Lisp is not that much better.  I have been
>a Lisp programmer on very large systems and it is quite apparent that
>we could really use a better strategy for maintaining and modifying
>these systems.  

There is some discussion of our (the Apple Cambridge Dylan group) thinking
in the preface to the Dylan book.  We are certainly aware that development
environments are important in the process of building systems, and are
building an environment for our implementations of Dylan.  Other groups
building Dylan implementations are focussing on environment issues as well.

Some of us believe that the quality of the environment is more important to
programmer productivity than the choice of language.  For us, Dylan the
language is simply an enabler for a superior environment.  (I note the
problems people have had with producing good C++ development environments,
and the language restrictions/workarounds required.)

I'm interested in your experiences in building large Lisp systems.  No
doubt your input could help us design a better development environment.

 - Which development environment(s) have you used?
 - What helped most in that environment?
 - What that was present in the environment got in your way?
 - What that wasn't present would have helped significantly?