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PerlEdit V1.00 reviewed

by Juerd (Abbot)
on Oct 21, 2002 at 22:38 UTC ( #206945=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to PerlEdit release V1.00 is now available

Out of curiosity, I downloaded and tried PerlEdit 1.00 for Linux. The tarball was downloaded quickly, and it extracted without any problem (well, it put some files in my current working directory, but I can live with that).

Editing files is very intuitive, and it was nice to find a Windows-ish Open...-dialog in Linux. I dislike MDIs, but have to admit that for editing source files, it can be quite useful. The debugger didn't work, as it looks for DB::DB, which I don't have. It would have been nice if the error messages involved were displayed somehow - I had to find out by starting the program from an xterm.

As a Perl editor, PerlEdit didn't please me at all. A big deal is made out of its syntax highlighting, but it was very simplistic. Recognized keywords were rendered in blue, and some operators (I found ge and gt) are rendered bold. I'd expect a syntax highlighting program to at least color comments differently. And some quote-operator recognition is better than none at all. Only perl can parse Perl, but this isn't anywhere near parsing. It's rudimentary matching. Maybe Syntax::Highlight::Perl can help.

The block indent seems to work fine, but I couldn't find a way to unindent. The editor uses a proportional font, which is a bad thing. Code should always be rendered monospaced. I like having line numbers in graphical editors, but PerlEdit only offers the statusbar line/col indication.

The syntax checking idea is great, so I removed an opening curly and had PerlEdit check my syntax. This is a wonderful feature, and one of the few PerlEdit features that actually work the way I expect.

I screwed up a perl script to test this marvellous error message system some more, and it showed my errs as before. I closed the file without saving (or so I thought), and wondered why it didn't ask for confirmation. It saved my file somewhen, but I didn't want it to, as the script was (intentionally) in a very bad shape. I spent five minutes cleaning up the mess I had created, and getting the program to run again.

I like the visualization of syntax errors, but this editor is not usable for real work. If I had to guess the version number, I'd have guessed 0.04, not 1.00. Does this program really cost $99? I find it hard to imagine that anyone would pay such an amount of money for a mostly dysfunctional program while there are better editors out there that are free. I'll stick to vim for now.

I put a screenshot online at

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Re: PerlEdit V1.00 reviewed
by Dog and Pony (Priest) on Oct 22, 2002 at 19:31 UTC
    I tried 0.04 last time there was an announcement (not long ago) and it really, really sucked. I use Komodo from ActiveState now, on both Windows and Linux. It has Syntax Checking, coloring and lots of other great stuff, it works beautifully, is based on Mozilla and generally kicks *ss. :)

    Moreover, it supports lots of other languages natively, and yet more with highlighting etc. Give it a test spin, you'll see what I mean. First time I ever liked an IDE over my normal text editors, no matter how many I've tried... :)

    I think it is only about $30, too.

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