Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Impressions - Padre the Perl IDE


I recently decided to give the Perl IDE Padre (http://padre.perlide.org/) a try and must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by its feature set and how intuitive it was to use.  While many experienced Perl programmers may not be likely to switch away from their longstanding preferences in development environments, I think that Padre is a great IDE to introduce a novice Perl programmer to (particularly since many newer programmers are trained to expect an IDE for programming).  At a basic level, the Padre interface is quite straightforward and any user would likely not find its basic features any more difficult to use than a text editor like gedit. 

Like most IDEs, Padre includes an integrated debugger with full support for Step In, Step Out, and Step Over functionalities as well as the ability to set breakpoints in the code.  Moreover, it includes a Display Value window that allows you to monitor the values of designated variables as you step through your code.  Padre also supports a Regex Editor that, I believe, would be particularly helpful to novices of Perl regular expressions since it clearly spells out what various predefined sub-patterns (e.g. \w), POSIX character classes, and quantifiers correspond to.   The IDE also includes lots of smaller, but still useful features, like the ability to comment out or uncomment an entire code block.  Additionally, while they are features I have not yet experimented with personally, Padre’s proposed integration with CPAN and the ability to extend Padre with plug-ins look quite promising. 

It is also interesting to note that Padre is written in Perl, and as such is truly a Perl IDE written by Perl programmers for Perl programmers.  For anyone interested in using an IDE to develop Perl applications, I would recommend that they give Padre a look.  I know I will be experimenting with it some more on some upcoming projects. 

For any interested in Perl IDEs other than (or in addition to) Padre there also exists Komodo IDE (http://www.activestate.com/komodo-ide) and EPIC (http://www.epic-ide.org/).  

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2 comments:

Nikolay Mishin said...

good investigation, also I like MyModule, when you can extend possibilities of editor with new functions, perltidy and perlcritic useful too

badr zarhri said...

Very intuitive perl IDE.
especially CPAN explorer.

Does anyone know how to configure it through http proxy?