Scala pitch high with Helium IDE

The road ahead for Scala

Chris Mayer
Scala-IDE

The roadmap for Scala IDE for Eclipse v2 – codenamed Helium has been laid out. Plus Scala 2.10.0 Milestone 1 is released!

After months of tit-for-tat sparring between advocates and
antagonists over the usefulness of the complex language, the Scala
team is looking forward to the future – tentatively laying the
groundwork for their next IDE for Eclipse, Helium.

The three
milestones
for Scala IDE V2 plan a huge redesign of the
plugin’s architecture as well as implementing an array of new
features. One key modification that has been targeted as a future
goal is the introduction of a clean and simple API to
developers interested in building plugins on top of the Scala
IDE.

Here is the complete roadmap and the suggested contributors
behind them. As you can see the Typesafe team make up the
majority.

Milestone 1 - mid-March 2012

  • Implicit highlighting - Jin Mingjian, David Bernard
    and Mirko Stocker
     (Completed)
  • Semantic highlighting - Matt Russell
  • Move to Eclipse Indigo - Eric
    Molitor
     (Completed)
  • Design and implement a Scala model - Typesafe
    team
  • Create an abstraction layer with the Scala compiler
    Typesafe team
  • Use the Scala model for the Outline view - Typesafe
    team
  • Smoother step over/in in the debugger - Typesafe
    team
  • Create a worksheet (like a REPL but in an editor)
    Typesafe team
  • Create a new JDT model builder, using the compiled classes
    Typesafe team
  • Extract the presentation compiler in its own project
    Typesafe team

Milestone 2 - mid-May 2012

  • Add support for Find References - Typesafe
    team
  • Create a real Scala Editor (with all completion, indentation,
    formatting, … support) - Typesafe team
  • Improve dependency tracking - Typesafe team

Milestone 3 - mid-July 2012

  • Add support for Type Hierarchy (both in JDT and Scala specific)
    Typesafe team
  • Scala Search (implicit use) - Typesafe team
  • Add support Call Hierarchy - Typesafe team
  • Finalise the API in Scala IDE - Typesafe
    team

Not aligned

  • More refactoring support - Mirko Stocker, Michael
    Holzer
  • Specs2 support - Eric Torreborre?
  • ScalaTest support - Bill Venners?

There’s certainly a lot to be getting on with throughout the
year – and the Typesafe team even state how ambitious the first
milestone is. But we’re fairly sure that they are headed in the
right direction, especially with the addition of implicit and
semantic highlighting and the inclusion of Scala within Eclipse
Indigo.

But there’s more. The team also announced that the first
milestone of Scala
2.10.0
 has been reached, allowing enthusiasts to test out
some of the latest features that are planned for the final
version.

Some of these features include the Preliminary Reflection
API, a faster inliner, various scaladoc improvements
(thanks to the docspree folks) and a virtualised pattern
matcher.

As you can well see, Scala is readying itself for an assault on
the masses and this year could signal its arrival as a mature
programming language. Those heated debates could be long gone but
don’t count on it.

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