Elm Camp session about editors and IDE plugins

We talked about:

  • How the Language Server has made amazing advancements in type inference, but unfortunately is plagued by some stability issues due to Tree Sitter (which is a shame since Tree Sitter seems like such a cool, promising technology). The Vendr folks also mentioned how the language server became too slow for their giant code base.

  • The newer Elm Land VSCode extension, which is pretty bare bones but super fast and stable (and handles the Vendr code base). Even with its constraints of being super light and fast, it still has potential for implementing many more features, like finding usages.

  • How intellij-elm is packed with power user features, but unfortunately is unmaintained, which results in fear of it breaking one day, and missed opportunities for more power usage features.

  • How the bleeding edge, super cool elm-dev project fits in. The cool thing is that elm-dev can already run in server mode and has knowledge of types and usages of all code, and a bunch of other things editor plugins want. And it’s really fast and has the stability of the Elm compiler at its core. There is a potential future where all editors might be powered by elm-dev. Note that elm-dev currently does not use the Language Server protocol, but their own server protocol. It seemed like people didn’t fully agree on the spot on the protocol choice. I also got the feeling that elm-dev is a very ambitious project, and it’s not clear yet what paths maintainers and contributors want to explore first – people might want to try to pull it in different directions, based on what they’re the most excited about. But it’s early days.

  • Several people using intellij-elm at work felt like they could make their companies pay for using the plugin, so someone could get time to work on it by being paid for it. While JetBrains products might get Language Server support soon-ish, it feels a bit like Language Server support always will be a bit second class, so a separate plugin might still be worth it for the JetBrains products, taking full advantage of all their stuff. Some people expressed how they felt like it would be fun to work on the plugin, but don’t have time.


This topic was automatically closed 10 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.