#2753 A decent IDE for fan is needed

Ilove:= Sun 16 Jun 2019

Xored abandoned F4 and our SlimmerDude doesn't have enough time to maintain his fork either. Fan currently has no maintained IDE. Are you have any plan about making Flux serious? If not, please fork F4 and join forces to maintain it because it needs a community to do such a thing that no single one can do :)

SlimerDude Sun 16 Jun 2019

Yeah, sorry about that; I've been busy fighting crime and corruption in my _other_ job! (Shh, don't tell anyone!)

But I will be making that official F4 1.1.2 release before long - I am aware it is overdue.

I do use F4 myself everyday and find it to be largely good enough for my needs. If there's anything in particular you need, or feel is lacking, please raise an issue in the Xored GitHub branch - https://github.com/xored/f4/issues - I can follow suggestions from there.

Ilove:= Sun 16 Jun 2019

I look forward to your new F4 release. But if you could also offers 32 bit versions like the original Xored it's much better. I usually use a 32 bit jre even on 64 bit system because it use much less ram :)

Ilove:= Mon 24 Jun 2019

F4 is slow again. Even removing a file take seconds. It's weired this still happen as I've upgraded to a new computer with SSD and more ram. Exactly after a week of usage it's started to slowing down and down. My project only consists of a very simple class and has only 5 .fan file :(

go4 Mon 9 Mar 2020

Hi Ilove:=

I start a new IDE that based on tcolar's FantomIDE. It's in very early development, but fast than F4. https://github.com/fanx-dev/fanIDE

jhughes Thu 26 Mar 2020

Does F4 just need to be abandoned by the fantom community at this point for an IDE with actual support? Should fantom developers officially adopt/release a supported one?

I just installed on a new copy of windows 10, jdk11 installed and f4 crashes when you try to open it. I also don't think posting anything to the f4 github is worth the hassle as it seems pretty dead at this point.

controlsforall Thu 26 Mar 2020

Can we compile fantom with JDK 11? I thought ffi needs 1.8 highest.

SlimerDude Thu 26 Mar 2020

jhughes, while I agree that the F4 GitHub has been fairly quiet of late it, recent updates have been no less frequent than Fantom itself.

I'm happy to say that I, in fact, monitor the F4 GitHub account for F4 issues. In truth, I took the lack of problems reported to be sign of a stable release and would be happy to update F4 accordingly when needed for the community.

To address your immediate query, F4 requires Java 8 (a restriction of the eclipse platform it uses).

I have been able to compile F4 with a newer eclipse platform that should negate the current Java 8 restriction - but I've not released binaries for it, due to:

  • lack of testers for the different platforms
  • No one (that I'm aware) is waiting for the newer eclipse version
  • I personally only use Java 8
  • There is a lot of competitive projects and people vying for my limited free time

As an extensive Fantom user and Fantom technology business owner, I use the latest F4 on a daily basis and at this stage wouldn't consider using anything else.

But F4 is not to everyone's taste, hence there are plenty of syntax highlighters for other text editors, not to mention the recent fanIDE from go4.

jhughes Fri 27 Mar 2020

Not sure I agree about F4 activity, the last commit was 8 months ago and there are bugs open from years ago.

To my point of having an officially supported fantom IDE that is kept up with the development with fantom,

Build 1.0.74 (2 Mar 2020)

Java 8 runtime required
Compiler support for Jigsaw Java 9+

But the most preferred/recommended IDE currently can't even support the same thing that fantom does. So you have an IDE that can't support past java 9 for a language that can making that support for the language useless to the develooper.

Jay Herron Fri 27 Mar 2020

Good discussion all around.

SlimerDude, I certainly appreciate the effort you put into F4. As an everyday user, I take the work of you and Xored for granted and haven't contributed nearly as much as I have benefited.

jhughes, I agree that it would be nice to have an IDE that runs on newer versions of Java, especially with Fantom moving in that direction. If you are willing to contribute time to the problem whether through improving existing tools or building something new, I certainly would support you.

Personally, I tend to lean toward improving F4 since it has already proven itself and ignoring the effort that was involved in pushing it this far seems wasteful.

I'm happy to test any of the new F4 binaries for Java 9, SlimerDude.

controlsforall Fri 27 Mar 2020

As a community, we should create a fund for fantom ide maybe Eynon can hire someone in India or out of seas for the work. That way we can have a better IDE. It is not going to happen just asking. We appreciate Steve's commits maybe we can speed it up with more resources.

There is a website to collect money.

It might not be only for IDE maybe utilized as whole fantom community.


Just a thought.

SlimerDude Tue 21 Apr 2020

Hi controlsforall,

That's a lovely thought but I doubt community donations would be enough to fund what amounts to, development for a large commercial product.

I've been dipping in to look at the F4 code base for a few years now. While it is an impressive feat (thank you Xored!), I do believe it requires some heavy refactoring to bring it back to a clean and understandable state where further features could easily be added. But to do this requires an understanding of:

  • OSGi classloading
  • Eclipse platform integration (a BIG area!)
  • Dynamic Languages ToolKit (DLTK) for Eclipse
  • Maven build tools for Eclipse
  • Fantom compiler and ASM

In all, it is no small undertaking.

Jay, thank you for your thoughts and support - I myself use your .trio editor for F4!

As for future F4 support, I guess, watch this space...

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