Is it a good idea to develop an IDE for scala?

I have to choose a sizable (but not too sizable!) project for my next & last term in university. I thought maybe a nice IDE for scala is what the world might need right now :).

Would you like to see an IDE specifically made for scala? Or are you more comfortable using (the already available) plugins for popular (mainly java) IDEs & editors?

What do you think about the whole idea?

P.s. I'd make it open source & would add features one by one, so if it doesn't end in one semester, it won't be a problem from the university perspective.


Actually, not anymore. IntelliJ, Netbeans and Eclipse all have Scala-specific efforts that have more man-hours in it than you could possible start to begin putting in at a last term. And there's two very interesting efforts that were results of projects like that, both of which were made to contribute to any IDE effort: ENSIME and Scala Refactoring.

And, beyond these efforts, most programming editors, such as jEdit or TextMate, also have some Scala support to one degree or another.

So, really, contributing to one of these projects might be a good idea, but making a Scala IDE is not.

For his Masters thesis, Mirko Stocker contributed the refactoring functionality to the Eclipse Scala plugin, see:

Instead of creating an IDE from scratch, why not contribute a major piece of functionality to the Eclipse plugin, all contributions are welcome. For ideas, see tickets.

Or instead of reinventing the wheel.. you can contribute..

But I am not sure if it will be somehow enough for your university work. At the same time, as you see, those plug-ins still require a lot of work.

While writing your own IDE you will just trying to solve problems that were already solved and tested. Besides, even if - what kind of IDE is that, which allows you to do Scala (even if its great) only. So just for simple xml edit of ant file or whatever you will need another tool.

I think Brian Clapper already summed it up nicely.

I'd suggest something like CheckStyle but for Scala might go down well and be reasonable to tackle as a project.

Not a Scala developer but an Eclipse plug-in would probably be a worthy senior project.

Concur. Operating systems, text editors, and IDEs...does the world really need more of them? No. But everyone wants to write one.

If you want to do something useful, as opposed to simply academic, develop an extension for an existing IDE. Eclipse, NetBeans, Komodo, etc. are all nicely extensible through plugins.

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