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PLT Scheme is an IDE (Integrated development environment) for the Scheme Language, although some other languages are also supported (e.g. Agol). Scheme was created at M.I.T. with a strong educational purpose, and so this application is also aimed at students and all new programmers giving their first steps in Scheme.
It has some standard features and very helpful features, like commenting and uncommenting selected portions of code, and intending code according to accepted general rules. It runs Scheme code and allows for a great learning experience. The Help directory is very easy to use and full of examples, which is a big plus. On the down side, the debugger could use some improvement. Nevertheless, it allows watching variables and the stack, which, together with the error messages, guide the newcomer through the fields of finding the bugs.
This program is indented for the learning community, and so, lacks some features of more advanced IDE’s, like compiling to executable format (available on an external, command line application). On the other hand, it has some features specially interesting for teachers and students. First, you can choose various levels of the language (intermediate, advanced, etc.). Second, you can limit the memory available. This can be interesting, both in making efficient code, or in avoiding endless loops.
- Aimed at beginners
- Easy to use
- Long academic experience
- Not suited for production level