LightTable changed a lot since it was first announced on Chris Granger website, especially regarding the core UI. It now features a plugin manager and inline evaluation, including graphical displays from IPython.
Since I was recently talking about Racket Scheme and its capabilities to display inline graphics, much like Emacs Geiser does, I believe I should just finish this post that I started more than a month ago.(a) Here is a basic example with code from Matplotlib demo gallery:
LightTable is pretty fast and reactive, and it offers an interesting model for live coding session.(b) And, well, it's now open source. Maybe it could be a good alternative to IPython Qt console or even HTML notebook one day.
It's quite interesting that Emacs, and to some extent Vim, comes with
full-featured inferior modes and REPLs for most common languages, while
Sublime Text (ST) and its
sublimeREPL package offers far less
powerful functionnalities, although it has long been hailed as the
definitive text editor. Personally, I can never remember more than 10
keyboard shortcuts--and I experienced the same frustation with Textmate
before, which is why I still prefer Emacs over other editors: I can just
M-x followed by some keywords
(ido takes care of
the rest) and I get things done in few seconds. There also a menu bar, which
can be convenient at times (yes, I know, we don't really need a mouse, but I
use my trackpad :). Finally, there is a package manager which facilitates
the installation/updating of additional packages.
However, it is interesting to note that we can interact with a live Racket
shell in ST as well. Here is a screenshot of
sublimeREPL running under ST3
with the same sample Scheme code as before: (The Racket package should be
installed prior to running the Racket REPL, and
racket must be in your
However, to be fair it looks like the R REPL has been enhanced. Last time I checked, their REPL was displaying strange characters when R expressions were being sent to it (this was last year with ST2 since SublimeREPL was not available for ST3). Now it looks ok, although I haven't gone far with it:
As a sidenote, although I recommend to my students to use RStudio when working with R, I think ST really is a good editor and this is what I would recommend to them in place of Emacs whose learning curve is certainly steeper.
(a) This post is pretty old, and LighTable is now at version 0.6.5.
(b) Session provides yet another "Live-Coding Environment for Clojure".