Introducing new users to Revise.jl

I remember from myself that I put down Julia about two years ago because I didn’t know about Revise.jl. Only months later, I gave Julia a second shot. I’m not alone in this. I see this pop up time and again on this forum too with new users. For example: Julia from the perspective of a pythonista - #32 by Wikunia.

So, should Revise somehow be introduced to new users at more places?



Last semester a taught a programming course in Julia, and only presented Revise to the students at the middle of the course. Everybody loved it. I think that explaining good development workflows should be something with high publicity, including videos, linked at the very start of the manual. A smooth first experience is absolutely determinant to motivate people to stay.


I haven’t taken any action, but I posted a couple of thoughts in Should Julia recommend Revise? · Issue #564 · timholy/Revise.jl · GitHub


I totally agree that Revise may make the experience of coding smoother, not only for developers but also for new users… except for one tricky situtation, which unfortunately I think many beginners may hit, and in that case it would add further confusion and frustration:

This affects specifically the debugging workflow in VS Code, but that’s the most popular IDE right now, and I expect that many new users will start their Julia journey with it. (Actually, it’s what I recommend to those who come from Matlab etc.) So, I think that the proposal of recommending Revise to new users should be accompanied with that caveat at the moment.

Or if it does not take too much time, wait until this PR is finished and merged (or an alternative solution is found):

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I hope that my new blog project can bring some benefit to newcomers in the future by reading about workflows from other newcomers.

Right now, the julia download page prominently advertises JuliaPro, which among other things still uses Juno. I’m a big fan of providing opinionated, out of the box bundles as alternatives to the default of downloading the binary, and I would definitely recommend Revise as part of a default development workflow over JuliaPro.

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