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From Sean Landis<>
Subject Re: OFFTOPIC! RE: IDEs vs. text editors, was RE: Borland Jbuilder f inally adds ant support (at a price)
Date Tue, 21 May 2002 16:29:20 GMT
I can't resist. ;-)

I use JBuilder and TogetherJ Solo. But I use them rarely. Most of my
work is in emacs because for day-to-day coding it's simply more 
efficient. JBuilder is great for building GUIs; I hear it's also 
great for RAD of various enterprise apps but I don't do that. TogetherJ
is awesome for reverse engineering and forward engineering when you
no so little about the problem that you need modeling. Unfortunately,
both are a pain in the butt when it comes to plan ol' coding. Niether
has an efficient editor, and building systems with all drag-n-drop or
model generation is simply too slow.

So I build a GUI in JBuilder and move back to emacs. Or I start a
hard project with some modeling TJ to get the basic structure, and
then I dispense of that. 

Becoming proficient in any of these three is probably about the
same degree of difficulty. I don't consider any of them easier
to learn to use well.

I suppose if I built enterprise, n-tier, or web apps for a living, 
I might do end-to-end development in JBuilder. I can't see any reason
to use a modeling tool, even a really good round-trip tool like TJ,
end-to-end. Here's the thing: the premise of that type of tool is
that it eases your work by operating at a higher abstraction level;
but to do that well, you have to really know what you're doing. If
you really know what you are doing, it's usually faster to ditch
the IDE once you have the basic models established. About the only
advantage of a tool like this, end-to-end, is when you are working
with big teams where the a means of communication is either the
models and/or the code. Agile development proponents would argue
the code is the best means as it is 0 degrees removed from reality.
This is usually the case, but with TJ it reverses so well that it
allows you an alternative view. That has a lot of value since the
other requirement for agile is high team competency. Unfortunatly
that doesn't scale beyond teams of a few.

Ok, done blathering.


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