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From Paul Speed <>
Subject Re: [OT] IDE Haters (Was Re: Logging in MailReader 1.3)
Date Fri, 09 Dec 2005 14:51:05 GMT

At work I'm fond of saying "Eclipse is the devil". :)  It gives you tons 
of power (tons!) and then every now and then sends you on a two hour 
hunt to figure why the right jars aren't getting picked up or some weird 
auto-format thing that can't be turned off (yet in this version or 
whatever).  Or you spend a day or two trying to figure out how to get 
some plug-in working right.

Yes, it is great.  I just haven't personally needed the power yet.  All 
of those years of learning refactoring tricks, etc..  However, I figure 
the first major refactoring I have to do that isn't covered by my tricks 
and requires lots of balls in the air... that's when it will hook me. 
Because that's how it got most of the other guys.

And I'd probably still try IDEA first. :)  The bottom line is that I'm 
still more productive without at this point.  Though being able to have 
the CVS annotate information in the left margin has almost sent me there 
several times.  The devil knows each of our weaknesses.

So, an expanded "me too".

Frank W. Zammetti wrote:

> You realize of course that such a topic can only lead to an IDE war :) LOL!
> I've tried I think every major IDE out there, as well as plenty of 
> lesser known ones.  Some I've maybe not given a fair shake to because I 
> found something that I *really* didn't like right away, but most of them 
> I've spent considerable time with to get a fair impression.
> First, you have to remember that I've been coding a *long* time, and as 
> such I've become extremely comfortable and, more importantly, effective, 
> in the way I work.  I can tell you from experience that I tend to work a 
> lot faster than most other developers that I've been able to compare 
> myself to (note that I'm not saying I'm *better* or anything, just that 
> I tend to be *faster* than most).  I've very much a train-of-thought 
> person, if I'm in a groove I can churn work out with the best of'em.
> What all this means is that if a tool gets in my way *at all*, I tend to 
> spurn it.  Even if the tool may have some advantage in some other way, 
> the first time it slows me down even a little it's pretty much over.
> I have not yet met an IDE that doesn't get in my way.  Some are 
> definitely worse than other (RAD), and some are pretty close to useable 
> for me (IDEA).
> Simple thing bug the s**t out of me... if I right-click on something and 
> a response isn't *immediate*, it kills me.  If it chews on my source 
> files for a few seconds every time I try and view one, that kills me 
> (yes, I know it's analyzing to give me code insight and such, but still).
> Also, if it does TOO MUCH work for me, I can't stand it.  I used to not 
> want *anything* done for me, but I've kind of changed my mind a bit 
> there... where I used to want to write my own getters and setters, I'm 
> happy to let some tool do it for me now (although for me it's a custom 
> UltraEdit macro).
> Also, I can't stand IDEs that throw all sorts of proprietary stuff into 
> the mix... RAD is the worst in this regard.  If someone with a different 
> IDE, or no IDE at all, can't come along and build my code, than the IDE 
> has insinuated itself into my code, and that's unacceptable.  This used 
> to be a bigger problem, but admittedly it doesn't seem to be as bad now 
> (and IDEA is actually very good in this regard in that I can set it up 
> to be completely independant of my code, one of the reasons its *close* 
> for me).
> The other problem that goes along with the speed issue is that most of 
> them that I've tried have been Java-based, and I don't care what anyone 
> says but Java desktop apps are still sluggish, even on high-end 
> hardware.  Oh yes, it's leaps and bounds better than it was, no question 
> about it, and I'm amazed at how good some Java apps actually are.  But 
> in an IDE, I notice all the little delays here and there, and they add 
> up for me.  Again, a tool can't get in your way or it's counterproductive.
> Now, about all those nifty-keen plug-ins most IDEs have... yes, I admit, 
> I get plug-in envy at times :)  But frankly I've found that most of them 
> I wouldn't use anyway because its just as fast to do it myself, or close 
> enough to be acceptable, and I definitely prefer knowing what's 
> happening every step of the way then trusting something to hack my code. 
>  I've seen too many instances over the years of something screwing up 
> code worse than it ever would have helped.
> Which brings me to my last point... where I sit at work, I am near some 
> people that are historically big RAD fans.  However, over the past few 
> months, as they've tried to have RAD do more and more for them, every 
> single day without fail I overhear a conversation talking about how RAD 
> screwed up this config file, or it wouldn't compile something for some 
> reason that no one can explain, or it just generally wasn't cooperating. 
>  Now, if I had only ever heard these complaints about RAD I'd just say 
> IBM screwed the pooch (it did) and it was unique to that IDE... but I 
> *constantly* hear similar stories about other IDEs as well.  Most anyone 
> that is an IDE proponent has war stories along those lines (some have 
> been lucky and haven't been burned much, others are constantly being 
> burned).
> But, all that being said, I believe using an IDE or not, or which IDE or 
> other tools you use, is a completely personal thing.  My guys at work 
> get to use whatever tools they want, with only one caveat: it all has to 
> boil down to an Ant script that anyone can run from a simple command 
> line, and the actual code must be completely agnostic about development 
> environment.  This is fairly easy to accomplish, and makes it so that 10 
> different developers with 10 different toolset preference can work on 
> the same code without difficulty.
> To me, whatever is most effective for you is perfectly OK.  I'm not 
> going to try and convince anyone one way or another.  And while I will 
> continue to try various IDEs as I have the opportunity, so far none 
> allow me to work as efficiently as a copy of UltraEdit, Directory Opus, 
> Ant and a command line... those are the four windows open on my PC every 
> minute of every day, and I wouldn't (at this point) have it any other 
> way :)
> Frank
> Sean Schofield wrote:
>>> Please keep in mind that there are still a good number of people who do
>>> not use an IDE at all.
>> Why on earth would you someone do such a thing?  Seriously.  I'd like
>> to know :-)
>>> Frank W. Zammetti
>> sean

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