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From Craig McClanahan <>
Subject Re: [OT] IDE Haters (Was Re: Logging in MailReader 1.3)
Date Fri, 09 Dec 2005 19:08:52 GMT
On 12/9/05, Martin Cooper <> wrote:
> On 12/9/05, Frank W. Zammetti <> wrote:
> My turn to date myself, along with Frank. ;-)

Me too :-).

In my first programming job, I wrote my code on coding sheets. When I was
> done, those would go to a data entry group, who would type the code on to
> punched cards. Then the cards would go to the sysops, who would schedule
> the
> job. When the job completed, usually the next day, I would get a pile of
> paper back. That edit /compile cycle alone taught me to be very, very
> careful and deliberate when I write my code.

I was pretty much in the same place in my first for-pay programming job (at
the university I was attending).  Indeed, our whole data center (including
the programming classes) was punched card based, and only ran student jobs
2-3 times a day.  So, when I was taking my programming classes, and before I
even got the full time programming job, I cleverly got myself hired as the
operator that *ran* the student jobs ... so I could run *my* jobs as many
times as I needed to :-).

I'm sort of a recent (well, last three years) convert away from Emacs and
towards IDEs.  My original motivations/excuses centered around the fact that
I wanted to never touch a mouse, and even avoid function keys if I could, to
maximize typing speed.  Nowdays, my fingers have slowed down enough that I
can appreciate all the other things IDEs can do for me.  In particular, my
sweet spots (when building Java class libraries for frameworks) are:

* Debugging (I usually consider it an admission of defeat when
  I can't find bugs by visual inspection, but when you need this
  you need it BADLY)

* Refactoring (unlike a lot of open source projects, at work we
  distinguish clearly between public and private APIs, and have
  a lot of freedom to improve the code organization of existing
  private modules -- very handy).

* Pushbutton unit tests (in NetBeans, I press ALT+F6 to compile
  my project and then execute the unit tests all the time, pretty much
  to the exclusion of just running the "Build Project" target).

* Code completion (lets me feel better about using longer
  more descriptive method and class names)

* Version control integration (although I wish the SVN plugins
  were a little more mature ...)

Yes, I can go find Emacs plugins that can do all of that, but then I have to
remember all the crazy ALT/META/SHIFT keystroke combinations.


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