Me and the IDE

September 25, 2014

Eclipse_Logo2014_New

I’m just going to come straight out and say it. I love using modern IDEs.
Yes, I’m sure I can write code just as well in a plain old text editor with a bit of code highlighting, yes, I’m sure Emacs can do everything my IDE does and so much more, maybe real developers use Vi(m), (Vi, don’t get me started, Emacs I can handle but Vi, really, why? Ok maybe cos I’m too lazy to learn how but that’s kinda my point), maybe all that IDE clutter distracts from the purity of the essence of distilled code.

Maybe, but I just want to get stuff done. I’ve worked with nothing but Emacs, a console and the GNU tool chain developing c/assembly applications for embedded Motorola 68000 based chips, it worked, it was actually quite fun because it demanded an intricate understanding of what was going on, from the workings of the tool chain on the development OS right down to the hardware level of the target, but man was it tedious.

No, give me my comfy chair of an IDE, take away my code completion and I’ll start to scream, and maybe punch something.

Currently eclipse is my tool of choice, I like it, it’s easy to use, highly extentible, well supported by the software community, and free.

I’ll admit that I actually enjoyed using Visual Studio 2010 (the last version I used) and was a bit sad when I moved to Java development (although why the f**k does an installation of VS take up more space than the operating system, around 6Gb, wtf!! I reckon they’re just writing a load of random ones and zeros to the hard disc to make it look big to justify the cost 🙂 ).

Ok, there is a good argument that too much hand holding causing a dumbing down of software development (see this excellent article by Charles Petzold http://www.charlespetzold.com/etc/DoesVisualStudioRotTheMind.html), but surely it comes down to using the tools available the way that’s best for you, not letting the tools lead you.