OT: on IDEs and code writing on steroids

Brad Roberts braddr at puremagic.com
Sun May 17 17:24:44 PDT 2009

Yigal Chripun wrote:
> I disagree on all your points.
> read inside for comments.
> Brad Roberts wrote:
>> Yigal Chripun wrote:
>>> IMO, designing the language to support this better work-flow is a good
>>> decision made by MS, and D should follow it instead of trying to get
>>> away without an IDE.
>> Support or enable.. sure.  Require, absolutely not.
>> I've become convinced that the over-reliance on auto-complete and
>> other IDE
>> features has lead to a generation of developers that really don't know
>> their
>> language / environment.  The number of propagated typo's due to first
>> time
>> mis-typing of name (I see lenght way too often at work) that I wanna
>> ban the use
>> of auto-complete, but I'd get lynched.
> first, typos - eclipse has a built-in spell checker so all those
> "lenght" will be underlined with an orange squiggly line.
> regarding the more general comment of bad developers - you see a
> connection where there is none. A friend of mine showed me a a graph
> online that clearly shows the inverse correlation between the number of
> pirates in the world and global worming. (thanks to the Somalian
> pirates, that means the global effort to reduce emissions somewhat helps)
> A better analogy would be automotive: if you're Michael Schumacher than
> an automated transmission will just slow you down, but for the rest of
> the population it helps improve driving. the transmission doesn't make
> the driver good or bad, but it does help the majority of drivers to
> improve their driving skills.
> there are bad programmers that use a text editor as much as the ones
> that use an IDE. there are also good programmers on both sides.
> An IDE doesn't create bad programmers, rather the IDE helps bad
> programmers to write less buggy code.
>> If the applications library space is so vast or random that you can't
>> keep track
>> of where things are, a tool that helps you type in code is papering
>> over a more
>> serious problem.
> false again, using a tool that helps writing code does not mean there's
> a design problem in the code. auto-complete prevents typos, for instance
> and that has nothing to do with anything you said.
> For me, many times I remember that there's a method that does something
> I need by I can't remember if it's called fooBar(int, char) or
> barFoo(char, int) or any other permutation. you'd need to go check the
> documentation, I save time by using the auto-complete.
> Another use case is when I need to use some API I can get the list of
> methods with the documentation by using the auto-complete feature.
>> My other problem with IDE's, such as eclipse, is that it's such an all or
>> nothing investment.  You can't really just use part of it.  You must
>> buy in to
>> it's editor, it's interface with your SCM, it's scriptures of
>> indentation style,
>> etc.  Trying to deviate from any of it is such a large pain that it's
>> just not
>> worth it -- more so as the team working on a project gets larger.
> completely wrong. You forget - Eclipse is just a plug-in engine with
> default plug-ins that implement a Java IDE.
> editor: prefer vim/emacs? there are eclipse plugins that implement both.
> SCM: there are _tons_ of SCM plug-ins! just use what ever you prefer. I
> use git and there's a neat UI for that. *But*, sometimes I prefer git's
> command line. what to do? no problem, I can open a terminal window
> inside eclipse and run any command I want!
> I work on unix and my local eclipse (on windows) can open remote files
> on the unix machine. eclipse does everything for me including giving me
> a shell to run remote commands.
> indentation style: there's nothing easier. go to eclipse properties. for
> each language you have installed you can configure "styles" and eclipse
> will ident, color, format your code in what ever way you want.
> you don't have to like or use eclipse, or any other IDE but if you are
> not familiar with the tool, don't provide mis-information.
>> Sorry, I'll stop ranting.
>> Sigh,
>> Brad

As I said.. "I have become convinced..." it might not be actually true, and it
might not hold for everyone, but I've seen it frequently enough that I've
started to doubt statements to the contrary.  I could well be wrong, but I'm not
going to accept your word any more than you accept mine.

You are correct that for every generalization that there are good exceptions.

To address a few of your points, I've tried several of the various plugs, both
at the editor and scm layers.  I've talked with a whole bunch of other people I
consider experts who have done the same.  The answer that's come back every
single time... the plugins suck.  The only ones that actually are long-term
usable are the defaults.  Maybe one year that'll change, but forgive me for not
holding my breath.  That doesn't mean it's not possible, just means that the
effort of doing a _good_ job hasn't been worth the communities time, and that's

Anyway.. since I'm fairly confident that D isn't ever going to abandon the
pieces I care about, and might well enable the pieces you care about, it's kinda
pointless to argue about it.


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