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Getting Back To Coding 240

New submitter rrconan writes I always feel like I'm getting old because of the constant need to learn a new tools to do the same job. At the end of projects, I get the impression that nothing changes — there are no real benefits to the new tools, and the only result is a lot of time wasted learning them instead of doing the work. We discussed this last week with Andrew Binstock's "Just Let Me Code" article, and now he's written a follow-up about reducing tool complexity and focusing on writing code. He says, "Tool vendors have several misperceptions that stand in the way. The first is a long-standing issue, which is 'featuritis': the tendency to create the perception of greater value in upgrades by adding rarely needed features. ... The second misperception is that many tool vendors view the user experience they offer as already pretty darn good. Compared with tools we had 10 years ago or more, UIs have indeed improved significantly. But they have not improved as fast as complexity has increased. And in that gap lies the problem.' Now I understand that what I thought of as "getting old" was really "getting smart."
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Getting Back To Coding

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  • IDEs are for wimps (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @03:01PM (#47583783)

    My development chain starts in the terminal (I program mainly for Linux; your Windows experience may be impossible to adapt to match). I have vim as my editor (and have nothing against people who use emacs). Once in a blue moon I try a GUI editor (like gedit, geany) or an IDE (like Eclipse or Netbeans), and I always find myself going back to vim, because everything else slows me down. My documentation is on the Net. If I need to know something about an API I google it. I don't miss autocomplete very much, as if I know what I want then vim's Control+N suits me very well. If I don't know what I want, then autocomplete will not really solve it for me anyway. I write my own makefiles, and call the auxiliary tools (is a compiler "auxiliary" to editing code?) knowing very well what I want them to do. For version control I also use the command line, because GUI tools never seem to help, and always seem to hinder.

    I find myself very productive given that I don't use "productivity enhanced" tools.

    What I would very much want is a fucking GUI editor for Android apps, because editing XML files from scratch is getting on my nerves. I don't know what makes it so much more annoying than editing straight up HTML though. Maybe I just didn't familiarize myself the Android GUI XML well enough to use it, but given how easy it is to do things in Xcode for iOS, I think Google need to put some effort into it. I think Xcode is pretty much the only IDE that didn't get in the way when I needed to use it, but I can't use it for more than iOS apps, or on Linux so...

  • by mrflash818 ( 226638 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @03:13PM (#47583881) Homepage Journal

    c/c++, vi/emacs, make, ddd.

    Lots of good years of use, likely many more years of usefulness, too.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @04:17PM (#47584393)

    Really, that is completely ass-backwards. We do not need better tools. We need better programmers. I recently finished a medium sized project in C, using text editor, command-line compiler, commandline-debugger and svn only, and I found absolutely nothing wanting in my tool-chain. That was dual-platform development on Linux and Solaris (with the Solaris compiler and debugger on Solaris, not the GNU tools), and still, even an unified IDE would have benefited me almost nothing.

    Now, it may be that I am stuck in the dark ages of programming, but I don't think so. My development speed and result quality is entirely appropriate and significantly better than average. However, I have observed that many "programmers" are indeed helpless without exactly the complex tool-chain they are used too and cannot even produce simple code without the only IDE they know. These people have no business producing software and, indeed, they do not understand the language they code in or the machine they code for. They "muddle through" somehow, having their hand held by the IDE. It seems these people are the norm, not the exception. It is really no surprise so much software is so bad.

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