The IDE divide

Monday 22 November 2004This is nearly 19 years old. Be careful.

Oliver Steele has an interesting essay about two world views:

The developer world is divided into two camps. Language mavens wax rhapsodic about the power of higher-level programming — first-class functions, staged programming, AOP, MOPs, and reflection. Tool mavens are skilled at the use of integrated build and debug tools, integrated documentation, code completion, refactoring, and code comprehension. Language mavens tend to use a text editor such as emacs or vim — these editors are more likely to work for new languages. Tool mavens tend to use IDEs such as Visual Studio, Eclipse, or IntelliJ, that integrate a variety of development tools.



Nice essay but I think the better link is between text editors and competence with the command line and the unix toolset.

I have trouble accepting that heavy vim (I'm one) and emacs users are prone to frequent language changes.

I think that there is a reverse-snobbery amongst developers with IDEs. There is an "old school" mentality with the developers that use 1980's technology (that means you, EMACS and VI) that tries to scream, "Look at me! I have been around for a looong time! I use EMACS and my wrists are paralyzed, but I can work on all platforms with ease!"

Personally, I love all of the crap that the latest/greatest MS tools give me. Gimme code completion, integrated doc, F1 that actually does something and working browse files. Anything that makes getting the job done easier. I am at the point that I don't even give a shit about the language. I have to go from C to C++ to SQL to C# to VB to VB.NET every day. They all look the same to me now and I don't like any one more than the others (except I hate C++ and COM). VS.NET can do them all.

I just want to finish the job and go the fuck home. Anything that makes that happen quicker is OK with me.
My response to Oliver's essay is here.

Andrew: ironic that you mentioned paralyzed wrists and Emacs. I've read that Richard Stallman who wrote GNU Emacs has severe carpal tunnel syndrome and has an assistant doing his typing using, what else, GNU Emacs. Imagine the burn-out rate on typists who have to listen to GNU Emacs-speak all day long. Yikes.
Am I crazy or are the red ticks on the second to last graph flipped?
Oliver Steele! That's a name I haven't heard in a while. He was a friend of a friend in Chapel Hill. My little sister dated him once.

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