A good IDE

is worth its weight in gold…

Now, this should be obvious, but it isn’t until the day you are forced to use a crappy IDE. When it comes to software development, I’m from the old school. Not the old, old school of punch cards and dip switches, but the newer old school with command line building and debugging through printfs. I’ve realized that I have become soft in my advancing years.

I’ve spent most of the last 11 years of my career doing my development in Visual Studio (and its earlier versions). Now, I’m fairly platform agnostic as a rule. During that time, I’ve also written software for Linux in Java and the Macintosh as well. Eclipse and VisualAge were decent enough IDEs that I didn’t feel hampered. However, the leading IDE on the mac until recently was CodeWarrior. CodeWarrior has an long history. It’s been around for a long time and you would think that as development environments go, it should be one of the best considering it became the main development tool for Mac OS development. I have no idea why though. It sucks. I mean, it really sucks. At first I thought it was just the shock of the new. I was just having to adjust to a new environment, but no, I’ve been using it for 18 months now and I still hate it.

Luckily (or unluckily) Apple is basically forcing all those who want to write software for OS X to switch to XCode. I’ve only just started using it, so my observations are premature. In general, it seems quite good and well designed. It does have some significant quirks and weirdness though. Apple seems really interested in making it better, so here is hoping…

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