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If you have visited the Queue Web site recently, you will have noticed an invitation to tell us about tools that you use—how they make your life wonderful or how they make your life a living hell. Every month the editors will carefully select four of these submissions from the millions received. If you’re one of the chosen, you’ll receive a complimentary (and oh so very flatter-ing) Queue t-shirt, the Holy Grail of the software development industry. To find out more, visit our Web site:

Who: Alexis Le-Quoc

What industry: Education software engineer

Where: New York, New York

Flavor: Develops on Linux for Linux, Windows, and Mac

Tool I love! Python. (Relatively) clean, fast, multi-platform, and somewhat terse, it writes client and server code anywhere. It’s powerful enough to not get in the way of expressing complex designs... and rapidly scrapping them.

Tool I hate! C++. Good example of misguided powerful hack—think about putting a jet engine on a plywood glider. After you’re done with memory management, limited genericity, ABI incompatibilities, and a limited typing system that gets in the way, then you can start thinking about real problems to solve.


Who: Brandon Lucia

What industry: IT software development/database management

Where: Medford, Massachusetts

Flavor: Develops on Red Hat Linux for Windows 2000T

Tool I love! Vi. Simplistic elegance provides all necessary functionality—and incredibly useful extended functionality. The learning curve is greater than for some other tools, but the payoff for using Vi is huge in terms of efficiency.

Tool I hate! Visual Studio. IMHO, MS Visual Studio is cumbersome, and I find myself taking more steps than with other build environments to attain the same end. I would be fine with just my g++ or Perl command line, without all the GUI frills, etc., of Visual Studio.


Who: Colm Gallagher

What industry: Financial services

Where: West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland

Flavor: Develops on Windows 2000

Tool I love! Gvim. Having been weaned with Vi on an old DEC Ultrix terminal, those commands just never leave you! Gvim offers everything Vi used to and much more. It’s a programmer’s dream—syntax coloring for all languages, code folding, powerful macro language, and much more!

Tool I hate! MS DevStudio. Not got into .Net and hope not to, so my rant is against the old DevStudio that plenty of folks are forced to use daily, where C++, VB, and InterDev all had different shortcuts and commands. Pooh!


Who: Helge A. Gudmundsen

What industry: Telecommunications

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

Flavor: Develops on Windows XP Pro for Windows 2000 Server

Tool I love! Visual SlickEdit is my favorite editor because it is simple to use, highly extensible, has excellent support for a range of languages, and does not get in my way. It has an internal programming language that lets me add features I want.

Tool I hate! Emacs. I have tried several times to use this tool, but I guess I was born too late. Its arcane command set is totally incompatible with the way my mind works. Thus, it becomes an impediment to, rather than a booster of, productivity.


Originally published in Queue vol. 2, no. 8
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