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What’s on Your Hard Drive?

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 flattering) Queue t-shirt, the Holy Grail of the software development industry. To find out more, visit our Web site:

Who: Brian Ganninger

What industry: Software development

Where: De Soto, Missouri

Flavor: Develops on Mac OS X for Mac OS X

Tool I love! Xcode and Interface Builder. Apple provides an increasingly first-class set of tools with support for GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), CVS (Concurrent Version System), Subversion, and other tools, as well as innovations such as Interface Builder to make user interface design painless and enjoyable. Developing in this environment is rapid and infinitely malleable.

Tool I hate! CVS. Complex syntax combined with a horrid intolerance for any nonstandard file makes CVS a headache at best to use when working on larger projects or managing repositories and trying to integrate it into a workflow. Subversion has made it an anecdote in computing history.


Who: Drew Sudell

What industry: Student

Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Flavor: Develops on Unix for Unix

Tool I love! XEmacs. With apologies to Robert Heinlein, an editor should be able to edit a file, read mail, read news, debug a program, spell-check this paragraph, work locally, and work remotely. Specialization is for word processors.

Tool I hate! Anything with a GUI. One should not walk quietly into the post-literate night. Brevity being the source of wit, I write more only because this form requires me to type at least thirty words, when nine will do.

[Editor’s note: Our hat’s off to you Drew, for both your witty submission and form validation trickery. That said, we do prefer slightly longer (30-50 words) tool-related missives, without the filler. Thanks!]


Who: Thomas G. Knight

What industry: Payroll and benefits

Where: Ogden, Utah

Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows

Tool I love! Code-Genie. Great text editor handles most languages and allows me to write in almost any language and not have to get used to another editor. You can download many tools, including syntax, help, and macro files.

Tool I hate! Notepad. I know a lot of people who use Notepad to write code for many platforms. I hate the forced extensions and the little go-arounds you have to use to get the text to work.


Who: Po-Hsun Cheng

What industry: Health care

Where: Taipei, Taiwan

Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows

Tool I love! Microsoft Visual Studio 2003. It has a lower learning barrier than other development tools. It has been selected as our enterprise application development tool, so we have no chance to love any other development tools.

Tool I hate! Borland JBuilder. Borland upgrades to new versions quicker than other vendors do, which makes it difficult to learn the new features and stay current with licenses. This situation is not conducive to building a long-term development tool vendor relationship.


Originally published in Queue vol. 2, no. 9
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