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What's on Your Hard Drive?

Welcome back for another installment of “What’s on Your Hard Drive?” where you tell us about the tools you love, the tools you hate, and a category that’s recently grown in popularity: tools that you both love and hate. And by tools we don’t just mean pieces of software; feel free to express your love and/or hatred for both IDEs and the programming languages we use within them.
Programming language allegiances are usually much stronger than tool preferences, so this is bound to make for some heated debate over at, where you can both submit to WOYHD and comment on others’ submissions.

Who: Dave Wingate
What industry: Education
Job title: Software developer
Flavor: Develops on Linux, Windows for Linux, Windows
Tool I love! DbVisualizer. This tool flatters my intuition. Whenever I’m working with a database and think, “There really ought to be a tool to ­­___________,” DbVisualizer usually has what I need.
Tool I hate! ClearCase. It seems I can’t even sneeze without inadvertently hijacking a file from this source control utility. Combine that with the tool’s scant documentation and you’ve got a recipe for aggravation.

Who: Duane Dixon
What industry: Education
Job title: Certified network specialist (CNS)
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows
Tool I love! ColdFusion Studio 5. I love the many helpful tools, such as the color-coded tags and the shortcut keys for tags that are used rather frequently; and that the interface is intuitively laid out. I just like the simplicity of the entire program.
Tool I hate! FrontPage. I am not especially keen on tools that write the code for me, though I do use Macromedia’s Dreamweaver on occasion. I don’t like FrontPage because of the sloppy code that it generates and the fact that it uses nonstandard tags.

Who: Sancho Neves-Graca
What industry: Technology vendor
Job title: Software developer
Flavor: Develops on Windows, Mac OS X for Windows, Mac OS X
Tool I love! Mathematica. It’s a powerful technical computing platform that allows rapid prototype development with an elegant symbolic language inspired mostly by C and Lisp. Its notebook interface encourages exploratory programming with text and code all in a single document, which can be wrapped up as a self-contained package.
Tool I hate! C++. It’s a superset of C full of good intentions but that ultimately just extends the complications of a good procedural language with OO principles and does little to reduce code bloat.

Who: Fredrik Tolf
What industry: Education
Job title: Student
Flavor: Develops on Linux for Posix
Tool I love! Emacs. First of all, it does what I want as opposed to what it wants. And if it doesn’t, I can easily make it. Second,
it builds on Lisp, one of the most elegant languages in computing history (which is, of course, what makes it fulfill the first condition).
Tool I hate! Java. It’s unnecessarily complex and, in particular, crufty. It qualifies as neither an elegant language nor a “do-what-I-want” language. It qualifies only as an “intuitive” language for inexperienced people (which I don’t count myself as).


Originally published in Queue vol. 3, no. 6
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