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As 2005 comes to a close, we’d like to thank all the readers who’ve submitted to WOYHD. We’ve seen a lot of tools mentioned over the past year—some popular, and some we’d never heard of. With 2006 on the horizon, we’d like a lot more of the same. So send us your rants, raves, and more new tools that you absolutely can’t live without—or can’t bear to use. And lest we forget, if your submission is chosen, you’ll receive one of our stylish Queue coffee mugs—destined to become a modern classic. So please keep ’em coming at

Who: Skye Roseboom
What industry: Technology vendor (software, hardware, etc.)
Job title: Programmer/Analyst
Flavor: Develops on Windows for all platforms (JVM)
Tool I love! Squeak. I am forced to use Java at work to build enterprise applications, but at home I play with and enjoy Squeak. After eight hours of working in a traditional IDE, coming home to Squeak is pure joy. Its system browser and method finder are excellent programmer resources.
Tool I hate! Eclipse. This IDE suffers from a misleading and often incorrect debugger. Furthermore, it can’t refactor multiple files correctly and has a buggy interface. But it is free and nicely configurable. I love it and hate it.

Who: Ricky Hussmann
What industry: Academia
Job title: University researcher
Flavor: Develops on Windows, Mac OS X for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
Tool I love! Apple’s Xcode. It has integrated CVS or SVN access, easy-access documentation, integration of shell scripts in the build phase, command-line build functionality, and familiar GDB (GNU debugger) and GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) tool chains. Xcode also has a very pleasing interface.
Tool I hate! Visual Studio .NET. Visual Studio has a bloated, horrendous interface. The tabbed file interface becomes clumsy quickly. The installation footprint is ridiculous. Project files get smattered throughout the working directory. Developing with .NET on older machines becomes difficult because of the program’s sluggishness.

Who: Geoff Sobering
What industry: Consulting and systems integration
Job title: Senior IT consultant
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Solaris
Tool I love! Cygwin. It makes Windows bearable. Almost all my tools and utilities run just about perfectly. It’s great to jump back and forth between the best GUI tools (such as Eclipse) available on Win32, and the standard Unix/GNU tools inside Cygwin.
Tool I hate! Java. Its code base is too complex to navigate. It seems to get in the way more than it helps. Too many seemingly easy things take boatloads of lines of code (e.g., iteration), obscuring almost any chance of expressing the intent of the underlying process.

Who: Bruce Kernohan
What industry: ISP/Telecommunications, energy, cable, utilities
Job title: Reports analyst
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows
Tool I love! CodeSmith Studio. It autogenerates code based on a template I create, which saves a lot of typing out repetitive code. This allows for tons of flexibility, including enforcement of naming conventions. This coupled with a few well-crafted stored procedures can save a ton of unnecessary typing.
Tool I hate! Access. I dislike all the buggy crap you have to deal with, including numerous “by design” features. It’s also annoying that the file size can get unmanageable very quickly, causing the need to compress it frequently.


Originally published in Queue vol. 3, no. 10
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