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What’s on Your Hard Drive?

Welcome to another installment of WOYHD, Queue’s monthly forum dedicated to the discussion of the dev tools that programmers use—and either love or loathe. This month brings to light a new issue—the upgrade. New versions of old favorites can be the cause of either extreme excitement or disgust and disappointment. Read on to find out your fellow programmers’ opinions on the most recent releases of a few well-known tools. While you’re at it, stop by and let us know what you think.

Who: Jamie Barley
What industry: Automation
Job title: Automation programmer
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows
Tool I love! Visual Studio 2005. The upgrade from 2003 to 2005 has been terrific! Not only are there tons more controls for ASP, but also the on-the-fly debug mode rocks my world! I can finally change variable values through my code while executing my app!
Tool I hate! Visual SourceSafe. While the concept of a source code manager sounds great, the complications and frustrations just don’t seem worth it. I hate pulling up code to modify only to find out that my coworker forgot to check half the files back in more than a month ago, and he’s on vacation!

Who: Javier Gonzalez-Sanchez
What industry: Education
Job title: Professor
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows and Linux
Tool I love! Oracle JDeveloper 10g. It is a free integrated development environment with support for modeling, developing, debugging, optimizing, and deploying Java applications. It also allows me to create, edit, and run PHP.
Tool I hate! Maguma Studio. It’s a good tool, but I hate “Save the current file to FTP server.” Sometimes it’s faster and more secure to edit the file and to have an independent FTP client open for upload. It also occasionally does not keep the changes, and replaces the original file with a new blank file.

Who: Jason Christensen
What industry: Technology vendor (software, hardware, etc.)
Job title: Principal technologist
Flavor: Develops on Linux, Embedded Linux, and Windows for Linux and Embedded Linux
Tool I love! Eclipse. The extensible, free, modular design makes developing dev environments a breeze. Integration with different tool sets is easy; it’s not just for Java anymore. With extensions being created relatively easily, I can use gcc-avr, gcc-arm, and gcc-x86 interchangeably.
Tool I hate! Rational Toolset. I think the most recent releases (since 2000) have been far too expensive and provided features that are too esoteric to be used commonly among multiple programming languages. It is rapidly becoming the 900-pound gorilla of the space.

Who: Daniel J. Schuster
What industry: Consulting and systems integration
Job title: Consultant
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows
Tool I love! PowerBuilder. It has rapid prototyping of applications, patented data window object technology, and support for Web development and for many different SQL databases. PowerDesigner can reverse engineer a database and document it, as well as help in the design. It includes the SQL Anywhere database and offers the desktop developer’s version. It has Sybase support of the latest technology, open systems, and wizards to simplify use.
Tool I hate! Visual Basic. It is a lower-level design tool, not a fourth-generation language. With it, you are forced to use Microsoft products rather than open systems. Also, it tends to dominate the tools market even though it is an inferior product.


Originally published in Queue vol. 4, no. 6
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