Saturday, November 27, 2004

Oliver Steele offers some good thoughts on IDEs vs. editors. I admit I am a “language maven”, but I’ve also tried using IDEs. There are some really cool things that you can do with an IDE and I would like to use them. Most recently I used Eclipse to build a Java applet. Given that I am not a Java pro, it was definitely easier to use an IDE that knew all the black magic to compile applets than if I had used Emacs with command line Java tools. The trouble is that in my everyday work, I am working with Java, C++, Python, text files, XML, HTML, CSS, Javascript, shell scripts, and a little bit of Perl. I use Windows XP, Windows 98, and Linux. So I have to choose between using one tool for all of these, or using maybe 12 different tools, each specialized for one task. I keep returning to the one “swiss army knife” approach.