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Comment: Re:Word (Score 1) 586

by elbobo (#41823185) Attached to: The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

The Pascal days! I really liked that language, but recently realised I have absolutely no recollection of the syntax.

I guess I used Turbo Pascal for a while in the 80s. But back then an IDE seemed to mean a code editor that was tailored to the language, and had some navigation, but was mostly just you and your code and nothing else.

These days an IDE seems to mean you, your code, and 900 buttons and tabs and everything else imaginable that a programmer might possibly need. They put emacs to shame when it comes to trying to cram everything into one app.

Comment: Re:Word (Score 1) 586

by elbobo (#41822233) Attached to: The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

> By your logic, I shouldn't bat an eye at anyone walking around with one of those old brick cellphones.

Reading this statement, I don't believe you've managed to grasp my logic. In fact, I haven't even presented any logic. I've stated a belief.

If you want logic, you could ask. But if you're going to throw wild denigrating generalisations at me that have no connection with my own experience (which is not limited), then you'll have to ask nice.

You seem to be presenting some logic, but to me it looks infirm. If your hand-crank metaphor had strength, it would be true that an IDE is inherently more capable than a vim or emacs based dev environment. Which isn't true.

Comment: Re:Word (Score 1) 586

by elbobo (#41821311) Attached to: The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

> In my experience, people who don't use IDEs almost never refactor their code.

Sounds like limited experience to me :)

I'm usually in the architect role, and deciding the larger whens and whats of refactoring is my domain. Young programmers tend to be weak on the experience necessary for recognising what to refactor, how, and when.

If you're going to paint all vim users with the same brush, you should remember that any programmer with 20+ years experience will almost certainly have been a vim or emacs user for a considerable number of years. You really can't make any sweeping generalisations about a group that broad.

> Text edit guys are cowboys and lack professionalism.

Plain code editors were the entirety of programming for a very long time. When I first started out, the *ed* editor existed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_text_editor).

If we're going to throw wild generalisations around, I'll throw mine in:

Old timers who earned their chops in plain editors tend to have a better sense of the overall app architecture, and are more intuitively aware of the scope and interconnectivity of subsystems. Changing a method signature across multiple files is trivial when you grew up on Unix tools, and people who did so tend to have a far better conception of the impacts of such changes.

That was fun, wasn't it.

Comment: Re:Word (Score 1) 586

by elbobo (#41818859) Attached to: The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

I haven't done much Java work, but it sounds like it greatly benefits from an IDE (which is the argument the linked article is making against Java and IDEs, I guess).

For the work I do at the moment (Objective-C), I don't think the IDE is providing any great benefits, and in many ways I think it gets in the way. Although perhaps the refactoring tools would be the exception, as you say. Being able to quickly rename methods/variables/etc or change method signatures without fear is a big gain. But I'd probably be more productive if I got those refactoring tools through a vim script.

I think a big part of the problem for me is the monolithic nature of IDEs. They're conceptually a collection of separate tools, but visually they're one massive blob of UI. Perhaps I'd be more comfortable if I could strip the IDEs down to just a couple of code windows and nothing else.

Comment: Re:Word (Score 1) 586

by elbobo (#41817821) Attached to: The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

If you're working with Java, I've got no suggestions. I'm living in an Objective-C world at the moment, so I primarily work with AppCode. AppCode has vim keys built in, so I feel mostly at home. It's still way too bulky though. IDEs feel like trucks, when I'd rather be riding a bike.

Presumably JetBrain's Java IDE also supports vim keys.

Comment: Re:Word (Score 3, Informative) 586

by elbobo (#41816509) Attached to: The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

I've been programming since I was 8, which makes 28 years of programming (probably more than half of that time professionally). I've only started using IDEs in the past few years, and only because they're pretty much not optional for a lot of platforms these days.

I think I was better off before IDEs. I don't write less bugs now, and I don't feel like my programming is qualitatively better because of the IDEs. I find my work environment is now far more cluttered, and I spend more time navigating my tools rather than navigating my code.

Perhaps you're mistaking "tab completion" for IDE? You don't need an IDE for tab completion. I've had that for over a decade in vim.

Comment: Re:DESQview (Score 1) 347

by elbobo (#34308552) Attached to: The Software That Failed To Compete With Windows

It's hard for me to describe how much appreciation and affection I had for DESQview. It was such a joy, with really no negatives. Every dabbling I had with Windows in comparison just further cemented my love of DESQview and hatred for the unacceptably substandard tripe Microsoft were pushing.

DESQview -> Linux without X -> Linux with X -> OS X (10.2) -> today.

Comment: Re:DESQview (Score 2, Interesting) 347

by elbobo (#34308428) Attached to: The Software That Failed To Compete With Windows

Well, just running the single DOS app under Windows, not even having anything else loaded, on a 486dx2/66 w/16MB RAM, resulted in users complaining about speed - on their 2400 baud modems.

Yep. Same here. I gave it a try, and wow was it ever bad - completely unworkable.

I never got into OS/2, having no copy available to me (I just couldn't afford it). I did my C in Borland's DOS based Turbo C++ inside DESQview and was blissfully ignorant of what life under OS/2 might be like.

By all accounts I heard soon after that time, OS/2 was a glorious thing, so I'm always mildly disappointed I missed out on it. I think I held out in DESQview land (and then Linux without X) until almost Windows 98 times.

Comment: Re:Desqview (Score 3, Insightful) 347

by elbobo (#34308032) Attached to: The Software That Failed To Compete With Windows

Same experience here. Nothing at the time other than DESQview was offering decent multitasking for tasks like BBSes. Windows was a joke in comparison.

Eventually I gave up DESQview, but it was a painful transition and I bitterly resented Microsoft for winning in the market with their inferior product.

Comment: DESQview (Score 4, Informative) 347

by elbobo (#34307946) Attached to: The Software That Failed To Compete With Windows

DESQview was brilliant. It was completely workable on the hardware of the time, functional, did what the box said, fast... It was the right solution for the time. It just happened that hardware moved on and left the phase in time that DESQview occupied behind.

I was running multinode BBSes under DESQview back in the day and getting fantastic performance. None of the graphical competitors were in any way workable alternatives for that sort of performance on the hardware available.

Microsoft

The Software That Failed To Compete With Windows 347

Posted by kdawson
from the rear-view-mirror-of-history dept.
harrymcc writes "When Microsoft shipped Windows 1.0 back in November 1985 — it turned 25 on Saturday — it wasn't clear that its much-delayed windowing add-on for DOS was going to succeed. After all, it was a late arrival to a market that was already teeming with ambitious competitors. A quarter-century later, it's worth remembering the early Windows rivals that didn't make it: Visi On, Top View, GEM, DESQview, and more."

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