Random Perl ... rant

Dave Cross dave at dave.org.uk
Thu Apr 3 10:24:57 BST 2008

Quoting Stefano Rodighiero <stefano.rodighiero at gmail.com>:

> On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 10:44 AM, Iain Barnett <iainspeed at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  If you want to draw in programmers from other languages then you can't show
>> them a command line debugger and colorised emacs and expect converts. I want
>> intellisense, and I want a GUI for debugging, and so do a lot of other
>> people *because it makes us more productive and our lives easier*, which is
>> the whole point. Isn't it?
> While for Java or C# a good GUI can make the difference, I think
> that for dynamic and succint languages like Perl it only depends
> on personal style: I feel productive with a shell, Vim, and some
> ad hoc macros.

s/Vim/Xemacs and I agree completely.

For years people have telling how I'm missing out by not using an IDE.  
I've tried using Komodo and I've tried using Eclipse with the EPIC  
plugin. But the both slowed me down. Maybe it just what I'm used to,  
or maybe I only ever work on tiny projects where the benefits of an  
IDE aren't obvious. I'd love someone to explain exactly what an IDE  
gives me that I can't get from Xemacs.

The other issue is that people get too tied to a particular IDE. At  
one company I worked at the technical interview consisted of two hours  
in front of a PC with a simple programming task. Perl programmers  
seemed to have no trouble with this, but many of the Java people we  
saw floundered a bit because they didn't have access to their  
particular favourite IDE. It was like they weren't Java programmers,  
but Intelli-J programmers or Eclipse programmers. Without the right  
tools, they had no idea where to start.

Oh, I realise that a decent workplace will allow a developer to use  
whatever tools they feel comfortable with. But I'm a firm believer  
that you should be able to develop without those tools if necessary.


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