December 2008 - Posts
The last post of the year and I normally look back at the year, however have not paid much attention to 2008, here's why.
Yes thats my little girl, playing
baby laptop smash (knocking keys off).
Happy new year.
I can't help but admire Eclipse, at its roots it just a shell that you can adjust at will to make the editor what ever you want. From this has sprung a rich eco system with ready packaged editor tweaked downloads for all your coding needs. In it's native Java market Eclipse is not alone but lets you do what ever suits you, I admire that in an editor. The big question is dear reader would a project like Eclipse ever float in .NET land?
I do wonder why there are not many opensource winform projects and I am starting to wonder if its down to GUI components. The default winform GUI components are good enough for basic interfaces but for something more complex your faced with a long walk reinventing the wheel or paying out. If your building a commerical application then you should pay (although the cost of licenses is hard for a micro-isv to foot) but most opensource projects cannot afford it (and commerical vendors don't license for opensource software). There are a few free and opensource winform components that offer a greater degree of ready baked functionality, a tree control and docking control spring to mind. The main winform opensource project seems to be #develop, the source code is way of getting at more advanced functionality but the app is not built for ready extraction so you will need to spend some time getting at what you need. WPF is easier to work with thanks its object model but just like winforms your faced with cost or reinvention.
Years ago, before my Macromedia days, I started out in the newly emerging Java community. The AWT was the only GUI toolkit and boy it looked rough. Flash foward to now and both Swing and the more recent SWT toolkits provide great interfaces and cost nothing. In fact the Java community has a great deal of free and opensource GUI components, it is little wonder why opensource in Java is expanding at an ever greater rate in just about every area.
Agree, disagree, let me know.
What editors\IDE (be they Windows\Linux\Mac) rock you out the most, from Emacs to TextMate I want to hear what you like\dislike the most and why?
[Update] I may posed this question in a confusing manner, what I want to know is if you use an editor over an IDE or use an IDE and text editor? If you do why and what editors do you like the most (and why)?
In VS when coding you can quickly navigate to other code via instances and referances in the code. The trouble is that this opens any unopened files in a new tab, in most medium to large code bases you can end up with masses of opened files. Navigating through the code can also get confusing, you forget what file you started with, what file you are most interested in etc. One idea is using one tab rather than many and the use of a navigation medium , a mocked up example would be as follows.
This uses two mediums from the web world, tag clouds and breadcrumb.
The file cloud (tag cloud) lists every file you have opened, each opening in the tab window. The longer you stay in the file the bigger its presence in the cloud, the less time the smaller (until it vanishes from the cloud). You could opt to keep files present in the cloud to prevent them being removed.
With XmlFile.cs our root for every other file that is associated with the root a crumb is created, this holds any navigation we make between files and allows you to move between the crumb to revisit files. I would see the crumb removing any child crumbs, going from TextFile.cs to XmlFile.cs for example would remove all crumbs.
Like or dislike this idea, let me know?
Another question for you dear reader, what is your pet hates about VS? Speed, windows, layout, what gets in your way the most. Do you see VS10 answering those problems? What other editors do you admire the most? Your thoughts as ever are welcome....
I first asked what you most like in your IDE (thanks for your comments, keep them coming), one thing I was after were your thoughts on the following.
Code windows in tabs, if your working with a lot of files you end up with a lot of tabs, could that be better?
Styling the IDE, you can theme the code window but nothing else in VS, could that be better?
Windows, too many of them, could they be combined? do you find the interface too busy?
Speed, hear it a lot but do you find VS is attempting to do too much and slowing you down, would you rather VS be lighter on her feet and you add what you want as you need it?
VS10 will get a new WPF code editor, do you welcome those changes and do you think such things as zooming and aliasing will be useful? would you want to see more?
Your thoughts as ever are welcome.
I'm doing some research, what do you want the most from your IDE, what features do you most desire, what do hate the most, what features do you envy the most in other (say Java) IDEs? Let me know your thoughts.