Back to Basics: Can You Live Without An IDE?

Way back when I started with Java the Jbuilder tool was great. This IDE helped me move along quickly on the initial learning curve. Then I jumped to eclipse, as this was all the rage. eclipse didn’t have the cool GUI editor that Jbuilder did, so that caused some switching back & forth.

Eventually the GUI couldn’t work with the Java Swing grid layout as I wanted. So then, I forced myself to learn how to use the grid layout by hand. Surprise! It wasn’t that bad. In fact, now I had complete control!

Going back to eclipse, all was well until something broke: jars weren’t getting updated correctly, ordering was wrong, etc. All of this became very difficult to sort out. Again, going back to the command line and manually configuring & launching teaches you *exactly* what is going on.

Today I’m setting up my new MacBook Pro to do C++. Vim is getting configured, my Kindle references are getting moved over, iBooks, etc. It’s very refreshing to be able to use terminal commands such as:

rm ParseTextFile.o && make parse && ./ParseTextFile.o

(OK, the 1st command is redundant, but its still cool to see it.) The bottom line, is working at the ‘atomic’ level is very empowering as one can see the actual building blocks that make up so much of what we do.

Back to Basics: Can You Live Without An IDE?

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