(And Now For Something Different, for the 5LA-challenged amangst you...)
I've made my living, for about half my career, on the proposition that if I stayed (at least) three to six months ahead of (what would become) the popular mean in software technology, I'd be well-positioned to help out when Joe Businessman or Acme Corporation came along and hit the same technology — with the effect of "Refrigerator" Perry hitting a reinforced-concrete wall. This went reasonably well as "the market" started using PCs, then GUIs, then object-oriented programming, and then "that Internet thingy" (Shameless plug: résumé here or in PDF format).
In other ways, I've been a staunch traditionalist. I've used IDEs from time to time, because I was working as part of a team that had a standard tool set, or because I was programming for Microsoft Windows and the Collective essentially requires that that be done in their (seventh-rate) IDE unless you want to decrease productivity by several dozen orders of magnitude.
Otherwise, just give me KATE or BBEdit and a command-line compiler and I'm happy. This continued for a significant chunk of the history of PCs, until I decided that, for the Java work I was doing, I really needed some of the whiz-bang refactoring and other tie-ins supported by Eclipse and NetBeans. Then I started hacking around on a couple of open-source C++ packages and thought I'd give the Eclipse C/C++ Development Tooling a try. Now I'm coming up to speed on wxWidgets development in C++.
During this learning-curve week, I spent a lot of time browsing the Web for samples, tutorials and so on. To call most of them execrable is to give them unwarranted praise. Having recently resumed work on a Web development book dealing with useful standards and helpful process, and since I've been doing C++ off and on since the mid-80s, I thought I'd start a series of blog entries that would:
- Document some of the traps and tricks I hit to get a simple wxWidgets program into Eclipse;
- Illustrate some early, very simple refactoring of the simple program to get a bit more sanity;
- Get Subversion and Eclipse playing well together;
- Explain why I think parts of teh Agile method are simulataneously nothing new and the best new idea to hit development in a very long time.
- Start using an automated-testing tool to build confidence during debugging and refactoring; and
- Using a code-documentation tool in the spirit of JavaDoc to produce nice technical/API docs.
Please send comments, reactions, job offers, etc., to my email. Death threats, religious pamphlets, and other ignorance can, as always, go to /dev/null. Thanks!