Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers who likesimple languages

Discussion in 'Python' started by Steve Ferg, May 17, 2009.

  1. Steve Ferg

    Steve Ferg Guest

    A few years ago someone, somewhere on the Web, posted a blog in which
    he observed that developers, by general temperament, seem to fall into
    two groups.

    On the one hand, there are developers who love big IDEs with lots of
    features (code generation, error checking, etc.), and rely on them to
    provide the high level of support needed to be reasonably productive
    in heavy-weight languages (e.g. Java).

    On the other hand there are developers who much prefer to keep things
    light-weight and simple. They like clean high-level languages (e.g.
    Python) which are compact enough that you can keep the whole language
    in your head, and require only a good text editor to be used
    effectively.

    The author wasn't saying that one was better than the other: only that
    there seemed to be this recognizable difference in preferences.

    I periodically think of that blog, usually in circumstances that make
    me also think "Boy, that guy really got it right". But despite
    repeated and prolonged bouts of googling I haven't been able to find
    the article again. I must be using the wrong search terms or
    something.

    Does anybody have a link to this article?

    Thanks VERY MUCH in advance,
    -- Steve Ferg
     
    Steve Ferg, May 17, 2009
    #1
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  2. Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers who like simple languages

    Steve Ferg wrote:
    > On the one hand, there are developers who love big IDEs with lots of
    > features (code generation, error checking, etc.), and rely on them to
    > provide the high level of support needed to be reasonably productive
    > in heavy-weight languages (e.g. Java).
    >
    > On the other hand there are developers who much prefer to keep things
    > light-weight and simple. They like clean high-level languages (e.g.
    > Python) which are compact enough that you can keep the whole language
    > in your head, and require only a good text editor to be used
    > effectively.


    This distinction is IMHO not correct. If you took a look at Java, you would
    notice that the core language syntax is much simpler than Python's. OTOH,
    if you add the standard libraries, you would soon see that Python's
    libraries are not as consistent (i.e. conformant to PEP8) as Java's.

    What makes up for Python's perceived usability problems though is the
    commandline parser that allows you to inspect the type of an object and its
    parts of it at runtime, in particular the docstrings are a treasure there.

    That said, an IDE that provides auto-completion (e.g. that gives you a list
    of available class members) is a good thing in Java, because you don't have
    to browse the documentation as often. With Python, that is impossible
    because there are no types bound to parameters, so any type that fits is
    allowed (duck typing).

    Uli

    --
    Sator Laser GmbH
    Geschäftsführer: Thorsten Föcking, Amtsgericht Hamburg HR B62 932
     
    Ulrich Eckhardt, May 18, 2009
    #2
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  3. Steve Ferg

    Steve Ferg Guest

    Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers wholike simple languages

    Thanks. Your observations would make good comments on the original
    blog message that I'm seeking. Do you have a link to that blog?
     
    Steve Ferg, May 18, 2009
    #3
  4. Steve Ferg

    Aahz Guest

    Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers who like simple languages

    In article <>,
    Ulrich Eckhardt <> wrote:
    >Steve Ferg wrote:
    >>
    >> On the one hand, there are developers who love big IDEs with lots of
    >> features (code generation, error checking, etc.), and rely on them to
    >> provide the high level of support needed to be reasonably productive
    >> in heavy-weight languages (e.g. Java).
    >>
    >> On the other hand there are developers who much prefer to keep things
    >> light-weight and simple. They like clean high-level languages (e.g.
    >> Python) which are compact enough that you can keep the whole language
    >> in your head, and require only a good text editor to be used
    >> effectively.

    >
    >This distinction is IMHO not correct. If you took a look at Java, you would
    >notice that the core language syntax is much simpler than Python's.


    That's half-true. The problem is that you have to digest a much bigger
    chunk of Java before you can start being productive. Consider how simple
    it is to write a non-regex grep in Python. In addition, Python's object
    model is simpler than Java's, not even talking about the contortions that
    Java's static class model forces you into.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    "In 1968 it took the computing power of 2 C-64's to fly a rocket to the moon.
    Now, in 1998 it takes the Power of a Pentium 200 to run Microsoft Windows 98.
    Something must have gone wrong." --/bin/fortune
     
    Aahz, May 18, 2009
    #4
  5. Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers wholike simple languages

    Steve Ferg wrote:

    > I periodically think of that blog, usually in circumstances that make
    > me also think "Boy, that guy really got it right". But despite
    > repeated and prolonged bouts of googling I haven't been able to find
    > the article again. I must be using the wrong search terms or
    > something.
    >
    > Does anybody have a link to this article?


    I think you mean this clbuttic post:

    http://osteele.com/archives/2004/11/ides
     
    Marco Mariani, May 18, 2009
    #5
  6. Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers who like simple languages

    In message <>, Ulrich Eckhardt wrote:

    > If you took a look at Java, you
    > would notice that the core language syntax is much simpler than Python's.


    I don't think it is. Look at things like "private" versus "protected" versus
    "public" with or without "static" and "final", "class" versus "interface",
    what "new" means, and all the predefined types being reserved words,
    including of course the concept of "void", special syntax for defining array
    types, and typecasting -- these are all things that Python manages to do
    without.

    And that's not even counting newer language features added since the last
    time I did any Java programming.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 19, 2009
    #6
  7. Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers who like simple languages

    In message <07e5af6c-d41d-4a4a-8e2e-
    >, Steve Ferg wrote:

    > On the one hand, there are developers who love big IDEs with lots of
    > features (code generation, error checking, etc.), and rely on them to
    > provide the high level of support needed to be reasonably productive
    > in heavy-weight languages (e.g. Java).
    >
    > On the other hand there are developers who much prefer to keep things
    > light-weight and simple.


    Would it be fair to say the first type tends to congregate in herds,
    particularly in corporate IT departments, while the latter tends to operate
    on a more individual basis?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 19, 2009
    #7
  8. Steve Ferg

    Chris Rebert Guest

    Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers wholike simple languages

    On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 9:35 PM, Lawrence D'Oliveiro
    <_zealand> wrote:
    > In message <07e5af6c-d41d-4a4a-8e2e-
    > >, Steve Ferg wrote:
    >
    >> On the one hand, there are developers who love big IDEs with lots of
    >> features (code generation, error checking, etc.), and rely on them to
    >> provide the high level of support needed to be reasonably productive
    >> in heavy-weight languages (e.g. Java).
    >>
    >> On the other hand there are developers who much prefer to keep things
    >> light-weight and simple.

    >
    > Would it be fair to say the first type tends to congregate in herds,
    > particularly in corporate IT departments, while the latter tends to operate
    > on a more individual basis?


    That would certainly explain Lisp hackers!
    *(ducks)*

    Cheers,
    Chris
    --
    http://blog.rebertia.com
     
    Chris Rebert, May 19, 2009
    #8
  9. Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers wholike simple languages

    Chris Rebert wrote:

    >>> On the other hand there are developers who much prefer to keep things
    >>> light-weight and simple.

    >> Would it be fair to say the first type tends to congregate in herds,
    >> particularly in corporate IT departments, while the latter tends to operate
    >> on a more individual basis?

    >
    > That would certainly explain Lisp hackers!
    > *(ducks)*


    Oh, come on!

    Corporate environments are usually positive towards Lisp hackers, and
    Lisp hackers are OTOH very positive towards corporate environments.
    That's why they repel.
     
    Marco Mariani, May 19, 2009
    #9
  10. Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers wholike simple languages

    Ulrich Eckhardt wrote:
    > Steve Ferg wrote:
    >> On the one hand, there are developers who love big IDEs with lots of
    >> features (code generation, error checking, etc.), and rely on them to
    >> provide the high level of support needed to be reasonably productive
    >> in heavy-weight languages (e.g. Java).
    >>
    >> On the other hand there are developers who much prefer to keep things
    >> light-weight and simple. They like clean high-level languages (e.g.
    >> Python) which are compact enough that you can keep the whole language
    >> in your head, and require only a good text editor to be used
    >> effectively.

    >
    > This distinction is IMHO not correct. If you took a look at Java, you would
    > notice that the core language syntax is much simpler than Python's. OTOH,
    > if you add the standard libraries, you would soon see that Python's
    > libraries are not as consistent (i.e. conformant to PEP8) as Java's.
    >
    > What makes up for Python's perceived usability problems though is the
    > commandline parser that allows you to inspect the type of an object and its
    > parts of it at runtime, in particular the docstrings are a treasure there.
    >
    > That said, an IDE that provides auto-completion (e.g. that gives you a list
    > of available class members) is a good thing in Java, because you don't have
    > to browse the documentation as often. With Python, that is impossible
    > because there are no types bound to parameters, so any type that fits is
    > allowed (duck typing).


    I suggest that you look at PyScripter.
    It's helped if there is a doc string and
    if the parameters are spelled out i.e.
    not *args or **kwargs,

    Colin W.
    >
    > Uli
    >
     
    Colin J. Williams, May 20, 2009
    #10
  11. Steve Ferg

    Steve Ferg Guest

    Re: Seeking old post on developers who like IDEs vs developers wholike simple languages

    > I think you mean this clbuttic post:
    > http://osteele.com/archives/2004/11/ides


    That's it! Thanks very much, Marco!!

    It is good to read it again. It is like visiting a place where you
    grew up years ago, and finding that it is completely different than
    the way you remember it. It is surprising how much better it is than
    my rather crude memory of it.
     
    Steve Ferg, May 20, 2009
    #11
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