Tangential comments about Software Development

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The March of IDEs

I like the way that modern Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are making programming a physical job. That is, using the IDE's knowledge of what you might be about to type speeds up coding, and knowing how quickly the IDE will react makes this a real-time process.

For instance, a common line in my C# code is entered as r e t (tab) res (tab) ; (return) which gives
return result;

because the IDE correctly guesses the rest. To use this, I have stopped calling a return value "retval" because that slows down this process.

Here's another example u s (tab) n u (ctrl-space) . F (tab) ; (return) gives
using NUnit.Framework;

a s s (tab) . A (tab) S t r (tab) . E (tab) gives
Assert.AreEqual( String.Empty

So how has this changed the way I code?

  • First long variable names are no problem. As long as they are distinct within the first few characters.

  • Within ASP.Net, I get to ConfigurationManager by C o n (tab) M (tab)

  • I try to avoid using System.IO, which is good for various reasons but in this case is because Stream comes before String.

  • In pair programming this can become a dangerous habit, trying to control the Driver at the individual keystroke level. Apologies to my colleagues.