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Friday, August 22, 2008

On Software Tools

In my new job, I'm in a largely Java shop for the first time. I'll be doing a "query cache accelerator" for them fairly soon, which will be done in C...

Anyway, one thing that I'm now highly exposed to is the Java world's proliferation of software tools. As a guy who figured that 20+ year old tools like make, vi, gdb, gprof, and purify are the cat's meow, it's hard to deal with tools that change every six months. Also, I hate wasting time learning the fiddly idiosyncrasies of yet another bunch of gooey-licious tools, who's main "advantage" over standbys like make is primarily their GUIness.

But, there we are. And I'm stuck with them, I suppose. The one thing I'm insisting on is that we pick a suite of tools, do all the customization we need to do, and stick with them and not change the world every few months as new tools appear.

I've always figured that software tools are like lawyers: you need to know a few good ones well for various purposes, but you don't want them to get in the way of living your life or doing your job.

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