Last week, we were attending a small conference that also included some one-day workshops. I chose to dig a little bit into Node.js. The workshop was held by Golo Roden.
Is it possible to conduct large complicated projects without an IDE?
I started developing software more than a decade ago with Smalltalk. For those of you who do not know Smalltalk: There is no separation of the IDE and the product. You don’t even work with files. Have a look yourself: http://www.pharo-project.org/home. – The non-existence of files in the Smalltalk IDE will give you an impression of how I feel with files. About ten years ago I had my first encounter with a different language based on files: Java. – Wow, that was strange at first.
To you this may seem weird. Programming without files? – To me it has been the other way around.
But: I really wonder whether this will scale.
- How will this work with more than ten files?
- How will you do refactorings?
- How can you see relations?
To me one aspect – if not the most important one – of programming is to be able to navigate my code. I definitely do want to see the implementation of a method or function I call. I want to be able to find the potential callers of a function. All this typing is so distracting from the product I’m about to build.
- I have to know what is already defined to be able to use it.
- It’s a pain (and slow) to look it up by reading potentially concerned files or documentation.
- I have to remember the filenames where stuff is defined.
- I have to track everything inside my head – in detail!
Is this really a professional working style? – What do you think?
- to see an overview of my code
- to see the big picture
This is even hard in today’s IDEs. But closer than just an editor.