Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

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60 Replies - 24618 Views - Last Post: 06 December 2012 - 02:58 AM

#31 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:58 PM

View PostThe Architect 2.0, on 01 December 2012 - 06:28 PM, said:

I say it's as simple as this:

Do you want your students spending more brainpower memorizing, or do you want them to spend that same brainpower
producing? ALA fundamentals vs high-end concepts


You want students learning. That means doing things that teach them the things they need to know. If they don't know it now, they'll have to learn it on the job, or they won't know it. Which is better?

Quote

as a teacher, which is more important to you? As a teacher, your answer should be the one that benefits the students the most based on their needs. Generally, your students want to make money, so I would argue that practice at producing is more important than practice at memorization.


You're missing completely the point of education. Generally, your students want to make money, and in order to do that, they need to learn their trade. A tool which prevents that makes them less likely to make money.
You talk about "memorization" as if it's a bad thing. I'd rather talk about learning: you can't use a library unless you know it, and you can't know it without learning it. A student needs practice learning libraries, so letting them use code completion prevents them from learning what they need to know, and prevents them from being effective programmers.

Or do you really think that something like
Scanner scan = new Scanner(file);
scan. <ctrl-spc>


is the way an effective programmer works?


Quote

do people actually work on production code in notepad?


Where does this idea come from that notepad is an editor that anyone would use? Of course you don't use notepad for this, you use vi. And yes, I write all of my code in vi.
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#32 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:35 PM

Does it really matter? I've seen people learn to program both ways. I've seen people learn to program using C and vi over an SSH client and people learn using a Java and Eclipse on their laptops. I couldn't really distinguish them until I saw them do something in an environment they weren't used to. The vi and C didn't know how to use eclipse until he learned. The Eclipse guy didn't have a clue what to do with vi or C until he learned. When you learn things seems less relevant than just learning them before you need them. To me that means learning both before you graduate.

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 01 December 2012 - 11:39 PM

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#33 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 07:28 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 01 December 2012 - 11:58 PM, said:

Where does this idea come from that notepad is an editor that anyone would use? Of course you don't use notepad for this, you use vi. And yes, I write all of my code in vi.


I can't imaging an employer tolerating this, especially if you're an hourly employee. I certainly would not. The few hours I spend teaching you Netbeans or Eclipse will save me thousands per year over you using emacs or vim, despite their features for programming.
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#34 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:28 AM

What makes you think you'd have to teach me anything about Eclipse? I've used it, the mouse-driven interface slows me down, I don't use it any more. But I put in enough time to learn my way around, and I'm frankly not impressed. (I also tried NetBeans a few months back, when I did that Murach review - also, meh)

That's as may be, though, this is about what someone should use in learning to program. The fact is that learning Eclipse, having previously learned to program properly, was mostly a matter of sorting out an ungainly interface (add new tools is under the help window? really?). This should tell you that it's actually not that big a deal to learn an IDE - it's mostly a nuisance. So if you learn to program first in the most general environment and then learn whatever tools strike your fancy, things are going to go a lot faster.

You do bring up one interesting point, though - why is it not evil memorization to have to figure out the crufty and broken interface that Eclipse presents, or to memorize a bunch of command-key replacements, but it is evil memorization to learn the language itself?
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#35 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:58 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 02 December 2012 - 03:28 PM, said:

What makes you think you'd have to teach me anything about Eclipse? I've used it, the mouse-driven interface slows me down, I don't use it any more. But I put in enough time to learn my way around, and I'm frankly not impressed. (I also tried NetBeans a few months back, when I did that Murach review - also, meh)

That's as may be, though, this is about what someone should use in learning to program. The fact is that learning Eclipse, having previously learned to program properly, was mostly a matter of sorting out an ungainly interface (add new tools is under the help window? really?). This should tell you that it's actually not that big a deal to learn an IDE - it's mostly a nuisance. So if you learn to program first in the most general environment and then learn whatever tools strike your fancy, things are going to go a lot faster.

You do bring up one interesting point, though - why is it not evil memorization to have to figure out the crufty and broken interface that Eclipse presents, or to memorize a bunch of command-key replacements, but it is evil memorization to learn the language itself?


I didn't mean to suggest that YOU needed to be taught eclipse. :)

.Net developers learn .Net languages just fine with Visual Studio, never having to couch code outside of it,and there are some rockstar .net programmers here.
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#36 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:12 AM

View Postfarrell2k, on 02 December 2012 - 09:28 AM, said:

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 01 December 2012 - 11:58 PM, said:

Where does this idea come from that notepad is an editor that anyone would use? Of course you don't use notepad for this, you use vi. And yes, I write all of my code in vi.


I can't imaging an employer tolerating this, especially if you're an hourly employee. I certainly would not. The few hours I spend teaching you Netbeans or Eclipse will save me thousands per year over you using emacs or vim, despite their features for programming.

There's a threshold where I need to use Eclipse to follow convoluted, coupled logic. However, I use vim constantly at work (or vi, on EC2 instances where vim isn't by default installed).
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#37 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

View Postxclite, on 02 December 2012 - 05:12 PM, said:

There's a threshold where I need to use Eclipse to follow convoluted, coupled logic. However, I use vim constantly at work (or vi, on EC2 instances where vim isn't by default installed).


I don't know what to say, other than you are more expensive to your employer than you need to be. Using an IDE like eclipse for Java development is still faster than vim or vi. There's really no way around that.
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#38 sepp2k  Icon User is online

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

View Postfarrell2k, on 02 December 2012 - 07:03 PM, said:

Using an IDE like eclipse for Java development is still faster than vim or vi. There's really no way around that.


Saying that repeatedly doesn't make it true.
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#39 Tayacan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:25 AM

farell2k, it's actually possible to be really, really fast in Vi/Vim. Yes, faster than in Eclipse.

For an experienced developer, it really comes down to preference.

This post has been edited by Tayacan: 02 December 2012 - 12:06 PM

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#40 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

View Postfarrell2k, on 02 December 2012 - 01:03 PM, said:

I don't know what to say, other than you are more expensive to your employer than you need to be. Using an IDE like eclipse for Java development is still faster than vim or vi. There's really no way around that.


If you're mostly doing work that can be sped up by mechanical processes, that suggests to me that you're mostly doing work that should be done by a better design which would eliminate the repetition that your IDE is leveraging.
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#41 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:11 PM

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I can't imaging an employer tolerating this, especially if you're an hourly employee.

This topic is specifically geared towards new programmers, so I want to approach it from there. If one has no prior programming experience, say at the intro class level, will that person really be employable after a semester's worth of programming? And if a person out of an intro class were employable, it probably means he or she has prior programming experience where an IDE or text editor isn't going to make a tremendous difference.
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#42 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

View Postfarrell2k, on 02 December 2012 - 01:03 PM, said:

View Postxclite, on 02 December 2012 - 05:12 PM, said:

There's a threshold where I need to use Eclipse to follow convoluted, coupled logic. However, I use vim constantly at work (or vi, on EC2 instances where vim isn't by default installed).


I don't know what to say, other than you are more expensive to your employer than you need to be. Using an IDE like eclipse for Java development is still faster than vim or vi. There's really no way around that.

Do you have empirical evidence that validates this? I routinely find several types of problems faster than coworkers who are accustomed to Eclipse because Vim doesn't hide or fix anything for me.
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#43 ihatesegfault  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

When I first started programming Java I used notepad and javac. Of course the stuff I was doing was extremely simple, like:
What's your name? Bob
Hello, Bob!

I personally think I'm better off because of it. It helped me understand what was actually happening, instead of "I just type this into NetBeans, click the green arrow and it does stuff."

Now I do stuff with GUIs so having a IDE with a drag-n-drop GUI builder is nice.

I view IDEs as a tool, like a calculator. It makes your job easier and it finds errors. However, when you're in 1st grade learning basic arithmetic, you aren't allowed to use them, because your teachers want you to be able to do it yourself, but its not just that. Doing it yourself gives you a deeper understanding of what is actually happening. And I think the same applies to programming.

Also, I do some programming on microprocessors, so I have to ssh into them and use vi since its not worth it to me to setup a cross compiling environment.
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#44 Kemical  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:18 PM

I am fairly new to java programming so perhaps I can give you some first-hand feedback.

I am a bit biased to console and vim, but that's because I have been using linux for about 10 years.

The biggest development tool that has saved me huge amount of time is Dia and UML diagramming my assignments before I even start writing code.

If your classes are diagrammed in detail(detailed methods, variable information) it really takes no time to write the code out for them.

I can see how if you are not sure of the logic of what you are coding IDE might be help giving you hints. To be fair also I have no worked on any very complex programs yet so perhaps as the size and complexity increases IDE will be a better tool. I will see as I move in my career.

I worked with people using IDE's but I found that at the entry level courses again their logic and code was not as sharp as people I've worked with who were programming in console.

My suggestion to any teachers out here is to spend "ALOT" of time and assignments on diagramming logic of programs with students. In my case unless its super simple, I diagram it, it saves me time in the long run.

So perhaps the question is do you diagram or not?

My $0.02
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#45 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

Such a good point. I find that good design trumps anything the IDE can do for you.
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