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May 10

Definition of an IDE

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Definition of an IDE

Someone shoots you some Java source code, you try to just open it up in IntelliJ, and then you realize that you need a freaking project. Instead, you open it up in Textmate and go from there.

Hence, the definition of an IDE:

If you have to create a project before you to open a file, you are using an IDE

Good tools can be very rich, but not enforce this. Emacs can act as the mother of all IDEs when it comes to functionality, but you can also right click and open a darn file. At this point, I would never build a programming tool that didn’t work in either mode.

7 Responses to “Definition of an IDE”

  1. Dimitar Dimitrov Says:

    Well, you can definitely open an arbitrary file in IDEA or any other IDE. The basic text editor functionality is immediately available.

    What the project gives you is context. Java programs (unlike Perl) rarely consist of one file. Many of the advanced functionality of an IDE depends on knowledge of where to find the files you have *not* opened right now, which version of Java syntax it should validate against, etc. That’s what you specify in the project.

    Conversely, you do the same things in emacs. Yes, you might be able to specify it on global level, but frankly speaking I don’t see the huge difference. If I want autocompletion and symbol lookup, I need to generate a ctags database and refresh it often.

    So to conclude, my definition of an IDE: when you use an IDE the editing context is the whole program, when you use an editor, you edit files.

  2. Behrang Says:

    Does it mean that Visual Studio is an editor?

    Plus, even if it was possible to open a file with IntelliJ IDEA, or Eclipse, or NetBeans for that matter, I would still prefer to do it with TextMate because Java IDEs are all painfully slow to startup. Even JEdit starts up painstakingly slowly compared to native editors.

    Unrelated conclusion: though Java is fast enough and sometimes the fastest when it comes to computational and long running benchmarks, it’s startup speed is still unacceptably slow for desktop applications and this is not a good thing Oo

  3. Behrang Says:

    I can’t believe that I made that typo! Its Its Its Its Its! Not It’s It’s It’s It’s!

  4. Sam Says:

    I can’t believe that you don’t have IntelliJ already open and just pull up the file :)

  5. Yuen-Chi Lian Says:

    I have met some Unix guys in the past few months who never will give IDE a try. To them, they can make vi an IDE by adding desired extensions. I mean.. why?? It won’t make you to look stupid if you use Eclipse to write Java.

    Anyway, you can open a single file in Eclipse. I always use it to edit my poms.


  6. tc Says:

    Yeah, why wouldn’t somebody want to throw away everything they have and learn completely new ways of doing *everything*? Installing a couple extensions sounds pretty tough!

  7. ncper world Says:

    I can’t believe seo技术

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