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Re: [SLUG] Windows 2003 + VS.NET 2003

> I found some of the features very interesting - like built-in version 
> control so you can roll back to previous versions of any file for 
> instance (I believe VMS had this?)

Yes it was VMS. Basically when you did the VMS equivalent of ls
(called "dir") you'd see all these files with ;5 ;6 ;7 at the end
which were versions 5, 6 and 7 of said file. Before too long
you'd have 10 copies of some of them and you'd forever be running the
$ purge/keep=2 
command which would keep only the most recent two versions of every file
in your directory.

The Unix & Linux RCS system is superior in that you only keep one extra 
copy of the file you're working with and it doesn't need purging. Plus you
get a change log also. 

However you do have to choose to place a file under version control 
yourself; and get used to the discipline of checking files in, committing
changes etc. 

I don't know or care how it works on the new Windows.

> The big one though is the IDE. The sheer size and amount of stuff in 
> there is mind boggling. Quite impressive - in C# one of the 
> demonstrators made a blogging system, live, in about 50 lines of code.

Code length can be deceptive. You can usually code things in just
a few lines in systems that are very complex. eg all those powerful
Perl one liners; but Perl has a lot of special parsing rules and tricks
going on under the hood that you need to know first. My guess is that
there's been a lot of stuff crammed into the IDE you saw, making it
seemingly powerful but also complex, bloated and inefficient. Which might 
still be OK for your needs.
> The overwhelming impression I walked away with was "Linux can do all 
> that", but it's not presented in a package that is as easy to use, as 
> elegantly designed, and that (more or less) works out of the box.

Yes; it's difficult to sell development tools to Linux users. Linux 
developers are very smart people who are happy to grab extra stuff off
the net. Also there is the historical Unix philosophy of "do one thing
and do it well" which makes for a development environment composed
of five or six different tools (eg compiler, editor, version control,
release control, debugger, regression tester) which is the opposite of an IDE
approach where these things are all likely to be crammed into the one

One advantage of the tools approach is that you can get them working
for all languages. The CVS/RCS version control system works
for all files, your editor can edit any text file etc. etc. You get 
value from time learning these tools in other areas as well.
> E.g. Perl could probably match that blogging system no worries, but 
> does it have a nice IDE where you can drag a database table into your 
> source code to make customised adapters for it, or a built-in HTML 
> editor? Plus you'd probably have to download a buckload of stuff from 
> CPAN, and then you'd have to pay ActiveState for an editor that has 
> intellisense ...

You don't need to pay ActiveState for Perl editors although you can if
you want. emacs or vim both do a nice job and are worth learning (emacs
has special modes that make it a Perl editor, a C editor, an HTML editor
and so on; it's my favourite but whenever I advocate it too much I start
foaming at the mouth so I'll stop).

Powerful IDEs that work out of the box are good and useful; but not
essential for programming and development.