Productivity is the name of the game
  Posted October 20, 2002    PermaLink    Comments (0)  

Last night while I was starting to write some of the GUI code for inst.ant I initially tried to code it all by hand, to be as IDE agnostic as possible. However I came to the (not so quick) conclusion that coding guis by hand sucks. So after a brief struggle with my ReplayTV I came back and fired up the GUI editor on NetBeans 3.4 and within half an hour was a lot longer along than I had been all night with coding by hand. After a little more work today I've got some more of the frame working like I want it, and I feel it would have taken me two to five time as long as by hand. The downside of this is that some of the generation stuff is going to wind up in the CVS tree. But after getting so much done I don't care as much as I used to.

It's not that I am a neanderthal and feel that machine generated code is the spawn of the devil. At my paying job I use the NetBeans GUI designer any time I do GUI work. But since the only other guy doing UI coding comes from a MFC background machine generated code is not a problem for him (as long as it comes from a wizard). And if any of the other people I work with have a problem with it (which they haven't yet ) I would just say that "If you want it done your way then you better do it yourself." and laugh as they work self-inflicted 80 hour weeks. Back in the day when GUI meant AWT I would always code my GUIs by hand, but that is because back then GUI editors sucked real bad.

It's amazing though how ingrained the feeling of "if it's not hard I am not really coding" can be sometimes. It makes me remember the time I was in Chemistry class arguing with one of my friends at the time the merits of high level languages over assembly (I was on the side of C++, this was pre-java). He just wasn't getting that time==money, and argued that you could do anything with assembly that could be done in any higher level language because it gets compiled to that anyway, so why not jsut start with assembly? He also had a hard time grasping the concept of showering daily to impress chicks.

But once the light bulb turns on it can become a blinding searchlight. A little less than a year ago a Windows consultant realized that "The power of Java (and therefore the power of .NET) is that it provides a major productivity boost for the programmer." (He directs the rest of the blog entry at dot net granting the same power). A coherent toolkit for the right problem can be like dynamite is to mining ore. Yes you could use a pick axe to build a tunnel, but if you had dynamite you could safely use you wouldn't want to.

(edited after a good nights sleep for comprehension)

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