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Albert D. Kallal
Hey guys. I keep hearing people talk about the "array of tools" that they use for their job. What are they talking about? I was assuming just like methods they know to get something done faster and better. What is a tool for programming and can you give examples of tools that you use often?
the essence of tools is found on unix and linux oses. the introduction of pipes by unix had a great impact on how softwares were developed. a lot of them (grep, cat, more, less...) are meant to work together.
say you want to double space a 40000-lines text file. a simple awk (or ed) command can do that on unix systems. what about windows? the other i learned that tar, the command to create an archive, can be piped. so you can pipe the output to the archive compressor of your choice. under windows, the gui kinda force things on you.
most gui applications are not meant to work together. (the concept of piping does not exit on windows.) yahoo tried to implement piping for the web. a big failure (in my opinion).
ps: gvim is an exception. it's a great tool. i use it as a personal wiki for example.
"....no an IDE is not really a tool..."
You remind me of the people who argue that a carpenter's workshop is not a tool. You are probably correct as far as the dictionary definition goes. I think in the context of the original poster's question, a tool is anything that makes your programming job easier and/or more efficient.
So yes, a method that automatically generates otherwise tedious or error prone code for you, could be considered a tool.
Most of the people I work with, would consider the computer itself a tool (in the sense that some computers are better for programmers than others) all the way down to supporting software such as version control.
a tool is something that helps you get the job done. You can write code in notepad and compile with the command line, but most programmers (in the Windows realm, at least) use an IDE because it's a tool that makes them much more productive
If you're in a unix based environment then pipes are undoubtedly cool and useful, but I'm not sure that I would consider them the baseline for defining a "programming tool"
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