On Thursday 28 April 2005 03:25, the_mindstorm wrote:
> I have never been able to
> use Emacs decently (this is probably only my fault), FreeRIDE is not 

See, that's the problem.  When you *can* use Emacs or vi decently, the need 
for an IDE doesn't really seem to be there.

Here's the deal.  When you're writing software in language Foo you want:

* An editor that is very good at editing text
* An editor that understands Foo
* An environment that allows you to do all the other tasks (debug, run, 
integrate, copy files, check files into source control, ...)

If you're writing software in languages Foo, Bar, Baz and Smeg, you want:

* An editor that is very good at editing text
* An editor that understands Foo, Bar, Baz and Smeg
* An environment that allows you to do all the other tasks (debug, run, 
integrate, copy files, check files into source control, ...)
* Ideally only one editor, so you don't have to context-switch all the 
time, remembering that Ctrl-X is "exit" in one and "prefix-X" in the other

Emacs and vi are astounding at editing text.  I doubt there's anything out 
there that can do more.  They also happen to have some pretty good support 
for a whole lot of different languages.

Emacs is also very good at letting you do other tasks.  I don't think 
people use vi this way, they just use the commandline, but the commandline 
is also very good at letting you do other tasks.

What does a typical IDE give you?  It gives you an editor that isn't quite 
as good as Emacs or vi at editing text.  It gives you an environment that 
is extremely good at managing a small subset of other tasks, but only the 
ones the IDE designers anticipated, and it gives you extremely good 
support for a small subset of languages.

If you take the time to learn Emacs and vi, you won't always have an editor 
that is amazing at Foo, but you'll always have an excellent text editor, 
and often one that is pretty good at Foo.

If there were an editor that was better than Emacs at editing Ruby code, 
and as good as Emacs at everything else I use Emacs for... then I'd 
switch.  But switching to an editor that is slightly better for Ruby, but 
not nearly as good at everything else just doesn't make sense to me.

Ben