Life before programming tools

This is a discussion on Life before programming tools within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; For my final exam in Swedish I'm supposed to hold a ~5 minute speech about anything that has to do ...

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    Mad OnionKnight's Avatar
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    Life before programming tools

    For my final exam in Swedish I'm supposed to hold a ~5 minute speech about anything that has to do with modern times. I wasn't sure what to talk about but we had to decide on something so I picked from the list of examples "indispensable tools in my profession".
    I'm having a hard time figuring out what I should write. Although my class also consists of a couple of geeks the goal is to make my speech as interesting and awesome as possible so I can't really go Star Trek on this. What I'm thinking of is to compare the past with the present by giving some example of how complicated it was to work in a group without version control and such and then follow up with how that task could be done in a single command.
    I tried reading the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, but it didn't give me much insight on how things were "back then". Trying to reverse engineering the problem is giving me headache too. Like, what exactly becomes simpler with syntax highlighting? Orientation?

    So I felt like making a thread here to ask the veterans, or anyone with experience, how you feel that things like version control, editors (with syntax highlighting, auto indentation etc), IDEs, make, debuggers and so on have made life easier for you, or something completely different (as long as it stays on subject).
    Of course I can't talk about all the useful programming tools, maybe list them, but to manage the 5 minute time frame I'd have to focus on describing the most helpful utilities (= the most interesting).

  2. #2
    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Top 5 tools? Compiler chain, linter, debugger, editor, version control. All in one or separate integration.
    (Seemingly never anything truly seamless in the embedded world.)

    A good compiler is always the root of it all. The linter weeds through issues the compiler/linker might miss. The debugger greatly assists in determining runtime issues. And version control is how you can recreate past situations.

    Some of these existed in various forms very early on. An IDE tries to package this so that tool execution is simple, debugging information carries the most information regarding program operation to you in a customizable manner. Editor features allow vastly improved code navigation and edit-time information that can help prevent the coder from writing bad code.

    --

    If you talk slow, you might get that to 5 minutes.
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

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    Mad OnionKnight's Avatar
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    Compiler chain, that's like how a C compiler compiles to asm and then calls an assembler? I think I could scrap something together by including how tools integrate better with each other. I recall that syntax higlighting is very useful when you forget to end things, like strings or brackets. That saves lives since a lot of compilers/interpreters basically just say "file ended in a bad way".

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    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnionKnight View Post
    Compiler chain, that's like how a C compiler compiles to asm and then calls an assembler?
    To me it also includes the linker, and possibly the librarian.
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

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