[BlindMath] Thoughs on Using IDEs (was C++ IDE)

Doug and Molly Miron mndmrn at hbci.com
Thu Oct 19 22:21:35 UTC 2017

Good day Susan,

In the late '90s and up to 2005 I used Borland C++, at a time when I only 
needed screen magnifiers.  In the move to Winona, MN a beer box with my 
software disappeared and so the Borland is gonwe.  It probably wouldn't work 
in the current Windows 10 environment anyway.  I'm used to meaningless and 
misdirecting error messages in several environments, so they don't surprise 

Doug Miron

-----Original Message----- 
From: Susan Jolly via BlindMath
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 11:52 AM
To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
Cc: Susan Jolly
Subject: [BlindMath] Thoughs on Using IDEs (was C++ IDE)

I'm an experienced sighted programmer and I am not a fan of IDEs.

Of course, if you are taking a class where the use of an IDE is required,
then you don't have much choice.  Similarly, if you are one of the
developers on a team that uses a certain IDE you don't have much choice.
(Even teams that don't use IDEs per se typically have protocols that require
certain tools.)

However, if you are just learning to program or to use a new language and
aren't required to be part of a team, I think you will learn more and find
it easier to develop your own protocols, at least at first, if you don't use
an IDE.  If nothing else, you will better understand what an IDE is doing
behind the curtain.

It takes a while just to choose a text editor and to become facile with it.
The best choice depends not only on what works with your operating system
and screenreader but on what fits your style. Maybe you are one of the
people who prefers a powerful generic tool like emacs that is much more than
a text editor; maybe something like Notepad++ together with your own
separate scripts meets your needs.

Of course you need to reproduce the steps to compile and run the "Hello
World" test program.  This may require downloading and installing a compiler
and so forth.  But if you are working systematically, it shouldn't be that
difficult to determine where any problems are and to fix ithem. Well, this
should be enough detail for you to get a sense of why I think it better to
not start with an IDE.

One general problem I have with IDEs is that they don't organize the
workflow exactly the way I feel most comfortable.

A more specific example is that if the compiler finds an error, the IDE
immediately opens the source file and highlights the lines where the
compiler says there is an error. Unfortunately, my compiler errors are often
not simple typos but rather clues or reminders of bigger issues that I need
to address. So the IDE's default action often distracts me from paying
sufficient attention to what I'm doing.

As always, YMMV.
Best, SusanJ

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