# What Tools Do You Use?

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1. XP, but I make an effor to keep my code as cross-platform as possible.
2. Dev-C++, MinGW, GDB.
3. Yes, Dev-C++.
4. A compiler, a text editor.
5. A debugger, an IDE.
6. House Jack Built.
7. All of my code's in one place, and the two things mentioned in #8.
8. Keep your APIs together, instead of leaving them scattered, or just plugging them into your compiler's directories, that way you don't have to track files down when you want to upgrade/remove the API. If you're reusing code, keep it all together in its own folder or something, that way you just have to include the appropriate files and you're all set.
9. I never take the time to make projects, so I'm always recompiling everything.

If you don't like the way Dev-C++ plays with the debugger, use it from the command prompt. I do, and I haven't had any problems with it.

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Quote:
 Original post by Jekler1. What OS do you primarily develop in?

Linux. I also use Windows to test things.

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 2. What are your main programming tools?

A text editor (Usually kate). A compiler and make tool (gcc and gnu make respectively).

gdb as a debugger - I don't use a GUI for the debugger because I haven't found one which is more efficient than using it from the CLI yet.

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 3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?

Not for games development at the moment. I've used VS.NET 2002 and Eclipse 2 before. They both have good features, and annoying bugs.

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 4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?

An editor which does what you want. A shell which can be scripted so you can do unusual tasks in an automated fashion.

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 5. What tools make it easier?

Any tools I create. Basically I often create small fairly hacky tools, often in Perl, to do specific tasks.

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 6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?

It's got problems, but it's pretty good.

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 7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?

I use mutiple desktops. I have one or more for the editor, and another one where I can run the compiler (via make). My editor has a multiple document interface, but sometimes I open several windows (which it can also do), or use the split panes feature.

If I'm also playing around with graphics, I do that in another desktop, and I have another desktop for web browsing / email.

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 8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?

Not really. You have to find your own best setup.

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 9. Are there any problems with your setup?

There are many. At the moment the feature I mainly want is *decent* code completion in my editor - not having it is not REALLY annoying, but it does sometimes make unfamiliar things take slightly longer than they might do otherwise.

I'd like a version of gcc which supports precompiled headers at some point. Compiling C++ programs which use a lot of big headers (STL, Boost etc) can get slow. I split my programs up into fairly small units.

I don't really like Make very much - but it's functional. My Makefiles are rather imprecise (I usually throw in a dependency of all my objects on all my headers).

But better an imprecise Makefile dependency than missing ones, which cause build problems.

Mark

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1. Linux
2. g++, make, and gedit
3. none, makefiles get the job done. Though i've been meaning to see what the linux IDEs look like these days.
4. SDL, gdb, the GIMP, blender
5. doxygen, CVS - though i'm thinking about switching over to subversion
6. "House Jack Built"
7. N/A
8. Get rid of as many distractions as possible.
9. I'm happy with it, but linux still has its warts.

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Quote:
 4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?
A web browser (preferably firefox).
And that's about it, really.. I could live with punching in machine code on a mainframe frontpanel, but internet access is absolutely vital for projects of any size.
Quote:
 Original post by Will F3. none, makefiles get the job done. Though i've been meaning to see what the linux IDEs look like these days.
They're not mutually exclusive you know..
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 Original post by JeklerEverything I want to do always seems to require another tool, that I don't have, and there isn't pre-built binary for my system. I spend an enormous amount of time and effort setting up the environment. The process to set it up is frequently long, involved, and something I don't feel I could duplicate without the same effort again if I switch systems.
I personally tend to move my sources around a lot so I tend to avoid external tools and libraries if possible. At least I try not to use anything beyond small(ish) utilities that can easily be distributed with the source itself.

[Edited by - doynax on September 3, 2005 2:33:53 PM]

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1. What OS do you primarily develop in?
Windows XP - SP2

2. What are your main programming tools?
MSVC 6 (I know, I know, OBSOLETE, but I'm upgrading when MSVS 2005 comes out), plus a number of hand-wrapped tools, like a build stamp generator, etc. Natural Docs for on-the-fly documentation, also batch filed into the build process. And of course the debugger in MSVC 6. Plus, I use Perforce, which has saved me a lot of grief and hassle when I dick something up royally and have to revert.

3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?
MSVC 6

4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?
I feel that an IDE is completely necessary, plus a documenting tool, because with the IDE, things just get to spread out for me, and I can't keep on top of all that functionality in multiple apps. With the documenting tool, I think that's a must because it allows you to update your documentation much more easily, and because of that, you're more likely to update it every time you make a small change. I used to not use Natural Docs, and let me tell you, my documentation on almost every function was a few versions behind what I was using. It also helps to have some tools to automate repetative tasks, like making a buildstamp, as an example. Also, source control is NECESSARY. Without it, backups, restore points, it's all chaos.

5. What tools make it easier?
I don't know about specific tools, but I like batch files immensely. They make life a lot easier, allow me to automate otherwise repetative and boring tasks, and do things that would otherwise take time and be mistake-ridden. Like compiling log files into one big searchable log. Or whatever. Anything that automates tasks you do a lot.

6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?
My programming environment is polished, in that everything is right where I need it, or doesn't require any user input at all. At least, it is for me, and I define that as 'polished'.

7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?
I've got everything where I have easy access to it, be it in the IDE, or run automatically every build.

8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?
Get a real IDE? Sure Dev-C++ is all well and good for beginners (it was for me), but when you start being limited by it, you need to move out. Plus you probably need to automate your tasks more. Or so it seems to me.

9. Are there any problems with your setup?
At the moment, no, but there are always some small problems with every tool I add, but they are ironed out when I find them.

Cheers!

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Quote:
Original post by doynax
Quote:
 Original post by Will F3. none, makefiles get the job done. Though i've been meaning to see what the linux IDEs look like these days.
They're not mutually exclusive you know.

Yeah I know, i've just been productive enough with makefiles that I haven't needed an IDE. I came over to linux from macs a couple years ago and after a bit of initial confusion realized that I could live without an IDE. Though I do still have fond memories of Codewarrior and Project Builder (and to a lesser extent Think Pascal).

My initial impressions of linux IDEs (kdevelop for example) were not all that favorable, but i've been meaning to check and see how far they've progressed.

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1. Linux (Debian ATM) with KDE

2. gcc, autotools, gdb, valgrind, kwrite (occasionally vim)

3. no, I like to have separate (lightweight) windows/programs for everything

4. a compiler, a scriptable build system (allowing things like dynamic source code generation, automatic unit tests etc.) and a debugger

5. subversion, diff, kompare (a graphical diff tool), python automation or other misc. scripts, a good window manager (virtual desktops are a must)

6. I feel efficient and see no need for major changes

7. I navigate to my project directory using konqueror, middle click to open some subdirectories into tabs, hit F4 to start a console and get started.

8. It looks like you are trying to use Unix/Linux tools under windows and have ended up in a kind of a dependency hell, as well as having two operating environments side by side (cygwin+libraries and windows+libraries) occupying memory. Do consider trying Linux. If you have had trouble with one distribution, try another. I'd personally recommend SuSE, Ubuntu or Debian stable.

In most distros getting a specific development tool or library to work involves little more than selecting it from the package manager. The IDEs in Linux are, however, hardly better than Dev-Cpp. If you want a good IDE with the most polished GUI debugger on earth then you'll probably want to get MSVC.

9. Not really. gdb is a little cumbersome to use from the CLI but I don't need it that often.

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Quote:
 Original post by Jekler1. What OS do you primarily develop in?

Mac OS 10.x (currently using 10.4)
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 2. What are your main programming tools?

In order of how much I use them (currently):

1. Emacs

2. CLISP

3. Nano

4. Python

5. Eclipse

7. Lua

8. Xcode

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 3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?

Eclispe and Xcode.
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 4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?

Depends on what you are trying to accomplish
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 5. What tools make it easier?

Again, depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Usually for me, though, Common Lisp (I'd use it more often, if I could ever get CLSDL working).
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 6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?

Polished, for the most part.
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 7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?

The dock and the terminal, mostly.
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 8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?

I would recommend that you start using Linux more, since you mentioned that most of the tools you want to use already have binaries for it.
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 9. Are there any problems with your setup?

I have several different Python binaries, each having their own site-packages directory. That can get annoying at times.

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1. Win2k via putty/screen to NetBSD
2. vi, gcc, gdb, MSVC2k5, gimp, textpad, pencil/paper, gprof, LeakTracer, google, about 200lbs worth of books, grep/sed/awk/perl/...
3. Is plain vi an IDE? I only use MSVC2k5's IDE for debugging and quick fixes. I use textpad occasionally when I want syntax highlighting and regex searches on windows.
4. a compiler. Though a lot of other things make it less painful.
5. everything else :]
6. It works for me. I'm sure others have swankier tools, or nicer setups. I'd like to think mine is decent enough to not be a roadblock.
7. Well, screen on unix rocks. Having those screens in a ssh terminal while also having the benefits of windows' in others is quite nice. Once the tools are open, they usually stay open.
8. Sounds like you just need to build your sys-admin foo so you can make windows work better for you, or learn to avoid the Linux newbie-landmines.
9. Sure. SCPing over win32 source files to compile on MSVC2k5 becomes tedious.

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Quote:
 Original post by Jekler1. What OS do you primarily develop in?

Windows XP. But I'm currently using cross platform code, I haven't compiled it on Linux before but there's no reason why it shouldn't, providing you link in all the correct libraries.

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 Original post by Jekler2. What are your main programming tools?

VC++ 2005 Express Beta 2, MS Paint for making sprites e.g. a Breakout paddle, and occasionally Photoshop CS for making fancier looking stuff (not that often).

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 Original post by Jekler3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?

See above, except I started out with VC++ 6. I still use its resource editor as and when necessary, and I've used Dev-C++ a lot. Tried Eclipse, couldn't get the C++ extension to work properly so got rid.

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 Original post by Jekler4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?

A good quality IDE with minimal screen clutter and a proper working debugger.
Having a compiler and a linker attached to it also helps.

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 Original post by Jekler5. What tools make it easier?

A web browser for posting my problems on GDNet when things go wrong [grin]

A pre-built framework set for your chosen API - I've got one going for SDL, saves a lot of time when I can just drop in the header and the source files, set up a globals header with a few externs and it works beautifully.

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 Original post by Jekler6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?

Depends really on what you mean by "programming environment".

Mine's more like "The house Jack hasn't finished yet". I usually clear up the clutter within my source folder every now and then, I try to keep things organised. Sometimes it can be a pain finding things though, especially when you keep all your code for a project in the same folder (no separate folder for headers), although I do keep my "data" folder for the project separate.

In VC++2005 though, I do have filters for my source files, but not usually for the headers.

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 Original post by Jekler7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?

My environment isn't set up as fancily as that.

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 Original post by Jekler8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?

You should try moving away from Dev-C++ - the debugger is your best friend when writing large apps, and the one built into Dev-C++ is pathetic - it's totally unpredictable, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Try the free VC++ 2005 Express 2 Beta, the debugger works.

You could, I guess, create a folder with shortcuts to all your programming tools and other stuff like The GIMP etc, so it's all in the one place. Also, when you've finished a project and built the Release build, pack the source into a Zip archive and store it away in a special Completed Projects folder. That way, there's less clutter and the code takes up less space. You could also keep a zipped copy of the full release distribution with DLL's and everything, just so you have a record.

Quote:
 Original post by Jekler9. Are there any problems with your setup?

I don't back up my code. Ever. That's playing with fire, I know.

Also, my code folders are a bit of a mess, a bit disorganised, but I let the IDE work through it; I don't see any immediate difficulty.

Another problem I have is that my APIs (SDL) and their add-on libraries (SDL_TTf etc) are thrown straight into my compiler directories, and I never bothered to update the absolute paths on the VC++ 2005 linker. So I therefore have to cut and paste the location on my hard drive of the libraries every single time. It's easy to miss things.

Long post, phew! Hope that's helped you [smile]

Good luck in sorting your setup, you may find it helps your motivation as a programmer too!

ukdeveloper.

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1. Windows XP
2. Compiler: Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 (I also test with borland c++ and mingw just to make sure I'm not doing anything MSVC-specific), VB6 for simple tools (hey it works).
Graphics: Photoshop, 3ds max 6
Scite text editor, xvi32 hex editor.
Firefox so I can find programming online (stl documentation, opengl documentation, going to gamedev, etc..)
3. Codeblocks
4. A computer with a compiler
5. Umm... see #2?
6. Not sure what you mean.
7. Compilers in one directory, a bin directory with command-line tools, a very long path variable. I use my start menu to get to my tools. I got rid of all the stuff thats in there and just put in links to: Hard drives, CD Drives, My Documents, C:\Program Files so I can access programs I don't use that often, an Apps directory for about 20 programs I use frequently. (and a Games folder and a link to the Apache htdocs directory)
8. I cant live without my redesigned start menu.
9. Debugging... does anyone here know how to get msvc++ toolkit 2003 to debug with codeblocks? I can't figure WinDBG.

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1. Windows XP
2. Dev-c++, msvc++6.0
3. Dev-c++ most of the time
4. A compiler and text editor
5. A good IDE. Good books as well
6. Kinda polished
7. Code is kept in specific folders
8. Just do what is best for you. No 2 people really have the same computing habits
9. There might be. I like how it is so I just go with the flow.

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1. What OS do you primarily develop in?
Windows XP

2. What are your main programming tools?
DevC++

3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?
DevC++

4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?
I like paint. It lets me quickly make programmer art. Also, good reference books are a must for me.

5. What tools make it easier?
GDNet of course[grin]

6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?
House Jack Built, definitely.

7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?
N/A

8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?
Sorry, I can't even get my own act together

9. Are there any problems with your setup?
Dev C++ often annoys the hell out of me (for reasons like your own).

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1) Windows XP Professional2) Microsoft Visual Studio .Net 2002 Academic {C++}   EMacs {Common Lisp}   Crimson Editor {everything else}3) Yes, MSVS4) Programming Language Documentation, such as MSDN for C++ or the Intel Instruction Set Reference for x86 assembly5) A good profiler would make my work easier, but so far all the profilers have too many problems and are unstable on my machine6) Polished, but far from perfect7) I just double click the MSVS icon{It's in a shortcut folder} or single click the Crimson Editor icon {it's on a QuickLaunch-like bar}8) Huh? You could use MSVS I guess9) Not really

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1. What OS do you primarily develop in?
Oooo time for some people to laugh, win98:D

2. What are your main programming tools?
Code::Blocks, mingW

3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?
Yup Code::Blocks, Its a great IDE

4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?
Coffee.

5. What tools make it easier?

6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?
Umm a little of both I guess.

7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?
Well I keep all my projects under one folder, all my libs and includes under one directory structure. But individual projects are actually quite a mess:S

8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?
Not really no, set your environment up the way your most comfortable, and dont underestimate the colors/themes, you are after all gonna be staring at this setup for long periods of time

9. Are there any problems with your setup?
Oh lots... Projects are messy, I dont use a debugger, I have a debugger, but I dont use it. Ummm My cat is retarded... oh wait right nothing to do with programming.

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1. What OS do you primarily develop in?
Windows, hmm I guess it is XP haven't checked in a while, yeah XP pro. Yeah I was away from my computer for about a year.

2. What are your main programming tools?
MSVC++ 6.0

3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?
MSVC++ 6.0
4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?
Any IDE with basic text editing properties, such as the ability to select text and then drag it elsewhere

5. What tools make it easier?
eh, I don't use anything fancy. Basic text editing along with build management (you know, instead of a makefile) I used to use the debugger but now I go with writing to a log file. I like it better. I have a couple of Write functions for various types and an ofstream that opens up, hmm... I guess when the program starts.

6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?

Neither, it is just one program and I only use 1% of its features.

7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?
N/A

8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?
N/A, well actually just simplify and get back to coding.

9. Are there any problems with your setup?
No, well I wish that I had more monitors. I only have one, would have had two but the movers ruined one by magnetizing the screen somehow. Idiots.

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1. WinXP/2k @ Home,
Linux (mainly Debian based distros) and QNX @ Work

2. C++ compiler, debugger, python, doxygen. anything else depends on what I'm doing.

3. Visual Studio 2003 (waiting for 2005 final before upgrade) @ Home
Vi, Emacs, gedit, eclipse w/ cdt @ work

4. Source control, it doesn't matter what kind so long as you're using something. We use arch at work because of security issues, but subversion would have been used otherwise. Generally at home I use CVS but I'm a little slack.
A decent build system - something that What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development? We recently upgraded from autoconf / libtool to SCons and it's made my life so much simpler.
A Test Framework - again I don't think it matters what it is so long as you feel comfortable with it and it gets used. By test framework I don't just mean unit tests I mean everything, pre and post build steps (possibly as part of source control), result publishing and analysis. I think what the boost developers have done is fantastic (but even they admit it's not perfect)

5. Linux tools - just basic stuff like touch, grep, find and locate which you wish were a standard part of windows (yes, I know about cygwin, but most of the time I'm just too lazy to bother).
Doxygen - I never realised how helpful it was until you try to trawl through someone elses garbage code trying to decipher it.

6. House Jack Built for both home and work. At home that's what I'm comfortable with, at work we're in a state of transition moving towards a more polished approach.

7. N/A

8. Read lots. Start looking at the pragmatic programmers series of books, especially the original and pragmatic automation.
If you're nervous about reproducing your work / toolset have a go - from experience it's a damn side easier the second time around. If you get it setup the way you want it, take an image of the machine so you can reset to a last known good configuration.

9. Nothing too serious - because most of the issues are known issues that people are working to resolve. For example, I'm trying to push really hard for continuous improvement at work, and as things start to work (and consequently become easier to do) they fall into my practices at home. If I need something at work thats outside what I think I can get away with doing, sometimes I'll set it up at home then take it too work.

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Thanks everyone! It's really helpful reading everyone's setups! After reading all of your advice, I decided to try an alternate setup using "Visual C++ Express 2005 Edition Beta 2". It took me about an hour and a half to migrate my current project and get it working. In spite of the initial problems (which I completely expected), I like the feel of it so far.

I'm going to spend the next week or so learning Linux too so I can make an efficient programming environment there too. I'm really trying to be versatile so I'll be easier to find a job.

Thanks a ton everyone, it really does help to see what everyone else is using. I think the heart of my problem was simply trying to use a lot of F/OSS tools that obviously weren't meant for a Windows environment.

Thanks a ton, all of your responses have really opened up my eyes as to what's out there to use and how other people program. Feel free to post more responses if you happen to read this thread =) It's refreshing to have a new perspective on things.

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1. What OS do you primarily develop in?
Windows XP, although I run most on my tools on Linux through PuTTY.

2. What are your main programming tools?
Vim, Subversion (TortoiseSVN in Windows), Firefox.

3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?
Vim? Screen? Probably not, although you could consider my entire setup an IDE.

4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?
Nothing beyond the basics, an editor and something to compile/run/debug programs with.
Edit: And documentation.

5. What tools make it easier?
Things that let you do many things at the same time, such as GNU Screen, running PuTTY and Firefox side-by-side, a couple monitors (which I don't have), and so on.

Of course, everything that helps... helps. Such as aliasing '..' to 'cd ..' in bash (I switched to zsh where there is an option for this). Reading the manuals for the tools you use a lot, and making use of what you learn, helps.

6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?
It's alright, could be better if I spent more time tweaking configuration files.

7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?
Using GNU Screen, I have two windows open which I switch between using ^A^A (I should bind something to it...), one for editing (Vim, which I can in turn split into several windows, 2 usually) and one for compiling/testing.

8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?
Hm, nah.

9. Are there any problems with your setup?
It works, so nothing major.

[Edited by - Leffe on September 4, 2005 11:42:17 AM]

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1. Windows XP SP2, Linux Fedora to test if my code works under Linux
2. Visual Studio .Net 2003 with VSEDebug installed, I also use dev-cpp to check if I have used MS specific code.
3. See 2. question
4. Visual Studio
5. VSEDebug
6. I'm not sure what "House Jack Build" means, but I think it is pretty "polished".
7. I start my tools manually via short-cuts on the desktop.
8. I have found that Visual Studio really helps, both when coding and debugging(especially with larger projects), so if you can afford it I'ld recommend getting it.
9. I have had some problems with VSEDebug chrashing Visual Studio.

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I probably should've used a different word, but I don't want to edit my original post and make everyone else sound crazy talking about "The House Jack Built" without mention to it at the top =)

To revise the question

6. Would you describe your programming environment as being fast, clean, efficient, and organized or disorganized and barely functional (it works and gets the job done eventually, but not without a lot of work)?

For reference:

"The House Jack Built" refers to an old English poem and nursery rhyme. Loosely speaking, it refers to anything which is put together without much planning but somehow manages to serve the purpose that it was made for.

The story goes that Jack built a house one room at a time. First he had a living room, then when he had to go to the bathroom he built one, then he built a bedroom when it was time for bed, etc. Each room looked odd, painted different colors, and barely connected to other rooms. Jack's house wasn't so much a house as a collection of rooms.

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1. What OS do you primarily develop in?
Windows XP SP2

2. What are your main programming tools?
Visual C++ .NET 2003, MSDN Library, GNU Docs, Perl, Python, Crimson Editor, Cream/GVIM, (Tortoise)CVS/(Tortoise)Subversion/IonForge Evolution, VSEDebug, STLFilt, WinMerge, Firefox.

3. Do you use an IDE? Which one?
Visual Studio.

4. What tools are absolutely necessary for programming and development?
A good editor and/or IDE, compiler, debugger, Internet access, web browser

5. What tools make it easier?
Unit tests, source version control, intellisense (wish I could afford Visual Assist), UNIX tools (awk, sed, bash, etc)

6. Would you describe your programming environment as being "polished" or would you say it's like the "House Jack Built"?
Fairly polished.

7. If you think your environment is polished, how do you organize your environment? Folders with application links? A batch file that opens all your tools? Something else?
I have most tools in my quicklaunch bar, and the rest in my top-level Start Menu folder. For other tasks, I have batch files or Perl/Python script and a link to them in the approbiate Start Menu folder (One folder for each project). Also, I make use of VS. NET's and Crimson's ability to start external programs, and use the VIM :make command + :set makeprg (I have not learned VIM properly yet, so I know next to nothing about .vim scripts, but they are very powerful).

8. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to polish my setup?
Try automated unit tests and source control. Also, consider Code::Blocks or Visual Studio 2005 beta.

9. Are there any problems with your setup?
I wish VS's intellisense was as good as Visual Assist. And I spend too much time reading only distantly relevant GNU documentation for the geekiness of it.
And... I use C++.

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1. Windows XP (SP2)
2. Visual Studio .NET 2003 (C++), TortoiseCVS, WinMerge, CodeAnalyst
3. Yes, Visual Studio
4. Couldn't live without Visual Studio, TortoiseCVS, WinMerge
5. TortoiseCVS was revolutionary to me
6. Higly polished
7. An intuitive folder structure with a Visual Studio solution file keeping the projects and their dependencies
8. Invest in a good compiler/IDE and use source control
9. TortoiseSVN is even better

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Since I chop and change between Windows and Linux frequently, i'll answer the first few questions seperatly:

Windows:
1. Windows XP SP2
2. VS.NET 03, Firefox, The GIMP, Blender, Notepad, Windows Media Player
3. VS.NET 03
4. VS.NET 03, Blender, Notepad, Windows Media Player

Linux:
1. Gentoo Linux
2. Anjuta, GCC, Firefox, The GIMP, Blender, Nano, XMMS
3. Anjuta

Generic:
5. Firefoxing my way to GameDev
6. House Jack Built
7. N/A
8. Not experienced enough to answer
9. I'm far too easily distracted