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What tool do you miss?

As a developer / PM what tool do you miss in your daily life?

na
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

A DBMS that is more functionnal than Access, lighter that MS SQL or Oracle (and that doesn't require a server to work properly), and that, contrary to SQL Desktop, works.

Oh, and if you could make it free, that would help too. :)

The point would of course be to use it as an add-in to various business applications.

I've tried a couple of such products with no luck, if anyone is happy with his, i'd be thankful for the tip.

Renaud Martinon
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

With VIM, I don't miss a tool at all!

char* full_name()
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

CP/M had a wonderful debugger called DDT!

Now, I wish I could use it to debug Jython apps.

<g>

Jokr
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Renaud,

Take a look at SQLite - I think it meets all of your requirements. It's actually in the public domain, so it can be freely used in closed-source as well as open-source projects.

http://www.sqlite.org/

RocketJeff
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Jeff,

Thanks for the pointer, I'll look into it. Although not having Check constraints or Foreign Keys, that product could solve my problem in some cases.

Renaud Martinon
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Pretty much everything that's on the Joel Test.

Lou
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I miss the Icon Editor that I used to use a very long time ago when doing early VB work.

I also miss VS being able to maintain scroll and cursor position when you save a stored procedure. VS.NET 2003 seems to have "forgotten" how to do this and its very annoying.

These days, I "miss" not having a complete IDE. I use VS.NET 2003 all day, every day and it does most things. However, I'd like to be able to assign stored procedure permissions from within the IDE, rather than having to fire up Enterprise Manager. Just little things like that, which would mean you could do everything from within the IDE.

Steve Jones (UK)
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Renaud:

http://www.advantagedatabase.com

It's free (without a server), supports complex RI, SQL-92, massive files, and more. There are native access components for just about every language on the planet, including Delphi, PHP, as well as native ADO.NET, JDBC, OLEDB and ODBC drivers. It supports both record-based and set-based access, which is nice, and it has record-level locking.

Then, if you want it, you can buy their server, which is pretty reasonably priced.

Worth a look, if nothing else.

Tim Sullivan
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

>and that, contrary to SQL Desktop, works.

Hum, the MSDE seems to work quite well, and you can install it  on win98 boxes and it runs just fine. Download the trial edition of sql server, and JUST INSTALLED the client tools. That is a neat way to get the Enterprise manger for free. (and, once again, the client tools will also install on win9x boxes also).

Of course, you can get sql server for $50 anyway.

And, what tool do I miss? Hum, a nice little project manager that keeps all the little documents together for each project (Excel docs, Word docs, email docs, and even Visio docs). I just use a simple windows folder right now, and it is not too bad, but somthing  a bit more intergrated would be nice.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. kallal
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Right now I miss having an employer.  Without an employer or clients I can't get anything done at all.  But then, none of my projects are going to be late.

When I last had an employer, the thing I missed most was having a quiet private office (as I had at my previous employer).  The difference in productivity and stress level between good and bad work environments makes the recent discussions about IDEs vs. text editors or finding a cheap DB server seem trivial by comparison.

mackinac
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I miss StrongEd's list of found. Mmmm.... Shiny.

Mr Jack
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Real hardware sound volume and screen brightness knobs.  How much did the idiots that came up with the "lets make this software with keyboard 'fn' UI" realy shave of the production cost?

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

> When I last had an employer, the thing I
> missed most was having a quiet private
> office (as I had at my previous employer).

So it's quite clear that a good product that would sell to most programmers are hypnosis audio tapes to help them work efficiently in bad, noisy environments. <g>

A good, free book for stressed programmers (especially for the programmers who are or want to be independent contractors) can be found online here:

http://tinyurl.com/odes

Useless
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Sir,

I'm with you on the volume knob. Dangit, I want a freaking volume knob for anything that has the potential to suddenly change in volume!

No volume knob on any sound appliance other than a fire alarm is incredibly lame and BAD UI DESIGN.

For programmers tools, I want to be notified whenever a memory leak occurs in my code or the code of a library I am linking to. None of the packages I've seen do this adequately and are easy to use. It should be automatic.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I think the reason most Windows shops standardize on the IDE is not because they want to force people to use that editor, but because that's their project management and build tool.

Any Windows shop that uses makesfiles or NAnt (or something similar) has not placed the same requirements on the developer. On the other hand, most developers are used to using the project management in Visual Studio and having the integration, so it's probably a bit scary to consider editing a makefile or an XML file instead of using a GUI to add new files to the list.

And let's not forget integrated source control, either...

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"Real hardware sound volume"

Every pair of speakers I have around here has that on it. Is it laptops you're angry about?

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I'd like my speakers to connect via USB (in addition to an analog or digital link to the sound card) and communicate BACK that volume.

Right now, I have to twiddle with the volume knob on my speakers (which is a sensitive piece of cambridge-soundworks crap) and the volume slider in Windows.  It's tricky because the volume knob multiplies the Windows volume, so a slight adjustment in the windows volume results in a massive adjustment in the actual volume.

Richard Ponton
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Instead of inventing USB-eating back channels, maybe you could just get a better pair of speakers instead? :)

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

You could always get one of these... http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/accessories/5ca2/

r1ch
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Renaud, take a look at Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere. Does EVERYTHING you will need, very cheap for deployment, and works.

I've tried most of the others, but keep coming back to ASA.

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

... but back to the main topic ... the tool I miss most is Norton Editor. It was the least intrusive editor with which I ever worked. The file was ed.com, which tells you something about its age and architecture ... and MINE :)

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

>>Renaud, take a look at Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere. Does EVERYTHING you will need, very cheap for deployment, and works.

I really like it too, but at $399 for the base developer package and additional cost (looks live $100/minimum) for each 'seat' deployed, I don't think that cheap is the right word...

RocketJeff
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Although Norton Editor was excellent, I *really* miss Brief.

Brief wins - hands down - as the best character-based editor ever. I still keep my copy in the original box (the Borland boxed version, complete with DOS and OS/2 disks).

RocketJeff
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

A 24-bit + alpha toolbar image editor.

pUnk
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

All I want is a cloak of invisibility so I can get from my office to the pop/snack machine and back without being stopped five times by people along the way who add more tasks to my ever-growing todo list, resulting in a snack break that takes an hour and completely annihilates my train of thought.

anon
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

RocketJeff, we appear to have similar taste in software :)

Perhaps I need a new definition of "cheap". Our software sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the licensing for ASA is cheap in comparison to the equivalent cost for Oracle, DB2 or even SQL Server.

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

What was so good about Brief?  Just curious... I just got SlickEdit and it has "brief emulation".  Was there something about it that was superior that isn't emulated through the keyboard commands?

Andy
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

>> Perhaps I need a new definition of "cheap".

Cheap is relative - if your product is expensive or doesn't deploy many copies internally, ASA is great. If your product sells for $100, it's a large part of the cost.

Renaud said "Oh, and if you could make it free, that would help too. :)" - ASA is anything but free...

I used it in a quazi-internal project (software given to the company's distributors), and it was excellent. We used ASA for small distributors and the full Sybase for large distributors.

RocketJeff
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Brief emulation (like most of the keyboard emulations included with editors) gets the keys right, but nothing else.

Editors, like languages & operating systems, is a religious subject to most programmers. Everyone I knew who tried Brief, however, loved it - from Assembler and C programmers to some COBOL guys I knew.

Emulation modes in editors _never_ duplicate the original environment. Except as a selling point, I don't know why it's ever included.

It was a sad day when Borland stopped selling Brief and instead included "Brief Technology" into their IDE's.

RocketJeff
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Sorry Rocket, but I didn't like Brief. I just didn't "get it" somehow. Wayyyyy too many special keys, man. And vi, just don't get me started. Not so many special keys, but way too many special modes.

Just let me write some fscking text!

Its not difficult. Even notepad works.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Yes, its notebook computers that volume rant was about.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

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