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Coding on Widescreen Monitors

The new iMac is very attractive.  However, I have to wonder if a wide screen is well suited to coding.  Right now I have a large square screen and notice that ofter only the left two-thirds of it are used when putting the code editor in full screen mode.

What are your experiences?  Do you typically code in full screen mode or with multiple windows open?  Do you use a widescreen?  How has that worked out?

Scot
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I have a widescreen laptop, and you're right, the right hand half - 2/3 of the window tends to go unused. Since I develop primarily web applications I keep an IE window open on the right and can therefore refresh and watch my changes without losing sight of the code.

James U-S
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I've only used a widescreen monitor a couple of times, but I found it somewhat akin to using a dual-monitor setup.  All the important stuff -- editing window, form designer, etc. -- got put on one side, and the "less important" stuff -- palettes, debug and watch windows, object browser, file manager, etc. got put on the other side.  The extra screen real estate comes in handy for dumping things you want to look at but don't really need to deal with, in the same way that with a dual monitor setup you can stick them all out of the way and still leave enough space to work...

Mat Hall
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Programs are taller than they are wide, and programmers want to see more of their programs at a time, so taller windows, and therefore taller monitors, are better.  I have a 16x10 aspect ratio monitor that lets me get two 80x56 windows side by side with a decent font and almost but not quite enough room for a third 80 column window.  I'd rather have two 80x100 windows and no space left over.

rob mayoff
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

+++I keep an IE window open on the right and can therefore refresh and watch my changes without losing sight of the code+++

Edit-and-continue development. Pathetic.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004


I have a monitor (at home) that displays at 1600x1200.  I normally display documents in two-page mode if possible or have the code on one side and the docs on the other.

KC
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Programming on wide monitors leads to wide programs, which don't fit in most computers.  See, for example, Longhorn (http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1581842,00.asp), which is so wide you need to fold it into eighths in order to install it.

Sombebody Fetch Me A Cinema Display
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

if I had the ideal IDE, I imagine two monitors - one for the toolbars and one for just a big code window - would be ideal.  Unfortunately, it is time consuming and expensive to set that up.

devinmoore.com
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

rotate the monitor and install a sw which rotates the screen 90 degrees.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

+++Edit-and-continue development. Pathetic.+++

How else are you supposed to develop a web app?

Egor
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Edit-and-continue development? Are you sure that's not XP?

Andrew Cherry
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Edit-and-continue is really an agile method with 1-minute iterations.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I have a widescreen laptop and for some apps (like web browsers) I just resize the window to a normal 1028x764.  When using an IDE, the widescreen allows me to have utility panels open and the code window is wide enough to see a good amount.

As far as a designer making a GUI too wide because they used a widescreen, that is the problem with the designer not using their brain, not the screen.  Guns don't kill people, people operating guns in illegal fashions kill people.

Clay Whipkey
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

+++How else are you supposed to develop a web app?+++

The word "develop" do not make too much sense in your sentence. Probably it do not make too much sense in your job as well.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Scot
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

+++The word "develop" do not make too much sense in your sentence. Probably it do not make too much sense in your job as well.+++

So come on, enlighten us all, how one should be developing instead of that dam "edit-and-continue". We'll excuse yor bad English.

Egor
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

dam or damn? just to practice my english.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

enlightenmentcomes from your inner head/soul and not from my mouth


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Only rotate LCD monitors.

three screens == heaven. One for the editor window, one for the toolbars and stuff, one for the help file

bah_humbug
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Egor,

It's best to leave the trolls to play with themselves.  Especially those who can't leave their name. 

Ian Cheung
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

bigger = better

normal screen size = bigger
widescreen size = smaller

bigger != smaller

therefore, widescreen != better

Kenny
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"Edit-and-continue is really an agile method with 1-minute iterations. "

But does it up the build number?

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, September 01, 2004


I have a 1600x1024 17" monitor. I find that I'm only really comfortable reading text that's more or less right in front of me. If it's too far to the left or the right, the slight distortion caused by my viewing angle is kind of wearisome. Turning my head doesn't help, because the screen at the sides isn't perpendicular to my line of sight.

As a result, I end up editing in a window that takes up the half or third of the screen in front of me. I don't really use two windows side-by-side when I'm doing much reading or editing.  (It is good for diffing files or image editing.)

I think that for text editing, multiple smaller monitors might be better, because each could be turned to be perpendicular to my line of sight when I face its screen. That way the oblique viewing angle issue wouldn't be as significant.

Big honking monitors like Apple's 30" LCD don't seem like they'd be very good for editing text.

Jon Hendry
Thursday, September 02, 2004

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