Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Worst tools I ever did a successful project with

What is the worst toolset you have made due with on a project that turned out successful

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Visual C++ & MFCs.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Not a software engineering project but: Adobe Premiere. The worst video editing software the world has ever seen.

Dan Maas
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Bespoke 8 year old library (written in house by long departed developers) that wasn't really designed for the scale and performance I was using it for.

Better than being unemployed...
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Oracle Forms/Developer-2000 was the biggest POS I've ever used.  The textbased Oracle*Forms was groundbreaking in it's time, but Dev2000 was a joke by the time it was released (Powerbuilder and VB were already entrenched by 1997)

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Symantec C++.  What a POS.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Rational Rose UML Toolset.  Don't know what its like now, but a few years ago, what a piece of junk!

Horrible UI, inconsistent menus, crashes....

Gregor Brandt
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Win NT 4 sp 3, MS SQL 6.5, + ASP.

I swore of Microsoft products for 2 years after that debacle. 6.5 had a bug where my identity columns would corrupt and start throwing key clash exceptions; IIS would crash way too frequently, generally taking out the kernel with it.

Lest you think I am an MS hater, W2K and MS SQL 2000 are both favored products of mine now...

Next would be mod_perl + MySQL. Modperl wasn't too bad, but MySQL at the time had a bug that caused me to have to bring down the db, manually re-index and repair the tables every night. Not fun.

Matt Christensen
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Interwoven Teamsite - utter crap...

Thursday, April 24, 2003


Thankfully I was lucky enough not to have to go near it but its template language was a thing to behold. No subroutines or case statements leads to hideous code.

Early circa 1996-7 ASP was equally fun (more due to the pain of writing ActiveX controls than anything else mind).

Ben Thompson
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Ideafix for Windows. You don't know it? Thank your gods for that, because it's the worst piece of commercial software you can ever see.

Poor Ideafix Developer
Thursday, April 24, 2003

PhP, no contest.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, April 25, 2003

Another one to add : Windows NT or 2000 dev PC accessing a SourceSafe database running on a Novell server.

Can you all say "S  L  O  W". We badgered IT for what seemed like years to get the server changed. People took tea breaks whenever they checked out a file.

Eventually they switched to a 2000 server and productivity shot up.

Better than being unemployed...
Friday, April 25, 2003

One time I had to work with this guy named Dale.  Dale and I were able to complete the development work on time, but MAN was that guy ever a huge tool.  Huge.

Friday, April 25, 2003

the pSOS real-time OS. Man, what a pain. The docs were confusing and often wrong, it took us several weeks just to configure the darn thing to download, it supposedly came with a debugger, but the debugger only worked when the board was running (which is the only time I don't need a debugger), and so on and so on.

Chris Tavares
Friday, April 25, 2003

Well, in my experience: PHP wins hands down as the most frustrating "tool" I have ever used.

Beka Pantone
Friday, April 25, 2003

FutureTense application server.  No question.  The very name of this thing makes me - and the rest of the alumni of the project that used it - laugh out out loud, then cringe.  The CTO of the company that produced this horror actually came to our offices to try to defend it.  The classic quote from him was "If we allowed you to do addition or subtraction in our language, that would be slippery slope to who knows what!"
I guess you had to be there. 
But trust me, it made the things you other guys are talking about  look like miracle tools.

Ethan Herdrick
Sunday, April 27, 2003

Throughbred Business Basic

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Rational SODA, a tool for generating documentation automatically from Rational ROSE models.  Buggiest program I've ever used.

LISP, what a weird little language.

The Man
Thursday, May 8, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home