December 20, 2002

One IDE for the team

One IDE Will Not Rule Them All - Eric Foster-Johnson says that teams should be flexible and allow developers to use whatever IDE they wish. Since I like to fall into XEmacs fairly often, I agree. I also agree that you should have a completely IDE-independent build process – thanks Ant!

However, the rise (?) of pair programming complicates matters for a few reasons:

  • Some IDEs are picky about working on their own tree of sourcecode (resulting in rapid commit/update cycles as you pass the keyboard back and forth)
  • Adding more requirements to switching breaks the flow of the session, part of the reason you get into pair programming
  • Spreading knowledge of editor/IDE tricks throughout the team is one of the nice side effects of pair programming.

On a side note, I'd like to see editors (like IDEA) to be able to easily switch keymaps and other profile-sensitive information to encourage pair programming. Easy like, Ctrl-Alt-F10 or some other chord that only takes a second to execute. Do other pair programming teams just standardize on a particular keymapping or what?

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