Chapter 10

The Right Tools

Developers are today both blessed and cursed by an unprecedented number and variety of software development tools. If you need a text editor, dozens of superb editors are available that you can download for free. If you need to convert UNIX line-endings to Windows, you can choose from several hundred utilities (assuming you haven't written your own). Most programmers have a favorite utility for constructing and testing regular expressions, and every Windows programmer should be aware of the Sysinternals utilities. While you enjoy the convenience and power of modern integrated development environments such as Visual Studio and Eclipse, you should remain mindful of what sed, awk, and grep can do for you. If you aren't aware of utilities like these then you are missing a trick. Visual Studio is an extremely capable development tool, but beware that you aren't suffering from the law of the instrument.

I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.

Abraham Kaplan

Exploring Visual Studio

If you write code using the Microsoft stack of technologies then Visual Studio needs no introduction. Many programmers have a love/hate relationship with Visual Studio, loving it for its power and convenience, hating it for its quirks and idiosyncrasies. To be perfectly fair, recent Visual Studio releases have seen the balance shifting away from quirks toward ...

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