chris blogs

March 2007

11mar2007 · The day editors became handaxes

For some reason, almost everyone is hot about Ruby IDEs nowadays.

However, I still prefer using a “classic” editor, and I edit just about everything with it.

A Handaxe

The editor is a lot like a handaxe. It’s an old tool, but it’s proven, and can be used in a lots of ways: hitting something, cutting meat, opening fruits. And, I can (and do!) use it to create other tools. It’s a sharp and powerful tool. Also, my handaxe is customized just how I like it. For example, if you are left-handed, your handaxe surely will look different than the handaxes of the others.

On the other hand, a modern IDE is a lot like a wrench. If you needed a wrench, you’d be happy to have one. Trying to turn a bolt with a handaxe will be difficult. But can your wrench drive nails? Maybe if you are good at it. Cut meat? Hardly.

You may now argue that this is a really bad comparison, and maybe you are right. But compare how the intelligent Stone Age man did all his day work with a hand axe, and how the experienced developer does everything with his editor: it’s not that far off. Do you know of a mechanic that only has a wrench?

I like my editor. It fits my needs perfectly, and I can customize everything how I need it.

NP: Tom Waits—Lucinda

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