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Readers comment on development tools
SunWorld Online respondents say the biggest threat is from within
We gave SunWorld Online readers the chance to comment in essay form on their thoughts on development tools, and many seized that opportunity.
The comments are reproduced as received; only some minor spelling and punctuation errors have been corrected. -- Editors
- Date: Thu Aug 1 18:12:56 PDT 1996
portability is the worst problem. I want a single platform to develop to.
You seem to think there's a application/scripting dichotomy. I disagree. I
write *applications* using a scripting language (Python, which you didn't
even include in your list :-( )
- Date: Fri Aug 2 09:27:26 PDT 1996
The biggest issue we face is cross-platform development -- trying to write
applications which will run on both Unix and PCs. Our latest attempt to
solve this problem involved using Tcl/Tk to develop a cross-platform GUI -
- what a delightful experience! Although there have been a few glitches in
the recently ported PC version, in general it has given the best results
of anything we have tried in the last five years. Congratulations to John
Osterhout and his team at Sun.
- Date: Fri Aug 2 10:04:47 PDT 1996
Application complexity and multiplatform/OS support.
- Date: Fri Aug 2 11:08:23 PDT 1996
Microsoft forcing new standards no one wants or needs.
- Date: Sat Aug 3 03:40:31 PDT 1996
Windows based tools lack free ware/shareware to fulfill my needs java
lacks the ability to face all issues faced by onventional software like
VC++. I prefer a software tool that doesnt bother me with what environment
the client (MORON to be more precise) favours and java fits that need. I
wish java had some facitiy to access database without making mego thro
details of SQL like CDatabase and CRecordset in VC++. I wish java had low
level programming faciltity like VC++.
- Date: Sun Aug 4 02:53:17 PDT 1996
Let's see.... I have database tables with between 20 million to 80 million
rows. The app I'm primary developer for spits out detailed analysis data
of between 100GB to 200GB. Reporting pulls out and summarizes these result
sets. This has to be done, in addition to other time-consuming steps,
usually within a week. *EEP!* These go on Oracle (SPARC, Cray
Superservers, HPUX 9/10, Sequent Dynix) or Teradata (3600, 3550). [BTW, if
you're wondering, our clients are banks with $5billion+; the tables hold
account data---savings, CDs, mortgages, credit cards, etc.] Data comes
from various mainframes, not all consistent. I need tools that will allow
me to cross platform boundaries when programming
multiprocessing/multithreading apps. I can't use lock_lint, for instance,
because I can't use threads (I have to use fork-model threading, since the
app has to run on numerous Un*x variants, and Windows NT). I need a
browser and OO design tool [SNiFF+ and Rational Rose are what we are
using/going to use] with SPARCworks. I need reliable, fast ODBC and other
database tools. Even with Atria ClearCase (our last SCMS, CCC Manager,
blew up), we have problems with parallel development and integration. I
solved most of the Un*x side problems (not the Win3.x, 95 and NT issues)
Tracking of requirements, ECO, AR (anomaly reports), design specs, etc.,
from within a GUI, heterogenously. We use MS-Access inhouse app (E YUCH)
but are switching to Scopus. I guess the bulk of it boils down to process
- Date: Mon Aug 5 07:36:46 PDT 1996
Not Useful or Marginally Useful. Most software tools are either not useful
to the seasoned developer or not integrated together well, especially in
the C++ area. The graphical debuggers are great, but the code tree
generators, code finders really aren't that useful to the experienced
developer. I'd have to say the same for the Object Oriented Tools / Code
generators like Rational Rose. They're ok for documenting large projects
but after several years of work a good programmer can generate code faster
and better. Complexity They are getting better Sun, HP, SGI but
performance analysis is pretty complicated.
- Date: Mon Aug 5 14:43:11 PDT 1996
Lack of knowledge of coworkers about types of tools available or proper
use thereof. Lack of interest in a cohesive/comprehensive process and tool
set. Cost Effective integrated life cycle tool set, training, etc.
- Date: Mon Aug 5 22:45:59 PDT 1996
Multi-platform support. Speed, ease, and later support of development
projects. Need to learn more project management and integrate it with
- Date: Tue Aug 6 12:04:05 PDT 1996
How can I make my programmers as productive as possible with the little
budget I have to spend on tools ?
- Date: Wed Aug 7 06:29:30 PDT 1996
THEY ARE NOT FAST ENOUGH!!!!!
- Date: Wed Aug 7 09:49:05 PDT 1996
1) Cost 2) Flexibility 3) Integration with other tools (defect database,
SCM, etc) 4) Many tools are part of a "toolbox" solution to various
aspects of Software Development. Therefore, buying such a tool may in fact
be a commitment to a specific supplier's software development and testing
philosophies and capabilities. Tools from different vendors are not really
well suited to interoperate with each other!
- Date: Wed Aug 7 14:21:08 PDT 1996
Fighting software license problems. Current licensing schemes create havoc
when you don't fit the model of a few developers all in one location.
- Date: Sun Aug 11 10:05:10 PDT 1996
Software portability and reliability.
- Date: Tue Aug 13 08:38:55 PDT 1996
Getting time to develop the idea fully into a working script or program.
- Date: Tue Aug 13 10:02:09 PDT 1996
Cross-platform portability ... Also portability to new OS's and backward
compatability. For example, Motif/CDE is not backward compatable with
Motif, yet has nice features. Motif does not have a standard C++ API. This
will undoubtably cause problems in the future.
- Date: Wed Aug 14 04:51:38 PDT 1996
Lack of tools for developing, debugging, and documenting largescale
distributed object systems.
- Date: Wed Aug 14 09:36:19 PDT 1996
The issues are cost, speed and capability. We primarily use GNU because
they are free, even through they aren't the best. There is no hassle with
managing licenses and getting new passwords every time we get a new
machine or hire a new programmer.
- Date: Thu Aug 15 10:55:04 PDT 1996
Theory is still theory. There are many nice methotds for software
development, but most of them look like the invertor has newer done any
- Date: Wed Aug 21 20:12:48 PDT 1996
Portability is a major issue -- we endeavor to make sure all software runs
on any unix box (and historically) VMS & DOS. The radio astromomy group of
which I am a member is currently rewriting all the observatory antenna
control and data collection software. This means we need code that will
run on UNIX and a real-time operating system (pSOS) running on x86/m680xx
boxes. Standard (reliable) libraries are important, most of these are
public domain software
- Date: Thu Aug 22 04:44:46 PDT 1996
Documentation. They mostly work, it is just a matter of finding out how.
- Date: Thu Aug 22 06:17:26 PDT 1996
We are development and deployment intranets protoypes with java, cgi and
databases web servers for diferent enterprises (in Colombia) that need
applications for your bussines.
- Date: Thu Aug 22 11:03:53 PDT 1996
Don't have time to comment here.
- Date: Thu Aug 22 15:21:47 PDT 1996
We need faster development with fewer errors.
- Date: Thu Aug 22 19:29:13 PDT 1996
distribute something that goodlevel for Solaris.
- Date: Fri Aug 23 06:20:37 PDT 1996
Lack of cross-platform interoperability is a real problem.
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Last update: 1 September 1996
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