222 words - 2 minutes to read
An internal work email list contribution I made today that I thought deserved to be here.
In my opinion software systems that require an Eclipse (or any other IDE)
build are inherently broken. If you can’t script your system’s build - using
ant, maven, gradle, python, whatever - without requiring someone to first
install an IDE and get that working, then I claim you don’t really understand
what it is you are building.
IDE’s make stuff real easy. I depend on them too for what they are good
at. But at the end of the day I want a repeatable process. One that I can come
back to months later or in some different environment or hand to someone
else. So I want a single ‘script’, with the fewest external dependencies, that
sets up the necessary environment and gives me a working system from
scratch. You can fix broken proxy bits in the IDE if you must (if for no other
reason so you can update the IDE or add plugins.) But I believe if your
software is worth anything you should spend the time, as you are developing
it, to incrementally understand how to add just the necessary pieces: what is
the minimum set of libraries, what are their dependencies, what are the
environment variables, etc. Anything less is just hacking.