Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Programmer Tools - what do you really use?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Programmer Tools - what do you really use?

    As I'm finishing up my first larger app (about 4K lines of code, and yes, I've seen that many of you write much bigger apps), I've wondered what programming tools I didn't use, that would have made working with PowerBASIC a lot easier.

    I spent almost a day looking around and here's the general categories of tools that seem to keep popping up.

    Despite the availability of these tools, pretty much all that I've used is the PB IDE, PB Help, and zillions of searches in the forums. And MSDN has been like a second home to me. Before using PowerBASIC I rarely visited MSDN. Now, I visit it throughout the day.

    In hindsight, I'm not sure that any of the tools on the list would have had much of an impact on my productivity, with the exception of a more powerful IDE.

    I've found that the single most important tool is the IDE. That's where I work most of the time and it's abilities/inabilities to save me time and effort far outweigh the potential benefits of any other tool I've seen. PBEdit has worked well enough, although like many other users there's a list of productivity changes I'd sorely like to see.

    HexEditor/HexViewer
    IDE/Code Editor
    Grid Control
    WinSpy
    Dependency/DLL analyzers
    Resource Editor
    Code Formatter
    Code Analysis/Cross-Reference/Profilers
    PrintPreview
    Databases
    Graphics Libraries
    SMTP/FTP/Browser Controls
    Installers
    Code Librarians
    After the fact, PBCodec has been useful to find unused residual procedures/variables - but it wouldn't have been much help along the way. Also, I could probably have gotten better use of resource files, but I'll need more experience in creating/accessing the files.

    I'd have use my code librarian much more, except that it's still somewhat empty of PowerBASIC stuff. However, I found that I've often modified my VB snippets foruse in my PowerBASIC apps. The code librarian I use is available at http://www.garybeene.com/free/gbcodelib.htm

    Graphics libraries are the one area where I'd like to use available tools much more intensively, but since I mostly release freeware, the cost of such tools are hard to swallow.

    In my apps, I try to stick with text databases so I can always recover manually if need be. That makes my need for database tools very minimal, but I'd expect a lot of programmers to need tools for working with industry-standard binary formats.

    And finally, my apps usually need some Internet capabilities (smpt/pop3/ftp/http), but they're fairly standard stuff and while I've not worked with these features much so far in PowerBASIC, I expect to meet my needs with just a few custom procedures.

    So, I'm interested in what tools any of you use extensively - that make a big difference in your productivity. My list seems awfully short.
    Last edited by Gary Beene; 6 May 2009, 12:32 PM.

  • #2
    Quite honestly I get along with a small list of tools...

    PBWin9
    PBCC5
    PBForms 1.5
    UEStudio
    Microangelo

    I think if I only had those tools I could do almost anything given enough time.

    Also, had to add my code formatter, I custom wrote it so always forget to consider it as being a tool. Same goes for my compiler selector which allows me to flip between PBCC and PBWIN on the fly as well as run the app after compiling.
    Last edited by George Bleck; 6 May 2009, 01:19 PM.
    <b>George W. Bleck</b>
    <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

    Comment


    • #3
      PBIDE + PB Image Editor (no longer supplied with compiler) + on-disk WinAPI reference + Ultra Edit + EDI Pal handles about 98% of my programs

      And if there's no foreign data to deal with, forget the last two.
      Michael Mattias
      Tal Systems Inc. (retired)
      Racine WI USA
      [email protected]
      http://www.talsystems.com

      Comment


      • #4
        FireFly Visual Designer
        JellyFish Pro Editor
        SQLitening Database System
        PBWIN 9
        Microangelo
        Spy.exe
        Win32.hlp (and online Win32 help)
        POFFS and PowerBASIC Support forum
        Jose Roca's forum
        Help and Manual
        Google
        Paul Squires
        FireFly Visual Designer (for PowerBASIC Windows 10+)
        Version 3 now available.
        http://www.planetsquires.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I lost spy.exe.. anywhere for dl?
          hellobasic

          Comment


          • #6
            PB IDE, PB Help, MSDN, PB Forum and still a bit of QB45 for maintenance
            Old QB45 Programmer

            Comment


            • #7
              I doubt there's an add-on product I don't have. What I end up using depends heavily on what the application calls for. Some I use frequently, others not so much, but I want to know they are they when the need arises. IMO, you should build your toolkit as time and money allows. There will be a time when someone has already done the heavy work for you and if you have the tool available, you'll save lots of time and frustration.

              I can't really come up with a good reason to use "text based" data files beyond some simply .INI configuration files. This is especially true now that SQLitening has matured so much. If you're not using a real database, then you are missing a huge piece of proper coding. Download SQLitening, learn it (not hard) and use it. If/when the time comes for something more, use something like SQLTools with MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, etc, but for everything else, SQLite is the way to go.

              When you get into 'WAN'/Internet applications, check out Marshalsoft.com I have all of his tools and they are great. The FTP and EMail tools are by far the best I've used, and I'm 99% sure I've used them all. Money well spent there.

              For grids, MyLittleGrid and EGrid32 are you're best choices. EGrid32 offers far more functionality but is often over kill for simple grid apps. MLG on the other hand is lightweight, easy to use, and very inexpensive.

              JellyFish should be your general purpose editor of choice IMO, but get 10 people together and you'll get 10 opinions on which editor is best. Test them out, find what you like, and be done with it. It really doesn't matter what someone else uses.

              Put PB tools into your budget and buy as many tools as you can, especially as the need arises. I can't think of ANY that I didn't find exceptional and useful at one time or another. And no, I don't sell any 3rd party tools myself
              Software makes Hardware Happen

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Edwin Knoppert View Post
                I lost spy.exe.. anywhere for dl?
                Hi Edwin,

                I used to use the version of Spy from Microsoft but several years now I have been using a beefier version. I did a search on the Net for it and found it at this link. http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/win32asm/Spy.zip It is only an EXE and an Ini. very simple to use.
                Paul Squires
                FireFly Visual Designer (for PowerBASIC Windows 10+)
                Version 3 now available.
                http://www.planetsquires.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey thanks, i liked the MS version but will try this fella tomorrow.

                  Thanks,
                  hellobasic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oleh Yuschuk (I think pronounced Olly) wrote a debugger called OllyDbg and it is one of the most amazing pieces of software I've seen. That a single person could do such high and low level programming together is un-buh-lievable Seems like it would take a whole dang corporation to throw something like that together.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My $0.02

                      Before I do so, I must say I have nothing against (nor for) "FireFly Visual Designer" nor "JellyFish Pro" Editor nor "SQLite" but that is because I have not run into a situation that I needed to (it may be easier, but never gave more than a look over, and moved on) .... Not to say anything good or bad, just that at the time, had no time to investigate realms that I do not know.

                      Being what is known as a "VB refugee" I am more or less from a background of "The details were handled for me" but when wondering "What USUALLY works" why is this concept so HARD??? train of thought, I eventually resort back to tools that I forgot I even had. (Heck it would be a lot easier if I used them often, and I keep forgetting they exist)

                      Unfortunately some of the harder concepts, resort to 3rd party or hard to follow code. But if it was not a harder concept, then why would there be a 3rd party to make it easier??? :tongue::laugh:

                      From my VB6 days, I think currently my most used tools are: (varies minorly depending on the project/concept I am working on)
                      1.) Code ---> PB (I will resort to VB to look for code to port if I can not find an example in pure PB)
                      2.) Interface ---> Usually PB (so I can put a button EXACTLY where I want it), but if I need a quick 5 min example, then PbForms is what I need (rather than coding that button)

                      When in a jam, and have to "Panick-Mode" make a example to test, or need to demonstrate a point, rather than wasting time creating an interface, I immediately jump to PbForms to make the interface. Or even better yet grab an interface I made in the past using "WinSpy" (forgot who made it or what version but I think "WinSpy" will result in MORE than enough copies in the results of a search

                      After that there is not much I need (but it varies from project to project)
                      I tend to try not to delve into databases or graphics type of stuff, but I am sure there are tools for that too

                      When I do delve into some of my harder stuff (and tred on graphics) I usually look towards Jose Roca's forum, and the almighty fallback (especially if stuck with a intermittent modem)

                      Börje Hagsten's POFFS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      Life savers for me
                      Engineer's Motto: If it aint broke take it apart and fix it

                      "If at 1st you don't succeed... call it version 1.0"

                      "Half of Programming is coding"....."The other 90% is DEBUGGING"

                      "Document my code????" .... "WHYYY??? do you think they call it CODE? "

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        and don't forget Borje Hagsten's Inclean.exe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The one constant tool I've noticed I use the most is actually freecommander ()

                          All the versatility of the old norton commander and then some.

                          just check it out.

                          Also, freemind, todolist, syn texteditor, filezilla

                          not "programming tools" per se. but darned useful

                          John
                          John,
                          --------------------------------
                          John Strasser
                          Phone: 480 - 273 - 8798

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use PBEdit most of all, of course. I still use MS-DOS edit for hhk, html, etc,
                            and previously for RTF and other files for Winhelp and for RC files and occasionally
                            on bas files. On occation I use Jumstart for DDT but not often. I'm a big user
                            of INCLEAN which saves 2-12K per program.

                            Pbdll6.0, PBdll6.1, PBwin8
                            Winspy occasionally
                            PbForums
                            Poffs
                            I have PBwin9 but have not as yet used it in any of my applications.

                            When I was using PBcc quite a bit, I used Contools+Graphics for a windows
                            like appearance and they are great tools. I, like Guy, still use QB45 especially
                            when a file gets messed up or there is a program problem that is not readily
                            apparent. The step thru ability is so much easier to use than PB debug. I can
                            also fix data files, when necessay, with a few lines of code and no compiling
                            necessary.


                            I use PaintShop Pro version 4 for graphics I need to build. I know that the Pb
                            now compiles rc->res->PBR files but years ago i made a little bat file to do
                            this and old habits die hard. Eyedropper is a neat little tool to get rgb colors.

                            For installation, I use a zip file converted to an EXE with PowerZip that calls either
                            a simple dialog for demo version or an inno look-alike that I wrote for the full
                            version.
                            Last edited by Fred Buffington; 13 May 2009, 11:02 AM.
                            Client Writeup for the CPA

                            buffs.proboards2.com

                            Links Page

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I, like Guy, still use QB45 ..... fix data files, when necessay, with a few lines of code and no compiling necessary.
                              No compiling with QB 4.5?

                              Maybe it seems that way, but it compiles.... just like PB/DOS for that matter, even when using the "compile to memory" option.

                              Now QBasic... that's an interpreter.

                              MCM
                              Michael Mattias
                              Tal Systems Inc. (retired)
                              Racine WI USA
                              [email protected]
                              http://www.talsystems.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Michael Mattias View Post
                                Maybe it seems that way, but it compiles.... just like PB/DOS for that matter, even when using the "compile to memory" option.
                                Not really. PB/DOS, like you said, always compile.
                                But QB code run interpreted from the IDE, or compiled when you decide to create an executable (either from the IDE or directly calling it from the command line, with the BC compiler).

                                Bye!
                                Last edited by Marco Pontello; 7 May 2009, 09:03 PM.
                                -- The universe tends toward maximum irony. Don't push it.

                                File Extension Seeker - Metasearch engine for file extensions / file types
                                Online TrID file identifier | TrIDLib - Identify thousands of file formats

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A nice thing about QB45 is the instant error checking as you write a line of code.
                                  Of course like Michael say, it will compile the EXE file when you run it.
                                  My favorite compile option is QB/AH/H/L which give a 80 x 50 screen
                                  If you modify the Properties of that DOS Window with a Lucida Console 24 font, you get that 50 line screen to just fill
                                  a 24 LCD monitor from top to bottom with nice big caracters.
                                  Last edited by Guy Dombrowski; 7 May 2009, 09:07 PM.
                                  Old QB45 Programmer

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Marco Pontello View Post
                                    But QB code run interpreted from the IDE, or compiled when you decide to create an executable (either from the IDE or directly calling it from the command line, with the BC compiler).
                                    Actually Mike is right, QBasic was strictly an interpreter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBasic

                                    While QuickBasic was the actual version that ran interpreted as well as compiled http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microso...BASIC_compiler
                                    <b>George W. Bleck</b>
                                    <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      but you can run a program in QB without compiling it (at least to disk). It has a built-in interpreter.Just run from the ide. There are separate run and compile options in QB45.

                                      (responded before reading Marco's and George's posts)
                                      Last edited by Fred Buffington; 8 May 2009, 05:31 AM.
                                      Client Writeup for the CPA

                                      buffs.proboards2.com

                                      Links Page

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by George Bleck View Post
                                        Actually Mike is right, QBasic was strictly an interpreter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBasic
                                        No doubts QBasic is only an intepreter. But I quoted & was repling at the part in witch MCM was referring to QuickBasic. I used the acronym QB because that's what is usually also called QB, like in the reply I quoted. Actually, from the first line of the QuickBasic's Wiki entry you quoted: "Microsoft QuickBASIC (also QB [...]".

                                        Bye!
                                        Last edited by Marco Pontello; 8 May 2009, 06:45 AM.
                                        -- The universe tends toward maximum irony. Don't push it.

                                        File Extension Seeker - Metasearch engine for file extensions / file types
                                        Online TrID file identifier | TrIDLib - Identify thousands of file formats

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X