Friday, October 24, 2014

PragProg - Basic Tools

Ref: The Pragmatic Programmer

 Every craftsman starts his or her journey with a basic set of good-quality tools. A woodworker might need rules, gauges, a couple of saws, some good planes, fine chisels, drills and braces, mallets, and clamps. These tools will be lovingly chosen, will be built to last, will perform specific jobs with little overlap with other tools, and, perhaps most importantly, will feel right in the budding woodworker's hands.

Over time, the woodworker will add new tools, such as biscuit cutters, laser-guided miter saws, dovetail jigs—all wonderful pieces of technology.

Tools amplify your talent. The better your tools, and the better you know how to use them, the more productive you can be.

Shell Utilities and Windows Systems

Although the command shells provided with Windows systems areimproving gradually, Windows command-line utilities are still inferior totheir Unix counterparts. However, all is not lost.Cygnus Solutions has a package called Cygwin. As well asproviding a Unix compatibility layer for Windows, Cygwin comes with acollection of more than 120 Unix utilities, including such favorites as 1s,grep, and find.

Power Editing

You need to be proficient. Simply typing linearly and using a mouse to cut and paste is not enough. You just can't be as effective that way as you can with a powerful editor under your fingers. Typing "backspace" ten times to move the cursor left to the beginning of a line isn't as efficient as typing a single key such as "Home".

Tip 22: Use a Single Editor Well

If this sounds like you…Then think about…
I use only basic features of many different editors.
Pick a powerful editor and learn it well.
I have a favorite editor, but I don't use all of its features.Learn them. Cut down the number of keystrokes you need to type.
I have a favorite editor and use it where possible.Try to expand and use it for more tasks than you do already.
I think you are nuts. Notepad is the best editor ever made.As long as you are happy and productive, go for it! But if you find yourself subject to "editor envy," you may need to reevaluate your position.

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