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The History of Visual Development Environments

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the some-people-still-prefer-text-y'know dept.

GUI 181

Esther Schindler writes "There was a time when programs were written in text editors. And when competition between C++ vendors was actually fierce. Step into the time travel machine as Andy Patrizio revisits the evolution and impact of the visual development metaphor. 'Visual development in its earliest stages was limited by what the PC could do. But for the IBM PC in the early 1980s, with its single-tasking operating system and 8- or 16-bit hardware, the previous software development process was text edit, compile, write down the errors, and debug with your eyes.' Where do you start? 'While TurboPascal launched the idea of an integrated development environment, [Jeff] Duntemann credits Microsoft's Visual Basic (VB), launched in 1991, with being the first real IDE.'... And yes, there's plenty more." A comment attached to the story lists two IDEs that preceded VB; can you name others?

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VB? (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796653)

Making managers that are "handy" think they are programmers cince 1992...

Re:VB? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796685)

More like making programmers less arrogant since 1992!

Re:VB? (4, Funny)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797361)

...and building GUI interfaces to track killers IP addresses [youtube.com] ...

Re:VB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798443)

Ouch, hadn't seen that one before. And the actress who delivers the line is a friend of mine, believe it or not...

Also: VB? Are you *kidding* me?? DELPHI! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42799079)

Delphi was the first visual IDE!

VB was a shitty knock-off that everybody hated,
with the worst language ever created to be taken seriously.

Agreed, & disagreed here... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42799383)

DISAGREED SECTION HERE: (Somewhat on 'fine points' only though really)

1st - You can go back FARTHER to DOS with VB in fact, & yes, it was "VISUAL" (first of all) & to an extent, "RAD" (rapid application development). I used it in version 2.0 in fact for quick app development in the Microsoft world.

Secondly - VB for Windows (3.0 onwards) was decent, & @ the risk of sounding like some California surfer? TOTALLY "RAD"... but not so great for db access as its later versions where & only 16-bit...

3rd: It + its descendants have had MORE successful deliveries of projects than almost any other IDE for Microsoft because it was simpler to use...

Mind you - that doesn't translate out as "bad" in the world of business OR in the eyes of mgt., especially when venture capitalists or departmental monies are on the line either gents where deadline penalties can ensue... after all - it's YOUR PAY on the line boys, & payroll IS the easiest cost to control (ever heard of 'downsizing' for example?).

(Fact - for most, meaning MSVC++ due to difficulty level, yes meaning things like pointers usage, & especially VC++ 2.x on downwards which wasn't really "RAD" & neither was a LOT of "OWL" from Borland too!)

Back then with those tools? Well, imo @ least where to do a high speed Windows app, you had to do things like write your own messagepassing schedulers & more...

I hated it compared to VB 3.0 onwards & especially VB 4-5-6 which intro'd for BOTH 16 & 32-bit development & had full-blown DB access built in via @ the very least, MS' OLE-DB &/or ODBC (a form of COM db access in the former).

---

AGREED 110% SECTION HERE:

Delphi did rock them all though!

Yes - THAT I can & will agree with wholeheartedly & with solid proof (see below)...

Fact is - I still extensively use it, as do MANY others worldwide, & especially for "personal projects" such as this one -> http://www.start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

APK

P.S.=> So, per my mentioned 'note' above? How BADLY did Delphi rock MS' stuff? Ok, verifiable & undeniable concrete evidence:

Back circa 1997, I was a BIG fan of coding with Visual Studio... especially MSVC++ &/or VB.

I run into a review in VBPJ, of all places (Visual Basic Programmer's Journal) Sept./Oct. 1997 issue "Inside the VB Compiler", a competing trade rag no less & one that was QUITE respected!

Then?

There, I saw Borland Delphi LITERALLY "knock-the-chocolate" outta MS' offerings, overall, in performance...

How much so? Ok (& this IS what I took to mgt.):

In the 6 tests given, Delphi won the majority (overwhelmingly in fact, in what ALL PROGRAMS DO, math & strings work)...

Specifics below (the most important, overall? Again - imo @ least - What they ALL do - math & strings!):

---

STRING SUITE:

Delphi = .275ms
MSVC++ = .500ms
MSVB = 4.091ms

---

MATH SUITE:

Delphi = 1.523ms
MSVC++ = 2.890ms
MSVB = 7.071ms

* AGAIN - note what I said above? Even while I was a HUGE fan of MS' Visual Studio?? I couldn't "argue with the numbers" here, & gravitated towards a BETTER coding environs in Delphi, by far, for performance alone!

---

API GRAPHICS METHODS SUITE:

Delphi = .269ms
MSVC++ = .293ms
MSVB = 292

---

TEXTBOX FORM LOADING SUITE:

MSVC++ = .012ms
Delphi = .069ms
MSVB = .072ms

---

ACTIVE X FORM LOADS:

MSVB = .114ms
Delphi = .495ms
MSVC++ = .778ms

---

NATIVE TO LANGUAGE GRAPHICS METHODS SUITE:

MSVC++ = .293ms
MSVB = .455ms
Delphi = .503ms

---

There you are... however: KNOW WHAT I WAS TOLD, that I absolutely HAD TO LISTEN TO & UNDERSTAND (which, I did):

---

"Microsoft has BILLIONS of dollars & absolute stability. We want to have SOMEONE to take responsibility for errors in their stuff, and to have support in the future. Microsoft odds are WILL BE THERE STILL... Will Borland?"

---

THAT IS BUSINESS' POV in a nutshell... & Borland was getting "brain-drained" (especially for the designers of Delphi) by MS regularly... ever heard of Mr. Anders Heijelsberg &/or Chuck Andrzewski? They built Delphi... & MS got 'em!

... apk

Quick C by Microsoft (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796655)

Had a block-graphics GUI, mouse support and a visual debugger

Can't remember the date, but certainly pre Windows 3.1

Re:Quick C by Microsoft (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797463)

Yep. I grew up on its little brother, Qbasic. It had ... wait for it... Breakpoints! Blew my mind when I figured out what they were for. Dropped my use of print statements by 90%.

Re:Quick C by Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797645)

Bought my copy of Quick C 2.5 in 1993. For the time, loved it.

Early IDEs: QuickC, Turbo C, Zortech C++ (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797927)

According to Wikipedia, QuickC was introduced in October 1987, probably as a response to Borland's Turbo C which came out earlier that year.

I used Turbo C for a few years starting with version 1.5 in 1988. It was a sweet product, with one-button building and test runs plus an integrated debugger, and it was incredibly fast for the time. The editor was kind of primitive compared to vi, but usable (basic insert/delete/arrow key stuff).

I eventually switched over to Zortech C++ to get extended memory support. That was an impressive product also, and apparently all developed by one programmer. It eventually became the Symantech product mentioned in the article.

Nowadays my Windows development work is split between Visual Studio and vi/make. I still prefer the latter for anything that's algorithmically complex.

QuickBasic (3, Informative)

adonoman (624929) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796665)

QuickBasic was already at v4.5 in 1988 - 3 years before Visual Basic.

Re:QuickBasic (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796795)

It was also excellent. Fast, intuitive interface, outstanding builtin help.

Re:QuickBasic (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797085)

It was technically almost as advanced as microware's basic09 from 1979 by then. Well the IDE was flashier obviously, I'm just talking about language features. It really was pretty good.

Re:QuickBasic (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797067)

While QB was at version 4.5, BASCOM PDS was at version 7.x.

QB was in fact a DOS-limited version of the PDS environment, which ran on both DOS and OS/2 1.0 and would produce protected mode executables in the later case.

There was a time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796673)

I use gvim every day, thank you very much. In "the #1 company to work for", no less.

Re:There was a time? (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798643)

gvim is one of my most-used tools as well. From my experience, an IDE is only beneficial for large projects with complicated build or deployment procedures with more than a couple developers. Languages like Java, and to some extent C++, also tend to encourage their use, especially as your external dependencies increase. C really encourages you to keep things small and manageable, so I've never felt like I've needed an IDE to keep my head wrapped around a C project. Python's sort of the same way, but at least partially because the language is so simple that it becomes much easier to keep it well-managed. For larger Javascript projects, even if they get big and awkward, there are no build procedures to speak of so just using a more robust editor like Sublime Text 2 is sufficient for me.

VMS and Atari ST development tools (4, Interesting)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796727)

That's a very Microsoft-centric article, although it does have a passing mention of Smalltalk. Earliest IDE I ever used was the toolset on VMS, which included editor, compiler, debugger and profiler - they were integrated via the shell. If that doesn't qualify, then there was DevPac for assembler and a C development package (Lattice C I think) on my Atari ST, which inclued integrated tools that were far more sophisticated than what was later offered by Turbo Pascal.

Re:VMS and Atari ST development tools (2)

braeldiil (1349569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797203)

Considering Turbo Pascal came out two years before the Atari ST, your timeline is quite a bit off.

Re:VMS and Atari ST development tools (1)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797303)

I thought Turbo Pascal came out around 1988 - 89. That's certainly the timeframe in which I first started to notice people talking about it.

Re:VMS and Atari ST development tools (1)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797431)

Blimey, just checked the Wikipedia article for Turbo Pascal and it did indeed pre-date the ST. In a weird piece of synchronicity, the article mentions the Nascom computer, since that's where the Turbo Pascal compiler originated. It's the second time in the last few days the Nascom has intruded on my consciousness, as it's the basis of a very rare drum computer [vintagesynth.com] that's just been added to the Vintage Synth Explorer.

Re:VMS and Atari ST development tools (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797507)

1983. Pascal was fashionable back in the early 80s -- TeX was written in web/Pascal (Knuth was a trendsetter :), UCSD Pascal, Macintosh/Lisa used pascal, etc.

Re:VMS and Atari ST development tools (1)

bubbaD (182583) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798857)

Perhaps you were aware of this when you commented, but I think it's pretty clear that Patrizio was specifically referring to PC IDEs, which would necessarily be Microsoft-centric because of their monopoly of the PC operating system. Of course there were interesting and better IDEs for mainframes and minicomputers, and in that sense PCs were a giant step backwards for programming. Which is partly why IBM originally thought PCs would never sell big, let alone become dominant in the computer programming landscape.
Not taking all that into consideration kind of misses the point of the article, I think.

Re:despite Duntemann's dumb commonet (1)

bubbaD (182583) | about a year and a half ago | (#42799037)

I know Jeff Duntemann is quoted as saying âoeThe PC culture was inherited from the IBM mainframe world. The graphics in that era werenâ(TM)t very good. Until we had Windows to provide the basic ideas of displaying things in windows, PCs had a foot and a half back in the mainframe world" That's just a dumb thing to say. It's like saying "back then turbo charged engines in commercial cars still had a foot in the racing world!" Doh!

Text editors are still around. (5, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796731)

"There was a time when programs were written in text editors."

Yeah , 5 minutes ago when I finished updating some code.

Plenty of unix C/C++/script/python coders still use vi and emacs. Just because IDEs rule the roost in Windows and Java development, don't assume every coder users or even requires them.

Re:Text editors are still around. (-1, Redundant)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796863)

that's what the very best and smartest devs use at work. mediocre ones have code wizards and jerk around with these IDEs...

Re:Text editors are still around. (3, Insightful)

_anomaly_ (127254) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796969)

I disagree. The very best are very good at determining the best tool for the job.
I'd absolutely hate to attempt to build a database application supposed to run in a windowing environment, with emphasis on UI/user experience, using any of the best text editors.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797417)

I disagree. The very best are very good at determining the best tool for the job. I'd absolutely hate to attempt to build a database application supposed to run in a windowing environment, with emphasis on UI/user experience, using any of the best text editors.

Why? Because you'd be clueless without an IDE to hold your hand? I'd actually love it. The best way of doing that is to look at the problem from a bird's perspective, concentrate the commonalities in a common runtime (including all sorts of defaults, layout rules etc.), design a tiny declarative language for driving it and use it to design the dialogs and interactions. You might even end up with having a live preview for both native dialogs and their web counterparts, all generated from one source.

I've seen the UI designers available these days and I wasn't impressed. All of them were tightly bound to a single platform. You couldn't even retarget your UI to another widget toolkit.

Re:Text editors are still around. (4, Insightful)

Motard (1553251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797749)

No, because I'd be wasting time reinventing things that have no business being reinvented. Using common controls such as those in the VCL encourage code re-use. While you are (re)designing a declarative language, I will be implementing more features.

And there's a reason why IDE's tend to be tightly bound to a platform. All of the cross platform solutions turned out to be inferior because they were limited to the lowest common denominator. Applications that aren't so limited work better because they take atvantage of all the features of the environment and fit better within it. This is why Apple limited iOS apps to native apps.

Re:Text editors are still around. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798883)

Cross-platform GUI toolkits are not limited by the common denominator. All of them (save for wxwidgets) paint all of their widgets themselves. They just have a theme that makes it look like Windows applications.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798977)

No, because I'd be wasting time reinventing things that have no business being reinvented. Using common controls such as those in the VCL encourage code re-use.

This is not about reinventing things. This is about using controls like the VLC ones in a meaningful way. Come on, have you seen the Swing API?

All of the cross platform solutions turned out to be inferior because they were limited to the lowest common denominator.

That's because it's extremely expensive to develop them if you lock yourself to the heavyweight IDE paradigm, so the combination of the development time for the tooling and the reduced functionality of the result simply isn't a lucky one. If the cost of developing and maintaining the tooling becomes sufficiently low, the benefits of the approach I'm outlining become sufficiently large to be worth the while - at least in some settings (think YaST2, for example).

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

_anomaly_ (127254) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797869)

Why? Because you'd be clueless without an IDE to hold your hand?

No, because I've been there, done that, and there's absolutely no reason to reinvent the wheel. If the wheel you're using isn't adequate or doesn't fit your needs, find another wheel that is and does. In the rare case that the wheel you need doesn't exist, then sure, re-create it, but your time is often best spent figuring out an elegant solution to efficiently and effectively use an existing one rather than starting from scratch.

The best way of doing that is to look at the problem from a bird's perspective, concentrate the commonalities in a common runtime (including all sorts of defaults, layout rules etc.), design a tiny declarative language for driving it and use it to design the dialogs and interactions.

OK, now I'm beginning to think you're just trolling. You're saying we should, instead of using an existing visual IDE tailored to the environment we're targeting, we should create our own UI backend, resulting in an visual development environment of our own.

I've seen the UI designers available these days and I wasn't impressed

That says, well, nothing.

You couldn't even retarget your UI to another widget toolkit

OK, now I know you're trolling.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798905)

but your time is often best spent figuring out an elegant solution to efficiently and effectively use an existing one rather than starting from scratch.

Obviously, we have a different perspective of what "scratch" is. Nowhere am I suggesting that you should develop your own OS, compiler, or even standard library. You can even keep your UI toolkit, unless it's one of those horribly botched ones!

OK, now I'm beginning to think you're just trolling. You're saying we should, instead of using an existing visual IDE tailored to the environment we're targeting, we should create our own UI backend, resulting in an visual development environment of our own.

No, you can't even read. Nowhere am I suggesting that you should develop your own UI backend. This is about ways of driving it. You think I'm wrong? So tell me, why did Mozilla (with XUL), W3C (with HTML5), Sun (with JavaFX), and Microsoft (with XAML and HTML5) come to exactly the same conclusion that I did?

OK, now I know you're trolling.

Your epistemology needs a fixing.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42799151)

Depends on the GUI toolkit I have to use. The standard old Windows toolkit, yea, that thing is a nightmare without the visual editor. WPF, Gtk, QT, Tk, no problem in a text editor.

Re:Text editors are still around. (2)

SerpentMage (13390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797039)

Screw YOU! Seriously I was around coding with QuickC, Quick Basic, EMACS, VI (before it became VIM). You know the days when moving the cursor meant using the keyboard not that wussy easy reference called the arrow keys.

I am extremely happy about having code wizards because I remember the days we had to use printf's for debugging as the debugger meant going down to assembly. It was not pretty and it was downright difficult to code, debug, and run. Sure I got hair on my chest, but I would gladly trade it in for actually getting things done!

I don't code in C and C++ anymore because I actually like to get my program to work. I am not dissing C++ as I am telling my brother to learn C++ as his first programming language. For him C++ is excellent because he works with robots, and industrial automation and in that context Java, and non low level languages can have problems. But for application programming its all about Java, C#, etc...

Re:Text editors are still around. (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797147)

You know the days when moving the cursor meant using the keyboard not that wussy easy reference called the arrow keys.

To this day I sometimes lapse into C-p/C-n/C-F/C-b (cursor up,down,right,left) when using emacs, just to avoid moving my hand over to the arrow keys. I use C-a/C-e/M-</M-> all the time, too. I do this in both emacs (my 'light, fast' editor of choice for quickly editing text) and WingIDE using emacs keybindings.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798995)

To this day I sometimes lapse into C-p/C-n/C-F/C-b (cursor up,down,right,left) when using emacs

If you are ever forced to write in MS-Word, there is VBacs which assigns simple emacs movement commands (and others) to the keyboard. Doesn't make Word any better, but at least editing text is bearable.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798039)

I was hand-drawing my GUIs on paper and then coding on VI and manually running javac on my code from terminal session. This, of course was in the early Java days, which was my first language/platform out of college. Back then we used AWT, Swing wouldn't be around for at least a year after I started and we got along famously.

Not even Java Workshop had been out by then and Netbeans was a long ways from being founded (it was a "company" before it became a "project").

So yeah, we did code Java without and IDE back then, and you can bet you can still code Java (good code even) without an IDE today. It might not be the most efficient path for some/most tasks, but it's not impossible.

And, yes, I did have the API docs open on a Netscape Navigator 2.20 window which I had downloaded at the university's lab, and then brought home because my own dial-up connection was too slow. I did, however, manage to commit a good deal of the API calls to memory and after a while I only looked at the docs for very specific things.

Now, would you, kindly, get the fuck off my lawn!

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796879)

Not only that, but a text editor is part of an IDE, specifically it's the part that's used to actually write code. IDE != visual editor, although it certainly can include one.

Re:Text editors are still around. (1, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796907)

Plenty of unix C/C++/script/python coders still use vi and emacs.

OK, I'll bite. Real programmers use emacs.

Re:Text editors are still around. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797313)

Plenty of unix C/C++/script/python coders still use vi and emacs.

OK, I'll bite. Real programmers use emacs.

No, real programmers use

cat > a.out && chmod 0755 a.out

Re:Text editors are still around. (1)

nblender (741424) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798983)

You forgot "cat > /vmunix"

Re:Text editors are still around. (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797407)

blah blah blah butterflies. Yeah, we've seen XKCD.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797579)

Plenty of unix C/C++/script/python coders still use vi and emacs.

OK, I'll bite. Real programmers use emacs.

I'll just post the entire debate rather than watch it re-enacted. [xkcd.com]

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797699)

Masochism? Is that you?

emacs IS an ide (0)

nten (709128) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796995)

Not even just an ide, emacs is "a great OS with a terrible text editor attached" I don't know anyone who just uses vi anymore either. Most use vim. I use add-ons for autocomplete in C++ to vim. Only thing I miss is an integrated debugger, I find clewn to be kind of unwieldy.

Does someone know if there are add-ons for vim that will parse your header hierarchy and create temporary ctags files when you open a Makefile? Or a gdb integrator that is at least a little bit less painful than using gdb? I would like a visual studio style ide for linux if I could get one.

Re: emacs IS an ide (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797077)

"I don't know anyone who just uses vi anymore either. Most use vim"

I think its fair to say that "vi" and "vim" are interchangable names these days and have been for about a decade.

Re: emacs IS an ide (1)

cgt (1976654) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798731)

It really annoys me when people say vi instead of vim. It probably has something to do with “vi” often being an alias to vim on many systems.

Re: emacs IS an ide (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797565)

I would like a visual studio style ide for linux if I could get one.

I sometimes joke about a perverted hack where you would run Visual Studio inside Wine (modern versions of VS currently don't run) and somehow modify the tool chain settings to produce Linux binaries (MinGW?).

Anyway, how about QT Creator or KDevelop? They work great for non-qt work too.

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Kwpolska (2026252) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797029)

IDEs rule the roost in Shit and Shit development,

FTFY

Re:Text editors are still around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797049)

"There was a time when programs were written in text editors."

One of the earliest ones was even visual. The first IDE looked like this:

$ rm a.out ; vi foo.c ; cc foo.c ; ./a.out

If the program didn't compile, you got an error message. If the program compiled successfully, you could play with it and see if it had bugs in it. Either way, you used the output of either the compiler or the executable, then hit ESC, followed by "k", and ENTER in order to re-enter the development environment where you could fix the bug.

Documentation was available from within the IDE by typing ESC and !man printf and hitting ENTER. Out of the IDE, you didn't need the ESC key and the "!".

Re:Text editors are still around. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797663)

Come to think of it, the whole UNIX operating system, with all of its little tools, kind of encompasses a complete IDE inside it.

Smalltalk 80 (72?) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796735)

Personally I consider smalltalk the mother of the IDE (and GUI as well). Nothing has surpassed it yet....

Re:Smalltalk 80 (72?) (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796867)

Smalltalk-80 (well, Smalltalk-76) was the first truly visual development environment, although an honorary mention goes to some Lisp implementations, especially MacLisp (no connection to the Apple Macintosh, although later versions could kind-of run on a Mac, but only using the 68000 as a coprocessor for handling the display and input peripherals, with the real work being done in an expansion card). NeXT was the company that brought the RAD stuff into something vaguely mainstream though, and VB was Microsoft's attempt to copy the NeXT development tools on Windows. As with many such things (not just from Microsoft), they successfully copied the superficial, but largely missed the point.

Re:Smalltalk 80 (72?) (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797081)

I can understand your context, but I would say we did pass smalltalk. Sure at the time it was rocket science, but what bothered me then, and still does today is the fact that small talk wants to rewrite mathematical precedence. As an engineer I thought, "ok screw that language". But for the idea of a running VM, with edit, debug, etc, yeah you can say Smalltalk was the basis, or at least got it going on an industrial level.

Re:Smalltalk 80 (72?) (2)

Fubari (196373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798135)

Operator precedence was your primary issue with Smalltalk?
I remember reading Alan Kay's starting goals with Smalltalk was to have a language syntax that would fit on a 3x5 index card. Instead wasting brain cells on that abortion known as C++ operator precedence (Java, C#, C aren't much better btw), you have a single rule that works everywhere: left to right. That's it.

Let's tie this back to the Fine Article: Checking in at 1979 (I don't see this in the article), I'd say Smalltalk has a good shot at being the first IDE:

Steve Jobs on Smalltalk [smalltalk.org]
Steve Jobs had co-founded Apple Computer in 1976. The first popular personal computer, the Apple 2, was a hit - and made Steve Jobs one of the biggest names of a brand-new industry.
At the height of Apple's early success in December 1979, Jobs, then all of 24, had a privileged invitation to visit Xerox Parc. (emphasis added)

This is what Steve had to say about his visit to Xerox Parc.
"And they showed me really three things.
But I was so blinded by the first one I didn't even really see the other two.
One of the things they showed me was object orienting programming they showed me that but I didn't even see that.
The other one they showed me was a networked computer system...they had over a hundred Alto computers all networked using email etc., etc., I didn't even see that.
I was so blinded by the first thing they showed me which was the graphical user interface. I thought it was the best thing I'd ever seen in my life. Now remember it was very flawed, what we saw was incomplete, they'd done a bunch of things wrong. But we didn't know that at the time but still though they had the germ of the idea was there and they'd done it very well and within you know ten minutes it was obvious to me that all computers would work like this some day."

You say we've moved "beyond" Smalltalk ?
Away from it, sure.
But beyond? Unless you're Smalltalk fluent, how would you know?
I'm not saying that to be rude: please consider what Paul Graham said about how programmers rate languages; he expressed this idea very well in Beating The Averages [paulgraham.com] : here is the relevant excerpt:

Programmers get very attached to their favorite languages, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so to explain this point I'm going to use a hypothetical language called Blub. Blub falls right in the middle of the abstractness continuum. It is not the most powerful language, but it is more powerful than Cobol or machine language.

And in fact, our hypothetical Blub programmer wouldn't use either of them. Of course he wouldn't program in machine language. That's what compilers are for. And as for Cobol, he doesn't know how anyone can get anything done with it. It doesn't even have x (Blub feature of your choice).

As long as our hypothetical Blub programmer is looking down the power continuum, he knows he's looking down. Languages less powerful than Blub are obviously less powerful, because they're missing some feature he's used to. But when our hypothetical Blub programmer looks in the other direction, up the power continuum, he doesn't realize he's looking up. What he sees are merely weird languages. He probably considers them about equivalent in power to Blub, but with all this other hairy stuff thrown in as well. Blub is good enough for him, because he thinks in Blub.

When we switch to the point of view of a programmer using any of the languages higher up the power continuum, however, we find that he in turn looks down upon Blub. How can you get anything done in Blub? It doesn't even have y.

By induction, the only programmers in a position to see all the differences in power between the various languages are those who understand the most powerful one. (This is probably what Eric Raymond meant about Lisp making you a better programmer.) You can't trust the opinions of the others, because of the Blub paradox: they're satisfied with whatever language they happen to use, because it dictates the way they think about programs.

I know this from my own experience, as a high school kid writing programs in Basic. That language didn't even support recursion. It's hard to imagine writing programs without using recursion, but I didn't miss it at the time. I thought in Basic. And I was a whiz at it. Master of all I surveyed.

The five languages that Eric Raymond recommends to hackers fall at various points on the power continuum. Where they fall relative to one another is a sensitive topic. What I will say is that I think Lisp is at the top. And to support this claim I'll tell you about one of the things I find missing when I look at the other four languages. How can you get anything done in them, I think, without macros?

Incidentally this is why I'm studying Lisp via clojure now.
I never got into Lisp beyond some Scheme back in school, so it's time for another look.

Re:Smalltalk 80 (72?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798659)

Read the Graham quote, and there at the end - "How can you get anything done in them, I think, without macros?" is probably something that people without Lisp experience are not going to grok just because there are other languages that have a thing called 'macros'. And then I look in the link (having not read that article in a while) and find Graham explaining the difference.

It kind of reinforces the point of the portion you quoted, the way you quoted it, leaving out the further explanation of what Lisp macros are. If you already know, you'll get it immediately - if you don't, you might well sit there and say 'But ... C has macros! C++ has macros!' and miss it completely.

More about Macros... (1)

Fubari (196373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42799481)

Read the Graham quote, and there at the end - "How can you get anything done in them, I think, without macros?" is probably something that people without Lisp experience are not going to grok just because there are other languages that have a thing called 'macros'. And then I look in the link (having not read that article in a while) and find Graham explaining the difference.

It kind of reinforces the point of the portion you quoted, the way you quoted it, leaving out the further explanation of what Lisp macros are. If you already know, you'll get it immediately - if you don't, you might well sit there and say 'But ... C has macros! C++ has macros!' and miss it completely.

Quite true; it was already getting to be a longish post. :-)
For the readers who may not know much about Lisp here are the next few sections: Graham's original essay is worth a read. http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html [paulgraham.com] . Quite thought provoking.
Any way, here's the bit on macros:

Many languages have something called a macro. But Lisp macros are unique. And believe it or not, what they do is related to the parentheses. The designers of Lisp didn't put all those parentheses in the language just to be different. To the Blub programmer, Lisp code looks weird. But those parentheses are there for a reason. They are the outward evidence of a fundamental difference between Lisp and other languages.

Lisp code is made out of Lisp data objects. And not in the trivial sense that the source files contain characters, and strings are one of the data types supported by the language. Lisp code, after it's read by the parser, is made of data structures that you can traverse.

If you understand how compilers work, what's really going on is not so much that Lisp has a strange syntax as that Lisp has no syntax. You write programs in the parse trees that get generated within the compiler when other languages are parsed. But these parse trees are fully accessible to your programs. You can write programs that manipulate them. In Lisp, these programs are called macros. They are programs that write programs.

Borland ObjectVision, IBM VisualAge (2)

alter-memo (1896704) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796793)

I remember ObjectVision as an interesting example of visual programming by configuring blocks. Unfortunately it was very limited, and one reached the boundaries quite fast. IBM VisualAge is another story. I cannot remember a more complete, truer IDE than this. I used it mainly in Smalltalk and Java, but other versions for C/C++, Basic, and even COBOL existed. But it really shined in Smalltalk, it native environment. VisualAge allowed to put the pieces of a program together graphically, autogenerate code, switch to code and extend it programatically, keep version control of every time you push save, debug in place.... it was an amazing product. I am glad many features where migrated to Eclipse, but I miss the overall experience of putting a visual prototype together in one afternoon.

Visual Development Environment != IDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796797)

I'm sorry but the author seems confused about many things. But I used Emacs as my IDE.

I would say dBase II from 1979 predated them all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796817)

Integrated compilation and code editing, and integrated debugging.

Re:I would say dBase II from 1979 predated them al (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797467)

Integrated compilation and code editing, and integrated debugging.

Come on, have all of you forgotten Forth? You could have integrated *incremental* compilation, code editing, and debugging on the first IBM PCs just fine, including support for multi-tasking, virtual memory, graphics, integrated assembly for optimizing critical code, and whatnot. In fact, people had all this on 8-bit machines before that!

Microsoft did not create VB... (2)

jfbilodeau (931293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796837)

VB was created by a company named Tripod and later purchased by MS.

Hypercard (4, Insightful)

Spectre (1685) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796859)

When I think of "visual programming" the first thing I think of is Hypercard ... I was at uni when that came out, so late 80's?

Re:Hypercard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797133)

When I think of "visual programming" the first thing I think of is Hypercard ... I was at uni when that came out, so late 80's?

The two I had on the Mac were Hypercard and Double Helix. I think about 1988 or so - about the time Illustrator came out...

Re:Hypercard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797231)

Visual programming, I never got to play with Hypercard, so the first thing I think of is a DOS program found lurking in the darkest recesses on a Lab machine, basically doodle a flowchart, and it took that and dumped out C, Basic, Fortran or Pascal code (there may have been other languages, I cant remember.). This was the early 90's (92-93 or so). It seemed to work as advertised, but as I was more into assembly at the time, and the machine that had this software on it also had a rather nice assembler lurking on it as well, I didn't spend too much time doodling flowcharts to fully test it.

No idea what this software was called,

Re:Hypercard (2)

DdJ (10790) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797353)

Yeup, the first two I used were HyperCard on the Macintosh in 1987 or so, and "Interface Builder" on prerelease NeXT machines in 1989.

"Interface Builder" is why NeXT systems were so popular with Wall Street for a long time. It was amazing. And the IDE for iPhone development is a direct descendant of that first version I used, and to this day has a lot in common with it.

(Yes, I really was programming a NeXT in 1989. I was at Carnegie Mellon at the time, where the Mach kernel was developed, so we had lots of prerelease access to them. My first NeXT Cube was running version 0.8 of the OS.)

Sorry, but the PC was late (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796875)

EMACS on the DEC 10s/20s was able to do context sensitive editing, build and debug (DDT invocation) all within the app. This was in the 70s and early 80s.
I used it for C and Macro Assembler all the time and while most people think that EMACS was just an editor, its scripting capabilities made it very, very unique in its abilities to handle integration. The DECUS tapes were full of examples from folks all over the world who did some amazing things with development tools, all before the "open source" and "free software" concepts came into being.

Re:Sorry, but the PC was late (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796937)

people think that EMACS was just an editor, its scripting capabilities made it very, very unique in its abilities to handle integration

Wow, so not just a little unique?

Re:Sorry, but the PC was late (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797241)

LOL, well as the synopsis indicates there were lots of editors around, on the DEC side you had TECO, TV ( a friendlier version of TECO ) on the UNIX side you had TECO and let's not forget the mainframes with SPF (at least my workings with it under MVS/XA).

To this day there are still people who won't let go of EMACS and they consider any platform or O/S that doesn't have a port of it to be primitive. I'm not in that camp, but trust me you never want to cross paths on editor basics with an EMACS biggot.

Re:Sorry, but the PC was late (1)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797531)

I can't remember their names, but there were two programming editors I used on VMS. Both had their quirks - the first wouldn't wrap text that was wider than the terminal screen (72 characters?), nor could it scroll. The second could wrap, but wouldn't allow you to do a "save as", which was a bit of a pain as you could accidentally navigate to a non-existent directory and open a new file by mistyping the name of the directory you'd intended to create the file in. You'd then happily enter a bunch of code, only to discover your navigation mistake when you went to save the file. Cue a bunch of DCL (DEC Command Language - the VMS shell scripting language) to create a 'cd' command that would check for the existence of a directory ...

Re:Sorry, but the PC was late (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797705)

Well not to mention that fact that most of the UNIX ports to VMS used the Raw File System I/O ala UNIX and not the RMS mechanisms, so a DEC text editor couldn't open a file written by the DECus vi for example. You had to convert it first to get into )(*@)(# RMS format.

LISP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796897)

UCI LISP was the first one I used (PDP-10) in school. Which would put it about 1973/74.

MacBASIC (which VisualBASIC was based on) (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796901)

all the gory details here:

http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?story=MacBasic.txt [folklore.org]

A later development was Borland's ObjectVision --- there was even provision for loading ObjectVision files into other more sophisticated Borland environments if memory serves.

NeXTstep of course had Interface Builder and Project Builder around that time as well.

William

hate IDEs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796919)

I started using IDEs off and on since Borland's visual line. I've hated -every- single one. The biggest problem with them is that they seem to think they know better than you what you're trying to accomplish, and if you do something even -slightly- out of their paradigm, they make it very difficult.

Define IDE (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796927)

...because the ZX80 (and ZX81 and Sinclair Spectrum, which used more advanced versions of the same BASIC) had a visual editor with keywords auto-completed and dynamic syntax checking back in 1980. ZX BASIC was even windowed (on a 32x24 character screen!) with the upper window being for program I/O and/or viewing the program code, the lower for entering commands, seeing status information, and editing lines.

The thing about an IDE is that it's an obvious concept and pretty much anyone who's tried to make programming more user friendly has implemented such a thing. True, NetBeans looks nothing like the ZX80 or EMACS, but then Java in 2013 looks nothing like ZX BASIC either - as languages have evolved and projects have become more complex, the tools to manage them have needed to become more complex and manage more concepts.

What's funny is that we bothered giving the concept a name at an arbitrary cut-off point in the development of development environments.

Re:Define IDE (1)

InsectOverlord (1758006) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798291)

Speccy FTW! In all fairness, I find it quite a stretch to call it visual, windowed and auto-completed. As I understand it,
Visual == including a WYSIWYG functionality to edit the user interface
Auto-complete == search-as-you-type keywords and variable names (not the same as a single keystroke generating a keyword, as cool as it was)
Windowed == having at least some ability to resize and move windows

IDEs are not necessarily graphical (1)

Anthony J. Bentley (2833545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796939)

A comment attached to the story lists two IDEs that preceded VB; can you name others?

Yes, Unix. Unix is an integrated development environment.

My favorite IDE - AutoCad (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797019)

Back in the late 80's early 90's my favourite IDE was actually AutoCad plus and external compiler being used to program a Bailey Network 90 Distributed Control System (mentioned deep in Distributed Control Systems [wikipedia.org] ).

You drew up the process control drawings in AutoCad and visually connected data signals from processing block to processing block and when finished you pushed the AutoCad drawings through the compiler (which on the Compaq 286 we had took all night for the job I was working on) . This produced the executable code that you then downloaded to the controllers. It was the best example of self documenting code that I have seen as the AutoCad drawings were always up to date.

It was a pity that the application software libraries on the controllers themselves were so bug ridden, but otherwise it was a great system. Except for the controllers running standard MS Basic on 68K? boards (which was good), while the operator stations ran TI Basic on a TI/99 board (which was bad) - and also used 8 inch floppies for storage.

LabVIEW (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797059)

Is this article about GIDE or IDE? VB was definitely not the first IDE. Hell it wasn't even the first GIDE. We were using National Instruments LabVIEW [ni.com] a couple of years before VB. Of course it was instrument control specific but ran on a MAC [wikipedia.org] or a PC.

I wrote my own "IDE" on MSDOS 3 (2)

alecclews (152316) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797071)

Back in the day I used MS C/C++ 5.1 (one of their finer products IMHO). This was classical command line suite with compiler, linker, make and a nice editor (called me I think).

Based on an idea in .EXE magazine I wrote a special make file and a batch script that:

1) Run the special make file to generate a new temp batch script to compile the code (only one file) as needed
2) Ran the new temp batch file
3) Saved the error report if present
4) If the error report was present then parse the errors and source code to the editor for correction
5) Jump to step 1 until all files were made

It was so bloody arcane so that as little was running in memory at one. It was either make, the compiler or the editor using the precious 640K at at time. But it certainly felt a lit faster in the compile/edit/cycle once I got it working.

Visual Development - as in "inventin on principle" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797075)

When I read "visual development" I thought on Bret Victor's "Inventing on Principle"
See Presentation at http://vimeo.com/36579366 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUv66718DII

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797101)

"In addition to helping developers writing their own code, Delphi introduced the concept of building applications from pre-fabricated objects."

That's wrong. Turbo Pascal 6.0 already had an OOP framework for building applications (called Turbo Vision). Yes, you still were writing code in a text editor inside the IDE in order to create the objects. But the framework was already there. There was a class ("object type" in Turbo Pascal speak) for the application, another one for windows, with a dialog class derived from that, there were classes for buttons, input boxes, menus, ...

Yes, those applications were in text mode, but it still implemented a full-fledged windowing system. Just that you couldn't put fancy graphics into your windows.

Turbo Pascal 7.0 also introduced a Windows version, which included a similar class library for Windows. Not the same as the Delphi one (for Delphi, Borland completely reworked the object system, and therefore provided a new library implemented using the new object system), but a complete OOP framework with pre-made classes for programming under Windows.

The only thing "visual programming" added was a point-and-click interface for creating such objects.

Well, I'm sure Turbo Pascal was not the first compiler to have such a framework (wasn't it the whole point of OOP to begin with?). But the point is, Borland didn't introduce it as answer to VB, but provided it already before. Only the point-and-click part wasn't there (not that you didn't have a mouse interface in Turbo Pascal; just that you didn't generate source code that way.)

Re:Wrong (1)

colfer (619105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798337)

Borland's early Turbo compilers were amazing (fit on two floppies, and fast). They used a DOS-based windowing system called Turbo Vision. Your app ended up looking like the Turbo IDE, with windows, drop down menus, checkboxes, etc., instead of the Windows 3.1 API. Indeed you could draw color graphics and animate math functions, etc., though that may have been in some kind of full screen mode.

Borland went over to the Windows API soon after all that. It all went to heck for Borland C++ when they dropped the Turbo name in the mid 1990s. Just too buggy to run (version 5). But Borland's Delphi Pascal stayed strong, and I use a text editor written in Delphi to this day. There were lots of user-contributed components, for instance, to make internet protocols work! Microsoft wasn't the only company that missed the boat on TCP/IP. Borland, like MS, put much of its effort into desktop database libraries instead.

Ahahahaah!!! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797139)

> A comment attached to the story lists two IDEs that preceded VB; can you name others?

A comment attached to the story lists two spacecraft that preceded the Space Shuttle; can you name others?
Oh God... Am i REALLY this old???

Seriously? (4, Informative)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797181)

While TurboPascal launched the idea of an integrated development environment, [Jeff] Duntemann credits Microsoft's Visual Basic (VB), launched in 1991, with being the first real IDE

Which makes him a retard. Form designers are not the primary component of IDEs, nor are they necessary to be called an IDE.

Re:Seriously? (1)

defaria (741527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797755)

Everybody knows the first real IDE was and still is Emacs! Emacs is dead - long live Emacs!

Early IDEs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797219)

The article is unclear in distinguishing "visual" environments from "IDE"s. Certainly Macintosh Common Lisp and probably Lightspeed Pascal/C deserve recognition as earlier IDEs.

Lisp machines predate all these by a decade (1)

William_K_F (931097) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797221)

While not on the same hardware as the x86 pcs, both Symbolics (owned the first .com domain) and Lisp Machines International had IDEs on their custom hardware platform's Lisp machines. The genesis of both of these was from the work that originated at MIT in the early 1980s.

Re:Lisp machines predate all these by a decade (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797295)

Why don't you just tell the truth and say that this visual development environment was developed on MIT CADR and then shamelessly copied by Symbolics and LMI?

HP workstations in the 1970s (1)

HWguy (147772) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797275)

Arguably these may be considered a predecessor to visual development environments but HP workstations starting in the 1970s had integrated editing and compiling including fairly sophisticated graphics and built-in IO support for the entire range of HP peripherals from disks, printers and plotters to HP instruments. HP started with a proprietary language, HPL, but they also supported a BASIC dialect in the 80 series and a super-fast Pascal development environment in the 200 series. These systems were not cheap but they were amazingly capable.

http://www.hpmuseum.net/

Re:HP workstations in the 1970s (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797343)

There was no graphical component to the development environment. It was no different from any of the other systems of the time in that respect.

RHIDE (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797809)

Do you still remember RHIDE? It was usually combined with DJGPP (C/C++ build tools for DOS). RHIDE was nifty and easy to use.

What I'd like to try out, and this does sound a bit silly, but some minimalist IDE for the Modern UI. I tried browsing the Windows Store but there wasn't much coding stuff available at all.

Re:RHIDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798933)

How about Geany or Notepad++? Both lightweight text editors with IDE features.

Re:RHIDE (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42799045)

Sure, why not.

Earlier IDEs (3, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797937)

Without even trying to do any historic digging:

Asymetrix Toolbook shipped "with" Windows well before VB. In fact the company I worked for foolishly assumed it was "part of" Windows. Toolbook, in turn, was not exactly a knockoff of HyperCard, but was certainly a member of the same genre.

LabView for the Macintosh shipped in 1986, and not only still exists but has a very solid niche in some circles. LabView is such a pure visual IDE that there are not visible lines of code as such; it is all wiring diagrams.

Bill Budge's 1983 Pinball Construction Set, for the Apple ][ and Atari, was certainly an IDE, although for a restricted class of applications.

Incidentally, it seems to me that the later incarnations of Visual Studio are considerably less "integrated" than the original Visual Basic was. Visual Studio has the feeling to me of being no more "integrated" than, say, Borland C++ or the (1985) MacPascal. Unlike VB, it just had a fairly crude resource-editor-like "drawing" environment. It feels OK when you're creating things for the first time, but the visual objects do not really "contain" code--they have a very loose and fragile connection to the code associated with them.

Apple Instant Pascal was the first IDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798015)

Apple Instant Pascal, which I used in 1987 and already existed as another company's product (bought and rebranded by Apple), was the first graphical IDE as we know it with a graphical, window-driven edit/compile/run/debug cycle. Turbo Pascal did not become fully integrated until 4.0 in late 1987, and even then it was only a character-mode interface. (Turbo Basic, Turbo Pascal, and Turbo C all came out around 1987 with the same character-mode interface.) The older Turbo Pascal was not fully integrated, since you had to leave the editor to compile and run. The 1987 releases had what we know as an IDE. Visual Basic for Windows lagged Apple Instant Pascal by at least 5 years, maybe more.

Now I used Apple Instant Pascal on an Apple IIe machine without a mouse, which was painful but it did work. The environment was designed for the then-new Apple IIgs, which had a mouse.

How far it's fallen... (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798767)

Seriously, a couple weeks ago there was an article warning us all of the coming Unix Epoch doom, and today we are learning about a magical time when programs were written with editors! I understand that Dice.com as a job board is used to serving the lowest common denominator when it comes to IT and software "professionals," but give me a break.

Programs still written in text editors (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798839)

Why is the summary talking of this as if it were the past? Of course programs are still written in text editors.
Few people use IDEs, since they have scalability problems and usually interact badly with complex toolchains or build systems...

But if you were to use an IDE, Visual Studio is definitely a bad idea. On top of only working with a very sub-par compiler, it's also terribly slow and inflexible.

The 'Maestro I' - 1975! (1)

Eyeballs (64172) | about a year and a half ago | (#42799159)

The 1975 article (in German):
http://www.computerwoche.de/a/interaktives-programmieren-als-systems-schlager,1205421

Google Translate:
"New to PET is the online resource management deck with a kind of list management. The next step of development is certainly the effect that the list is no longer printed, but will be converted so that only one error list is written - so you can watch the program.

Pioneering is the interactive programming."

WatFor77 IDE for fortran in 1984 (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42799365)

I used to use a FORTRAN77 IDE in PC-XT back in 1983. It had an integrated editor, compiler, step through debugger. It supported all the ASCII escape character codes to move the cursor on the screen of a EGA display (640 x 480). I wrote a cross-word puzzle grid generator in fortran using it. Move the cursor, click to toggle squares to black/white, with automatic symmetry squares kept in synch. Some minor snow flake simulation, and a Laplace equation solver using finite differences, and a 2D contour plot program. Pretty nice and powerful, for something that runs on a PC-XT.
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