The best IDE ever written

I’ve been turning caffeine into code for a long time and for my money the new Xcode 5 (still in beta) is the most delightful IDE I’ve ever used.

I remember back in the 20th century when I wrote code using just a plain ‘ol text editor. Those were the days. Cars had tape decks and the sun shone everyday. But re-compiling your app meant taking a fifteen minute smoke break, and god help you if you had one jar dependency missing in your ant scripts.

I know right?

Over the years there have been a few improvements, Emacs, ultra-edit, Eclipse, Visual Studio, etc. but by and large the advances have been few and far between. Up until recently, every platform has required developers to work really hard in order to accomplish really simple things. Lots of boilerplate code just to get a “hello world” app working. I mean, have you ever tried to putting together a RESTful web-service using Microsoft’s WCF? You might as well try to come up with a unified theory of physics while you’re at it.

Since it’s still in beta (and under NDA), I won’t get too much into the new features of Xcode 5, but I will say this:

Your tools should work for you and not the other way around.

For the first time in the history of computing I’m really excited about my IDE. Here’s what you can look forward to with Xcode 5:

  • It’s freaking FAST!
  • The debugging tools are immensely improved
  • They FIXED auto-layout. Trust me. No more surprises. You don’t have to pull all your hair out. It just works…the way you need it to.
  • Did I mention how FAST it is?
  • Improved git integration (if you’re not on git, switch…now)
  • New and improved testing framework
  • Support for Doxygen style comments

And I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet. Of course there is still one outstanding bug with the Apple LLVM compiler. It still only does what I tell it to do and not what I meant for it to do. Hopefully they’ll fix that in Xcode 6.