So I'm stuck on this long flight (almost 5 hours left to go now), and I'm catching up on my journal reading - I'm reading the SDTimes columnists, and I come across something interesting - in an article by Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, I read this:
It (Jackpot) is good, but there's one problem with Jackpot - The program, which was supposed to work with Java in general, hasn't been updatd since the fall of 2002. I fear, like so many other debugging efforts, that it's been placed on the back burner
Well. There are, in fact, great debugging tools available - you just have to use Smalltalk in order to use them. Debuggers for Java aree forensic tools; in Smalltalk, they are surgical tools. Yes, I know there's some "fix and continue" support in Eclips, and in MS' VisualStudio now. I also know, from talking to people that use it - that it's nothing like what you get in Smalltalk. The Smalltalk debugger is a cod browser that lets you step through (and edit) code.
The point about Jackpot being dormant is interesting - there was a lot of buzz about that about a year ago from Gosling. I've always thought that the reason Smalltalk style tools fail to show up in the C language family is that they are so much harder to create in the presence of static typing and weak reflection support; maybe Gosling got tired of pushing the rock uphill. anyhow, here's the thing that popped at me in the column:
Enough is enough. It's time to make debugging code job No. 1. People have put up with bad programs for far too long
He's right - and the answer is over this way