Exhibit A, McDonagh vs Eclipse Development

Why, oh why, do they always do this?

IBM's Composite Applications blog isn't one of my favorite sites to read. I feel obligated to try and stay on top of the concepts and techniques they're talking about, so I dutifully read each post. But every time, I find myself wondering if this is really how I want to spend my time and energy as a developer (or how I want my developers to spend theirs, as a department manager). Since I don't see anyone else talking about this, I'm sure I'm alone in this. But the more time I spend looking into eclipse development in general, and Notes 8 eclipse development specifically, the more appealing Visual Studio.NET becomes.

The latest post, and the one that finally pushed me over the edge (or at least to the point where I'm willing to complain about it out loud), was a description of the new, simpler way to launch Notes 8 from within the eclipse IDE. The simpler technique, inevitably, is two pages long, involves lots of manual typing, and requires you to complete steps like: 

  • Enter frameworkrcpeclipsepluginscom.ibm.rcp.j2se.win32.x86_1.5.0. for the JRE Home Directory;
  • Select the Arguments tab and put the following text in the Program arguments text box:
-personality com.ibm.rcp.platform.personality
-product com.ibm.notes.branding.notes
-debug
-console
  • Enter the version of the com.ibm.rcp.base plugin that is installed for the value and click "ok".. You can find out the version of the plugin by looking in a directory frameworkrcpeclipseplugins and look for a sub-directory whose name is com.ibm.rcp.base_ (e.g. if the directory name is com.ibm.rcp.base_6.1.1.200707190021 the version is 6.1.1.200707190021)

So I just have to ask: are they out of their freaking minds?!? Has anybody at IBM used a non-IBM IDE lately? Do they somehow not realize that other companies actually try to make developers' lives easier, thus leading to the amazing and completely unpredictable (not) phenomenon where happy creative people generate killer apps that lead to more business for everyone involved? And they wonder why developers prefer working with Microsoft's tools? Here's a clue: maybe its because Microsoft doesn't torture the developers before letting them get to the fun stuff!

Why?!? Just freaking WHY? For cryin' out loud, IBM, would it kill you to throw a simple installation routine together?!? Are you actually trying to make it more difficult for people to build apps for your systems? Is there some ulterior motive to weed out the less geeky and drive up salaries for those developers masochistic enough to continue working with your tools? Seriously, WTF?!?

Ok, rant mode off. Sorry, folks, but I've ALMOST written this post several times, and I finally lost my patience with this stuff tonight.