Watch Your Language: The Impact of the Development Environment

How does the development environment affect the use of a methodology? Or vice versa? Object oriented programming uses a few select programming languages. The earliest was SmallTalk, which looked like the winner for the longest time until its two proponents merged together and, by trying to unify their efforts and create a standard language, effectively killed that language. There are still many developers using SmallTalk (and one of its spin-offs, called Squeak). There are two development environments that support SmallTalk. One if Enfin from OTI and the other is VisualAge from IBM. You will hear nothing but rave reviews for both from developers. The support environment allows programmers to manage their code base effectively. It allows them to debug and trace program execution, see visually the links between objects and their interaction at run-time.

C++ is by far the most used OO language, building on the huge base of C programming skills. The support environment for C++ is fairly extensive and consists of a hodgepodge of components to allow programmers to manage code, model their programs, debug and trace those deadly memory leaks. Modeling tools even provide mechanisms to generate code in C++. C++ has received a lot of attention from the telecommunication sector. Maybe that is because the language and its derivatives were invented at AT&T Bell Labs. There is even a …


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"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them."

- Mark Twain

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