(malware) Does Visual Studio Rot the Mind?

Let's face it. GUI tools rot the mind, and that it's worse if the mind they're rotting is of a programmer as opposed to a mere user. Us macho programmers who've been coding for more than 20 years (wow, I'm that old?) or younger kids who have somehow resisted being lured into the dark side and are working in sane environments (which means anything Unix-like) will also agree. There's nothing new there.

What's new is to hear stuff like this from Charles Petzold, who's written more books on Windows programming and for a longer time than you'd imagine if you hadn't heard of him!

Does Visual Studio Rot the Mind?

Visual Studio can be one of the programmer's best friends, but over the years it has become increasingly pushy, domineering, and suffering from unsettling control issues. Should we just surrender to Visual Studio's insistence on writing our code for us? Or is Visual Studio sapping our programming intelligence rather than augmenting it?

More choice comments from the article:

Some observers of our digital lives have noticed the way in which certain applications cause a user to think in very rigid prescribed ways, and these are not good. One of the biggest offenders, of course, is PowerPoint. Start putting what you want to communicate in PowerPoint slides, and everything you want to say is ordered into half a dozen bullet items.


Certain features in Visual Studio are supposed to make us more productive, and yet for me, they seem to denigrate and degrade the programming experience.


On the plus side, if you really need to define an object of type IDataGridColumnStyleEditingNotificationService, all you need do is type id and a space.


And I think it's making us dumber.


Eventually, the interactive design stuff found its way into development with C++ and the Microsoft Foundation Classes, and there, I truly believe, code generation was used to hide a lot of really hairy MFC support that nobody wanted to talk about.


If Visual Studio really wanted you to write good code, every time you dragged a control onto your form, an annoying dialog would pop up saying "Type in a meaningful name for this control." But Visual Studio is not interested in having you write good code. It wants you to write code fast.

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