Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I think I'm about to give up on Xcode. It's not just about the IDE, is that the debugger is frankly not even close to Visual Studio's one.
It might be me, but I rely a lot on the debugger to actually write code. I mean, sometimes I will write some code and then expect to freely go through the debugger and see if and how it really works 8)

With Xcode I can't see what's inside STL vectors, and not even see what's inside my own vectors, because I can't find a way to see an array of values (perhaps there is a way out there ?).

The IDE also is pretty sad.. I think that Apple would be better off trying to copy Visual Studio. The alternative layouts that Xcode offers are frankly not good enough. The all-in-one layout is the closest thing, but it places sub windows the way it wants.. which is silly as the code window while debugging is a full horizontal slice, while code normally does not extend as wide.

I think I'm at the tipping point and this could have a snowball effect for someone that has been trying hard to be happy with OS X.
Nowadays every OS out there is mature enough to please most people. But every one has some killer application that just can't do without.. for me that's Visual Studio.


  1. I'm using Xcode since September 2008 to develop on the iPhone, and I can agree. Xcode sucks! :-)

  2. Cool! I mean... not so cool actually...

    I guess you have to give up something in order to gain something. If you're willing to give up on some great software in order to get the higher usability of the Macs, then you're fine.

    Otherwise, we may be stuck with the Microsoft OSs for good...! :/

  3. Mr. Kaz,

    You could always develop your program under Windows and make sure that it's portable to OS X ... but I guess this wasn't your original plan. I've used worse than XCode ... trust me ... :) I haven't done much digging, but I'm sure there are ways to get good debug sessions going; afterall, my guess is that this what Apple uses to make their own applications and it would seem strange if there was nothing.

    If anything, the documentation for XCode while "there" seems just poorly organized and requires hours of searching to find what you need.

  4. Mr. Farenga,

    OK, but what do people at Apple use ?? Maybe Emacs or TextMate ? And for debugging.. do Apple programmers really have to suffer so much ?

    Give something up ? Kind of like an artist having to use The Gimp instead of Photoshop, or a marathon runner to give up a leg 8)

    Mr. Ragin,
    yeah.. I guess in the end I can keep the thing portable. It doesn't take much since I'm already using GLUT to open a window for me and to give me a basic menu.
    Also one OpenGL texture to render into and blit on screen 8)

    But I'm really curious to know what Apple programmers use..

  5. I guess we can start here:
    XCode Debugging Guide

    I think I'll be having more time in the future to work under XCode ... so let's share any tips we come across. :)

  6. Funny enough, I've just started playing with XCode for iPhone development... let's see what comes out of it (and let's see if I have enough time!!!)

  7. Cool.. let us know how it goes with iPhone dev.
    I've got more than one friend trying to get me involved with some sort of iPhone development. But I only went as far as installing and running the demo with the spinning quad 8)

  8. Ha ha ha ... that's as far as I got! 8P

  9. I gave up while installing OSX on VMware instead. :-) better to look for webOS.

    I tried some other dev tool but VS is far better than any other else. and latest additions - such as nested tooltips to watch objects even with xml viewer, and the improved javascript debugger one click away on the runtime project view - make it to fly over for years.

  10. I have to agree with the comments re: Xcode. Cranky window management, insufficient keyboard shortcuts, basically worthless debugger. It's the Objective C of IDEs.