Thursday, November 6, 2003

Xcode External Editors

Nat Irons:

Rather than fix this apparent oversight, Xcode makes the situation much worse. I can’t even view a source file in Xcode when an external editor is in use. That’s beyond sloppy, and into the realm of the punitive. It suggests that external editors were a check-off item for the Project Builder team, and once the feature was hacked together the subject was closed.

After switching to Xcode recently (Project Builder isn’t supported on Panther), I finally had to turn off external editing yesterday so that I could step through my code in the debugger. I had almost turned it off earlier, because with external editing on Xcode doesn’t show you any context with compiler errors.

Also, I can’t use Xcode’s rather nice SCM window because it insists on showing diffs (a) in the third pane of the project window that I’m constantly telling Xcode to hide, or (b) in FileMerge. The option to show them in BBEdit doesn’t work.

All this pales in comparison to the fact that Xcode often throws away changes that I make to my projects. Not only does it not always detect when I make changes and save the project automatically, but it also doesn’t offer a way to save manually. There’s no Save Project command in the File menu. What is this, an iApp?

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It seems hypocritical of Apple to pretend to support external editors with a new developer environment in approximate the same timeframe that the ADC folks post a profile of Bare Bones.

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