The Airsource Blog

User-friendly (but not developer-friendly)

Imagine you're coding away on an IDE that you haven't used for a while, and becoming reacquainted with it. You get to the point where you want to play with breakpoints, and, of course you have some trouble remembering the keyboard shortcuts. Some IDEs make your life easier than others...

In Visual Studio 2005, you hit Ctrl-B to set a breakpoint. If you want a really quick breakpoint with no conditions, hit F9. And use either Ctrl-Alt-B or Alt-F9 to manage them. That's pretty simple. If I don't know what I'm doing, I can do Right Click->Breakpoint->Insert Breakpoint, and Debug->Windows->Breakpoints (that last one is pretty well hidden!). I cut my teeth on PCs, so I'm probably biased, but I like Visual Studio.

xCode is even slicker - I can either hit Apple-\ to get a breakpoint, or do a single-click in the gutter. Smooth. Viewing all the breakpoints is relatively straightforward with Alt-Cmd-B, and from there I can easily see how to add a condition to an existing breakpoint. I reckon Apple win that one, though I'd have preferred the breakpoint shortcut to have something to do with the letter 'B'.

Over to Carbide.c++ 1.3, an Eclipse-based UI, where I can either set a breakpoint with Right-click->Toggle Breakpoint, or use Ctrl-Shift-B. Now, how do I list them? Window->Show View->Breakpoints tells me that the shortcut is Alt-Shift-Q, then hit B. Yes, you heard it right. I had a play around, and found that the combinations Alt-B, Alt-Shift-B, and Ctrl-Alt-B are all completely unused. For some reason known only to Nokia though (and I thought they were supposed to be good at UI?!), a two part, four key sequence was more logical.

Guess what my least favourite IDE is...