The Edit And Continue Debate Rages On

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Looks like Jeff Atwood is not content to let dead dogs lie when he revisits Edit and Continue.

Jeff argues that those decrying E&C are promoting a culture of machismo which implicitely states that “Everyone Should Code The Way We Do”.

As I stated in his comments, I think the real argument is not whether or not E&C is dangerous, but whether it should have a higher priority than other features introduced into VS.NET when the discussion first started.

I am not against E&C as I see it as a tool that can be used or abused like any other. When I was a VB programmer back in the day, I found it helpful at times while debugging a unit test. Rather than endure a compile and re-run unit test cycle that could take a couple minutes, I could simply fix a dumb typo in stride and continue on. I didn’t need it, but used responsibly, it saved me time in certain situations.

However, I wonder if there may have been other features that Microsoft could have focused on that would have been more worthwhile than E&C. When using test driven development practices, I find the need to use E&C greatly reduced. Unit tests provide a bigger bang for my development buck in writing better code. If I had a say in it, I would have suggested that Microsoft really focus on getting the test driven development story right, which they’ve completely failed at so far.

So again, for me it is not a question of whether E&C is useful, I believe it is, but whether it has pushed aside more useful features. What do you think?

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