Yes, I’m giving up on the dream. For most of my time working on the CDT, I’ve tried to help make it the C/C++ IDE for anything and everything. A lot of people flocked to it naturally mainly in areas where it had no real competition, especially in the embedded space. And lately I’m seeing a lot of uptake in the Linux desktop space as well. And looking at the vendors contributing to the CDT, it matches what they were investing in. And that’s great. We’ve really met, and at times exceeded, the objectives we set out for ourselves.
But I always yearned for one more. The Windows desktop space. It was Microsoft Visual Studio 6 that got me into using IDEs and built my passion to work on one. And the CDT has always had Visual Studio as one of the bars we were working towards reaching. And as Microsoft reduced their investment on Visual C++, we were able to meet that bar and scream past it. I remember reading an article where they were struggling with indexing, an area where the CDT is now really strong. That was a proud moment for me.
Yet to really show we’ve met the bar, I felt we needed to have a real IDE distribution that had equivalent functionality to Visual Studio. That meant including a compiler and a strong SDK for building Windows applications. Wascana was my attempt at building that IDE. And I had a lot of great feedback on it. People loved the simplicity of a single install that gave them everything to do their work.
But a few things have happened since I started Wascana. Mainly, I switched jobs and am no longer working 100% on the CDT. In fact it is much less than that, probably just enough to fulfil my duties as project lead. So any work on Wascana would have to be on my own time.
And I need to be honest with myself and you, the passion I once had for CDT for Windows (which should have been the name of this project) is waning. As I blogged about last, my attention is turning to mobile. There are lot of really cool mobile platforms out or about to be released and there is a lot of opportunity in that space to make a difference. CDT for Windows, not so much. It’s too much of a fight. A fight I don’t have the time or the passion to fight any more.
I know a number of people will be disappointed by that. And to those who still want to see something like Wascana, I encourage you to carry the torch. I’m not going anywhere and would be happy to provide guidance. And who knows, maybe one of the vendors that I know sell a Wascana type thing will make their work more readily available.
Anyway, I’m very excited about what’s happening in the mobile space. CDT has a huge roll there so my passion for that does not wane. In fact, there is one area that I think we really need to fix, i.e. CDT’s build system, that can really help mobile app developers. And if I stop pushing for an internal builder and a fancy build model that I felt we needed to match Visual Studio and instead just provide a good Makefile editor and template engine, maybe we can dig out of that hole too.