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Jolt Awards

2006 Jolt Awards

Development Environments

Visual Studio Team System 2005
Microsoft (msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/teamsystem)

Visual Studio Team System 2005

"What Jolts us?" is a perennial question. A product must be fresh, it must have broad potential impact, and it must be well executed. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET has been in the running every year since it was introduced, and this year's Team System knocks all three aspects out of the park.

The new modeling and collaboration features highlight VSTS's evolution from a single-purpose program to a platform for plug-ins; every Windows developer in the world should at least have a nodding familiarity with Microsoft's development environment; and the judges agree that Visual Studio does a terrific job of providing a rich toolset while staying out of the developer's way, with comments like "maintains ease of use and rapid development" and "[other IDE vendors] should take a close look at what makes VS 2005 so effortless to work in."

—Rick Wayne

Productivity Award Winners

Eclipse SDK 3.1
Eclipse Foundation (www.eclipse.org)

Eclipse continues to be the IDE of choice for Java developers, and thanks to its thriving ecosystem of plug-ins, it's expanding into other development stacks. Out of the box, you get first-class Java development support. Editing, launching, and debugging features are a step ahead of other IDEs. Eclipse's extensibility makes it possible to offer tightly integrated web tools.

—Mik Kersten

IntelliJ IDEA 5.0
JetBrains (www.jetbrains.com)

For several years, IntelliJ IDEA has set the bar for Java IDEs, and I can't imagine writing code without the features with which it leads the way: refactoring, debugging, and integration with mission-critical tools such as Ant, JUnit, and CVS. IntelliJ is easy to use, and more importantly improves your productivity. With over 200 plug-ins available, you can tailor IntelliJ to meet your specific needs.

—Scott W. Ambler

Komodo 3.5
ActiveState (www.activestate.com)

While I still don't understand what a lumbering oversized lizard has to do with writing Perl, Python, Ruby, and Tcl scripts, ActiveState's cross-platform Komodo IDE nevertheless delivers on its promise of making writing and debugging script in these languages considerably easier. It supports version control (including Subversion), a visual package manager for Perl packages, and graphical debugging (including Ruby debugging, which John Lam says is "really hard to do").

—Mike Riley

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