AppCode's bleak future?

I'm considering buying a copy of AppCode, but unfortunately it appears JetBrains has thrown little support behind developing it, which is very uninspiring for my interest in it.

Apparently a small team of developers at JetBrains with little or nothing to do, managed to scrape together pieces of their other IDE applications, and slap a new title on it called AppCode.

There is very little documentation for the app, and zero help files, which makes it obvious that this app isn't a high priority at JetBrains.

I'm guessing AppCode is a trial balloon for JetBrains to see if there's any interest first, BEFORE developing a solid product, rather than taking a normal approach to app development, which is starting with a good idea, developing a solid product from that idea, and then the interest and customer base builds.

I shouldn't have to go to a blog or user forum for answers to basic functionality that clearly belongs in an integrated help file.


Anyone else leery of buying a copy of this because JetBrains appears to have little interest in throwing their weight behind it?
11 comments

I recently came to Objective-C for a job requirement, not by choice, and I have experience with JetBrains Resharper product for Visual Studio because I'm a very experienced .NET developer.

I hated XCode when I first used it, and it's grown on me very little since then.

AppCode is clearly a massive improvement over XCode upon the navigation and some other aspects, but unfortunately, I think many who aren't the adventurous type, are going to look at AppCode and see a clearly incomplete product and not be willing to jump in if JetBrains themselves aren't willing to put it what it takes to make the product complete.   There are tons of items in the AppCode preferences dialog that have zero explanation or help.  Someone trying to learn a new product is going to find that very frustrating and unacceptable.

By putting out such an incomplete product, I think JetBrains is shooting themselves in the head with this, as they clearly are showing their potential customer base that they really don't care about reaching all the possible programmers they could with this product.   They're basically daring you... "if you're brave enough to get past our lack of interest, here's something you might like to try"   Doesn't sound like a great sales pitch to me.

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Dear Joe,
We can assure you that AppCode is not an experimental product and we put massive efforts into enhancing its functionality, improving the existing set of features, adding new ones and making the IDE even smarter than it is. We understand your confusion about absence of built-in documentation. Although it hasn’t been our top priority in previous releases, we plan to add it eventually.
For now, however, I can suggest following resources that can help you find your way around the IDE.
- IntelliJ IDEA Web Help – This is IntelliJ IDEA web help. All the functionality that doesn’t depend on the language is the same as in AppCode, so you can get here information about IDE settings, VCS settings, and many other things that are not language-specific.
- Forums – We are happy to answer your questions in our forums.
- Blog – here you can find announcements, news, and articles on different features.
- There’s also appcode-support@jetbrains.com where you can address your questions.
If you have encountered any specific problems with AppCode, or have further suggestions, we will be glad to learn about your experience.

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I've also been frustrated by the lack of an integrated contextual help system.  Please add your vote to the feature request entitled "Online Help for IDE" (OC-2656) on YouTrack issue tracker:

http://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/OC-2656


Thanks.

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Bought myself a copy.  

Fingers crossed.

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This is silly hand-wringing or (worse) concern trolling.

AppCode is what it is. It has weaknesses: development systems always do. You have correctly identified some of them. If you are a thoughtful developer, you will know that some tradeoffs are necessary, and clearly AppCode chooses functionality over documentation. That's a choice its intended audience is likely to endorse and welcome.

That the application cost -- $200/seat for a commercial license! -- is such a deterrent for you suggests that your time is not very valuable.  Even if that's true, skillful use of a refactoring IDE is going to save you many hours, and time is money.  

Want to secure AppCode’s future? Stop worrying. Get a copy. Write about its capabilities. Write great stuff using it.

Don't worry.

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I'm sorry your inner child was so hurt and offended by my concerns and critiques.  If taken to heart, I think jetbrains would have a larger customer base for this product, as clearly XCode is a steaming pile.
I don't need to reiterate how brilliant my previous comments are. That stands on its own.
I'm a .NET developer (recently forced into the Objective-C arena) and quite used to solid products and solid documentation, and I own JetBrains ReSharper product for Visual Studio.
ReSharper is very well documented.
And most tools I use in .NET are extremely well documented.
I'm finding that many people who work with Objective-C are quite used to working with very poorly documented open source products, so it's no surprise that lack of documentation in AppCode doesn't bother you.
I have no interest in wasting hours/days/weeks trying to learn something that has little to no documentation, AND which may have no future.
Now grab a binky and console yourself.

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I hope AppCode's feature is not bleak. I've been using Intellij for several years so AppCode seems very similar.

I've written a few apps with it including the Feel Good Tracker which is available in the Apple App Store.

It's a little unusual to use two IDE's to develop a project. But so far it has not been a problem for me, and for several actions like refactoring I find that App Code is my preferred tool.

Thanks,

www.feelgoodtracker.com

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Hi Joe,

Welcome to the forums!

Ok - so you're a .net guy, and you've been forced into doing work you clearly hate. Maybe you really dig windows and can't stand mac os x too. In any case, your post reads something like:

"God I hate my Job, my wife is at her parent's house so I can't moan and complain to her about it all... I'll vent at the appcode forums instead".

We've all been there! (and hopefully promptly left for better horizons).

I'm really sorry you're having a hard time. It sucks when we're made to do things we don't like doing; and it's very easy to get all tense about it and resist everything and instead of learning the correct ways of doing things and adapting our skill-base to new paradigms and workflows, we get more and more frustrated seeing how our skills don't directly fit. A bit like pushing a door we have to pull; we might say. One can even end up a bit like this if one is not careful:

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However - Do not worry! I can tell you I know far more happy objective c developers doing development with appcode than I do .Net developers using visual studio (which is about as clumsy and horrid an IDE as one could suffer), and I've had a very long career in lots of platforms and know a lot of people : an anecdote you can trust(tm).

It sounds to me like you need to go through extensive ios/mac training to get a solid understanding of the platform. The things you are looking for in appcode's help, will not be there; That's like a brain surgeon expecting his scalpel's instruction manual to tell him how to do brain surgery - you're meant to know that stuff before you use the tools.

If you haven't gone through all of apple's starter documentation : do so - it's very good and will give you a solid understanding of what you need.

I also recommend you look up Ray Wenderleich's tutorials. This is a great starting point:

http://www.raywenderlich.com/store/ios-apprentice

It's not free - but if money is tight, then there are lots of free tutorials on his site too, and many other sites.

I'm sure you have rock solid software development skills, and as such you should feel happy and confident at transposing them to ios/objective c. It's a shame that it's not your choice; as it's a large undertaking, and enthusiasm is required, but many have cross skilled to iOS very comfortably so you should not worry in the slightest.

Finally - if you really can't get beyond the platform resistence (your post could've been equally [perhaps more] valid to a "dear Code Aunt Sally" agony aunt column), then you should change your job. I would never work for someone that upset me to the point of posting something publicly in the vain you did : you've clearly identified yourself as lacking knoweldge in the plaftorm (which is fine btw), lacking enthusiasm (which is also fine), and lacking desire to work with that platform (ditto). Your post say's a lot more about your employer than it does yourself, and more about yourself than it does about appcode.

Good luck - be happy = )

ps
if you do decide to give ios a proper go, then you should most certainly get appcode - the only correct assertion I read in your post was that xcode blows; appcode is like a glass of fresh water in the desert..

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Yours has to be one of the funniest, most irrelevant posts I've read in a long time.
The question is already marked as answered.
I already indicated that I bought a copy.
Your overwhelming urge to write a long, boring, cliche-riddled thesis peppered with insults on an answered question reflects a disturbed mind.


Your suggestion that I pose my questions/concerns about AppCode to Dear Abby, rather than ask for opinions in a forum where not only the
developers of the app are found, but also actual and potential customers who are using the program, is absurdly stupid.


In your urgency and befuddled confusion to get your passive agressive insults and schitzophrenic thoughts out of your head, you completely missed, ignored, and misunderstood every one of my valid and brilliant points and concerns.
Your bizarre interpretation of the meaning and content of my post says more about you than me.  
If your reading comprehension is that poor, I don't know how you find employment.
And talk about "posting something publicly in the vain you did", ha ha, that's priceless.


You're a perfect example of someone I wouldn't hire nor tolerate working around.
Mixing in complementary encouragement with outright insults is textbook female rivalry behavior.
And while genuinely hilarious, your beard-scratching armchair psychiatrist persona missed by miles every quack diagnosis you attempted.


I'm so far from hating my job or Objective-C that you couldn't see it through the Hubble Telescope, or an electron microscope.
You know nothing about my extensive unique background or my motivation to do programming, but don't let that stop you from making foolish, baseless, silly proclamations.


There wasn't a single sentence in your ranting rambling pompous presumptive patronizing condescending diatribe that was relevant, helpful, or worth reading.
It's unfortunate for me that I feel the need to use 3 or 4 neurons and my very valuable time to inform you that you really need long-term, intensive, and possibly inpatient, mental health treatment, and should seek it immediately if you haven't already.
A good start would be to check yourself in for a 72-hour evaluation hold.  Just go to the nearest emergency room and ask for a psychiatric nurse, and he/she will be able to get you taken care of.


I feel so sorry for your co-workers and family members.
Please give them my condolences.


... PS, and when you clutch your pearls and run crying to Jetbrains, tears streaming down your face, over your hurt feelings and ask them to remove this witty,
    astonishingly insightful post, feel free to ask that they remove your drueling gibberish at the same time.  I know you won't disappoint.

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Wow. Ok, I scanned a few of your lines of post; but having seen your similar repsonses to posters above I realize that it's not worth me wasting time to read your nasty little rants.

I shan't get into a slanging match with you : was only trying to help.

Good luck with everything.

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