Many blog entries have pointed me at Ten Must-Have Tools Every Developer Should Download Now, so I eventually got around to clicking. Interesting, but possibly unsurprising, that the MSDN definition of “developer” is “C# .NET developer”, as though there were only the one sort of programmer. However… moving along… I see that it includes:
- “Snippet Compiler to compile small bits of code”. What, you mean like the interactive window in PythonWin? Or the compile() builtin? Or the Python interpreter in interactive mode? Or python -c, perhaps?
- “Regulator to build regular expressions”. I guess an interactive window and re.compile() would do much the same thing; certainly that’s how I tend to interactively build up regexps, running them over a list of candidate strings to check for matches.
- “.NET Reflector to examine assemblies”. This looks quite useful, though I would score Python’s built-in introspection capabilities very highly. Yesterday I was trying to discover the capabilities of a COM object (that drove a camera) and I longed for the simple power of dir() and __doc__. And because one tends to get the source of any Python modules one imports, there’s always that ability to go directly there for the definitive answers.
Some of the other tools look interesting, though scarcely packed with amazing novelty. It’s not a bad checklist of the sort of tools that a developer would find of use, rather than the sole definitive “must-have” collection. Makes me ponder about knocking up a Python list; I’m sure there’s a few equivalents of NUnit out there already.
 I’m being unfair for effect… they include Visual Basic .NET as well.