Someone once asked on the Apple Java list what kind of computer they needed for Java programming or what laptop to buy or how good the Mac they were buying would be for programming or something like that.

In any event, my answer was not to skimp on the resolution of the monitor/screen. I might as well have been flamed out of existence by a guy or two on the list as an inept programmer who didn't know a text editor from a hole in the ground.

In theory the guy's right. Give yourself a 40 column display and vi and you can code anything you want.

In practice the guy's crazy, and I'm reminded tonight again why I think so. Screen resolution is everything in an IDE, especially when the IDE has a form designer.

Yes, I know, that's a little overstated. But where I wrap lines and what the whitespace in my code looks like is pretty dependant on screen resolution even if I'm not hacking forms. But any GUI design is heavily influenced by the size of your screen (with good recognition of the "640 rule", aka, "Make sure your app runs on a decently small resolution, even if it's slightly greater than 640x480").

And when you hack in VB or Netbeans or anything else with a form designer, it's even more important. I notice (and am noticing again tonight) that I often limit the size of my forms to what I can see at one time in the IDE in front of me. Makes for a slightly smaller form than may be appropriate, and I try and cram everything in there. Not so important if you use good Window Layout Managers, but even then what you see in front of you biases you greatly.

Anyhow, back to coding. Getting sleepy.