Re: Poor bastards
There are many worse things...
In the early days of Symbian we used MSVC6 (ie Visual Studio from 1998) with some whacky build rules to slave the oddball Symbian build chain. It was fast, productive, and pleasant; people quickly hacked up datatype viewers for custom types when debugging on the Windows-based emulator.
But it was produced by a competitor and they weren't going to do us any future favours, So for "strategic reasons" we switched to Metrowerks CodeWarrior, owned by a shareholder (Motorola). It was slower, clumsier, notably far less stable, had silly eternally-unfixed bugs like periodically the debugger plugin would leave a handle open on the binary, forcing exit & relaunch to be able to link a new build. And even after years it still couldn't display a couple of the fundamental descriptor (string-like) classes correctly; memory hex dumps were the way to go.
But then CW was recognised as a dead-end (and its owner was keen to shed the Symbian support since the lucrative developer base never materialised) so we switched to a customisation of Eclipse. And across several years this got steadily better, adding mostly-working on-device debugging, fixing some of the more glaring editor issues (though symbol lookup remained erratic to the end, and it marked every template used as a source error after the first hundred or so). But it remained a big strange mess, a stew where things were added but never removed (the difference between an editor window, a text editor window, and a C/C++ editor window? who knows, but when assigning shortcut keys you needed to pick the right one) and just never reached the sheer liveability of the twelve-year-old VC6.
Moral (if there is one): tools matter, and while VS ain't no Emacs it's very far from hell