My Xcode wishlist

As a long term Visual Studio user (16 years and counting) the transition to Xcode has been a wee bit of a shock. While it’s great having a development environment provided for free, there are some things that irritate the hell out of me while using Xcode.

Rather than gripe about the problems, I’d rather make a list of the features that I’d like added to Xcode to fix the issues that get in the way of being productive.

  • Adding new files remembers where the last fold location you used. Constantly having to navigate to the folder you last used is irritating as hell, not to mention time time consuming.
  • Block-tab/edit – I’m sure there’s a way to do this and it’s probably some sort of twister-like key combination. But if I want to indent/unindent a block of highlighted code, I want to simply press tab and Xcode, like VS, will figure “hey, let’s apply the change to a whole block of code” or “let’s indent this code instead of deleting all the highlighted lines”.
  • Global custom properties across projects in a workspace. Oh dear god, that would be so nice. There’s nothing more error-prone and irritating than having to enter the same custom property for multiple projects within a workspace. I’m not expecting VS style property sheets (as groovy as they are) but just the ability to set shared properties would be very, very awesome.
  • Build dependancy lists – I’d like this. I’d like to have a list of projects within the workspace, and be able to tag which ones a single project is dependant on without necessarily linking to it. Why? Because often, I may be writing a dynamic library that is not hard linked to an executable or another dynamic library – it may be run-time loaded by another project in the workspace, in which cases, build-time linking makes no sense.
  • Please add a list of available macros that I can use in the project build settings. Pretty please! I’m sick of having to look this up in the on-line help.

That’s all I have for now. I’m sure more things will occur to me after writing this, but these are the main niggles that cause me to sigh (minus one luck, according to my Japanese colleagues) groan, moan, curse, squeeze the crap out of my stress ball or wander off to make a cup of tea because “I’m done dealing wit’ dat shit, yo'” (Imagine a middle aged Scottish guy saying that last bit).

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