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"Visual" IDE?

I'm sitting here looking at my unused copy of Visual Studio 5.0 for
Windows, and thinking of the pathetic UNIX IDEs I have used in the past
two years.

 - SparcWorks on Solaris
 - Softbench on HP-UX
 - ladebug etc. on Digital UNIX

Even XEmacs with Sparcworks integration doesn't do it for me. So
basically I use XEmacs to edit my source and make files, and the command
line to compile. I debug with whatever debugger is best for the platform
I am using that day.

I understand that Visual Studio was created for the lowest common
denominator (that's a fact, not an opinion), and that UNIX programmers
are more comfortable with makefiles and command lines. But you have to
admit that Visual Studio, and Metrowerks Codewarrior, are great IDEs.

My question is, "Why is there nothing similar on UNIX?"

Perhaps I simply haven't stumbled over it yet. But the development tools
Sun, HP, etc. sell are the most hacked together things I've ever seen.
The crippled widgets don't even cut/paste properly, the layout is
atrocious, the GUI is nothing more than a debugging shell with renamed
buttons for its functions, etc.

Even the free tools are not much better. Perhaps that's because they are
volunteer efforts. [But then why can't Sun do better?] Perhaps it's
because everyone's read "No Silver Bullet" and moved on to the
"essential" tasks of development, leaving the "accidental" tasks like
IDE behind.

If I'm missing out on an excellent free/commercial IDE, please let me
know. If not, why can't one be built? Make a clone of Visual Studio,
fixing its annoyances at the same time. Make it fully graphical for the
neophyte developer, but unleash the power beneath for the scripting
guru. Build it out of standard components: GNU compilers, make, CVS,
etc. Use the GTK toolkit, eventually provide a visual GUI editor.

Does this sound farfetched? Maybe, maybe not. I'm just trying to feel
this idea out. Is there a project like this going on now? If not, is
this an idea whose time has come?

Please feel free to email me with any thoughts on this. Thank you for
your time.

Homepage:         http://www.cgocable.net/~mlepage/
Java Game Engine: http://www.cgocable.net/~mlepage/YAGE/

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