Show Wizards Whos in Charge

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-02-19

Software developers live in an uneasy partnership with wizards, as Microsoft calls its automated tools that streamline coding tasks. Much-needed productivity gains come at the price of doing things the wizards way or making tedious manual adjustments after the wizards work is done.

Promoting the developer to senior partner is the mission of Gen, a highly customizable power tool for generalizing and generating code, released this month by DevelopMentor, of Torrance, Calif. Gen grows out of DevelopMentors experience in software developer training, said President, CEO and co-founder Mike Abercrombie. "For all the things you want to tell the people youre teaching, they all have their own way to write code," Abercrombie said with a laugh. Gen attempts to automate practices already in use rather than imposing its own.

Gen uses a template language similar to Microsofts Active Server Pages and lets developers write or rewrite automation dialogs in HTML. Gen runs inside the Microsoft Visual C++ environment and includes its own modifiable versions of that products standard wizards, letting developers begin by fixing whatever theyve always disliked about those prefabricated tools.

A 30-day fully functional trial edition can be found at

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