Overall, VisualAge for Java is a highly automated IDE which we think will appeal most to developers who want to avoid the drudgery of writing complex code sequences by letting their IDE do a lot of grunt work for them. Although VisualAge for Java allows you to modify segments of code that it has automatically generated by adding vast quantities of hand-written code, that is not really the kind of programming that it´s cut out for. It´s obvious that the creators of VisualAge invested a lot of effort in automating the product and making it easy to use -- and there´s a tradeoff there. The more automated an IDE is, the more difficult it is to jump right in and do a lot of hand-coding of GUI-related routines yourself.
The automated features built into VisualAge for Java aren´t limited to code generation; they extend to its directory-management and versioning utilities. When you start developing a program with VisualAge, the IDE sets up a workspace that is designed to isolate you from having to most ordinary directory-management tasks. Throughout the process of developing a program, VisualAge maintains control over the program´s file-and-directory structure.
During debugging, when VisualAge for Java hits this breakpoint, you can examine variables by returning to the Workbench and right-clicking the selected variable in the source code panel or by opening the Debugger and looking at the Visible Variables, as shown below.
Because VisualAge for Java is so highly automated, the easiest and most efficient way to use it is to stand aside and let VisualAge generate all the code it wants to, mastering and using all of the many animated programming aids it offers and resisting the temptation of trying to override its automated features in order to gain more personal control over every aspect of your program.