The last release of WowAddon Studio was back in February. Anyone know if this is still being developed further?
As a side note, anyone know how to implement Ace3 into an addon being developed in WowAddon Studio? Used to be a "Create a new Ace2 project" option in it, but it's not there anymore and Ace3 never has been.
The Addon Studio isn't something that I would recommend to anyone. Its API is largely outdated from what is current with the WoW client, it forces its users to utilize XML which is completely unnecessary, and by using it you learn absolutely nothing about AddOn programming.
Your best bet is to look at the code for existing AddOns, API documentation on wowprogramming.com and wowwiki.com, as well as the API documentation for any libraries you may want to use. For example, Ace3 has API docs here.
I don't know of an IDE for programing WoW Addons that hasn't died.
In general I believe the majority of the programmers load up WoW and show/hide their frame to see if it's being drawn how they like.
Ever since I used FrontPage 2000 for a website design IDE, I do not trust IDEs for programing, as they are usually based around that programmers perspective, and tend to have overhead.
Though I would personally like an IDE that would keep track of available functions and variables in your environment, syntax highlighting, and typo/intelisense detection. I use UltraEdit for syntax highlighting is about all. May try http://luaedit.luaforge.net though
I don't use this for my actual addon development, but it comes in handy occasionally for on-the-fly fooling around (er, I mean, "rapid prototyping"). And I leave a couple of saved code snippets for things like quickly hooking into SendAddonMessage when I want to find out whose misbehaving piece of code is responsible for "You are not in a party" spam.
Is the general consensus that using XML is bad or something?
Yes, although I can't remember why. I do know that WoW only parses XML when you first load into the game, so it's much easier to use Lua-defined frames because you can tweak the code and reload your UI to test changes more on-the-fly.
Except that templates can be replaced by frame factories. XML was never a language designed for humans to read and write, frankly. If you have a tool generating it, fine, but if you're editing it by hand, barf.
The global names and create on load are the biggest reasons though. All the other reasons have been fixed over the years. The name thing is mostly fixed with sub-frames, but the top level frame still has to have a global name so your lua code can find it.