IDE should not fail to start without meaningful error report

Running arduino-1.0.5-r2 under Windows 7/64, the IDE will frequently not start at all. Sometimes it will start up, and then I can code and upload to my arduino until I quit the IDE.

There is an FAQ suggesting that slow startups under Windows are due to slow COM port enumeration, with suggestions to remove devices until the problem goes away. I have no extra or superfluous COM ports in my device manager.

There is no FAQ suggesting what to do if the Arduino splash screen comes up, sits a while, and then vanishes as the program quits without explanation.

I found one suggestion that --log4j-debug could be passed as an argument to arduino.exe. I get this output, but exit code 1 googling turns up only wildly different scenarios, none of which apply to my situation. Here is the content:

CmdLine:    D:\installers\arduino-1.0.5-r2\arduino.exe --l4j-debug
WOW64:      yes
Working dir:    D:\installers\arduino-1.0.5-r2\.
Bundled JRE:    java
Check launcher: D:\installers\arduino-1.0.5-r2\java\bin\javaw.exe (OK)
Add classpath:  lib\pde.jar
Add classpath:  lib\core.jar
Add classpath:  lib\jna.jar
Add classpath:  lib\ecj.jar
Add classpath:  lib\RXTXcomm.jar
Launcher:   D:\installers\arduino-1.0.5-r2\java\bin\javaw.exe
Launcher args:  -Xms128m -Xmx128m -classpath "lib;D:\installers\arduino-1.0.5-r2\java\lib\tools.jar;lib\pde.jar;lib\core.jar;lib\jna.jar;lib\ecj.jar;lib\RXTXcomm.jar"
Args length:    170/32768 chars
Exit code:  1

I found another suggestion to see what COM ports show up in the Arduino IDE without an arduino connected... however, also in this case the Arduino IDE will usually not launch to the new sketch screen; just the splash screen, then exit.

Sometimes rebooting solves the problem, and sometimes not. Sometimes I just have to keep launching the IDE until it decides to 'catch.' Sometimes I just have to come back later.

If the program would give some sort of indication of WHY it is choosing to not launch, that would help figure out how to solve the problem. As it is, I have no recourse but to beg for assistance on the forums. Please help!

It's also very subject to not being able to process boards.txt (and etc) properly, and not giving any indications of what went wrong (or indeed, whether anything went wrong at all.) See (sometimes, this can prevent the IDE from starting entirely.)

I have been writing GUI-based programs since 1990. One thing I learned: No GUI program is EVER permitted to exit on ANY kind of failure whatsoever. There is one, and only one, person who decides if the program should be closed, and it is NEVER the programmer who wrote it.

Therefore, it is always an error to return a failure code that causes a program exit. Any error caused by a bad line in a file must come out with a message giving the COMPLETE filename, the line on which the error occurred, preferably displaying that line, and an explanation of why it is wrong. This is the MINIMUM requirement (it is easy to do better). The only control path that can cause the program to exit is the one executed when the user clicks the "Close" button or selects the "Exit" menu item. joe

Feel free to submit a patch... :-)