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c++ IDE preferences


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#1 stein102   Members   -  Reputation: 431

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:32 PM

I'm just starting to get into c++ development and am experimenting with different IDEs. I was curious about what everyone's favorite IDE is and why that made that decision.

 

I've tried:

Visual C++ 2012 express

Code::Blocks

Eclipse CDT

 

So far, my favorite has to be Eclipse CDT. That may be because I come from a background of Java and the environment is familiar to me. I didn't really like Visual C++ because I'm not a fan of the way it highlights your code. Although it's a ton faster than Eclipse, I still feel more comfortable in Eclipse. Perhaps I just need more time in Visual C++.

 

So anyways, what is your IDE of choice and what preference changes do you think are the most important for efficient development?



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#2 SiCrane   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9124

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:31 PM

On whatever platform I'm working on I go with the IDE that has the best debugger, and right now on Windows that's MSVC (at least in my opinion).

#3 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 23992

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:33 PM

As with SiCrane, I'm pretty attached to MSVC's debugger.
However, I should note that I like MSVC plus some extensions like VAX much better than MSVC as it ships.

I didn't really like Visual C++ because I'm not a fan of the way it highlights your code

I always customize the hell out of it in the options, but my tastes probably differ from yours wink.png
I8GKaRA.png

#4 stein102   Members   -  Reputation: 431

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:54 PM

As with SiCrane, I'm pretty attached to MSVC's debugger.
However, I should note that I like MSVC plus some extensions like VAX much better than MSVC as it ships.

I didn't really like Visual C++ because I'm not a fan of the way it highlights your code

I always customize the hell out of it in the options, but my tastes probably differ from yours wink.png
I8GKaRA.png

Are there any good free extensions similar to VAX? It looks good, but I don't want to buy anything just yet.

 

EDIT: Where do you find the options to customize it like that?


Edited by stein102, 23 April 2013 - 08:57 PM.


#5 Aliii   Members   -  Reputation: 1113

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:17 PM

Im using NetBeans. Its great but VisualStudio has far better debugger.  



#6 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 23992

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:45 PM

Are there any good free extensions similar to VAX? It looks good, but I don't want to buy anything just yet.
 
EDIT: Where do you find the options to customize it like that?

If you're using the Express version of VS, I think it locks you out from using any extensions at all.

There are some good free ones (I do like MetaScroll too), but AFAIK you need a professional version of VS to use them unsure.png

 

The colour settings should be somewhere like Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors

 

Also, there's two files with paths like below, which you can use the configure the IDE to more effectively work with user types in the debugger (autoexp) and to highlight custom words as keywords (usertype).

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Packages\Debugger\autoexp.dat

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\usertype.dat



#7 Aressera   Members   -  Reputation: 1142

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:12 PM

I use the IDE which is the best for my particular workflow, Xcode 3. If necessary for the application, I will edit files in Xcode 3 and compile them in another IDE like MSVC or Xcode 4.

 

I can't stand any environment that more-or-less restricts you to a single monolithic window for all of your needs. With Xcode 3 (version 4 is sadly mostly single-window), I can have 2 or more full-height (50 lines) windows of code visible at once, even on my 15" notebook display. Being able to see as much code as possible is important for visually-oriented people like me. Most of the other IDEs are suffocating because they devote more UI space to toolbars, debuggers, etc than the actual code view. I'd rather have a separate window for each part of the project: code windows, debugger, project info.

 

Personally, I also turn off all autocomplete or auto-anything because it drives me nuts. I prefer total control over what I'm typing, rather than having the IDE guess at what I'm trying to do.



#8 kunos   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1771

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 01:17 AM

Personally, I also turn off all autocomplete or auto-anything because it drives me nuts. I prefer total control over what I'm typing, rather than having the IDE guess at what I'm trying to do.

 

you must have a very good memory


Edited by kunos, 24 April 2013 - 07:22 AM.

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#9 NightCreature83   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2478

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:01 AM

Are there any good free extensions similar to VAX? It looks good, but I don't want to buy anything just yet.
 
EDIT: Where do you find the options to customize it like that?

If you're using the Express version of VS, I think it locks you out from using any extensions at all.

There are some good free ones (I do like MetaScroll too), but AFAIK you need a professional version of VS to use them unsure.png

 

The colour settings should be somewhere like Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors

 

Also, there's two files with paths like below, which you can use the configure the IDE to more effectively work with user types in the debugger (autoexp) and to highlight custom words as keywords (usertype).

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Packages\Debugger\autoexp.dat

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\usertype.dat

 

VS2012 actually uses visualisers instead and they are more powerfull and easier to write than what you do in autoexp.dat. There is a usertype.dat on the NVidia website that add most of the shader keywords to the file for you really handy when writing shaders in VS. Since VS2010 there is a MS plugin called Productivity Power Tools that does pretty much what metalscroll does and more and is more stable then metalscroll, that plugin used to crash VS2008 often for me. The only real thing I am missing is MTU ordering of my tabs in 2010 and 2012.

 

I use the IDE which is the best for my particular workflow, Xcode 3. If necessary for the application, I will edit files in Xcode 3 and compile them in another IDE like MSVC or Xcode 4.

 

I can't stand any environment that more-or-less restricts you to a single monolithic window for all of your needs. With Xcode 3 (version 4 is sadly mostly single-window), I can have 2 or more full-height (50 lines) windows of code visible at once, even on my 15" notebook display. Being able to see as much code as possible is important for visually-oriented people like me. Most of the other IDEs are suffocating because they devote more UI space to toolbars, debuggers, etc than the actual code view. I'd rather have a separate window for each part of the project: code windows, debugger, project info.

 

Personally, I also turn off all autocomplete or auto-anything because it drives me nuts. I prefer total control over what I'm typing, rather than having the IDE guess at what I'm trying to do.

You can use a split tab well in VS for this or even drag the tab out and it will create it's own window which you can put anywhere you want. I rely heavily on a dual monitor setup at work to be honest, one screen is code window the other is debugging windows and output windows.


 


Edited by NightCreature83, 24 April 2013 - 05:06 AM.

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#10 mhagain   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6324

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:22 AM

Visual Studio is perfectly capable of doing the "maximize real-estate for code" thing; in fact it's probably the best for that and I've never seen anything with comparable functionality when it comes to both hiding stuff when it's not needed and showing stuff when it is needed (both of which are important).  All the little pop-up dialogs and panels can be tucked away, they will come back when you mouse over them, auto-hide again when you mouse out, and automatically appear when you do something that requires them to be visible (so the "Output" panel can be hidden until you do a build, at which point it will automatically appear).


Edited by mhagain, 24 April 2013 - 06:22 AM.

It appears that the gentleman thought C++ was extremely difficult and he was overjoyed that the machine was absorbing it; he understood that good C++ is difficult but the best C++ is well-nigh unintelligible.


#11 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2215

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:35 AM

With Xcode 3 (version 4 is sadly mostly single-window), I can have 2 or more full-height (50 lines) windows of code visible at once, even on my 15" notebook display.

 

Have you tried View->Hide Toolbar and View->Hide Tabbar in Xcode 4?

Then maybe "Use separate window" on double click navigation in general preferences to emulate the XCode 3 windowing behaviour.

 

For any platform, I usually chose the environment that is provided by the developer of the platform if available.

That usually coincides with having the best tools smile.png

 

So that would be VS for windows, and XCode for OSX


Edited by Olof Hedman, 24 April 2013 - 06:40 AM.


#12 Bearhugger   Members   -  Reputation: 449

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:55 AM

I prefer Eclipse CDT for writing code because it has refactor tools built-in and can generate getters and setters stubs for classes. In Visual Studio you have to buy lame expensive add-ons.

 

But yeah, Visual Studio's debugger is by far the best one and just for that I'll use it instead of Eclipse. I also really like its unit testing framework for C++.



#13 Cromulent   Members   -  Reputation: 349

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 10:45 AM

Visual Studio is perfectly capable of doing the "maximize real-estate for code" thing; in fact it's probably the best for that and I've never seen anything with comparable functionality when it comes to both hiding stuff when it's not needed and showing stuff when it is needed (both of which are important).  All the little pop-up dialogs and panels can be tucked away, they will come back when you mouse over them, auto-hide again when you mouse out, and automatically appear when you do something that requires them to be visible (so the "Output" panel can be hidden until you do a build, at which point it will automatically appear).

 

You should try Vim. Nothing comes close. You can have multiple windows open split exactly how you like them. Most of the time I have about 6 or 7 source files open at any one time and have a nice project display on the left. Plus it has auto code completion and automatic code checking via clang. I haven't found anything anywhere near as powerful on any platform.



#14 wack   Members   -  Reputation: 1095

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 01:13 PM

I am a little curious about CodeLite. I heard a little about it but never tried it. It doesn't seem to get as much attention as the other IDEs mentioned in this thread.

Does anyone here have any experience with it? Is it any good?

Site: http://codelite.org/

#15 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14870

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 01:25 PM

I use QtCreator.

 

It's well designed, stable, and has good intellisense, syntax highlighting, project management, built-in GUI WYSIWYG editor, is multi-pane-able, built-in debugger support (GDB - though GDB has bugged out on me), built-in source-control support for a dozen source-control tools, and is cross-platform.

 

The reason I don't use Visual Studio (and never have, so I can't compare it) is because I'm developing for cross-platform, and I want a cross-platform IDE to reduce my confusion. QtCreator seems to be the best non-VisualStudio IDE I've found.

 

It can be used with and without the Qt GUI api, so don't let the name fool you.


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 24 April 2013 - 01:26 PM.

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.

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#16 David Perfors   Members   -  Reputation: 222

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:49 PM

I did try several IDE's.

Eclipse was ok, but I didn't like it for C++

I liked Code::Blocks and CodeLite a lot, they are quite similar in functionality

Anjuita / KDevelop are too clunky for me

VisualStudio I only use for C# / .NET, also heavy modified on the colours ;)

Since a few months I only use VIM and the command line for C++ development. It has a steep learning curve, but I really like it.

 

I actually hardly miss the code completion (there is some basic support for it in the plugins I currently use, but not as efficient as VisualStudio). I can easily find the needed functions in the documentation of the different libraries or in the header files. Most IDE's won't show the needed documentation anyways (at least not when I looked last, which is some years ago :P)



#17 Aressera   Members   -  Reputation: 1142

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:25 PM

With Xcode 3 (version 4 is sadly mostly single-window), I can have 2 or more full-height (50 lines) windows of code visible at once, even on my 15" notebook display.

 

Have you tried View->Hide Toolbar and View->Hide Tabbar in Xcode 4?

Then maybe "Use separate window" on double click navigation in general preferences to emulate the XCode 3 windowing behaviour.

 

I've tried that (in fact it is my current setting), the issue is that it doesn't remember window positions or sizes, causing me to have to manually resize the window each time I open one. I spent about a week messing with Xcode 4 trying to get it to my liking but was mostly disappointed, to the point where I re-installed Xcode 3 side-by-side so that I can use both. Other issues include not being able to compile a single file at a time (background compilation doesn't cut it). There are some good parts of Xcode 4 (I like project settings and integrated Interface Builder), but it seems like they tried to stuff as much functionality as possible within a single window interface without thinking about workflow or usability.



#18 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7005

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:27 PM


Personally, I also turn off all autocomplete or auto-anything because it drives me nuts. I prefer total control over what I'm typing, rather than having the IDE guess at what I'm trying to do.

 
you must have a very good memory


Well unless you know the function by heart (and hence don't need autocomplete) you still need to look it up to read up on what it does and check return values/error codes/edge cases etc.. myself I've noticed autocomplete generally gets in my way as well, though it is useful sometimes (comes in handy when I can't remember the order of parameters, but besides that.. nah..)

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#19 0r0d   Members   -  Reputation: 797

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:56 PM

Visual Studio is the best IDE I've used and what I prefer.  Code Warrior and ProDG are the worst.  Xcode also sucks, but not as much as those two.



#20 l0calh05t   Members   -  Reputation: 579

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:50 AM

Visual Studio has by far the best debugger. The GDB-integration in QtCreator is pretty good. And when really just tryin something quickly (single .c or .cpp) I use SciTE.






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