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caist0

IDE vs. Compiler

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Hate to waste your time with this stupid question but... What''s the difference between and definition of an Integrated Development Environment and a Compiler. Actually, I know what a compiler is, so no need to say "..translates into machine code... blah blah." But what''s an IDE? What''s the difference between an IDE and just a WYSIWYG-type compiler with a GUI, such as Visual Basic? ... I think Thanks, in advance.

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The IDE is the Integrated Development Environment. It''s the place where you actually write your code. Think of comparing IDE''s a something similar to Word vs WordPerfect - both do pretty much the same thing, but have different layouts and ways of doing things.

The compiler on the other hand is not something you really do much with other than tell it what kind of optimizations it should use. It takes the code you''ve written in the IDE and converts it to something the PC can read.

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Considering something like Visual Basic, the IDE and the compiler are integrated and cannot be seperated. VB is an IDE *and* compiler in one product.

Versus something like Visual C++, you could use the IDE to write all your source code and get the benefit of intelli-sense and other IDE bonuses then just compile your source files in a seperate compiler... It tends to make more sense to just use the compiler that is bundled with the IDE though.

Then you run into products like Textpad and Emacs. They can be USED as an IDE and programmatically linked to a compiler.


My sig used to be, "God was my co-pilot but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him..."
But folks whinned and I had to change it.

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