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MARS_999

C++ what other IDE other than VC++

69 posts in this topic

I am not liking the VC++ 2011 express edition news, where you can only build metro code unless you buy the $500 version now...

So I am looking to move to some other IDE and would like it to be C++11 compliant and have intellisense if possible.

I have used codeblocks, but from what I see must be dead? 2010 last build on the website, I admit I haven't looked into it much as I been using VC++ 2010 express.

If everyone suggests Codeblocks, then how do I get the syntax to be C++11 aware? color highlighted keywords?

Thanks!
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I'm not a Windows developer, but I believe Eclipse is an option. Also, I've heard great things about Sublime Text 2 which has plugins to integrate with Clang for autocompletion and GDB for debugging. I wouldn't know what the setup process would be like on Windows though.
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Sorry forgot to state that I would like this to be cross platform also....

Thanks!
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[quote name='bronxbomber92' timestamp='1338431517' post='4944860']
but I believe Eclipse is an option.
[/quote]
I tested it a few years back (~2004), it was the reason I bought Visual Studio 2003 back then. I still have nightmares. At it times it was not on the level of the java IDE, maybe nowadays it is better. I would spend 500$, VS is really good, I will not risk an other bunch of gray hairs.
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[url="http://qt-project.org/wiki/Category:Tools::QtCreator"]QtCreator[/url] is great*, it has intellisense, integrated debugger, and etc... I use it with MinGW (the GCC C++ compiler ported to windows). The version of MinGW that ships with QtCreator is 4.5 I think, but I manually upgraded to v4.6 which better supports the C++11 standard. (GCC is on 4.7, but that version hasn't yet been ported to MinGW and Windows yet - when it is ported, it'll almost completely implement the standard).

[url="http://gcc.gnu.org/projects/cxx0x.html"]GCC 4.6 support for C++11[/url]

QtCreator has a built in wizard for the Qt GUI system (which is fantastic), but even if you're not using the Qt api, QtCreator works fine.
The only problem I really encounter using GCC is that there is a unfortunate lack of good GCC profilers with Windows support. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/sad.png[/img]
Static code analyzers ofcourse work well.

*[size=2]But I've never used Visual Studio so I can't compare.[/size]

[b][Edit:][/b] QtCreator is cross platform. So is the Qt GUI api (which uses the native GUI, but is extremely theme-able and extendable). GCC is cross platform too (IDE, Compiler, and GUI/threads/regex/containers/general-purpase library - all cross platform). Edited by Servant of the Lord
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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1338435989' post='4944872']
QtCreator is great
[/quote]

Agreed. I had never used it until last year and thought I'd miss a lot from VS, but I was very impressed. I actually get a working symbols menu in QtCreator, too, something that has always been flaky in VS for me. Though to be fair, the C++ I write in VS is more complicated than what I'm usually doing with QT.
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For codeblocks, go into the nighty build, you'll probably find something that is C++11 compliants.
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QtCreator is also a great option when you work on a cmake based project. I personally find it a good idea to have a cross platform build system that isn't tied to the ide I use.
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Code::Blocks is nice if you want something small that "just works" (mostly), and that works identically under both Windows and Linux, and that doesn't take half a gigabyte of harddisk nor an hour to install or 40-45 seconds to start up.

Recent nightly builds have keyword coloring including (hopefully?) all C++11 keywords and most of the standard library. Unluckily it isn't as good as you would wish for, but this is kind of a Scintilla limitation. Keyword coloring does not (and cannot easily) interact with syntax analysis, it works merely by matching strings.
Add to this that code completion in Code::Blocks is not nearly in the same ballpark as in Visual Studio or Eclipse, but hey... look who's developing those. It is not surprising that a handful of people coding in their free time cannot compete with two multi-million dollar many-thousand-developer companies/organizations.
You can use Code::Blocks with a variety (around 20 or so?) of compilers, including the ones from Microsoft and including the 4.6/4.7 lines of GCC (the former being in the "complete bundle"). The MinGW-w64 project has working GCC 4.7 builds already, too.

Eclipse is great if you don't mind a small delay every now and then despite having a kick-ass CPU, got lots of RAM to spare and don't care about disk space. It does [i]practically everything[/i], and it does everything well (except it's a total memory and cpu pig).

[s]Now about developing Metro apps, I assume this is mostly because Microsoft won't ship some headers and import libs in the no-pay-500-dollar version. Obviously, you won't have those either if you use any other IDE/compiler combo, at least not immediately. It's not a trivial thing to do for the people working on MinGW or MinGW-w64 to implement these from scratch (which they need to). DirectX took years to be implemented, and ATL to my knowledge still isn't.
Though I would assume that development support for Metro apps have a sufficiently high priority, I wouldn't count on having it ready by next friday.[/s]
Oh, I got this the wrong way around... you can actually [i]only [/i]develop Metro with Express and you want desktop apps... so scratch that whole paragraph, this of course works just fine with any free compiler/IDE. Edited by samoth
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When I would need an alternative to any software, I usually check out [url="http://alternativeto.net/software/visual-studio/"]alternativeto.net/software/visual-studio [/url]

However, I've tried to find a good substitute for VS (as C/C++ support isn't that good) I've tried eclipse, netbeans and code::blocks but I've gone back to VS. No matter how much you hate it, I still find it the best IDE out there. Sometimes a tweak or plugin can help you. I found some plugins that improve the intellisense.

PS: where did you find the rumours about visual studio express 2011 is going to be metro only? I think that the express edition is and probably will stay free and keep the functionality that the current versions have. In the worst case you can just keep using your VS10.
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[quote name='Miklas' timestamp='1338460052' post='4944927']
When I would need an alternative to any software, I usually check out [url="http://alternativeto.net/software/visual-studio/"]alternativeto.net/software/visual-studio[/url]

However, I've tried to find a good substitute for VS (as C/C++ support isn't that good) I've tried eclipse, netbeans and code::blocks but I've gone back to VS. No matter how much you hate it, I still find it the best IDE out there. Sometimes a tweak or plugin can help you. I found some plugins that improve the intellisense.[/quote]

Unfortunately, I don't think there is any plugin out there that can help with it being slow, being bloaty, having a compiler that is very late to implement C++11, having a bad build system, and not working in linux or macosx. (or with some long standing, profoundly irritating UI issues such as that project setting dialog which is still not resizeable in the year 2012)
Also the debugger becomes slow as hell as soon as you start doing fancy template stuff.

Visual studio used to be a good ide, but as a C++ ide it hasn't really improved much over the years and it is not aging very well. As you said yourself, its C/C++ support isn't that good, so why exactly is it still regarded as such a good IDE for those languages?
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[quote name='Miklas' timestamp='1338460052' post='4944927']

PS: where did you find the rumours about visual studio express 2011 is going to be metro only? I think that the express edition is and probably will stay free and keep the functionality that the current versions have. In the worst case you can just keep using your VS10.
[/quote]

here -> [url="http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/products/express"]http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/products/express[/url]

[b] Desktop application development[/b]
[color=#363636][size=3]
Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 provides tools for Metro style app development.[b] To create desktop apps, you need to use Visual Studio 11 Professional, or higher.[/b] In addition, Visual Studio 2010 Express products - Visual Basic 2010 Express, Visual C++ 2010 Express, and Visual C# 2010 Express - will remain available for free download.[/size][/color]
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I've used Eclipse for C++/Android development (because you have to) and it's practically useless. C++-support is basically a plugin for Eclipse that doesn't work well and debugging is a nightmare.

On PC, I've yet to find an environment as good as Visual Studio.
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i use codelite. it uses ctags and clang for code completion (integrated, not plugins). it works.
debugger is very functional too.
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CodeBlocks is certainly not dead, though I admit that is what the appearance of its site suggests. It is constantly evolved, mostly for the better, and the developers listen when you have criticism/ideas or issues. As Samoth explained, when on Windows, you need to install the latest stable version first, then a nightly build. Also, you have to look for the latest builds manually on Windows, but you get automatic updates when on Linux and using Jens Loddy's repository ('jens' on the forums). CB's projects/workspaces seamlessly migrate between Win/Linux and it can import MSVC projects/workspaces.
I try out Eclipse (still way too heavy/slow for my taste), CodeLite and others from time to time, but none have yet impressed me more than CB. Edited by nife87
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Another QtCreator vote from me. I started using it for Qt projects for work but it is now my preferred weapon of choice for all development.
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If you want to use some other compiler than Visual C++ compilers, while using Visual Studio as an IDE, have a look at vs-tool plugin in my sig. It supports compiling Visual Studio solutions using MinGW, llvm-clang and a few other exotic toolchains. Even though you do not like VS2011, naturally VS2010 isn't going away, and one can still use it.
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I agree with Miklas that VS is still the best IDE for windows.
When I changed to linux I coudn't use it anymore and I ended up using CodeBlocks, which I believe is the best choice if you want to go cross-platform.
I personally prefer Xcode now, but I don't think you will be using that.
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Actually in my opinion the QtCreator code editor is even better then visual studio (at least without third-party plugins). The syntax hightlighting is way better then in VS (at least without third party plugins), making development a lot faster then with VS. Also the "find symbol" function actually works in QtCreator, while in VS 2010 it still fails half of the time (which is still better then with VS 2005, which often crashes if you try to use it). VS might be better for debugging, but it's C++ code editor is of pretty poor quality compared to these other products.
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I'm curious how feature-complete all the alternatives mentioned here are, cause I'm also interested in alternatives since I do a bit of cross-platform programming.

The comments I've seen regarding Eclipse are surprising to me, using a 6 months old version of Eclipse CDT (the C++ IDE for Eclipse) I'd say it's very capable. It's worse than VS in parsing heavy template code, otherwise it's "Intellisense" functionality is great, and sometimes I even prefer it to VS, but I've never used VisualAssistX so I'd probably change my mind there. The debugging in Eclipse CDT has served me very well as well. Since this seem to be a complaint, I'd like to hear what's missing since I guess it's something I haven't encountered. Note that I've only used Eclipse on linux systems, so maybe more issues arise when using it on Windows...

Many people recommend CodeBlocks and QtCreator, could you guys elaborate if they provide decent autocompletion and debugging capability compared to VS?
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QtCreator has good autocompletion, syntax highlighting, project management, but I've never used Visual Studio so I can't compare. Debugging is decent, but sometimes a bit, uh, buggy ([size=2]MinGW/GCC problem, not QtCreator[/size]) - but not to the extent that it stops me programming. Profiling sucks ([size=2]MinGW/GCC problem, not QtCreator[/size]) due to lack of visual display tools for MinGW on Windows.

The IDE is cross-platform for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It also has a GUI drag-and-drop editor (using Qt api, not Win32). It has built-in SVN/Git/etc support, the ability to view two (or more, you can keep subdividing the window) source files side by side, and other features. But more than that, it's really responsive and not laggy. Edited by Servant of the Lord
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I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but you can still get previous versions of VS Express. My personal favorite is [url="http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2008-editions/express"]http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2008-editions/express[/url]. Of course, that depends on what you are using it for (GUI development sucks).
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Wow thanks for the heads up and thoughts. I have coded quite a bit on Mac years ago. I may get another someday, but Xcode isn't cross platform...

CB seems like what most are recommending, and QtCreator.... Odd their isn't more out there to choose from.

I also didn't want to use something that has a PINTA to create libs for, when I grab lib builds from various projects.

Thanks!
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Has anyone actually tried the VC++ 2011 express edition? I'm a bit curious as to what that really means. To create a GUI app with Windows, all you need is a regular C compiler and the platform SDK. I can't imagine they removed [i]that[/i] (the compiler)? Don't they mean there's no C++/CLI forms designers anymore? Did anyone really use those anyway?

Edit: OK, this is different. I just tried it, you can't even create a console application. You can't control your entry points as far as I can see. Same goes for C#, you can't even create a regular class library.

Edit2: Ok, by just hacking my project file I was able to create a regular console application. So what it all really mean is that there's currently no templates for regular native projects. I'll try to import an existing project next.

Edit3: Ok, that doesn't work. Edited by DvDmanDT
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[quote name='clb' timestamp='1338483509' post='4945027']
If you want to use some other compiler than Visual C++ compilers, while using Visual Studio as an IDE, have a look at vs-tool plugin in my sig. It supports compiling Visual Studio solutions using MinGW, llvm-clang and a few other exotic toolchains. Even though you do not like VS2011, naturally VS2010 isn't going away, and one can still use it.
[/quote]
Doesn't plugins require the non-express version that costs $500 anyway, or did they change that in VS2010?

[quote name='DvDmanDT' timestamp='1338523985' post='4945195']
I just tried it, you can't even create a console application.
[/quote]
So basically, I who couldn't care less about metro apps and just wants the new C++11 standard will still have to pay up? If that's the case it's close to extortion! Or was it just that you couldn't import old VS projects?
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