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stein102

c++ IDE preferences

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stein102    556

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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Hodgman    51234
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

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stein102    556

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

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Hodgman    51234

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

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Aressera    2919

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.

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kunos    2254

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

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NightCreature83    5002

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

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mhagain    13430

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

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alh420    5995

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

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Bearhugger    1276

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++.

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Cromulent    398

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.

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wack    1358
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/

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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

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dperfors    279

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)

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Aressera    2919

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.

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Bacterius    13165


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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0r0d    1932

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.

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l0calh05t    1796

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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solewalker    622

I mostly use Visual Studio and Codelite. Codelite's code-completetion is very powerful and there are some features that are hard to resist, but this IDE is not getting much recognition as it should be, it's also actively developed by a couple of developers. And some plugins are developed by communty, like Zoom Navigator in the screenshot. A sample screenshot of codelite and visual studio side-by-side. I just hope more people use codelite and contribute to this project.

 

http://i.imgur.com/pokfrMr.png

Edited by solewalker

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Aressera    2919

I mostly use Visual Studio and Codelite. Codelite's code-completetion is very powerful and there are some features that are hard to resist, but this IDE is not getting much recognition as it should be, it's also actively developed by a couple of developers. And some plugins are developed by communty, like Zoom Navigator in the screenshot. A sample screenshot of codelite and visual studio side-by-side. I just hope more people use codelite and contribute to this project.

 

http://i.imgur.com/pokfrMr.png

 

That Zoom Navigator looks pretty nifty.

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NightCreature83    5002

I mostly use Visual Studio and Codelite. Codelite's code-completetion is very powerful and there are some features that are hard to resist, but this IDE is not getting much recognition as it should be, it's also actively developed by a couple of developers. And some plugins are developed by communty, like Zoom Navigator in the screenshot. A sample screenshot of codelite and visual studio side-by-side. I just hope more people use codelite and contribute to this project.

 

http://i.imgur.com/pokfrMr.png

 

That Zoom Navigator looks pretty nifty.

Install productivity power tools for VS 2010 and above and you can set up the scroll bar in a similar fashion or use metalscroll for any version below. http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/d0d33361-18e2-46c0-8ff2-4adea1e34fef

Edited by NightCreature83

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