Thread: Can Anyone Recommend A C++ IDE?

  1. #1
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    Question Can Anyone Recommend A C++ IDE?

    So, I have just started my college C++ course (Game Development Degree), and on my book companion website it recommends several IDE’s to compile my C++ code. They are as follows:
    - Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 Express
    - NetBeans™ C++ IDE
    - Eclipse™ for C++ IDE
    - Dev C++
    - CodeLite

    Can anyone recommend any of these, or do you have a different choice for your coding? Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    Especially since you are just starting, you might not be aware that the compiler and the IDE are different things. You will eventually learn that the compiler is part of a tool chain used in the development process.

    Not all IDEs come with a tool chain ready to use; that is, you may need to install it separately. GCC (get it here) is a common, standalone tool chain.

    Fortunately most of the things you listed, including Visual Studio, Eclipse, and CodeLite definitely come with a tool chain ready to use. I don't remember if Netbeans does or not. But Netbeans is for Java code anyway.

    The only one I wouldn't recommend: Dev-C++ is old, and that is a problem because it might not work with newer versions of the same tool chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    I don't remember if Netbeans does or not. But Netbeans is for Java code anyway.
    Netbeans is written in Java; but can be used with C++.
    It was hard to set it up to do C++, I never have done so, myself.
    It used to require the Cygwin or MSys version of GCC to work using C++.
    It used make/makefile build system to do C++; the last time I tried to get it to work.

    Did not see Code::Blocks IDE on the list. But, for a newbie it would be best to do one that the book supports.
    Make sure it supports both the Operating System and IDE. Getting Netbeans to do C++ was NOT a trivial task the last time I tried.
    It was easy to get Eclipse to do C++; I just hated to use Eclipse.

    I use the Code::Blocks IDE; but, it is NOT the best choice for a complete newbie. But, it is getting better all the time.

    Instead of Dev C++, I would suggest trying Orwell Dev-C++ Orwell Dev-C++ | SourceForge.net
    Never used it myself; but, I believe it is a close match to Dev C++.

    Tim S.
    "...a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are,in short, a perfect match.." Bill Bryson

  4. #4
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    There is not a best one. You should use the one that you find most comfortable. I will note that the latest version of Visual Studio is 2013, and if you get that IDE, you should get the latest version. Visual Studio 2013 Express edition is also free.
    (There is also a newer version called Visual Studio "14", which is currently in alpha (called CTP), which is also available to download for free.)
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    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    Registered User Alpo's Avatar
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    Code Blocks is pretty good, although Visual Studio might be better for some Windows stuff. Anyway, like Stahta01 says the most important thing is that it will be compatible with your lessons.

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    For anything C and C++ related I strongly prefer Qt Creator. Do not be fooled into thinking that it is only useful for Qt applications, it is a good C and C++ IDE. You can find it at qt-project under the Downloads section. If you don't want to install the entire Qt SDK you can download the IDE only by clicking on "Show downloads" and scrolling down a bit. The upside to downloading the SDK is that you get a compiler and everything bundled, so if you don't mind the big download and you don't have a compiler already then choose this. If you download the IDE alone you must already have a compiler available.
    STL Util a small headers-only library with various utility functions. Mainly for fun but feedback is welcome.

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    Code::Blocks is pretty user friendly, however Microsoft's is probably superior although slightly longer learning curve, learning all the settings etc, the main thing you need to know it where to include any header files and link any libraries.

    As for compilers, I think you can user the Microsoft compiler with C::B's someone in here will confirm this.

    The only two compilers I have used as GCC and MSVC, generally you want to use MSVC as it is much better supported for third party libraries however if you just doing core C++ there isn't really anything between them, a few Microsoft extensions, defines and typedef's here and there but that isn't core C++ although the boundaries can become blurred a bit I suppose.

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    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    As for compilers, I think you can user the Microsoft compiler with C::B's someone in here will confirm this.
    It is extremely hard to get the Express version to work with C::B.

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    I would recommend not using Codelite. I used it for a couple of years, and their developers don't seem to have their priorities in the right place. For example, in one update, the svn output window was moved to the bottom of the svn management window, which is typically docked on the side of the main window. There was no provision to move it to the bottom with the rest of the output windows. When I asked about it, they basically said "that's the way it is now," and that I should just create a custom perspective in which it is larger. For the longest time, they refused to add any support for C++11 features, so things it didn't understand, but which compiled just fine, were underlined in red. Their attitude seems to be "we're making this for us, and if you use it, you have to live with our preferences."
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    What? Nobody has recommended the original Turbo C++?

    Based on number of posts in forums here with code clearly are written using Turbo C++, one could be forgiven for believing that Turbo C++ is the most popular IDE, ever.


    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

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    Hi, I would recommend Code::Blocks IDE.

    I'm learning C++ with it, and it is amazing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EAX101010 View Post
    Hi, I would recommend Code::Blocks IDE.

    I'm learning C++ with it, and it is amazing.
    Please, it's the biggest crap I've used so far...

    Each version has so many bugs (and each version comes with many interesting new ones) that most features are unusable at all. I tried more than 10 different builds and finally gave up.
    My experience:
    - Parser - can't parse 95% of my code.
    - Code Completion - can't complete 95% of my code.
    - If you want to watch any STL container you have to install Python + manually install scripts. If you finally manage to do this, it still crashes, has many parsing problems, and does not support all types.
    - Debugging often just hangs.
    - It has "Save all files", "Save all projects", and "Save everything". However, after clicking all of them, some files are still not saved. I can't even count how many times I committed uncompilable code.
    - Each time you change IDE's configuration you have to restart it to make it save the changes. Otherwise, all of them will be lost when the IDE crashes (that is, in 15-20 minutes).
    - Sometimes the IDE layout simply refuses to work - you can't restore toolbars or arrange them in the way you want.

    But each new version comes with different (reworked) logo.

    I switched to Qt Creator which is much better.
    Last edited by kmdv; 08-24-2014 at 05:43 AM.

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    I love Qt Creator as well, and use it for non-Qt code. It's a lot smoother than Eclipse for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I love Qt Creator as well, and use it for non-Qt code. It's a lot smoother than Eclipse for me.
    Qt Creator's UI is very non-traditional, as IDEs go, and in some ways I'd even call it inconvenient, but it certainly does beat Code::Blocks and Eclipse in just about every other way.

    That being said, Eclipse is not a bad IDE, but it is very slow, by comparison to just about everything else. I believe that this is due, in large part, to the fact that it runs on Java. It was also not originally intended to be used with C and C++, so its handling of those languages does fall short in a few areas.

    I haven't used Code::Blocks extensively, but my impression of it is that it is very much geared toward beginners. It's not as polished or as full featured as Eclipse or Visual Studio, and it feels to me like they just didn't try very hard.
    What can this strange device be?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    I haven't used Code::Blocks extensively, but my impression of it is that it is very much geared toward beginners. It's not as polished or as full featured as Eclipse or Visual Studio, and it feels to me like they just didn't try very hard.
    The support of multiple compiler back-ends and run-time adding and removing of plugins is the most remarkable features of Code::Blocks.
    If you do NOT want both of these then, you likely will likely consider the lack of other common features a major problem in using Code::Blocks.

    I think Code::Blocks (CB) is targeted towards developers who wish to add wanted features to a IDE plugin interface.

    But, CB does have a tendency to have bugs because of poor quality control for releases. I hope they are getting better on this issue.

    Tim S.
    "...a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are,in short, a perfect match.." Bill Bryson

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