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Decent IDE for C

  1. May 5, 2013 #1
    I'm fairly new to C. Learning it for my school, but my fluency is mainly in Python and Java.

    For Python the standard IDLE (Python GUI) works fine and Eclipse does the job for me in Java. I've been trying to find a good IDE for C.

    So far I found the following:
    Notepad++ : Very good editing abilities, tabs, line-numbers, highlighting etc.
    Quincy: Compiler included, fair editing
    C-Free: Compiler included, fair editing

    To those who have experience with several environments for C, what is the best one to use for C? I am looking for one that has a very convenient source code editor, decent compiler that does not crash the actual shell window during a stack overflow or runtime exception (and gives you a chance to evaluate the problem) and hopefully shows line numbers and highlights keywords.

    It's ok if no such program exists, but if it does exist and someone here knows about it, do let me know! Thanks!!

  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2013 #2


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    If you're running with windows, microsoft visual C++ express is free, and it has a good source level debugger.
  4. May 5, 2013 #3


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    Visual Studio is as good as it gets --- all you could want and more. Two drawbacks though. It's not free (cheap for students though) and it's Microsoft proprietary.
  5. May 5, 2013 #4


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    The "express" versions are free, and the full version (multiple languages) for students are cheap.
  6. May 5, 2013 #5


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  7. May 5, 2013 #6
    I use a programming text editor (Sublime Text is nice) and a (persistent) terminal. I do this, because I like to have access to a terminal for other, related things, like running my program with different input parameters, running gdb and valgrind for debugging, redirecting program output to a file, or /dev/null, and easy access to man(ual) pages for C functions.
  8. May 6, 2013 #7
    When I programmed for Windows platforms I naturally used MS VS for C/C++ when working with the MS compiler suite.

    But for working with other C/C++-compilers (or other languages) I arrived at
    You may like that if you like notepad++, esp if you do not fear the need for (moderate) customization tasks.

    Regards, S.
  9. May 30, 2013 #8
    You could try Code::Blocks which is a C/C++ ide (with mingw of course). If you can setup your toolchain however then you can customize whatever compiler and debugger you want. The default is gcc/g++ with gdb debugger. Those are very advanced open source tools and I've used them for years. Plus there is a lot of legacy help on forums on the internet in terms of errors so you can just copy and paste your error into google seach and find what you need since everyone at one time has made the same mistake.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  10. Jun 2, 2013 #9
    Bloodshed Dev-c++ is portable and once setup, you have all the libraries and the compiler in one folder. It weigh in at around 400mb. I like this tool since I can put it on a usb key and play around with programming c/c++ on whatever PC I use.

    I did study straight C with VS(it's fun to use, new 2012 version is bloated) and c++ with eclipse (hated it, bloated bugware). Sublime does have a great interface and a portable version, but some of it's feature will be confusing if you're just starting out with programming. Dev-CPP! try it...
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