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Need help selecting an IDE

  1. Apr 28, 2013 #1
    Hello, I am a college gong student and thus will be taught about new programing languages like C/C++, Java, HTML, etc. I am using dev cpp as IDE at the moment. However, I am not comfortable with the same and want to switch. A senior of mine suggested me using Netbeans, another Visual Studio and yet another Eclipse. I am confused. Which one shall i use that is user friendly and encompasses quite many languages in itself?

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2013 #2
    I think it's wise not to get too attached to any particular IDE. During my time at uni, I needed to use Eclipse, Netbeans and Visual Studio at different times because of language / plugin requirements. They're all nice enough, but each one takes quite a bit of getting used to. I'm using Netbeans at the moment for Java EE development.

    Most of the time I like to use a nice text editor like Sublime Text, but Java EE is quite painful without an IDE to hold it together, at least for a novice like me.

    Note: I don't think Visual Studio supports Java (or any, non-MS related languages really). Eclipse and Netbeans both support a very wide range of languages.
  4. Apr 28, 2013 #3
    I will not provide advice for Java and HTML.

    For C/C++ it is crucial that the IDE provides syntax highlighting and support for operating the build tools and the debugger efficiently.

    Custom indentation and interactive completion is also nice to have - e.g. sometimes you know a certain class functionality quite well but wonder what the correct sequence of arguments for the c'tor is, and having a choice list popping up at your cursor is an asset then.
  5. Apr 28, 2013 #4

    Dr Transport

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    If memory serves me correctly, I used TextPad for a Java course a couple of years ago. I think you can link gcc into it also to be able to edit and compile c++ codes along with java etc... No ide per say, but not a bad alternative and itr forces you to think about how libraries are combined and linked.
  6. Apr 28, 2013 #5


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    Visual Studio is HUGELY user-friendly, VERY extensive and configurable and everything you could wish for in an IDE ... BUT it has a big down-side which is that it is Microsoft specific.
  7. Apr 28, 2013 #6


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    Note that visual studio c++ express is free. Creating a new project is a bit awkward. What I do is create an empty directory, then copy my source file(s) to that directory. Next I run vs c++ and choose create project, using the directory name as the project name (this will also be the default program (.exe) name). Be sure to click on "next", and click on the "empty project" check box or else vs will generate some default code for you.

    Then if I don't wan't unicode, I right click on the project name in vs c++, properties, configuration properties, select "all configurations", then click on "general", "character set" and change it to "not set" (default is "unicode").

    Next I click on project on the top menu, then "add existing item", and click on my source file(s). I then click on a source file(s) in the procect list to show / edit / source level debug, and then click on file and save all.

    At this point it's fairly straight forward. You can toggle between debug or release mode at the top menu, and use alt-B then E to compile your code.
  8. Apr 28, 2013 #7
    Do the current VS versions support CMake-im/export?
    I would consider that a prime criterion for estimating interoperability.
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