In some previous articles, we have introduced to you an overview about C++, some libraries, instruct you about C++ standard library. Now, we continue the series about C++ with its best free IDEs. We try to mention some of them and tell you its strengths and weaknesses. Now, let’s get started.
An IDE is a coding environment that includes both an editor and a language-specific toolchain. A typical IDE allows the user to edit source code and build executables. A good IDE has the editor and the additional tools set up in such a way as to make a developer more productive.
This IDE is very popular and is a great choice for many developers to build C++ and C# apps. Visual Studio is only available for Windows and macOS, it does not support Linux.
Visual Studio is a full-featured IDE for a reason: powerful debugging, task running, excellent syntax highlighting, easy to use UI, code completion, etc. It also has a very huge community which can support you with tutorials, samples and more.
Developers will enjoy a wide selection of extensions for C++, which Microsoft doesn’t include often.
However, it has a cost to run C++. You’ll need a powerful Windows development machine, and, if you intend to build commercial C++ applications you’ll need to purchase a Visual Studio license.
Dev C++ is an IDE for beginners in C++. It’s a free, full-featured and integrated IDE, but only support Windows unfortunately. Despite this limitation, it includes support for GCC-based compilers like Cygwin and MinGW.
It’s a quite impressive IDE, which has integrated debugger (using GDB, you can perform all the general debugging operations on source code), international language support, code compilation, syntax-highlighting editor, a tool manager, find and replace options, CVS support, and code printing.
Code:Blocks is another cross-platform, free and open-source IDE for C++ program development. You can expect many standard capabilities from it such as: compiling, debugging, auto code completion, code analysis, code coverage, profiling. It has an outstanding and intuitive interface, which lets you arrange elements by simply dragging and dropping.
This IDE is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. It supports multiple compilers, so you can consider it if you are working with a particular compiler.
However, Code:Blocks has downsides. Many of its functions are fairly basic compared to other more sophisticated and simplified IDEs on the market. Also, it has relatively few plugins available, and not all plugin perform well.
Another free and open-source IDE that can run on Windows, Linux and macOS for you. Eclipse is very popular and supports nearly thirty programming languages, and the C/C++ flavor is named Eclipse CDT (Eclipse C/C++ Development Tooling).
This IDE is well-known for standard features like code auto-completion, compilation, debugging tools, syntax highlighting, source navigation, static code analysis, profiling and refactoring. Like Code:Blocks, Eclipse also features an interface with drag-and-drop functionality.
However, Eclipse sometimes can crash and is not very stable when you use it on large projects, as it requires a lot of resources.
The final free and open-source IDE for building apps in C++ in this article is NetBeans. It’s written in Java like Eclipse.
Its features and supports are amazing with fast code completion and code folding, syntax highlighting, bracket matching, refactoring, integrated multi-session GDB debugger. The UI is clear, simple and friendly. You also can get plugins from its active community of contributors.
However, like Eclipse, sometimes it requires lots of memory and will end up perform kind of slow.
In this article we only mention some of the best free IDEs for C++. Of course there are many good IDEs out there for developers, but they are either not free or are limited to few platform. We will write about them in another article.
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We support not only C++, but also other programming languages such as: Python, Java, R, and many IDEs and libraries like above.
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Thank you & Happy Training!
Source: udacity.com, incredibuild.com, interviewbit.com