Hmm smells fishy to me
Developer tools company JetBrains has released CLion, a new cross-platform IDE for C and C++. JetBrains is a survivor in a product area dominated either by vendor-specific tools (such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio and Apple's Xcode) or free open source projects (Eclipse and NetBeans). The core JetBrains product, IntelliJ IDEA …
Thanks for writing this, Tim. I don't really care if it is promotional or not because it has told me about something that I didn't know about and am interested in.
I've been using Visual C++ for years but for the past year have been at a client who uses GCC under Linux and it has been quite a shock for me. Eclipse CDT (ie. Eclipse for C++) seems rather pants by comparison and Code::Blocks doesn't do it for me either. So I'd be quite interested in a decent IDE even if it's one I have to pay for.
Just one thing though - the use of "C/C++" is a pet hate of mine. You correctly say "C and C++" in the body of the piece but the title says "C/C++".
I've been using Jetbrains IntelliJ Idea for Java for a few years now and would never go back to Eclipse or any other IDE. It's a real eye-opener just how much better it is than anything else out there. I have not done C++ in years but I used to use Code::Blocks for C++. Recently when I had to look at some old C++ code at work I fired up Eclipse CDT - which is the standard here... and immediatly shut it down again (well as fast as I could... Eclipse takes forever to start up and shut down...). So I grabbed Code::Blocks and did my work in there... but compared to InelliJ Idea Code::Blocks felt really primitve. Not much of a step up from Notepad. I never realized how wonderful the tools in IntelliJ were until I didn't have them at my disposal.
A little while after that experience I gave an early Alpha build of CLion a spin... and it was pretty awesome. Glad to see it finally released into the wild.
Then there must be something wrong with your machine, because it is simply embarrassing how much better IntelliJ is than Eclipse. Although I wouldn't call it frugal, especially with memory -- running it on a machine with less than 4GB (preferrably 8GB) isn't going to get you the best experience. Then again, you can't accuse Eclipse of being any better in that department.
You can change code while debugging (with some limitations though, look up HotSwap), and you have full access to all variables as well as live evaluations, as well as variable values displayed in-line with the debugged code.
When Borland still cared about a good IDE, I was a really big fan of JBuilder, and I still have it running in a virtual machine to support some legacy code. After years of frustration with Eclipse, I discovered IntelliJ and it felt like coming home.
I agree that the IntelliJ IDEA is very snappy (startup and using). I run it in both Linux and Windows 7 VMs of 3-4GB each (on a reasonably slow laptop). I use it for Java, JS, and Scala development. The language/utility plugins are great. I haven't tried the CLion implementation yet and hope to have a reason to soon.
Back in my Java days using IDEA was a real eye-opener to this amazing concept of my tools cooperating with me and even anticipating my direction and preemptively resolving imports and such, without veering into annoying Mr. Clippy over-helpfulness.
The fact that IntelliJ was written in the same language that it was editing allowed for some truly inspired levels of software integration.
It really amazes me that with the millions of people out there writing software, so few companies are dedicated to making good software development tools. It is 2015 and we are barely now getting an intelligent editor for C.
I hope JetBrains have plans for a Haskell IDE at some point. The JVM won't last forever, after all.
I'm looking forward to trying out CLion, having used IntelliJ for Java every now and then - but it's startup time is just as awful as Eclipse.
I'm a C++ developer mainly so I bounce between Eclipse CDT and Qt Creator. Qt Creator is fantastic: light-weight, great auto-completion, and great profiling and debugging tool integration. Oh and it's free. Eclipse is bloated shite.
It's a tangential thought but it's interesting how many devs (and I'm one of them) are annoyed by slow loading IDEs. Unless the code being worked on is going to crash the machine regularly (a faulty device driver perhaps), the IDE is only going to get loaded once or twice a day so it shouldn't much matter how long it takes to load... but it does!
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