Recommend IDE for coding in "C"

Paul Conrady audio1953 at
Wed Mar 20 13:54:28 EDT 2013


Wow, what a great explanation! Thanks much.

I am currently reading the Emacs manual and plan to investigate QtCreator
and Eclipse based on the recommendations above. Anjuta is no longer a
consideration based on negative reviews that I read.

AFAIK, QtCreator does not address 'C'. I presume C and C++ are similar
enough to suffice.

There is a great comparison page on Wikipedia:

I will keep you posted. Thanks to all for your input.


On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM, Buddha Buck <blaisepascal at>wrote:

> Paul,
> As should be clear from the other responses, there's no clear "if you work
> in C/C++, then this is the IDE you should use".  Both languages have been
> around for a very long time (C since the early 1970's, C++ since the mid
> 1980's), and have been used across a large number of different
> environments, there's no category-killer.
> Both C and C++ are old enough languages that they have a certain amount of
> cruft in their design with makes it hard for IDEs to get their hooks into
> them to provide "advanced" services.  For instance, while there are
> "refactoring" tools for Java and C# that work with popular IDEs for those
> languages, there are none for C/C++.  So most IDEs for C/C++ are mainly
> glorified text editors with syntax highlighting and shortcuts to call
> compilers, source control systems, debuggers, and other development tools.
>  There are source browsers available (allowing you to go to function/class
> definitions, etc), but they are generally not as sophisticated as those in
> newer languages.
> It should be noted that in Linux/Unix, all the development tools are
> command-line based, and so any IDE is going to call make, gcc, git, gdb,
> javac, etc behind the scenes anyway to do the actual work.
> So which you choose is more a matter of taste than functionality.
>  Everyone is going to prefer the one they are most familiar with.
> That said, here are the choices I can speak to:
> Emacs -- This is an old extensible text editor, nearly as old as C.  Since
> it is older than most windowing interfaces, it is very much geared towards
> usage on a terminal -- keyboard based commands, fixed window size,
> monospace type, etc.  It has, in the past decade or so, added some ability
> to be used with a mouse, but the keyboard is really the way to use it.
>  Since it is designed to be extensible (it uses elisp, a language similar
> to the Guile language GnuCash uses), it has a lot of features available (in
> the 1980's it's desktop icon was a kitchen sink).  As far as an IDE goes,
> it provides all the basic hooks so you don't have to leave the program in
> order to develop, and it has support to handle a large number of languages.
>  Emacs has a reputation for being heavyweight and larded with features, but
> I've found that compared to modern editors with a fraction of the
> capabilities, it's rather lightweight and spry.  The old joke that the name
> means "Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping" is meaningless when your
> browser can take a gig of memory.
> Vi -- This is almost as old as Emacs, but wasn't originally written to be
> quite as extensible.  Like Emacs, it's text-and-keyboard oriented.  It
> provides syntax highlighting, but I'm not sure about hooks to other tools.
>  I don't use it for development myself, that much.  It has always been
> considered lightweight compared to Emacs.
> Eclipse -- Eclipse is a modern development environment, and provides lots
> of bells and whistles, especially for Java development.  I haven't really
> used it for C/C++ development, though.
> I've not used many others.  QtCreator is probably well designed for C++,
> and if you do other work with Qt it's probably a good, familiar choice.  If
> not, it may be another set of libraries and dependencies to install.
> On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 2:05 AM, Paul Conrady <audio1953 at> wrote:
>> This is not a question about GnuCash per se. Since I would like to
>> contribute
>> to the development of GnuCash, I thought the developer's here might be the
>> best source of information.
>> I want to start coding in "C" and "C++". Please recommend an IDE for me.
>> After searching through the Ubuntu and Canonical repos, I am leaning
>> toward
>> Anjuta DevStudio or maybe CodeLite. Since I am learning the language, all
>> that I require is a simple interface; nothing complex.
>> Thank you for your help.
>> Paul
>> --
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