So, in a post before the previous, the Eclipse IDE was mentioned as a free IDE available for C++ work. Specifically, Eclipse and the CDT plugin for it.

I have a few opinions here.

It is painful that it requires a Java runtime setup. They have the capability of compiling the system to a native executable format and use GCJ, yet they refuse to do this.

It’s a bit clunky when getting started. It is very very busy from a UI point of view, so you may not know what the right thing is to do. It seemed like they filled up too much of the screen real estate (which is precious with an IDE).

Overall, I used eclipse a couple of years ago for a Java project. I found it to be pretty good.

Still, Java development for a web app is clunky in itself (you have to restart the web server/servlet container for any changes). The debugger attach and change in place was kind of cool.

The environment wasn’t snappy… that was a problem.

It is open source and it does appear like they are trying to provide the one IDE to rule them all.

However, like a lot of open source projects that get popular, I worry about the overall direction. I think the idea behind the system is “eat the java in order to get the benefits”. Also, the projects are very enterprise focused instead of general programming project focused. It also lacks

I think all of this is flawed, and it will cause programmers in other languages to reject the platform.

So, I guess I just keep an eye on their progress, but I haven’t found the cost of going into the Eclipse world worth it yet. I would only use it if I was doing a Java project.

I guess I’ll go over what I think the perfect IDE should be in another post.

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