Choosing an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) has become chaotic task for beginner level developers. If those clueless developers start googling or raise a question in Quora, they end up with numerous options which again takes them to the point where they started, i.e. CONFUSION ISLAND! However, let’s keep ‘choosing’ an IDE aside, for now let’s narrow it down to two IDE’S and compare them based on few parameters. Here we have considered two popular IDE’s CodeBlocks and Eclipse for our discussion.
Let’s start with listing what’s common between these two IDE’s. :
- Great community support.
- Open-source and Free to download and use.
- Good GUI experience.
- Organized project and build systems.
- Excellent debug environment which includes amenities like disassembly window, memory windows, watchpoints, call stack window and so on.
- Plugins can be added for experiencing extended features.
- And finally, both have fabulous code management system.
Now let’s compare them based on few factors:
Codeblocks is lighter compared to Eclipse, also CodeBlocks loads its workspace way faster. Whereas, you must wait little more till Eclipse gets loaded on your machine.
SUPPORT FOR MULTIPLE LANGUAGES
Although the discussion is for only C/C++ language, we cannot stop appreciating Eclipse for supporting multi- programming language, basically it was created only for Java Development but now it supports multiple programming languages while maintaining same community support. On the other hand, Codeblocks supports only few languages like C/C++, Fortran etc.
In terms of configuration CodeBlocks has upper hand as it is easily configurable in contrast to Eclipse. Beginners may find it little difficult to configure in the initial phase.
Both the IDE’s support variety of C/C++ standards and famous compilers, like MinGW and Cygwin, but the best part of using CodeBlocks is, it gives you an option to install IDE with MinGW compiler as well. So that you don’t have to worry about downloading another compiler externally and adding it to the path variables. Even though you download CodeBlocks with built-in compiler you don’t have to worry about running out of space (it takes max. 550 MB).
On the other hand, in Eclipse you must install and configure externally.
EMBEDDED SYSTEM APPLICATIONS
Now let’s discuss about our most important parameter, that is support for Embedded system development, Eclipse rules this domain as it is widely used IDE. Most IDE’s that Giant Semiconductor companies uses, are based on Eclipse. I have personally used Texas Instruments “Code Composer Studio” for DSP applications. You can check this link for more Eclipse based IDE’s used in industry.
However, Codeblocks also support Multiple intermediate level Embedded applications based on ARM,
AVR or Arduino processors. But the Impact is not high as Eclipse.
The above comparisons are based on my personal experience as I have used both IDE’s to an extent, but keep in mind that choosing an IDE or any development environment, completely depends on the above mentioned factors ,your application requirements and more importantly your convenience.
Author Adarsh Bhat
Adarsh is pursuing Btech in School of Electronics and Communication, Reva university, Bengaluru. His field of interest is Embedded Software and Firmware Development .
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