The Linux IDE Debate

Steve smorrey at
Thu Sep 27 18:38:23 MDT 2007

I realize this will probably have as many answers as there are people
on the list, but I figured I should get some feedback before I make a

I am in the process of taking a cross platform library that I wrote a
while ago and writing a book that explains how to use it, and how it

This book is part of a larger series I plan to write on cross platform
development with the final product being a network enabled game engine
that will run on Windows, Linux, Mac.

The book is targeted, primarily towards people who have limited C/C++
programming experience, but who have some experience in a C like

I have written most of the background and theory surrounding the who,
what and why.  And am about to embark on the meat of this adventure,
examples and docs.

There is only one hitch.

I rarely ever use an IDE, and instead tend to use a simple text editor
like Kate, Nano, or whatever else happens to be handy at the moment.
I then manually manage my makefiles, and do all of my compiling from a
command line.

It's not that I can't use an IDE for development, and in fact
sometimes I've found them to be handy, but truth be told, most of time
I feel like they are just slowing me down.

I realize that there will be many people who will read this, and not
be comfortable with this approach.  They will want to use an IDE for
most, if not all of the work.  Also my understanding is that "in the
real world" IDE's are used more often than not, even for the simplest

Thus far for Windows and Mac, I have gone the default route and used
Visual Studio and XCode as the recommended IDE(s).  But on Linux I'm

For the end product we will have both a client and a server.  Both
will compile and run on Windows, Linux and Mac.  For most folks though
I imagine they will just be using the Linux server and then the
Windows or Mac client to connect.

Being that the majority of people will likely do this, should I cater
to the majority and just use the command line approach under Linux.
Or should I take a few pages and introduce the wonders of Linux
desktop programming, including an introduction to a nice Linux IDE?

If so what IDE would you recommend?

Another couple of options I have also considered and not ruled out
yet, would be the usage of Eclipse or Code::Blocks.  This has the
advantage of presenting the same interface on all platforms.  The
drawback is that I would still need a unique project file for each
platform, it does kind of remove the end-users choice, and doesn't
really teach the "adaptability" approach I'm trying to proselytize

Anyways, your thoughts, feelings, and recommendations are being
actively sought out here.


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