The Linux IDE Debate

Michael L Torrie torriem at
Fri Sep 28 09:35:45 MDT 2007

Charles Curley wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 06:56:33PM -0600, Michael L Torrie wrote:
>> Steve wrote:
>> The original Linux IDE has got to be KDevelop.
> Emacs.

Frankly Emacs was not what most people were looking for (vi neither, to
head off that flame war) who wanted an IDE.  Nor should anyone expect
that Steve's audience uses it as an IDE.

Emacs integrates well with some forms of software development.
Particularly Scheme and Lisp.  But as far as a C and C++ IDE goes,
KDevelop 1.0 blew Emacs out of the water (at the time), at least for
windows refugees looking for an IDE.  We're talking things like
automatic Makefile management, subprojects, compiling profiles, code
completion, debugging, etc.  While Emacs can do all those things, it's
as integrated or as smooth as in a good IDE.  Like or not, Borland's
Turbo products back in the day, and then Visual Studio, revolutionized
how we approach software development.  Emacs compared to this type of
IDE is really, for most of the unwashed masses, just a fancy text editor
that has a macro language and can run "make" on demand, and do
rudimentary code completion and prototype suggestion.

So when most people think of IDEs (such as were pioneered by the likes
of Borland and Microsoft) on Linux the ones that come to mind are
CodeWarrior, CodeForge, KDevelop, Eclipse, Anjuta, etc.

>     Emacs: the Free Software IDE
>     By Charles Curley on Sat, 2002-06-01 01:00. Software
>     "Many people waited a long time to have nice IDEs for Linux. While
>     everyone else waited I just used Emacs."--Thanyne Harbaugh,
>     President, Provo Linux Users Group
>     Emacs is well known as an editor, but calling Emacs an editor is
>     like calling the Queen Mary a boat. The source RPM for Emacs 21.1
>     is some 20MB--huge for an editor. You don't have to use all of it,
>     but sometimes it's nice to know it's there.
>     Emacs is heavily customizable, which makes it very flexible. For
>     example, I am writing this article with Emacs and will spell check
>     it with Emacs. ``Well'', I hear you saying, ``if it's good for
>     writing articles, it can't be very good for developing software.''
>     That's where Emacs' flexibility and customization come in; you can
>     use it for either or for something completely different. Want to
>     see a shrink, play Tetris or manipulate dates in the Mayan
>     calendar? Emacs.
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