Thursday, February 7, 2013

Usage of IDEs (Integrated Development Environments)

IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) have number of different applications and components integrated with in to provide facilities to the developers. 

Text/Code editor: 
This is a specifically designed program for editing source codes in a program by developers. It can improve the speed of code input to a program by providing functionalities such as syntax highlighting, autocomplete and bracket matching. Editors will also provide a convenient way for compiler, interpreter, debugger or any other relevant component to software development process to run the source code. If any editor doesn’t enhance and ease the process of editing source code they are not source code editors there for the code editors are specifically designed for the improve the quality of editing source code. Other than Code editors text editors also can be used to edit source code but it doesn’t provide more functionalities than source code editors. 

Most of the code editors have the functionality of immediately warning the syntax error in a program to the developers, removing unnecessary white spaces in a program and arranging the code in pleasant manner. 

Microsoft Visual Studio built-in editor (Windows), NEdit (Linux, UNIX, Mac OS X), Notepad++ (Windows) 

Compiler integration: 
Every IDE must have a compiler integrated with in it. The duty of a compiler is to inspect program flow and debug executable logic with the integrated debugger. In .NET the JIT compiler converts the IL code to machine code as in JAVA JIT compiler converts the byte code into native machine code. 

Debugger integration: 
Debugger is a special program used to find errors (bugs) in other programs. A debugger allows a programmer to stop a program at any point and examine and change the values of variables. Typically, debuggers also offer more sophisticated functions such as running a program step by step at some event or specified instruction by means of a breakpoint, and tracking the values of some variables. Some debuggers have the ability to modify the state of the program while it is running, rather than merely to observe it. It may also be possible to continue execution at a different location in the program to bypass a crash or logical error. 

Code completion/snippets: 
It’s a common name for set of features that are provided by an IDE to improve the performance of coding. 

GUI editor: 
These kinds of editors simplify the process of designing user interfaces. Event-driven architecture is commonly used in user interface designing, so GUI builders also simplify creating event-driven code. 

Microsoft Visual Studio, NetBeans, Qt Creator, Gambas are some IDEs with GUI editors 

Test suite integration: 
Commonly known as validation suit, is a collection of test cases that are intended to be test a software program to show specified behavior of a particular program. A test suite often contains detailed instructions or goals for each collection of test cases and information on the system configuration to be used during testing 

Source control integration: 
Source control is the process of managing changes to the documents, programs and other information relevant to software systems. IDEs provide more comprehensive features for the Source controlling process. 

Other than the above mentioned advantages there are some other advantages as well that can obtain by IDEs integrated with software frameworks such as: 

· Allowing programmers to organize their project files in a convenient manner – it’s an important factor to organize the project files other than messing up with the stuff. IDEs provide different structures to arrange and view them. 

· Color codes the code's syntax for easier reading/understanding – Human readable codes are always and advantage on behalf of the developers since human is more likely to interact with readable stuff. 

· Highlights coding errors – It’s a convenient option for the developers, so that they can find out the program errors easily Easily compile the project files or the entire project with little knowledge of all that compiler's flags that may be necessary.

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