Suggestion regarding IDE and compiler debugger

Forum for software developers to discuss BCI2000 software development
Posts: 5
Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 05:41

Suggestion regarding IDE and compiler debugger

Post by srsasane » 17 Nov 2011, 13:29

Hello all,

I am new to BCI2000, I would like to work with BCI2000 and also would like to program modules in future.

I checked out svn source repository and could successfully compile it locally using MinGW compiler.
However, Now I would like to set up IDE and debugger.

I am confused regarding selection of IDE and compiler. (MinGW & eclipse CDT or MinGw code blocks)
(I actually tried cmake with eclipse CDT 4 generator option but eclipse failed to load project files correctly. :( )
I also have access to MSDNA via my university account thus I can download Visual Studio2010
(But I havent worked with it before)
Sorry for naive question ...

Your help,suggestions are greatly appreciated.
thanks in advance,

Posts: 1163
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 11:06

Re: Suggestion regarding IDE and compiler debugger

Post by mellinger » 18 Nov 2011, 09:16


choosing an IDE very much depends on personal preferences, and habit. Still, here are my two cents:

The MinGW/CodeBlocks combination has the advantage of being open source, and being actively maintained. Also, when I tried the CodeBlocks IDE, it seemed fairly usable, but I don't have actual experience with it. I was impressed by its integration of GDB, which makes debugging as easy as in a commercial IDE.

I cannot comment on Eclipse, which seems to be popular mainly among Java developers. Also, it is not officially supported by BCI2000. As long as the CMake CDT4 generator is broken, it is not an option anyway.

Currently, I am using VisualStudio for development because it's the main supported IDE, but I prefer to write new code in a simple text editor with syntax highlighting. I only switch to the IDE when it comes to compiling and debugging. This is because some IDE features can be pretty distracting when writing new code -- wrong suggestions in the auto-completion feature, lots of sub-windows, buttons, and keyboard shortcuts one inadvertently activates, etc. Other downsides of VisualStudio include the abundance of VS-only features, and support for advanced (future) language features which make it pretty likely that code compiles under VS but not under strictly standard-conformant compilers such as GCC. Also, the absence of important tools such as memory debuggers, or profilers, which are included with GCC, or Embarcadero RAD Studio, makes it difficult to recommend VisualStudio. On the other hand, it is a quasi-standard, so one should have some experience using it, and its Express version (which is enough to compile BCI2000) may be downloaded freely.

So, my suggestion is: If you need to compile always the bleeding edge version of BCI2000, use VisualStudio. If you like open source software, and are more interested in C++ than in industry standards, use CodeBlocks with MinGW.



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