C Programming in Eclipse

In my day to day job, I mainly use java, primarily for the development of graphical interfaces to communicate with custom built hardware running embedded microprocessors (written in assembly and c). In addition though, I also write c and c++ for backend code that needs to run really fast, or needs to do stuff that java has a hard time with.

For example, I am working on a project that uses JNI to integrate a java GUI to a c++ dll, which does some complex data processing for GPS location triangulation. This code is already working in c++ and I don’t want to have top reingineer it in java, as it involves some very ugly math.

I have recently made a switch to eclipse(jbuilder) for java development. Prior to the big switch, I was using JBuilder 2005 Developer. Because JBuilder is limited to Java (or was, prior to moving to the engine eclipse, I was forced to use multiple IDEs for the different languages that I code in. For C and C++, I have been using BloodShed, which is a free windows based C++ alternative to Visual C++. For perl and php, I jave been using a syntax highlighting text editor such as textpad (shareware) or ConTEXT (free).

Since I made the switch to JBuilder 2007, I have started exploring the various eclipse plugin modules that are available. One thing I found right away is the Eclipse CDT.

I immediately liked the CDT feature set, which I found to be pretty good for a C++ environment.

  • Intelligent code completion
  • Intelligent navigation and searching
  • Debugger integration
  • On the fly builds (I am using maven2)
  • Refactoring (renaming etc)

I have successfully built both DLLs and EXEs, and eclipse is smart enough to switch workspace views around when I open a c++ project vs a java project. For example, I want my java workspace to show a javadoc view, whereas my c++ view does not display that.

One thing I have not tried yet though is though is an integrated ICD (In-Circuit Debugger) for pic programming. Not sure if such a solution exists yet, or if we have to stick with MicroChip’s IDE for embedded development at this point.

About andy dingfelder

Andy is a CISO/CTO in the fintech sector with over 20 years of experience in Software Delivery and Team Leadership in multiple industry domains. Master's Degree (MPA) in Public Administration Information Systems and over 10 years of board governance experience for multiple organisations. Full bio is available at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dingfelder and links available at https://linktr.ee//dingfelder or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dingfelder. Andy lives in the Wellington region, New Zealand with his wife and two daughters.
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