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wxDev-C++ is an emerging open source Rapid Application Development (RAD) / Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for C/C++ languages. It uses OpenGL for graphics programming by default and also has a visual form designer using wxWidgets (open source library). The functionality can be extended by downloading libraries of your choice like SDL and so on or by downloading the many packages available as devpacks.
The IDE is considered to be an extension of the long-ago-abandoned IDE devcpp. This IDE comes with a built-in gcc compiler (mingw32 version 3.4.2), making it possible to write and compile programs straight out of the box. Moreover, it also has built-in visual c++ compiler support, that is, if you own them, may choose the visual c++ compiler to compile the sources instead of the gcc (mingw). wxDev-C++ is really feature-rich and offers all the functionality that will help you complete normal programming tasks easily. Basic features include Project manager (can import Visual C++ project as well), Code Completion (which is really helpful when managing classes and objects, and also, it shows the function prototypes of library functions as well as user defined functions, so that you don’t really need to go search anywhere, but you have to allow the IDE to parse the header files once to create the code completion cache), Interactive Debugging (by gdb) with breakpoints, variable watching, Backtracing, Disassembly and CPU window. These features make productive programming easier by helping to track down bugs easily. Moreover, the IDE offers CVS support. It also creates makefile and it is also capable to edit and compile resource files. This makes compiling C/C++ programs, static and dynamic libraries (.dll s) a breeze.
The IDE has a built-in update system to search for updates and devpacks as well, so that you may choose them upon your liking. Being open source and free, the features offered by this IDE is at par with the commercial ones, and it will only get better, as promised in the upcoming versions.
- Open source and free, but offers the best functionality
- Interactive debugging helps track down bugs easily, and code completion, class browser, CVS support & project manager helps to develop programs easily
- Being lightweight and not bloated like some commercial ones, it offers what the general purpose programmer requires
- Debugging interface (sliding mechanism is buggy upon long run)
- The GUI is built using Delphi, and the form designer is used to develop wxWidgets interfaces, so it may not be always as exact as you wanted it to be (Most of the time, it is exact replica)
- It is a good compiler for normal uses, but its not the best comparing to the commercial ones (they tend to compile files faster)
- The book supplied with the IDE package is far from complete