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  • An Integrated development environment (IDE) is a software that helps in software development. Sounds funny, right?

    An IDE is a collection of tools and facilities that programmers need for software designing and development. It provides the programmer with the environment in which they can write and test their codes.

    Why are IDEs so important?

    Well, think of a scenario – you are going to make pasta for dinner. Even though you know the recipe, but you will need ingredients and appropriate tools/ equipment to put your idea into action. You will find all the relevant tools and ingredients in a kitchen. So, that will be your workplace.

    Similarly, even though developers know how to code, they will need a workplace with all the relevant tools. IDE will provide the developers with that work station. That’s why IDEs are very important.

    Fortunately, there are many IDE software to choose from, and the following are some of the best ones loved by a large number of developers.

    BlueJ

    For: JAVA

    BlueJ is one of the most popular IDEs for JAVA programmers. It is best for programmers that work in an individual capacity or that have a small-scale software development set up. It has a very interactive layout. It allows the developer to test their code and interact with new objects.

    You can develop objects by applying methods. You can test their value, and you can also visually scan the code.

    It is designed for teaching purposes and has a portal of teaching resources. You can check that here.

    Eclipse

    For: C and C++

    Eclipse allows programmers to utilize the sources openly. It allows the user to use any of the OS, such as Linux, Windows, and Mac.

    The interface provided by Eclipse is one of its most appealing elements. It allows a drop and drags functionality as well. You can also analyze your code using static analysis. It also supports elements such as debugging and profiling.

    If you need help with Eclipse in creating Java applications, then check out this brilliant online course.

    CODE:: BLOCKS

    For: C and C++

    CODE:: BLOCKS is a free tool for the programmers of C and C++. It can be configured according to your requirements, and its plugins are highly flexible. It allows you to program objects in a visual object-oriented approach. It is termed as a class browser. It also supports the auto-completion of the code along with debugging.

    Use this online tool for C and C++ programming.

    Codenvy

    For: JAVA

    The best thing about Codenvy is that it has three different variations. The three variations are as a developer, enterprise, and team.

    You can choose the variant that best describes you. It provides the developers with features such as auto-completion of the code and syntax highlighting. It is one of the very few on-demand IDE software. You can use it on Linux, Mac, Windows.

    Ease of coding, better user experience, and Docker support are its main features.

    RJ TextEd

    For: JAVA, PHP, HTML, CSS

    RJ TextEd allows the auto-completion of code along with code folding. You can also make use of column mode while using this IDE. It has advanced color hints that can easily change between color formats. It has dockable panels, and it offers an annotation bar as well. It offers syntax editing. It is an excellent text and source editor who has Unicode support too.

    GNAT programming studio

    For: C and C++

    GNAT programming studio is a powerful IDE that provides multi-platform support to the developers. It completely supports debugging and profiling. It is also a class browser allowing the user to do object-oriented programming. It has the drag and drops feature as well.

    Its best feature is it auto-completes the code.

    Visual Studio Code

    For: JAVA

    Visual Studio Code can be used on all major OS. It is one of the best IDE for new programmers. It helps newbies to understand coding and related procedures as tags and syntax. It is great to understand error handling. It has the feature of syntax highlighting. It also supports auto-completion. It has a function definition as well.

    It also has the feature of IntelliSense, which smartly auto-completes the code, keeping in view the type of the variable that is being used.

    Brackets

    For: JAVA, Python, Perl, Ruby

    Brackets is a very lightweight editor. It has great visual tools. It has inline editors that allow live editing. The open-source version is entirely free of cost. It offers several extensions as well. It has a very user-friendly and interactive user interface. It provides a split view mode as well.

    AWS Cloud9

    For: JAVA, C, C++, Python, Go, Ruby, Perl

    AWS Cloud9 supports real-time analysis along with spontaneous editing. It has had debugging properties. It highlights the syntax. You can easily extend its functionality by using your desired plugins. You can also customize the look of the software at your end by making use of the plethora of themes that the IDE offers.

    CodeLite

    For: C and C++

    CodeLite provides general support to the developers. It is free and open-source. It has an element of next-generation debugging. It also supports profiling. It also has an inbuilt RAD tool. RAD allows you to develop and design Widget based applications. It can also support code analysis by using a static approach.

    Greenfoot

    For: JAVA

    Greenfoot IDE is specially designed to facilitate high school students and Under-grads. It has interactive games to help the newbies understand coding in a fun way. It has animated graphics and sounds. The students can quickly develop 2D graphic graphs. It is entirely free. It also has inbuilt interactive simulations. The sole purpose of this IDE is to help make programming an easy and fun task.

    Light Table

    For: JAVA, Python, CSS, HTML

    Light Table offers a very interactive interface. You can easily explore and develop various applications in an effortless manner. The programmer can customize it to their needs. It provides a plugin manager to help manage multiple plugins at the same time. It makes decluttering an effortless task.

    NetBeans

    For: JAVA, C, C++, Python, PHP, HTML

    NetBeans works well with almost all of the popular programming languages. It provides line indentation. It is also available in various languages such as English, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese. It also highlights the source code. The workspace is completely modifiable, and the programmer can modify it as per his/her needs. It also refactors code as well.

    How to choose an IDE?

    • First of all, you should make a list of things that are your priority. It is crucial as one programmer might be looking for an IDE with the best syntax highlighting, whereas the other might b looking for an IDE that has the best interface. So, you need to define your needs first.
    • Some critical criteria to be included in your priority list are syntax highlighting, debugging, error highlighting, interface, and static code analysis.
    • Then grade different IDEs based on your priority list and choose the one that suits you the most.

    Why are web-based IDEs becoming so popular?

    Web-based IDE is replacing desktop IDEs because they are easy to use and more manageable. The programming world is still arguing about which form of IDE is best. But we can’t deny one thing that web-based IDEs are taking the programmers by a storm. Many programmers have shifted to web-based IDEs. So, one thing is for sure that web-based IDE is the new trend in the programming world.

    Conclusion

    IDEs, whether web-based or desktop-based, are very important for a programmer. Choosing the right IDE can make or break your programming experience. Choose an IDE as per your own needs because your needs may differ from your colleagues’.