Code::Blocks is an open-source IDE that uses C, C++, and Fortran coding languages. The main functionality of the program is the focus around a plugin-based extension platform enabling each coder to develop the software in the way that they want to. The software was made in C++ and operates as a GUI tool.
Powerful programming tool
Having the proper tools to code is highly important. Blocks was built as a platform to develop out of combining all of the essentials into one program. The unique thing about Block is that you can do what you want with it.
As the software is open-source, those with programming knowledge have the ability to make modifications and improve the software. Even if you are using it without the confidence to change the code, you can add plugins to extend functionality or change features.
Compiling and debugging already come in the initial download however. Also, the feel of the platform remains consistent even when importing new plugins into the system. It uses xxWidgets to keep the software smooth across multiple platforms.
What is Code::Blocks?
This program contains much more than just what normally comes in an Integrated Development Environment. It is made to support other compilers like Visual C++, but it doesn’t come with its own compiler. You’ll need to find, download, and install your own, like minGW.
Debugging is another key function that is standard for all IDEs; however, they provide strong support with features like customizable memory dumps. This helps you troubleshoot and fix bugs more easily.
For major program developers, Blocks has a strong inter-project dependency setup, allowing you to see how different parts affect each other and how your references might be interconnected. Also, to support that, it utilizes parallel builds and full break-point support. Another feature is code completion which helps immensely with the tedious work of correcting mistakes in codes or recalling keywords you might need but can’t fully remember.
Another positive benefit for this program is the cross-platform design, which allows you to work in Microsoft, Linux, and Mac operating systems.
How do I use Code::Blocks?
Once you have the Code::Blocks download, which works for all versions of Windows, you need to install it. There are no complicated processes within the installation process. To begin work, you will have to select a compiler.
You can download and link to any compiler you’d like, so there's a lot of freedom here. The next step will be to choose your debugger path. The next choice is which language that the code will be in, whether that’s C or C++. Make sure that your compiler supports the language you’ve selected. If you want to write a program in C, you’ll have to make sure that your compiler supports it.
All proper debugging and files must fall under a project which you will have to create. Only toy programs can be done outside of an operation, and you won’t have access to the debugger in these environments.
When you do create a project, it comes with everything necessary for one. Relevant information, source codes, and header files are all within this compilation. Once you’re finished creating the project, then debugging will be your next and final step.
Limitations and common bugs
Code::Blocks is limited because the system is becoming more and more outdated even with the newer versions released. Another issue is that code completion doesn’t work as intended. More work is required on the part of the user to ensure the code is done. This is a huge disadvantage, since most IDEs ship with some form of code completion. This is a useful feature, especially for newer programmers.
You also cannot keep two toy programs within a single project, which is unfortunate. Only one main function file is allowed in tandem within the individual system. This limitation makes it inefficient for larger projects, like corporate software or video games. Finally, it isn’t very straightforward to make the code look nicer within the final project.
One of the common issues is that when you close a program, it may not close entirely. This instance will prevent you from opening another project until you have properly canceled the other one.
Another option is Clion. The main issues are that it only uses CMake and must be paid for if you’re not a student or teacher. However, it is cross-platform as well, and is quite speedy in the main areas like code completion.
Dev C++ does not have as much utility as the other options. What does make it stand out is its simplicity in use. Also, like Blocks, it is free and open-source.
Eclipse, although more complicated to use, has overall better utility and is one of the major IDEs used by industry professionals. The user interface is better designed, and the code completion feature is much more efficient. Another point is that Eclipse has better support than Code::Blocks.
Good IDE for small projects
Overall, the program had a bit of a clumsy feel to it. However, in perspective, it wasn’t too complicated to get done what it needed to do. Mostly, it was a bit limited by the lack of comprehensive handling. Plugins made it easy to adapt to various needs.
The most recent versions have been streamlining the app for Windows 10, ensuring it runs faster and smoother.