C Better With CDT 3.0

The Eclipse Foundation will announced Monday an update to its C/C++ IDE with new features targeting embedded and Linux environments.

C/C++ Development Tools (CDT) 3.0 is a fully functioning IDE for Eclipse 3.1, the open source platform for application development that’s platform-agnostic and used by many commercial vendors as a launching pad for their own products.

Implemented on Java and licensed under the Open Source Initiative-approved
(OSI) Eclipse Public License (EPL), the CDT is a plug-in to the Eclipse platform.

Mike Milinkovich, Eclipse Foundation executive director, said having a powerful platform for building C/C++ tools that is widely used and adopted is an important component of Eclipse’s strategy for providing a universal development platform for tools integration.

Officials quietly announced the launch of the latest version Wednesday on a project Web site, though the download wasn’t posted at press time. CDT 3.0 features a number of improvements over the previous iteration, CDT 2.1.1, released in March 2005. Like its predecessor CDT 3.0 runs only on Eclipse
3.1 so developers can take advantage of the latest improvements to the platform.

The CDT team concentrated on performance and efficiency boosts for this latest release, swapping out existing building blocks and replacing them with better ones.

“For the 3.0 release we’ve done a lot of infrastructure changes that really let us get us to that next level of productivity,” said Sebastian Marineau, CDT 3.0 project leader. “There’s some things that the Java tools do in terms of developer productivity that we wanted to do with C and C++. From our perspective, it’s a major step forward in terms of capabilities.”

A number of back-end improvements in the IDE’s debugger, managed build system and core in this version. They include:

  • Improved searching, refactoring and C++ outliner using a more powerful language model in the form of a DOM, a language- and platform-agnostic interface for dynamic document access and update;
  • Fully configurable environmental variables for external build commands through the standard make and build properties or through a new project wizard;
  • Increased flexibility in the managed build system with macro support, the ability to define custom build steps and an overhaul of the configuration panel;
  • Debugger enhancements like the ability to view modules and memory location inspection in their own panels;
  • Parsing performance and speed improvements so searches are faster and less error-prone;

The CDT is a subproject of the Eclipse Tools Project and is one of many subprojects that includes the COBOL IDE, Visual Editor, UML2, Graphical Editor Framework and EMF.

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