September 24, 2003 by Allen George
I’ve been doing a lot of looking at work for an IDE/debugger I feel comfortable with. For the IDE I’ve narrowed it down to two choices: Sourcenav and Anjuta. Sourcenav feels like the more complete package and as a result I’m sticking with that. However Anjuta has the looks and the GNOME2 styles…
One thing I’ve always missed in Linux is autocompletion a la VC++ style. It’s extremely useful to be able to press Ctrl+Enter and get a list of functions that you can use along with a helpful list of their arguments. I’m actually very interested in creating a common autocompletion library. If you tie in the package manager to automatically create ‘tag’ files the moment a dev package is installed and IDE’s to use the appropriate tag file when a header is used – I think it would reduce the learning curve. However this is all blue sky right now…
Now for the debugger. The best gdb based free debugger I’ve found is Insight. Unfortunately, since its based on GDB it suffers from its shortcomings as well. At this moment GDB has some severe issues when it comes to dealing with C++ virtual tables. If you ever get an error of the form “Can’t find class XXX::XXX as given by the C++ RTTI” know this – THERE IS NO WORKAROUND. Unfortunately, it seems that the infrastructure within gdb would have to be overhauled pretty thoroughly for this to happen and no one has the time (which is understandable). So…yeah. If you need to use gdb and happen to run into this situation…uh…cry and try a more basic approach. Now, while I was tracking down ways to fix this problem I was pointed to C++ Debugging Library by Carlo Wood. Looks very interesting.
On a personal note – I’m starting to feel “out of it” and I have the distinct feeling that something is not right in the way I’m running. It’s not a given – instead, its a somewhat nagging feeling that comes up from time to time. As usual, I’ve compensated for this by delving even deeper into technology – as evidenced by my recent fascination with Palms. I suppose technology acts as my safety blanket – its something I understand and enjoy. It … distracts me.
Maybe I’m just not in the right place? I think that one of the greatest things one can have is the feeling of confidence, the total confidence that what one is doing is what they were _meant_ to do and what want to do. I’ve never really felt that and I often wonder what exactly that feels like. I imagine that people who experience that feel liberated. You don’t expend any time focusing on where you’re meant to be – only on enjoying what you’re doing.