Choosing an IDE

Apprentice
Posts: 7
Joined: 2009.02
Post: #1
Hello everyone,

For Mac dev, is Xcode the IDE of choice for everyone around here?
Do you use other IDEs with success?
We're doing the port of a cross-platform game engine and have used Xcode until now, but maybe this is not an obvious choice?
What about iPhone dev? It seems heavily tied to Xcode, and so far I've only found an Eclipse plugin for iPhone web apps development, but maybe there is more?

Thanks!

Guillaume
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Member
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Post: #2
MS Visual Studio + VA is my choice Wink
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Apprentice
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Post: #3
145 views and only one answer, the question must be dumb somehow...
I'm guessing the answer is Xcode all the way, then! Smile
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Member
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Post: #4
There are not so many to chose from, but there are a few.

For iPhone, AFAIK you must use Xcode, at least for accessing the iPhone.

I guess Eclipse is the biggest competitor to Xcode on the Mac. I have only tried it briefly. It is written in Java (which means it is slow) and Java development is its main goal, but it has support/plug-ins for other languages too.

I mostly use Lightweight IDE (which I also wrote). A lot easier for small projects. I am very happy with it, despite some rough corners (after all it is still at 0. versions). The ultra-tight GUI sometimes confuses new users, who don't think it can do anything, but it can do quite a bit more than what meets the eye. Seriously missing features are likely to be accounted for if someone actually wants them.

There are some others, like Code::Blocks, CodeLite, Lazarus, MonoDevelop and a bunch of Java and Python environments, but they are not discussed much among Mac as far as I can tell.
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Member
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Post: #5
I hadn't replied as I mostly use Xcode when doing mac development. You can use any cross platform IDE (like some of the ones that Ingemar suggested), but the only real IDE for writing mac applications IMHO is Xcode. Eclipse/NetBeans can produce Java applications, and MonoDevelop can produce .net applications for example, but neither of them produce Objective-C mac applications which is how you get a 'native' feel.
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Post: #6
Blacktiger Wrote:I hadn't replied as I mostly use Xcode when doing mac development. You can use any cross platform IDE (like some of the ones that Ingemar suggested), but the only real IDE for writing mac applications IMHO is Xcode. Eclipse/NetBeans can produce Java applications, and MonoDevelop can produce .net applications for example, but neither of them produce Objective-C mac applications which is how you get a 'native' feel.
Just for the record, Lightweight IDE can build a native ObjC app, and I think Eclipse can too. OTOH, I find Obj-C somewhat irrelevant for games. Most games don't play in the standard look-and-feel GUI race.
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Post: #7
Ingemar Wrote:Just for the record, Lightweight IDE can build a native ObjC app, and I think Eclipse can too. OTOH, I find Obj-C somewhat irrelevant for games. Most games don't play in the standard look-and-feel GUI race.
Don't forget that you need to write a little Cocoa to set up your environment. Carbon is basically deprecated now.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Ingemar Wrote:Just for the record, Lightweight IDE can build a native ObjC app, and I think Eclipse can too. OTOH, I find Obj-C somewhat irrelevant for games. Most games don't play in the standard look-and-feel GUI race.

True, I forgot about Lightweight IDE since it's so new. Rolleyes It may be possible to set up some other IDEs (like Eclipse) to produce native Objective-C apps, but its probably not easy at the present time; it is certainly possible to create a native Objective-C app from the command line and thus setup an IDE to do the same.
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diordna Wrote:Don't forget that you need to write a little Cocoa to set up your environment. Carbon is basically deprecated now.
No, I do not need that. There are several ways to write a game without any Cocoa at all. The Carbon GUI is dying fast, but the "Core" packages are not, and most definitely not SDL, OpenGL, CGL, OpenAL and GLUT.

Or do you have any very clear signs that Apple will kill Core Graphics and Core Audio soon?

For iPhone, things are a bit different, but the thread is not only about that. (BTW, any alternatives for iPhone work would be interesting to hear about.)
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Post: #10
Ingemar Wrote:Just for the record, Lightweight IDE can build a native ObjC app, and I think Eclipse can too. OTOH, I find Obj-C somewhat irrelevant for games. Most games don't play in the standard look-and-feel GUI race.

To be clear, Cocoa and Obj-C are not the same thing. I believe what you meant to say was that using *Cocoa* is not strictly necessary for setting up a game environment on the Mac. Obj-C itself is a fantastic language to use for games on the Mac (not just for the GUI), although if you're using Obj-C, you might as well use Cocoa too while you're at it. You *can* use Carbon to set up your windowing and basic OS menu stuff, but few recommend it anymore (as we've already discussed ad-nauseum Wink ).

All that said, GLUT and SDL are actually Cocoa based too. Wink
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Post: #11
For developing on the Mac, XCode is about the best.
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Post: #12
Anyone with Unity experience?

I just stumbled across it today while looking for Wii development tools, only to find that it supports iPhone, Mac, and Windows game projects, too. I'd hate to learn a completely new tool only to find that it's not very useful.

Link: http://unity3d.com/

"Who's John Galt?"
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Apprentice
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Joined: 2009.02
Post: #13
Sorry I forgot to mention it's a C++ game engine. Whether Mac OS-specific Obj-C code will be added, I don't know.
Thanks for the answers! Looks like people tend to stick with Xcode.
Ingemar, thanks for Lightweight IDE, but I think I (and the guys above me in the company) would rather rely on something that's already widespread.
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Post: #14
guillaume Wrote:Sorry I forgot to mention it's a C++ game engine. Whether Mac OS-specific Obj-C code will be added, I don't know.
Thanks for the answers! Looks like people tend to stick with Xcode.
Ingemar, thanks for Lightweight IDE, but I think I (and the guys above me in the company) would rather rely on something that's already widespread.
I understand, especially the argument about the "guys above". It may be useful as a "quick test hack tool" complement tool though. For commercial production use, that's where I think it fits today, while the big main project sure can live a safer life in a bigger, more conventional tool.

And that is very much how I look at the programming tools, IDEs, editors as well as libraries. There are many problems and different problems may need different tools. And that's the way it should be.
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