Monday, 17 May 2010

I want YOU to describe your view of a C/C++ IDE!

As you may know, I'm conducting a Google Summer of Code project to improve the coding ergonomy of Eclipse CDT. The project is scheduled for over 2 months and I'd like to spend this time as productively as possible. I'd want to spend time on the features which would be the most appreciated by the C++ community. I'd like to know what features would you like to see in the new CDT and how you'd want them realized. Long story short: I really need the input from you!

So, if you are a C++ developer willing to give some suggestions, you are more welcome. Firstly, please think how much time you'd like to devote for me:

Less than 15 minutes?

On the wiki page of my project, there's a small set of questions. You can answer them (not necessarily all), add some random remarks and send it all to me. It's just a few minutes and it will really help me get a view on how people see CDT in the future.

More than 15 minutes?

I've put some effort to describe some ideas (both mine and found) on how to improve the CDT code editor. However, to many problems there are multiple solutions. People use the CDT for different purposes and in different ways, so I need to figure out a solution which - ideally - would suit everyone. That's why I need your feedback here very much.

It would be VERY helpful if you would check my list of ideas (those pages are meant to be discussion pages and along description they contain some open questions to everyone) and try to elaborate on how you'd want the improvement made. I'll be happy if some constructive discussions arise there!

Just a while?

It is both simple and useful to just have a quick browse through the ideas and rate the ideas according to their importance for you. It's very easy and fast! You just need to:
  • Log in to the wiki
  • Edit the "Rating" section on a given idea
  • Add a line in the form of:
2/5 --~~~~

Just substitute a number from 0/5 ("absolutely useless for me") to 5/5 ("that's exactly what CDT needs"). The 4 tildes will expand to your signature. That's just a few keystrokes and clicks, but very valuable information for me.

I'm really counting on you all!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Stage 2. Buglist

I have finished browsing the Eclipse Bugzilla in search for any open bugs relevant to my Google Summer of Code project.
From 1000+ search results for open bugs connected to relevant CDT components, I have initially bookmarked over 90 to read in detail. Further reading through them (and checking against current Helios milestone) revealed:
  • Several bugs requesting the same functionality which I have previously documented,
  • Some more interesting proposals related to my project, including major enhancements and minor hacks, sometimes cloning JDT features,
  • A handful of enhancements less relevant to ergonomy of coding, but still interesting and worth having a look on in my opinion.
And also:
  • Some requests from years ago, already implemented in the meantime,
  • Some duplicates never noticed,
  • Lots of open bugs with no feedback.
About the first list, I added relevant bugs as references to my improvement proposals on the wiki. It is a small practical indicator of how a given fix is really desired by the community. A few bugs more got their own discussion+description pages on this list. Feel free to have a look and drop some comments there!

About the second list mentioned above, I'll write a quick rant soon; I have some thoughts to share here.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Stage 1. Documentation

The Community Bonding Period of Google Summer of Code, lasting from 27. IV. to 24. V., is a busy time for me, even though no programming is scheduled. My project relies much on feedback from community of C++ developers and needs a lot of design and documentation beforehand, so my first big task was to prepare the Wiki pages.

I have finished describing my initial suggestions for improvement today. It can be read here:

I hope for some vibrant feedback from the community on those.

Some days ago I've prepared a list of 90+ bugs from the Eclipse Bugzilla, many of which are possibly related to my project. My next big task (besides initiating and moderating discussions on my ideas - I sincerely hope that they will emerge) is to browse them, assess their relevance and find those which either:
  • request features which I have already covered in my list,
  • propose new features which will also match the topic of my project.
I believe the bug list will prove to be useful both as the source of inspiration and as a helping hand to measure the actual "demand" of the community for the ideas I've already proposed.

All of this, along with the links to appropriate bugs, is going to be added to the wiki pages soon.

For some more time, the MediaWiki editor is still going to be my IDE of choice :).

Friday, 30 April 2010



I have started this blog to report progress and share thoughts about my commitment to Eclipse community, for starters - by the means of my Google Summer of Code 2010 participation.
For the next few months I will be working on the ergonomy and automation of C/C++ code editor in Eclipse CDT. I'm planning to bring it closer to the level of comfortability offered by the Java editor of JDT by reusing existing ideas of JDT, diagnosing the most repeatable and distracting tasks of C++ coding and providing comfortable functionality in the IDE to let the programmer focus more on the actual programming part.

My mentor for this project is Alena Laskavaia, committer of Eclipse CDT.

Besides my thoughts and remarks about GSoC, I'll be describing my progress here on a regular basis, so you can use my weblog as a report on how I'm doing and what you can possibly expect in the next CDT release.

Happy coding!