Integrated Development Environment

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An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a development environment for a programming language, for example the Delphi programming language. IDE's minimally consist of an editor, a compiler, a debugger, sometimes a version control system, and various GUI builders.

IDE's are an alternative to the makefile system of program building under which configuration files were written besides code. These makefiles describe options of how the compiler is to operate. Makefiles themselves were an advancement from just running the compilers/debugs, with options given on the command line. IDE's removed this complication by controlling this collection of tools, now usually under a graphical front-end.

The most popular IDE today is Microsoft Visual Basic, which is also simple to use. For more complex work in the Windows' environment, however, programmers usually choose Visual C++, C# (C-Sharp) or Delphi (based on the Pascal programming language).

Under the Linux environment many programmers still use makefiles and their derivatives, however IDE's are becoming increasingly popular. KDE's environment KDevelop is an emerging IDE based on the gnu development tools (g++, make, gdb), which includes a graphical front-end creator.


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