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Re: [cdt-dev] CDT and Qt Creator

Fair enough. My point was really to encourage everyone to take a look at Serge's work and ensure it's going to really solve the problems we are having.


On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 9:27 AM, Chris Recoskie <recoskie@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Well to be frank, I pretty much gave up on trying to get anything changed in the Resources area on e4, because the Platform Resources team didn't seem to have the time to devote to reviewing and collaborating on solutions. Despite having commit rights to e4, you can't really do anything in the Resources area without their signoff, so after having patches and ideas languish for months in Bugzilla with no real progress, I decided my time was better spent elsewhere.

Chris Recoskie
Team Lead, IBM CDT and RDT
IBM Toronto

Inactive hide details for Doug Schaefer ---12/11/2009 07:23:56 PM---I hope so. That's the whole driver behind the flexible resoDoug Schaefer ---12/11/2009 07:23:56 PM---I hope so. That's the whole driver behind the flexible resources work. It's been disappointing that


Doug Schaefer <cdtdoug@xxxxxxxxx>


"CDT General developers list." <cdt-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>


12/11/2009 07:23 PM


Re: [cdt-dev] CDT and Qt Creator

Sent by:


I hope so. That's the whole driver behind the flexible resources work. It's been disappointing that more contributors haven't been able to help Serge out, especially those who apparently have a vested interest in it. Hopefully now that it's being put into Eclipse 3.6, we can take a better look at what Serge has done and make sure it meets our needs.


On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 7:14 PM, John Cortell <rat042@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
    Won't the Project Layout issues be resolved by the E4 Flexible Projects work Serge Beauchamp had done?


    At 06:11 PM 12/11/2009, Doug Schaefer wrote:
        This is great data, and we could do something about most of this, if we work together as a community to address them. Up until now, we haven't really been involved in solving these issues for Carbide.

        Next question. How does Qt Creator do these things better? Since that's the real topic of this thread.


        On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 6:44 PM, Adrian Taylor <
        adrian@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
            Speaking as a user of Carbide, rather than one of its developers, here are some specifics from me:

            Project layout:

            -- Symbian has very specific ideas about project filesystem layout, as does Eclipse, and the two are fundamentally incompatible. Specifically:
            -- Project files in Symbian-land are stored deep in a subdirectory, whilst Eclipse insists that .project and .cproject are at the outermost point which contains any relevant source code or headers.
            -- Several Symbian projects may have the same 'outermost point' and thus conflict in Eclipse-land.
            I know that the Carbide team and you yourself Doug have been fighting the Eclipse establishment to relax these rules, to little avail. I know you have hopes for EclipseFS. But meanwhile, this is responsible for a majority of the complexity.
            -- The nature of projects themselves are a problem. Why shouldn't you just be able to work directly on Symbian project files? Why the need to create an Eclipse project? The Carbide team has done a great job of hiding it well using a slick import wizard, but it's still wrong.
            -- And what's a workspace? Eclipse seems to want to copy, or at least link, my code into its own directory. Why? All my code has a fixed location in Symbian-land.


            The Carbide team have jumped through some big hoops to get the Symbian build system to play nicely with CDT, and on the whole, it now works well. But there are is still untidiness round the edges:

            -- CDT can't cope properly with multi-line error messages emitted by compilers. In C++ code full of templates, that leads to despair and hopelessness.
            -- Build configurations are important for Symbian. In CDT they are hidden away. And, although Carbide could expose that feature more obviously in the UI, it still might not be smooth in terms of the settings which applied globally versus as part of a build configuration.
            -- There's nothing Carbide or CDT can do about this, but Symbian builds are slow. I think there's a perception they're slower in the IDE (sometimes this is true, but either way, it's the perception that counts). The whole CDT experience seems hugely less slick when builds always take 5-20 minutes. It's not related to complexity, but it is probably one reason why people are put off Carbide.


            -- The indexer is *great*. But...
            -- Often things go grey when you've made a mistake, but there's no way to find out the error message until you spend 10 minutes building the project with a compiler. It just seems weird to a user to have two different things parsing the code. Why does the IDE know I've done something wrong but it won't tell me what? Seems weird to an end-user.
            -- Likewise, you have to fiddle with two sets of macro definitions, include paths etc. The Carbide team has done a good job of hiding this but it's not transparent.
            -- Unfortunately the indexer still isn't quite perfect. For example the call hierarchy sometimes just stops. Which is a shame because when it works, it's terrific. But the fact that you can't quite trust its results makes everything seem complex.


            -- Launch configurations are useful. All the (fairly recent) efforts to hide/automate them are also useful. But they still seem to lurk as something sinister behind the scenes which users eventually will have to understand. The need for them is not obvious in Symbian-land.
            -- The debug view is a pain. You seem to have to click in it before you can use debug keys, or at least it's possible for it to lose focus. Debugging should be a global operation, not stuck in some funny little pane. This may be Carbide-specific; I don't know.

            Eclipse runes:

            -- "Hard to learn" - to be a confident user of Carbide, you have to understand a perspective, a view, an editor, a plugin, a workspace, a project, a build configuration, a launch configuration, and probably a bit more. All of these are Eclipse terminology.
            -- You just don't want to have to learn 10 more concepts when you're already struggling with the Symbian weirdness!
            -- I imagine most Carbide users need to install Subversive pretty quickly. Then not only do they have to struggle with understanding plugins, update sites, etc. but they also have to contend with the Eclipse IP process, or specifically its implications meaning the key bits of Subversive are squirreled away on someone else's website. Sigh. It's enough to drive me mad and I must have installed it a dozen times. Still, things are improving in that specific area now.
            -- Eclipse keystrokes differ from the rest of the world's.
            -- Carbide's greatest value is in the indexer features hidden behind obscure keystrokes. Sadly I think most Carbide users don't get far enough to learn F3, ctrl-o, ctrl-alt-h, ctrl-t, etc.

            I use Eclipse, Carbide and CDT all the time. For me, the power of the indexer makes it all worthwhile. But I must admit, if I were to try to create a simple IDE for Symbian beginners, I probably wouldn't start with Eclipse!


            On 11 Dec 2009, at 23:09, Doug Schaefer wrote:
                Instead of talking in generalities, I'd prefer to talk with specifics. Saying Carbide is hard to learn, what exactly about it is it hard to learn? Is it things in the CDT or Eclipse platform or things Carbide has added on top? Is it creating projects? Is it setting up builds? Is it launching debug sessions? Is it creating files? Is it too many choices? Would adding wizards in strategic places make the CDT easier to learn?

                Most of the complaints on usability with Eclipse I've heard are really complaints from users who find IDEs complex in general. Is Qt Creator really that less complex than the CDT? What about Qt Creator makes it easier to learn. And why don't we invest in the CDT to make it equivalent?


                On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 4:47 PM, Pawel Piech < pawel.piech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
                    All we've done so far is rather vendor-specific.  What we would like to see in CDT is the ability to isolate and turn off various features using capabilities: e.g. build, static analysis, debuggers, etc.  To accomplish this we would likely need to look at dependencies between these various CDT components and see if we can isolate them better.  However, we haven't invested any time in this yet.

                    Paul Beusterien wrote:
                        Hi Pawel,

                        Thanks for the response.  Are there any available artifacts from the stripped-down IDE investigation?  Any effort estimates?


                        On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM, Pawel Piech < pawel.piech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
                            Hi Paul,
                            Complexity is a common complaint about Eclipse-based tools (not especially limited to C - development tools).  I don't know of any efforts to overhaul the UI, but I expect that there would be a lot of interest out there for it.  For Wind River's part, we are investigating creating a stripped-down version of the IDE specifically targeted at Debugging use cases, but I know we won't be able to get far without support from the community.


                            Paul Beusterien wrote:
                                Hi CDT community,

                                I'm responsible for the tools strategy at the Symbian Foundation.  Like the Eclipse Foundation, Symbian depends on the contributions from open source communities to drive its mobile device platform technology forward.

                                I'm curious if you have any thoughts about one of the challenges we're facing with understanding/determining the direction for Symbian C++ development tools.

                                There are two open source communities vying for the Symbian C++ developer - Qt Creator and Carbide (based on CDT).

                                Carbide's investments have been primarily focused on adding features to give more power to device creators. While it has become very feature-full, it has also become very complex and hard to learn, especially for developers that want to just build simple mobile apps.

                                Qt Creator is a targeted C++ development environment with a big emphasis on usability.  For example, it has rigorous hurdles to add a button or menu item. Now, it is rapidly adapting to improve its mobile development capabilities.

                                Thus, we currently have a fragmented C++ developer story at Symbian. 

                                It is unlikely that Qt Creator will ever support the rich set of features that Carbide currently provides to the power user.

                                Are there any initiatives will enable CDT based IDEs to lower its learning curve and better support the needs of a simple C++ application developer?


                                Paul Beusterien
                                Development Tools Manager
                                Symbian Foundation
                                Foster City, California USA
                                twitter: paulbeusterien


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