Use Eclipse

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(under construction)


What is Eclipse?

Eclipse is an IDE (integrated development environment) platform. Atop of the platform there are language-specific development tools. This makes Eclipse an IDE that can be used with many (all major) programming languages at the same time. An IDE organizes all programming tools (editor, debugger, build-system etc.) into one interface to improve productivity and project manageability.

Eclipse used to be an internal development tool at IBM, but was released as open source in 2001. Since then it has become very popular. It is probably most famous as a Java IDE, but it is absolutely not limited to Java! IBM still supports Eclipse heavily, and it is being actively developed by many organizations. The MPI development tools for instance are mainly developed by people at Los Alamos and IBM. Many companies, including Intel, Oracle, AMD, BEA, SAP and others, suport the Eclipse Foundation in different ways.

Why Eclipse?

  • Handles many programming languages, including C, C++, Fortran, Java, TeX in a unified manner.
  • Feature integration - Editor, debugger, build system, version control etc exist under one roof.
  • Compiler integration - e.g. use Intel or GNU compilers.
  • Industrial strength - used in practice for large codes (some use it for the 5M lines of Linux kernel).

Some useful papers and guides

Important extensions for scientific computing

Eclipse is a modular platform. You add the tools you need.

CDT - C and C++ development tools

The C development tool provides an editor for C/C++ sources, a graphical interface to GDB and many other things.

Photran - Fortran development tools

PTP - Parallel Tools Platform (MPI)

PTP is an Eclipse extension being developed (mostly) at Los Alamos and IBM to provide tools for writing, debugging and running parallel codes. It contains two units: the PTP core (that does the advanced runtime checking) and the PLDT (Parallel Language Development Tools). To use the PTP core one must have OpenMPI installed. The PLDT can be used with any MPI and OpenMP implementation.

  • PTP homepage
  • Tutorials, documentation and papers about developing parallel sofrware usgin Eclipse and PTP.


  • Python
  • TeXlipse - LaTeX tools
  • Subclipse - SVN integration (if you're not satisfied with the pre-installed CVS support)

Performance profiling

Setting it up

You will want to run Eclipse on the Sun JVM due to performance. (howto coming soon)

> eclipse -vm /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun-
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