Tuesday, 29 June 2010

What is D.dev?

D.dev is a simple IDE for the D programming language (if you’re not familiar, try Andrei Alexandrescu’s book), designed especially with ease of use as the main focus, especially for beginners. Efficient use echoes the design philosophy of the language itself. This new IDE will aim to offer the D programming community a lightweight alternative to the existing D IDEs.

D.dev is being designed to function as a frontend for the Digital Mars D compiler, although support for other compilers is a possibility in the future. More specifically, DMD 2.0 will be supported.

D.dev is being written in C++, using the wxWidgets GUI toolkit. The reason I chose C++ (besides familiarity, of course), is that C++ is the language which is best supported in wxWidgets (there are ports for many languages, and even a port for D exists already, although I don’t think it will be maintained for long). The reason I chose to make the user interface wxWidgets is portability: although initial testing will be performed on Windows only, D.dev will later be ported to Linux/GTK+. Hopefully in time for 1.0. :)

If you would like to have an idea of what D.dev will look like, here is a screenshot, which at this point, should be regarded as a mock-up of the user interface:

D.dev screenshot

You will immediately notice that D.dev adopts a Ribbon-like interface (although, allow me to stress this, it is *NOT* the Microsoft Ribbon interface). Needless to say, the interface is still being worked on and panels will likely be removed/reformulated before I even consider a beta release. If you hate the Ribbon, look elsewhere. If you think that there are other things that could be done cleverly with the Ribbon, I welcome your suggestions. The comments section is all yours! :)