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I am principally interested in development languages for scientific computing and file-system management (FORTRAN, Python, Octave, R, C/C++, bash, ...). In my way of using an IDE, compiling and building is purely instrumental in running calculations after editing a source code, and not an area of investigation in and of itself. I might just play around with a couple of optimization flag.

I have eyed up two related IDEs Eclipse and LiClipse because of their GUI support. Either website naturally praises its own strong points. In another post EMACS has been recommended.

I would rather have a feel of where IDEs are expected to touch their limits --- which I find more useful to anticipate the long-term pros and cons. Such 'limits' could result from (arbitrary order)

  • performance (sluggish management of views and windows)
  • scarcity/superabundance of options and information (the tree-and-wood effect for the novice)
  • steep learning curves to navigate content and select actions
  • lack of support for features that are not needed for 'Hallo World' programs but normally turn out to be pretty essential when the task size increases.

Any recommendations/words of caution in that respect?

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