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An Integrated Development Environment or IDE is a system comprising an editor, compiler, and means to execute compiled code immediately after compiling. It will also usually provide a means to create an executable program for use as a standalone executable outside of the IDE. Generally, an IDE allows errors in the source code to be reported by the compiler back to the editor, usually allowing the editor to position to the specific line of source code that the compiler discovered was in error.
An IDE provides significant improvements in programmer productivity over the older practice of editing a program using a text editor, then submitting it to a compiler to be informed of the error or errors in the program, then having (usually) to write down the line number where the error occurred, then going back to the editor to find the specific line and make a repair, then repeat the process.
The IDE system changed this by providing immediate feedback where an error is located, it would move the editing focus directly to the point in the code where the error was detected. The programmer could fix the error, resave the source code file they were working on, and recompile the program, being returned to the editor if there was another error, until the program successfully compiled without error.
The concept of an IDE for Pascal programs was first developed on the UCSD Pascal system. It would later be implemented in Borland International's Turbo Pascal compiler for the MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems, and Delphi compiler for Microsoft Windows, and the Kylix version of Delphi for the Linux operating system.
List of known IDEs:
- fp IDE, included in FPC distributive
- Pascal Gladiator (MacOSX only)
- Lightweight IDE (MacOSX only)
- Dev-Pascal (Win32 only)
- Maximus - included in the fpGUI Toolkit project
- IntelliJ IDEA Pascal plugin
- ideU Universal IDE
- Eclipse plugins. Warning: both plugins seems to be unmaintained at the moment.
- Microsoft Visual Studio with Pascal plugin by Alessandro Fragnani