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Code Editors, Profilers, Debuggers, etc


GDB, the GNU Project debugger, allows you to see what is going on `inside' another program while it executes -- or what another program was doing at the moment it crashed.

GDB can do four main kinds of things (plus other things in support of these) to help you catch bugs in the act:

  • Start your program, specifying anything that might affect its behavior.
  • Make your program stop on specified conditions.
  • Examine what has happened, when your program has stopped.
  • Change things in your program, so you can experiment with correcting the effects of one bug and go on to learn about another.

The program being debugged can be written in Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal (and many other languages). Those programs might be executing on the same machine as GDB (native) or on another machine (remote). GDB can run on most popular UNIX and Microsoft Windows variants.


Cscope is a developer's tool for browsing source code. It has an impeccable UNIX pedigree, having been originally developed at Bell Labs back in the days of the PDP-11. Cscope was part of the official AT&T UNIX distribution for many years, and has been used to manage projects involving 20 million lines of code! In April, 2000 the code for Cscope was open sourced under the BSD license.


  • Allows searching code for:
    • all references to a symbol
    • global definitions
    • functions called by a function
    • functions calling a function
    • text string
    • regular expression pattern
    • a file
    • files including a file
  • Curses based (text screen)
  • An information database is generated for faster searches and later reference
  • The fuzzy parser supports C, but is flexible enough to be useful for C++ and Java, and for use as a generalized 'grep database' (use it to browse large text documents!)
  • Has a command line mode for inclusion in scripts or as a backend to a GUI/frontend
  • Runs on all flavors of UNIX, plus most monopoly-controlled operating systems.


jEdit is a mature programmer's text editor with hundreds (counting the time developing plugins) of person-years of development behind it. To download, install, and set up jEdit as quickly and painlessly as possible, go to the Quick Start page.

While jEdit beats many expensive development tools for features and ease of use, it is released as free software with full source code, provided under the terms of the GPL 2.0.

The core of jEdit was originally by Slava Pestov. Now the jEdit core, together with a large collection of plugins is maintained by a world-wide developer team.

Some of jEdit's features include:

  • Written in Java, so it runs on Mac OS X, OS/2, UNIX, VMS and Windows.
  • Built-in macro language; extensible plugin architecture. Dozens of macros and plugins available.
  • Plugins can be downloaded and installed from within jEdit using the "plugin manager" feature.
  • Auto indent, and syntax highlighting for more than 130 languages.
  • Supports a large number of character encodings including UTF8 and Unicode.
  • Folding for selectively hiding regions of text.
  • Word wrap.
  • Highly configurable and customizable.
  • Every other feature, both basic and advanced, you would expect to find in a text editor.

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