On AppCode next

Hey all,

We would like to give you a small update on what’s been going on in the AppCode team.

As you may have heard already, a few weeks ago JetBrains announced CLion, a cross-platform C/C++ IDE. This IDE is a direct product of our experience with AppCode, where we’ve had C++ support for some time already and had time to test various approaches and gradually improve it. What you may not know is that both AppCode and CLion are being developed by the same team at the moment, because of huge overlap of functionality and required skills.

This takes sacrifices, as sometimes we have to draw resources from one IDE to another. For example, after the AppCode 3.0 release most of our efforts were put into CLion EAP. The good thing is that we have deployed quite a few performance optimizations and implemented many C++ fixes and improvements, which will be available in AppCode as well.

In other good news, Maxim Medvedev has recently joined the team to work on Swift. We’ll surely benefit from his great expertise in high-level languages and his experience with developing Groovy support in IntelliJ IDEA. We already have a ready parser and Objective-C-to-Swift resolve; now we are working on full resolve in Swift code. And resolve is a prerequisite to refactorings. There is still more work ahead, of course: completion, formatter, code generation, and inspections, not to mention unit testing and debugging support. We’ll be delivering this new functionality gradually, as we go.

In the upcoming AppCode 3.1, however, we’re going to focus on the essential values: performance, completion, and typing. First, the improvements we made for CLion will be included into the next AppCode EAP (we won’t give you ETA yet). We also plan to resolve the most critical outstanding performance issues. This work also takes a lot of effort and the right approach isn’t always obvious, as many performance issues are inherent to such a complex language as C with all its preprocessor delicacies.

BTW, our peers in the IntelliJ core team are working on a customized JDK implementation to support subpixel font rendering in Java 8. Chances are you won’t need to install Apple JDK soon—we’ll bundle all the necessary stuff in the app.

— Cheers,
The AppCode Team

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8 Responses to On AppCode next

  1. Nikolay says:

    Just curious, why not use Xcode’s SourceKit service for Objective-C-Swift resolver?

    • Anton Makeev says:

      As we already have our own indexing implementation for C/C++/ObjC, it’s much easier to extend it than to use external kit. Also, having experience with Xcode integration, we know that things change and break quite often that levels advantages and disadvantages.
      With our knowledge of IntelliJ Platform internals it’s logical to build on top, and have a full control over it.

  2. Fingal Falukropp says:

    Great to hear about the upcoming Swift support. Right now I have to use XCode, because my project is Swift-based, and I cry a little every day. I really miss AppCode. The day when there is full Swift support in AppCode, I will open my most precious can of Jolt Cola, aged since 2002.

  3. themarm says:

    “BTW, our peers in the IntelliJ core team are working on a customized JDK implementation to support subpixel font rendering in Java 8.”

    Is there something cool going on or will it benefit AppCode users only?

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