interactive development environment
(IDE, integrated development environment) A system for supporting the process of writing software. Such a system may include a syntax-directed editor, graphical tools for program entry, and integrated support for compiling and running the program and relating compilation errors back to the source.Such systems are typically both interactive and integrated, hence the ambiguous acronym. They are interactive in that the developer can view and alter the execution of the program at the level of statements and variables. They are integrated in that, partly to support the above interaction, the source code editor and the execution environment are tightly coupled, e.g. allowing the developer to see which line of source code is about to be executed and the current values of any variables it refers to. Examples include Visual C++ and Visual Basic.
Last updated: 2002-09-21