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JetBrains Offers a New IDE for Objective-C

I keep thinking of JetBrains as a Java tool maker because of the enduring power of its IntelliJ IDEA code-centric Java IDE. But that's a mistake. The Prague-based company makes tools for software developers, some of whom are Java jocks. That fact was brought home to me this week by Eugenia Dubova, JetBrains' indefatigable marketing manager, who let me know that her company has added another dev tool to its ever growing product catalog.

The new one is an IDE for Objective-C developers, dubbed AppCode. The company is billing its new offering as "a perfect choice for developing iOS and Mac OS Apps," because of its integration with Xcode (the suite of tools for creating apps for Mac OS X). The Xcode interoperability is seamless -- you just open or create Xcode projects from within the AppCode IDE.

But the tool set comes with a bunch of features and capabilities, including the ability to run and debug iOS apps on a device or in a simulator; a visual unit test runner for OCUnit; automatic memory leak detection with a quick-fix option; support for such iOS 5 features as Automatic Reference Counting; and Version Control Systems integration with a unified UI for most popular VCSs (Git, SVN, Mercurial, Perforce, CVS). Look also for intelligent code completion (a JetBrains trademark), refactorings, auto-import, one-click code navigation, automatic code formatting and an integrated graphical debugger over GDB or LLDB.

Maxim Shafirov, the AppCode project lead at JetBrains, says his company's goal with the new IDE is to help developers maintain the high quality of their code "so it equals the high standards for UI and user experience that iOS and Mac OS platforms apply."

In a statement, he added: "After 11+ years of successful IDE development, we have formed a set of development best practices and code quality standards that we think will benefit the fast-evolving community of Objective-C developers. Thanks to tight integration with the existing set of tools provided by Apple, we can see AppCode quickly becoming a key tool in the arsenal of professional Objective-C developers."

Canned but cool.

JetBrains was among the first dev tool maker to support Rails 3.0, which it did via its RubyMine IDE. The company also makes a Python tool (PyCharm); a PHP tool (PhPStorm); a slew of .NET tools; performance tools; CI and build management tools; a bug and issue tracker; and a tool for JavaScript, HTML and CSS (WebStorm), among others.

There's a free 30-day trial version of AppCode available now for download on the JetBrains Web site.

Hodně štěstí. (Hoping that's Czech for good luck.)

Posted by John K. Waters on October 28, 2011