Starting in the spring 2013, I videotaped the lectures for my MATH 676: Finite element methods in scientific computing course at the KAMU TV studio at Texas A&M. These are lectures on many aspects of scientific computing, software, and the practical aspects of the finite element method, as well as their implementation in the deal.II software library. Support for creating these videos was also provided by the National Science Foundation and the Computational Infrastructure in Geodynamics.

The videos are part of a broader effort to develop a modern way of teaching Computational Science and Engineering (CS&E) courses. If you are interested in adapting our approach, you may be interested in this paper I wrote with a number of education researchers about the structure of such courses and how they work.

Note 1: In some of the videos, I demonstrate code or user interfaces. If you can't read the text, change the video quality by clicking on the "gear" symbol at the bottom right of the YouTube player.

Note 2: deal.II is an actively developed library, and in the course of this development we occasionally deprecate and remove functionality. In some cases, this implies that we also change tutorial programs, but the nature of videos is that this is not reflected in something that may have been recorded years ago. If in doubt, consult the current version of the tutorial.

Lecture 8: Learning to use modern tools, part 1 – Eclipse: an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), fragment 2

Most of us in scientific computing have traditionally used editors to write our programs; examples of this are emacs, the various versions of vi or the KDE and GNOME editors kwrite and gedit. However, these programs have a major flaw: by and large, the mode in which they are used is on a file-by-file basis. In other words, the editor has no way of understanding types and variables declared elsewhere in the project. Modern Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) have the ability to see an entire project, no matter how large. The most widely used such IDE is Eclipse.

This lecture gives an introduction to Eclipse. In this second part, we look at setting Eclipse up for programs based on deal.II, writing code, and basic debugging.

Note: When showing how to compile and execute a program from Eclipse, I talk about "targets". A target is a concept used by "make files" (see also lecture 2.91): It describes an outcome and (in the make file) is associated with a list of actions that need to be performed to yield that outcome. For example, there is the "all" target (which, if you call make on the command line, is actually the default target) which under the hood ensures that the .cc file is compiled, and the resulting object file is linked with the deal.II library to produce the desired executable. Likewise, the "clean" target deletes the files created in the process of creating the executable.


Slides: click here