ECB stands for "Emacs Code Browser". While Emacs already has good editing
support for many modes, its browsing
support is somewhat lacking. That's where ECB comes in: it displays a number of informational windows that allow for easy source code navigation and overview.
The informational windows can contain:
- A directory tree,
- a list of source files in the current directory (with full support and display of the VC-state),
- a list of functions/classes/methods/... in the current file, (ECB uses the CEDET-semantic, or Imenu, or etags, for getting this list so all languages supported by any of these tools are automatically supported by ECB too)
- a history of recently visited files (groupable by several criterias),
- a direct and auto-updated ecb-window for the semantic-analyzer for some intellisense,
- the Speedbar and
- output from compilation (the compilation
window) and other modes like help, grep etc. or whatever a user defines to be displayed in this window.
As an added bonus, ECB makes sure to keep these informational windows visible, even when you use C-x 1 and similar commands.
It goes without saying that you can configure the layout, ie which informational windows should be displayed where. ECB comes with a number of ready-made window layouts to choose from.