Plato is an integrated development environment. It includes a text editor with syntax highlighting for various languages including Fortran and C++, unlimited undo, and project managment facilities. Plato is designed to have the same look and feel as Microsoft Visual Studio. The project management facilities replicate the Silverfrost FTN95 plug-in for Visual Studio. You can use project (.ftn95p) files created with Plato in Visual Studio and vice-versa.
The program files for a particular executable (or DLL) are grouped together into what is called a project. Within Plato you can build a project (to create the executable). FTN95 is automatically invoked and compilation error messages are easily tracked. After a successful build the executable can be run from within Plato.
During development a given FTN95 project can be configured to be in debug mode or Checkmate mode, whilst release mode is designed for final shipping. Checkmate mode switches on Silverfrost‘s Checkmate. This provides run-time checking features. The debug and Checkmate modes also allow you to step through the program code line-by-line, setting break points, running to the cursor position etc. as required.
If you open a second project without closing the first then you are given the option to combine the two into a solution. Plato solutions are not portable to Visual Studio. Plato will not automatically build a whole solution for you. You must build each project in turn, in the appropriate order.
Plato also provides integrated help facilities.