Try the microsoft visual studio ide plugin VisualMicro, http://www.visualmicro.com/
, it does everything you want including autocomplete and countless other useful things including live serial debugging. Once built / rebuilt any code in libraries will be reflected in the ide. Very useful, as for the live debugging it is a pain to set up and not free but far better than countless serial.println(F( statements. I came to the arduino scene from asp and c# and despite many shortcomings would always recommend vs for difficult projects such as creating a library. It is designed to help you do it. Good luck amigo.Good news everybody!
The wifi module is now working again thanks to Elechouse techical support, who are fantastic.
I followed their advice and connected to the module immediately, this is what they said:please kindly try the following method.
As you mentioned the pl2303module works while the VCC is not connected to wifi module.
So supply power through wifi shield and connected rx and tx to pl2303. Remember to connect GNDs together.
If it still doesn't work, make an video on how you connect wires and how you send "+++"
We could check if there is any operation check.
I have highlighted in red the relevant info.
Note that for this arrangement to work the PL2303 voltage jumper has to be set to 5volts as the regulator on the shield is dropping it for the module. Also the jumpers on the shield have to be set to pc. Remember to reset them to arduino when not programming the module and remember to remove the wifi module when uploading sketches to the arduino. I seems that for any or this to work your com port baud rate must be set to 115200 in both device manager and the UART wifi utility when programming. Once done it seems to work at any baud rate so long as it is synced
This has been a journey and I hope that by sharing it I save somebody the grief that I have been through.