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LinuxPlanet: Borland's Kylix: turbocharging Linux development

Apr 10, 2001, 01:14 (38 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Courtney)

"Kylix is a screen space pig, as are all the other integrated development environments I've ever seen. It starts up with a main menu/tool bar that contains all the usual features: file and project operations, clipboard control, tool and environment settings, compile and debug functions, and so forth. There is also an object properties dialog, a graphical form editor (for GUI layouts) and a source code browser that is linked to the object class tree. There is a lot of information presented, and it is very well organized, so I'm not really criticizing Borland for taking up a lot of real estate on the monitor -- but you should be aware that this is not a tool you'll want to use on a display smaller than 1024x768."

"The menus and toolbars are extremely customizable, and many of the window sub- panes can be docked together or floated independently. I intentionally avoided changing many of the default settings so that the screenshots with this review would be more typical, but rest assured there are a lot of virtual knobs to twiddle and levers to pull in the Kylix user interface. The widgets, both in Kylix itself and in the runtime application environment, are mature and solid, working as expected without the anomolies and annoyances that I have sometimes seen under older X11 environments. Kylix is a very polished tool, and except for the errrors mentioned previously the GUI development environment worked quite well for me."

"Kylix is geared toward a 'project' mentality, as are most IDEs, but the project management dialogs stay mostly out of the way during the coding process. I was pleased to see that my coding efforts were integrated smoothly into Kylix's own project repositories; for example, one UI form that I created became available for re-use without any action on my part. To make objects globally reusable requires a few clicks on a menu, but is not at all difficult. The only negative comment I have for the project management functions was that it was unclear, at least to me, how the visible IDE popups related to the underlying source code and resource files. When I clicked on 'File...Save' from the IDE menu, I was not always sure which file I was saving, and where. There is a 'File...SaveAll' function which is sometimes enabled and sometimes not, and again I could not fathom what determined this option's status. Likewise, the 'File...Reopen' list includes both individual files and entire projects, and it was not clear to me the implication of re-opening a previous code file from within a different project. Probably this is all documented somewhere, but it was not intuitively obvious."

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