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Freshmeat: Developing with Open Source

Mar 27, 2000, 17:55 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter 'darkewolf' Crystal)

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"The Open Source phenomenon threatens to overtake us all. IBM is supporting it strongly, Sun is doing it, and even the bane of existence -- Microsoft -- has an interest in it. But where does that leave developers and potential developers that have found themselves called to this clandestine world?"

"People that have been developing software for the commercial market for some time will have some idea of how you go about developing software. Migrating to a new market and possibly a new toolset won't cause them too much trouble. In fact, many ex-commercial developers have contributed useful tools that mimic the closed-source equivalents. The developer can create the tool he's used to and then add the features he wished it had. The best example that comes to mind is cgvg, an almost-clone of cscope. Cscope lets a programmer dig through source code to find where something is defined and where it is used. cgvg replicates this functionality using Perl."

"The seasoned professional might need a little pointer toward the particular tools that are available, but once she's headed in the right direction, the process of development should not be a hassle. The only obstacle for ex-commercial developers when it comes to developing Open Source software is the justification. The connection between code and money is no longer obvious. You give away the thing you have spent hours writing."

"But what about the enthused youngster that just installed GNU/Linux for the first time or the mathematics professor that is watching FreeBSD seamlessly build? Their minds are full of ideas, they know their code, but their experience from the university only provided them with vi and gcc while they learned. They don't know anything about the tools that are available, nor do they understand the design methodologies that large projects require."

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