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Linux.com: Getting Started with Programming for Linux using GNU Tools

Sep 15, 2001, 14:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Konstantin Klyagin)

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"Some people say there is nothing but the GNU way to develop software. While there is a wide set of tools a typical Linux/UNIX software developer uses in his everyday work, the GNU development tools are a complete framework. It's absolutely free and powerful. There is no problem to see their source code. And it's not worse than any other commercial "killer-apps" widely used on other platforms. Newbie Linux programmers may be scared of new kinds of development process, but the GNU tools are your friends.

I use the modelling tool every time I cannot imagine the complete architecture of a system or a separate module after a quick look at the task description. I run it, sit back and start finding the best way to implement the task ahead. I drag and drop use-case units, draw diagrams, database tables, relations, sequences of actions, packages structure and other stuff. Though I prefer Rational Rose myself there is a good and free program named Dia distributed under the terms of the GNU Public License that does much the same thing. It enables you to unleash all of your brain power and explain everything you think about future system's internals using the Unified Modelling Language. It's just a simple and incredibly powerful tool. Having all the diagrams you can easily remember what, when and why the system does what it does. You can even easily pass your task to a person who doesn't speak your language, but is familiar with the magic solution - UML.

After the modelling step is done I can get to coding. Here in the GNU world we can find a wide variety of different programs for text editing. You can find text editors that differ not only in their feature sets but even by the user interface concept. You can use visual editors such as mcedit and joe, text-command oriented editors like vi and vim. There are even script-driven ones like emacs that is very extensible with scripts in lisp. People who have only recently gotten involved in Linux and UNIX programming prefer visual editors rather than command-based. The only thing you should notice is that you can choose any kind of editor for your programming and documentation writing. You can even write poems using any of those great pieces of software in any way you like."

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