CodeWarrior for RedHat
- Summary:Inexpensive solution for those looking for an IDE solution.
It is difficult to have worked in the tech industry without having come into contact with Metrowerks. Metrowerks CodeWarrior is the dominant compiler for MacOS, with ports to Windows, Solaris, a wide variety of microprocessors, and fairly recently, Linux. The current version of CodeWarrior for Linux, version 4.0, supports C and C++, with plans for Java support in late 1999. CodeWarrior is targeted at the beginning or hobbyist programmer. While CodeWarrior lacks some of the features of its more expensive competitors, it provides a basic, low cost solution.
CodeWarrior is by far the easiest installation I have ever performed on a Linux box. I threw in the CD, answered a couple of questions, and it installed it without a problem. While I already had EGCS installed on my machine, it is a prerequisite for installation. For those who do not have EGCS installed, the CD contains a copy and the installation guide includes instructions for setting it up.
Anyone who has used CodeWarrior on any other platform will be able to easily dive straight into CodeWarrior for Linux. The interface is exactly the same. For those without previous experience, the interface is logically laid out and very usable without depending on documentation. For those who have been weaned on Microsoft Visual Studio, the interface may feel a little MacOS-like, but overall everything is well designed and very easy to use.
In addition to the standard IDE features like integrated debugging, color coded source, and simplified project management, CodeWarrior has an important advantage in that its projects are cross platform compatible. Of course, it is still up to the programmer to develop cross platform code, it at least simplified the process of migrating code between plaforms.
In spite of all of its wonderful design elements, it is not without a few annoying elements. First, whenever you create a new project, it is always named "Hello." It doesn't matter if you create a project named "foo." You still need to go under the project settings and change the Target Name manually. While this may be simply picking nits, it is a rather annoying oversight.
While CodeWarrior is targeting to individuals and relatively small projects, even some of these people have learned the wonders of using a version control system to roll back a few idiotic changes. Unfortunately, the Linux port has very poor version control abilities. Straight out of the box, there is no source control functionality. Furthermore, Metrowerks does not provide any of the necessary plug-ins to add source control to the Linux version. According to a representative from Metrowerks, they have plans to provide the necessary interfaces, but no resources have yet been allocated to the project. The specification, however, is open so that anyone desiring could create the necessary plug-in. Anyone interested in developing the necessary plug-ins should go to http://www.metrowerks.com/pdf/Plugin_API_Ref.pdf.
CodeWarrior is a low cost solution ideal for Linux developers who absolutely have to have an IDE. For users who need a lot of the extra features that make the switch from vi to an IDE worth while, CodeWarrior is somewhat lacking. These developers may wish to look to Code Fusion or other similar products with a more complete set of tools.
For the small scale individual or hobbies programmer, CodeWarrior provides a friendly environment to develop programs in. While it lacks some of the more advanced features found in other IDEs, it is a well designed program with an excellent balance of features. For a mere fraction of the cost of many competitors' products, it also is well within the range of people who are on a tight budget.