People who come to UNIX (or Linux) from the world of Windows are often disappointed by the apparent clunkiness and lack of unified tools. “Where’s Visual Studio? Where’s C++ Builder? Heck, Notepad would be nice.” These folks are looking all around for an IDE, or Integrated Development Environment. What they don’t realize is that UNIX is an Integrated Development Environment. You can’t get around the fact that this environment was made for geeks, by geeks. That means a lot of the programs that seem so clunky and awkward to the Windows person are, in fact, intended to work together to make development easier. Okay, so they aren’t all pointy-clicky and pretty, but that’s because pointy-clicky and pretty aren’t as important to these particular folks.
That’s not to say the graphical IDE’s aren’t out there if you want them. Try KDevelop or Anjuta. They are excellent environments, providing a layer of comfortable friendliness on top of the powerful UNIX toolkit. But this section of COOLNAMEHERE isn’t about these GUI environments. It’s about UNIX itself, and the huge assortment of tools available to streamline life for the determined geek. I’ll start by examining the tools one at a time, as I use them and discover nifty new things about them myself. It’s possible that I will add articles about using the tools in tandem with each other, to really explore the power available. But first I need to discover some of that power myself :-)