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Review: DevelopGo: A Linux Live CD for Programmers


DevelopGo is a special Live CD released by the Onebase Linux Project. As the name indicates, it is meant exclusively for programmers.

Although I am a Windows Programmer, I was searching for such a Live CD that would allow me to experiment with different types of toolkits and IDEs available in Linux. DevelopGo matched exactly what I wanted with a suite of developer tools and compilers.

After downloading and trying it, I found it very useful and would like to share my thoughts with other Linux programmers who might be interested.

About the DevelopGo Live CD
The booting speed of the Live CD was fast and it loaded into a full blown KDE desktop. I liked the theme, as it gave a 'Programmers' look and feel.

On the Desktop there were many icons like Editors and Utilities which contained shortcuts for accessing programs. Another Icon, named Getting-Started, was a single page catalog of all the software present in the Live CD.

The list was huge and covered most of the popular tools available for Linux. It was a total development environment that included header files and libraries of all the compiled applications. It included other features of Onebase Linux like Hard-Disk Installer, Docking, USB disk save, etc., which are beyond the scope of this article.

Languages and Toolkits
As mentioned in the Onebase's Website, the user is to ready to program by simply booting a CD in over 11 languages and 5 toolkits. The following programming languages are supported in DevelopGo 1.0:
  • High-level Languages: Java, C, C++, Obj C, Mono C#, Boo, COBOL
  • Scripting Languages: Perl, Python, BASH, TCL, Ruby, LUA
  • Toolkits and Bindings available in this Live CD
  • Toolkits: QT, GTK+, TK, Lesstif, FLTK
  • Bindings: Ruby-Gnome2, KDEBindings, PyKDE, PyQT, PyGTK, Gnome-Python
This gave me the opportunity to learn and program with many languages and toolkits.

Since my programming interest is based on scripting, the different bindings helped to select a suitable toolkit for my software development right away. But there were tradeoffs like an old GCC version 3.4.3. This is understandable as the new GCC 4.0 provides many new changes and features but is not quite stable. A major Perl GTK binding was not included with DevelopGo.

IDE and Editors
DevelopGo comes with a number of Editors and Integrated Development Environments to choose from.
  • Java Programming - The Popular Eclipse IDE version 3.1
  • Mono C# Programming - MonoDevelop .NET development environment with API documentation
  • C, C++, Obj, QT, TK, Perl, Python, Ruby - KDevelop 3.1.2 IDE
  • GTK and GNOME programming - Anjuta 1.2.2 Development studio
  • Web Programming - BlueFish Editor
  • Python and Ruby Programming - Eric IDE
  • GUI Designers - QTDesigner, Glade and Kommander
  • Apart from this list, there were also other console based editors and compilers.
The Loading time of these applications were good. Most of these editors were stable and ran without problems. Except, BlueFish could have been replaced for Nvu, Otherwise the inclusion of editors like MonoDevelop, Eclipse was great.

Many useful developer utilities were present such as CVS, a version control system, Debugger (GDB), and a Project Management Tool called Planner.

There is also DistCC for performing distributed compilation of code and ccache which caches object files and compiles only the changed files making compilation faster.

Another interesting part of DevelopGo is that it includes lots of offline developer documentation on various subjects, despite most of them have been taken from the Internet. These documentation includes guides, API Reference and Code Examples for various compilers and IDEs.

There were firefox bookmarks to Linux based Programming Websites and Pages.

I felt that the main missing factor from this Live CD was the non-availability of DataBase Languages like MySQL. However this can be overcome by installing it to Hard-disk and downloading the available Database servers from the Onebase Software Gallery.

Overall I feel DevelopGo is complete and valuable for a Linux Programmer and a good starting point for building Linux Applications.

Visit the Onebase Website for more information and to download the DevelopGo ISO.
mail this link | permapage | score:8740 | -kumpd, August 25, 2005 (Updated: March 21, 2007)
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