At the recent LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Jose, Cygnus Solutions released Version 1.0 of its Code Fusion integrated development environment (IDE) for Linux. Linux developers will find that Code Fusion's facilities meet the challenges of creating C, C++, and Java applications - whether commercial, corporate, or open source.
Although Cygnus Solutions is just out of the gate with its first Code Fusion release, the company is not new to the Linux development world. Cygnus officially maintains Linux debugging and compilation technology, the main Linux system library, an Alpha processor port of Linux, as well as contributing to other portions of Linux.
For this first commercial version of Code Fusion, the company has drawn upon its GNUPro compilation technology and its Source-Navigator source-code analysis, browsing, and management tool. GNUPro and Source Navigator have a proven track record in the open-source community and should contribute to Code Fusion's stability and performance. In addition, the Cygnus IDE sports optimisation for Pentium II processors and allows for creation of "Makefiles," which are useful for open-source projects.
Code Fusion compares favourably to its competitors, such as Metrowerks' CodeWarrior and Code Forge's C-Forge. For example, Code Fusion, along with rival C-Forge, supports nearly all of the major Linux distributions, while Metrowerks' CodeWarrior is currently limited to Red Hat Linux 5.2 and later. Like C-Forge, Cygnus Solutions also sports expanded language support. Code Fusion offers C, C++, and Java support.
Code Fusion is best suited to seasoned developers. They should also be fairly comfortable working with Linux. On some Linux distributions, such as Red Hat 5.2, the installation routine failed and I had to manually decompress files to set up Code Fusion.
Once installed, though, Code Fusion performed impressively. I successfully used the editing, debugging, and compilation facilities to build test C++ and Java applications in short order.
During my tests, the source-code browsing tools were most helpful, and developers will appreciate Code Fusion's application programming interface (API). The API can be used to customise the IDE or to write tool plug-ins.
Companies that want to develop applications on Linux should consider Cygnus Solutions' Code Fusion. Though the product is geared toward experienced developers, the tools provided are solid and will speed developers along at a budget-minded price.
The bottom line ****
Cygnus Code Fusion 1.0
Summary: Code Fusion neatly meets the challenge of supporting commercial, corporate, or open-source application creation using C, C++, or Java on any number of popular Linux distributions.
Business Case: Code Fusion provides the power, performance and productivity tools that developers need to rapidly build applications at a price that won't kill your budget.
Pros: Includes reliable GNUPro compiler; Supports an array of Linux distributions; Offers C, C++, and Java application creation facilities; Visual tools for editing, debugging; Source-code browsing support useful in team settingsCons: Integrated development environment support currently limited to Linux; Minor installation problemsPrice: Purchasable from the Web site for $US299Platforms: Most major Linux distributions (including Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE, TurboLinux).