Code Fusion Version 1.0
In general, the Code Fusion documentation is clear and concise. I do have a couple of minor complaints, though. The manual is primarily a composite of extracts from the Source Navigator “User's Reference Guide” and the GNUPro Toolkit “Getting Started” manual. Some new pages cover the integrated and new features. The manual highlights basic Source Navigator interface characteristics, and after highlighting the characteristic, the reader is then referred to the Source Navigator's “User's Reference Guide” for more details. Other parts of the Code Fusion manual directed the reader to Source Navigator's “Programmer's Reference Guide”. The author of this manual seemed to be working under the assumption that a Code Fusion owner already owned a copy of Source Navigator. This premise may be true for a short while after the initial release of Code Fusion. Once Code Fusion has been on the market for a while, this premise will no longer be valid. Code Fusion documentation should be able to stand on its own. The author shouldn't count on the buyer of Code Fusion already owning a copy of GNUPro or Source Navigator.
The on-line Code Fusion documentation resembles the manual information. I was unable to locate the on-line Source Navigator or GNUPro documentation that was often referenced in the Code Fusion manual. Within the on-line documentation are references to unavailable user guides. For example, the “Launching the Insight Debugger” topic referred the reader to the GNUPro Getting Started Guide. No hyperlink to the referenced Guide was present, and I was unable to locate the document in the product install directories. At a minimum, I feel the proper reference documentation should be made available in either hard copy or on-line.
The Code Fusion product contains GNUPro and other GNU-licensed products. Chapter 2 has eighteen pages of general license and terms for use and distribution of applications created with the Code Fusion IDE. Reviewing the various licensing terms and conditions is worth the time it takes. The rest of the manual is devoted to describing how to use the basic Source Navigator and GNUPro Toolkit interfaces.
Six demonstration projects are included with Code Fusion: one for COBOL, FORTRAN, C++, Assembly, Java and a program called monop. The monop program is used for Code Fusion demonstration purposes. There are supposed to be README files for the other demonstration projects, but I was unable to locate several of them. The README files I did locate did not provide any useful information.
As with other Cygnus products, 30 days of installation support is included with your purchase. Cygnus also maintains a Code Fusion support web site. The web site was still under construction at the time of this writing. When I visited the site, I found a FAQ, bug list and a patch database. A developer discussion forum and a couple of other features were listed as “coming soon” and may be implemented by the time this review is published.
Overall, I feel Cygnus did a great job of integrating the two products into an application IDE. I found Code Fusion easy to use and easy to navigate around. The interface between Source Navigator and GNUPro worked very smoothly. Code Fusion's management of project files takes only a couple of mouse clicks to add, delete or apply revision control. Please note, there is a slight IDE learning curve if you have not used either the Source Navigator or GNUPro Toolkit products.
Before paying list price, check on what upgrade paths are being offered. At the time I wrote this, Cygnus was offering three upgrade paths. Each offered a significant savings over the product's list price.
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