CodeWarrior for Red Hat Linux, GNU Edition, Version 4

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Metrowerks is releasing two versions of CodeWarrior for Red Hat Linux (with SuSE releases to follow): the GNU Edition and the Professional Edition. The GNU Edition is the subject for today.
For Red Hat Linux

At this time, CodeWarrior is available only for Red Hat Linux, which is bound to raise some eyebrows. What would happen to Linux if commercial vendors made their products available only to users of certain distributions? While it is true that distributors sometimes put important files in different places, normal software tends to compile across distributions and across hardware platforms, so it seems that CodeWarrior ought to work with any distribution. It should not be more difficult than making some symlinks or running make, so Metrowerks may have other reasons.

While the reason for choosing Red Hat seems clear (largest market share in the U.S.), the decision to support only one vendor was quite strange and seemed a bit scandalous. I hope no one switches distributions just for the ability to run CodeWarrior. However, the news on this front is that SuSE and Metrowerks have announced that they intend to produce and market CodeWarrior for SuSE. While it remains a mystery why CodeWarrior is so distribution-specific, the speculation is that Metrowerks cannot give tech support to so many distributions, and relies on the distributors to do so. It would be strange for a distributor to support someone else's product, and it is better to have an unsupported product than no product at all, but this may be the situation. Smaller distributors are at a disadvantage, so hopefully this practice will be abandoned before it becomes widespread.

Prognosis

Many people have been waiting for years to see CodeWarrior show up for Linux, and for these people and anyone who likes integrated development environments in general (very popular on Windows), this resembles what they have been wanting. In terms of functionality, it is not yet entirely comparable to CodeWarrior for Macintosh or Windows, and limitations to the GNU Edition are present. However, many coders are excited to find out what future releases and the Professional Edition will have in store. You may also want to take a look at the open-source Code Crusader and Cygnus Code Fusion. Software development firms could become especially fond of an IDE like CodeWarrior, and if this problem of Makefile vs .mpc is resolved, it will become a viable option for individual, at-home developers who want to contribute to the GNU/Linux world of open-source software.

In any event, we can hope that CodeWarrior's presence on our platform will make programming easier, thereby inspiring more programmers. The world of GNU/Linux is extremely different from that of Macintosh and Windows, and CodeWarrior will need to make many adaptations to be successful. Hopefully, this product is first in a line of efforts to bring the immensely popular CodeWarrior IDE to Linux.

Jason Kroll still thinks GNU/Linux is the best thing to happen to computers since monitors. He can be reached at hyena@ssc.com.

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