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Linux IDE beta version promises full Eclipse compliance

Posted: 16 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MontaVista Software? integrated development environment? IDE? Eclipse? Project Tsuki?

MontaVista Software Inc. has released the beta version of an integrated development environment (IDE), codenamed Project Tsuki, which promises full compatibility with the Eclipse framework. It supports the MontaVista Linux OS with new analysis features aimed at simplifying embedded Linux development.

MontaVista currently offers the DevRocket IDE, a graphical environment that supports such tasks as code development, debugging, profiling, make-file generation and library management. Project Tsuki represents a new version of DevRocket with some fundamental differences, said John Thomas, product manager for development tools at MontaVista.

One new twist is full Eclipse compliance. In DevRocket, Thomas said, MontaVista modified and customized some of the Eclipse plug-ins to support better development. "With the new project, we've evaluated the state of Eclipse and CDT (C/C++ Developers Toolkit), and we're using a much more open and standard Eclipse approach," he said. Now, MontaVista plug-ins should work with any Eclipse tool set.

A second difference is the addition of advanced analysis tools with graphical interfaces, aimed at developers who may be unfamiliar with command-line Linux tools for such tasks as memory profiling and debugging. "We're providing user interfaces that are intuitive, interactive and integrated," Thomas said. "You don't have to worry about how to set up and read a log file to find a memory leak."

'Management service'
A third difference is the way in which features are added to the IDE. Thomas said that Project Tsuki heralds an approach in which updates, features and new packages can be provided on a more frequent and regular delivery cycle. A "management service" lets users navigate through an installation directory and discover which tools are available. Furthermore, Thomas said, users can dynamically select tool chains for individual projects. Project Tsuki supports standard CDT-based remote development and debugging, he said. It supports automated debugging and analysis on a target system, and it lets users switch between MontaVista Linux architectures and tool chains within the same project.

Project Tsuki plugs into Eclipse. Tools support embedded Linux.

Among the new features in Project Tsuki is memory-usage analysis, which provides a high-level overview of system memory usage across the kernel and applications. A memory-debugging feature automates the MPatrol Linux memory debug tool, and a performance-profiling feature automates the OProfile Linux profiling tool. A trace analysis feature automates the Linux trace tool kit.

Another new feature is platform image creation and configuration. This lets developers select kernels and applications to build a file system, while reconciling package dependencies and configuring options for a wide range of file systems.

The production release of the new IDE is set for the first half, with pricing and a product name yet to be announced. While MontaVista will continue to support older versions of DevRocket, the company expects that most customers will select the new IDE going forward, Thomas said.

- Richard Goering
EE Times

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