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IBM Releases VisualAge for Linux Preview 96

KilgourTrout writes "The original story was released earlier this month, but IBM has put a new spin on things - From an IBM newsletter: "Now, it's time to vote with your mouse finger. Download the code today and you'll do your part to convince us that there is a market for this product."" You can visit the web site and download it if you're interested in that whole Java thing.
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IBM Releases VisualAge for Linux Preview

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've tried many of them. Visual Age, Symantec, JBuilder, etc.....

    Visual Age was solid, but it is EXTREMELY slow. You need a monster to run it confortably. It's also a little overkill when you don't need any RAD features.. you know, when you just want to code? :)

    Symantec Cafe... yuk. My least favorite. Crashes all the time.

    JBuilder was the one I used for the longest while, but I got really tired of being able to see only one window at a time. Plus the UI for its RAD features is really crude, although I don't use that.

    Now, I'm using Ultraedit, my partner is using Textpad, two fine editors. We compile and debug directly with the JDK, and we've never been happier! I must say though that we're not the people that do the bean development/testing on our project. We write the low level stuff, so good editors are enough.

    Can't wait to see if Visual Age is faster on Linux (from what I've heard it is). It really seemed to be a solid IDE, just so slow...

    On Windows, there is still not a Java IDE that matches the equivalent of VC++ for C/C++ (my personal favorite).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    >Java pales in comparison to Smalltalk, so of course VAJava pales in comparison to VASmalltalk.

    I agree with tha part

    >At the same time, IBM has been so lethargic about their Smalltalk offerings that I don't even think about it now.

    I sorta agree with that. They keep improving their VA-Smalltalk offering and a lot of other companes have good add-ons (VA-Assist) but they don't seem to talk about it much outside of the Smalltalk community, which is a shame. Like I said elsewhere, IBM plays what the market wants to hear and keeps their good stuff buried.

    >In fact, the Smalltalk vendors have all convinced me that the language has no commercial future.

    Which vendors?

    ObjectShare looked like they were going nuts and going under but they seem to have reestablished a vision and a direction. Most of my work now is in VisualWorks Smalltalk on Linux.

    Smalltalk/X is pretty strong in Europe.

    Object-Arts has a nice product and seem to be doing well in a completely different niche.

    Even IBM is doing a lot of sales with VA-Smalltalk and they use it for a lot of stuff, it just doesn't make the press.

    >If you program in Java, I can't see any reason to use anything else, though.

    That I agree with; if you are stuck slumming in Java, might as well have a half decent tool to do it with.

    (Yes, my words are somewhat inflammatory, but there have been first rate Smalltalk development tools for Linux for some time and not many in the Linux community seem to notice)

    Take care,
  • So, I take it from your web page you really like it. What about for languages other than C++ or Java? Like straight C or Perl?
  • There is a parallel tech preview for VA Java for Java2 (windows only). I haven't looked at it, but it's likely what you're looking for -- or will be once it's "real". m/ad/r/99enews7/java2-preview/ []

    In the mean might be able to trim the bloat by deleting/not importing the swing look-and-feel classes you don't care about (i.e. punt everything but "basic"). No idea if this'll actually work, but it should significantly drop the number of classes.

  • Unfortunatly, I don't think C++B for Linux is very likely. Borland said that the new JBuilder would the first JBuilder that is 100% pure, which means of course that it'll run on Linux. They keep talking about their special Linux and Solaris "Ports" but I think that really just means the installer. I hope I am wrong, but I just don't see C++B/Linux coming anytime soon. =(
  • GNU version of Code Warrior? Could you please explain, I hadn't heard of this.
  • I can't understand it. The best IDE written in Java is NetBeans. But my machine can't handle it.
    You'd think something as *good* as Java should have IDEs written in Java.
  • Most of the hard-core server side programmers out there need the power of the VisualAge interface.

    - You actually need to look at more than one method at a time?
    - A text editor cranks out the code, but pays little attention to the architecture of that code. VisualAge presents you with packages/classes/methods and the inheritance hierarchy. When you're dealing with hundreds of classes, you need that kind of complexity control.

    - "inability to lock source?" Hmm.. VisualAge TeamConnection, perhaps?

    - Lack of editor features? Okay, emacs has pretty much everyone licked here, but you CAN add more editor features through VAJ's ide API.

    In general, I think that "hardcore coders" don't want to have to think about silly details like source code files, header files, makefiles and compiling everytime they fix something. These people want to design a good, maintainable and fast system. By using a repository, incremental compilation, and excellent class layout paradigm, VisualAge definitely shines for OO designers that want to do their job right.
  • Actually, VisualAge for Java is partially Java (the GUI interface is in some areas.) The back-end engine is Smalltalk, and some of the utilities (like Data Access Builder) are in C++.

    (I know some people who worked on the VisualAge team)
  • It is not possible to use swing1.1, however the API has not changed much from 1.0.3 which is included. You should try the following (which worked for me):

    in VisualAge Java, make a project called "JDK1.2 kluge". In this project, make empty projects called

    Then, after the
    import javax.swing.*
    statements in your code, add a line:

    [ditto for the swing.event package]

    then try to import the package, and chances are it will work. To compile the same project using JDK1.2, you will have to export from VisualAge (obviously). Again, make dummy packages

    This will allow you to compile the same code base with either VM.

    hope this helps.


  • I want to see the original VisualAge -- VA for Smalltalk.

    Then my life would be complete. Well, except for the OC48 I want into the back of my linux box.

  • Posted by tha_skunk:

    I can theoretically do it!!!!!!!!
    But unfortunatly swing 1.1 has more than 500
    classes and as a result, VA is complaining.

    yes, yes I have tried it and VA complained...

    thanx anyway

  • Seriously, you are so 1995.

    Just go out and get a decent connection.

    Will in Seattle

    P.S.: Assuming you don't live in places like Tacoma, where they take a whole year to install it.
  • Posted by tha_skunk:

    yes, this is very clever!!!!! :-)

    I haven't tried it yet, but shoulda work...

    But a little to much pain in the ass for my
    taste. So I will stick with my xemacs and
    JACOB, until they include swing1.1.

    I just can't understand why they use 1.0.3.
    1.1 is out for quite some time now ain't it????

  • Borland sent me a letter saying they won't be doing C++ Builder for Linux, so you'd better hope they port Visual Age for C++ to Linux or we're all stuck with CodeWorks.

    Will in Seattle

    P.S.: Has anyone _asked_ Borland to do this or am I the only one? I just asked Symantec to do VisualCafe to RUN on Linux - noted that they talk about Linux a LOT more on their whitepapers - should just take a few people asking for it ...
  • by Stu Charlton ( 1311 ) on Thursday June 17, 1999 @08:23PM (#1846156) Homepage
    While I really like emacs, vi, gcc & gdb, can someone please tell me if a large business Java or C++ system has been developed with these tools?

    I hear lots of "all Java IDEs suck, use emacs or vi", but I don't know if this is C-programmer machismo or not. Maybe you have to appreciate Smalltalk to understand why VisualAge is the way it is, and why so many people are effective in it.

    Sure, it's not a great GUI designer, but I don't think Symantec Cafe generates clean GUI code either.

    When not using VAJ, I use Emacs (in Viper mode :) for my Java development because it IS a great editor - however, I still find I miss the packages/classes/methods interface (and the one for Emacs wasn't very usable), as well as the incremental compile and automatic method-level version control.

    I guess what I'm saying is - the typical VisualAge user probably comes from a different world from the Linux C hacker. But, they both have one thing in common: most hate Microsoft. :) VisualAger's are going to be VERY happy to use VisualAge on something other than OS/2 or AIX...

    So, I think it's going to be interesting to see hordes of experienced OO developers flocking to Linux because their tool of choice has freed them from Windows. (Since object oriented design is often shied away from in the community at large..)

    my 2 cents
  • wake up the second golden age hasn't hit yet, people are still starving, and governments still censor people for crying out loud we're still in the dark ages.
  • I'm not implying that business systems SHOULDN'T be developed in emacs/vi - I know some that have - it's just that I wonder how often it is done, and how effective it really is versus VisualAge.

  • Wait, which obscure literature reference? I was thinking Conrad or Vonnegut, but neither of those are obscure and both are Kilgore. Killgor and Killgour sound kind of dark-agesey, but I knew a guy with the last name Killgour once, so hey.
  • People in the community seem to ignore Smalltalk because it's not optimized C code. All else is irrelevant.

    Figure it out... I can't.
  • Excellent advice guys... I intend to check out both XEmacs and Code Warrior. Sounds like IBM may grant my wish soon. That's what I love about slashdot...always getting great help and advice.
    Keep up the good work!

  • by pirkka ( 4031 )
    I know of one. We have a few people working on a newspaper-add-placement-system that is completely java and done with Emacs.

    I don't know if it's really huge, but certainly more than 10 years of work has gone to it and it's coming along nicely..


  • by alhaz ( 11039 ) on Thursday June 17, 1999 @06:12AM (#1846168) Homepage
    You must first go HERE [] to register before you can download it.
  • How is it?

    Link to a review, perhaps?
  • I used the Windoze version and I can say it's the best Java IDE I've seen. However a little bit confusing at first. If I have to do Java programming again in the future, I'll buy it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the newsgroups it appears that it's a very good early release. I've heard it has the same functionality as the Windows & the OS/2 versions.

    The cons I've heard are that it uses the Motif widget set so it looks somewhat clunky and it's slow. If anyone tried the beta release of VAJ 2.0 for Windows it was an absolute turtle. Startup times of 5 minutes on my PC with frequent crashes. When the final release came out it was tremendously faster. Hopefully if the Linux version is slow the final release will speed things up.

    I downloaded it last night. Hopefully I can play with it soon.
  • Well, after at *least* 30 seconds of intense testing, it looks like a lot of the functionality of the windows version is there... (The stuff I was working on in VAJ for doze imported, ran)...

    All I can say is. YES! I'll be coughing up the bucks for the full version when it's out. (The preview is limited to 500 classes)

  • I would love for them to port Visual Age for C++ to Linux, then I could have a decent IDE for doing C++...
    Unless anyone out there can recommend some I haven't heard of.

  • So much for IBM's much advertised webserver scalability! It seems way to soon after the article posting for this to be /. effect. One can only assume that they have other problems.

    But I get quite a chuckle when a major name player spends a ton of money advertising how robust their product is, and then it falls flat on it's face.

  • Remember, they're measuring success by number of downloads. The more people mirror it, the less downloads they see...

  • Does anybody get there? That's what you get, when you want "proof" :o)=)
  • by torment ( 31584 )
    That was one of the worst registration forms that I've seen in a while!
  • Are there any mirrors for this thing? I started a download of it this morning, and it got to 100% and then just froze. I tried installing what it did manage to download and I got errors. So if anyone knows of someplace else it could be downloaded from, I'd appreciate it!
  • I grabbed it yesterday (before ./efx set in :). It works fine on my old P133 box, except that it's kinda slow on that machine. The main limitation seems to be that it is Intel-only, and IBM doesn't mention that on its website.

    I thought the events that preceeded the release were quite interesting. About a year ago one VAJ user [] set up web page containing a petition to get IBM to create a Linux version of VAJ. About a thousand people signed it, then he sent it to IBM. The amazing thing is that IBM then did something about it! I'm impressed that so many people signed the petition, and that IBM responded.

  • I downloaded it yesterday and installed it on my laptop today. Looks pretty good, although my laptop is too small and slow to do it justice (486SX-33, 36M RAM). I will be installing it on another box (K6-166, 128M RAM) that should be more suitable.

    Visual Age for Java is the preferred Java tool where I work, so this is a pretty nice thing to have. I am going to be attending a week long training class on Visual Age pretty soon and I am going to be starting work on a project that is being developed with Visual Age, so I should get some chance to work on it. If it works well for me I will probably buy the professional edition when it ships.

    IBM, if you are listening... I'd also like a Solaris (Sparc) version of Visual Age so I could run it on the SparcStation on my desk at work. If it runs on AIX and Linux, it couldn't be much work to make a Solaris version.

  • I would think that if the VisualAge for Java gets a good response, and I think it will, IBM will be more inclined to bring the C++ tool over. Unlike Borland and Symantec, IBM has these tools already running on a UNIX, their AIX.
    I've heard that Linux is priority ONE at IBM, knocking NT off the hill. The OpenClass framework is a nice package and the new C++ incremental compiler in VA C++ v4.0 is awesome. But then again, using Java for most of the GUI stuff should be fine now that a fast JVM is here (IBM JVM w/JIT v3.0) so the realtime/heavy stuff can be done with gcc easy enough talking through JNI or sockets to the Java GUI.
    I wonder if the Java2 ORB is talking with mico? That could be a nice mix......
  • I've used it for over a year at work. I have to say that its been the best IDE I've used in a while. Takes a little getting used to but is well worth the effort.

    I downloaded the Linux preview yesterday and have been experementing with it. I'm impressed! Its a little unclear what version its supposed to be (Startup says 2.0(NC), About says 3.0 beta, and it has some things not found in 2.0) but it is faster than the Windows version.

    Seems to work OK, parts of my project crashed the IDE but I think that has more to do with the DB2 libraries I tried bringing in from the Enterprise edition. Anything non-database is stable.

    It'll be voted for with my $$ when the final comes out thats for sure!

    A review from JavaPro can be found here []

  • Build some access beans for the databases and let them build the applications with the VisualBuilder. I think the Enterprise version of VisualAge already has a DBaccess bean that you point to a dbase and a table then connect the result table to your GUI. Enter the query and have it fired off my a button click and your good to go. VisualBuilder makes apps easy. I built a bean for accessing temperature probes on a serial port. Building the GUI to display the data was a minutes work. This is the way it is supposed to be. We developers build the logic beans and the analysts build the UI using our beans. I even know of some MUMPS developers who figured out JDBC and built an app in a week. This is why Micros~1 is afraid of Java. It is a threat to VisualBasic and CaptiveX AND it is cross platform so it is a threat to ALL its products by threatening its Windows stranglehold.
  • One thing with standard JDK javac compiler though, it is very slow. I compiled a large directory with javac, Borland's Java compiler, and IBM's jikes. The Borland and IBM compilers were 50 times faster.
  • Well, since Borland Customer Service said:

    "Inprise does not have plans to develop C++Builder for Linux at this
    time. However, I will forward your inquiry to our C++Builder Product
    Marketing Manager for consideration. As well, please continue to check
    our website at for information updates on
    platform support.

    let's hope you're right ...

    Be good to see VA C++ on Linux in any case.

    Will in Seattle
  • GNU version of Code Warrior? Could you please explain, I hadn't heard of this.

    It uses gcc instead of their own compiler. Check their website [].

  • As long as it's a binary release, it really should use Red Hat's Package Manager. We should let all application developers know this. A gzipped tar file can't check for prerequisites, select a default place to install itself, or make simple configuration changes. They're not designed to. That's not what they're for.

    RPM's aren't distribution-specific anymore (even Debian and Slackware now handle them pretty naturally with the toys in their respective base install). They're common across the whole of Linux now. Application developers who want to make packages easily installable on Linux by newbies (and, like it or not, each of us was a newbie at one point, how else do you gain users but by attracting and converting newbies) should use RPM any place they'd use "installshield" on a windoze.

    How "professional" is it to release a ".zip" file for a windows program? A configuration readme is fine for us techies, but even I have been known to put off installing new software indefinitely if I know it's going to take more than 2 minutes to get it up and I'm just evaluating it, so I won't know if it's worth the effort until I've seen it!

    RPM's provide a competitive advantage to Linux application software vendors that use them. It's as much a part of making Linux newbie-friendly (or "career secretary who needs help finding the on switch" friendly) as drool-and-click desktops.

    Speaking of which, a desktop can do a much better job figuring out what to do when you click on an RPM than it can when you click on a .tgz file.

    Ok, spleen vented, moving on...

  • I heard that MS has invested a not so little amount of money in Imprise.

    Perhaps they don't want the ligne of imprise's tools in Linux..

    Just my $0.02(African one)

  • Amazingly IBM can manage to pull off what many other companies claim is impossible; create a product for Linux and not just one distribution.

    Fired VAJ up on Debian potato and it works like a charm. Wrote up a quick little applet and wired the events together without any problems.

    I even like the install, no rpm putting things who knows where, just a simple tarball. My only complaint with it is that it's very sluggish. But then I think I remember the same from the windows version too.
  • This looks pretty impressive so far. Java is slow as ever, but hopefully the full release will speed things up. This may even be better than NetBeans, although NetBeans is free for tinkerers.
    IBM - Consider making this free unless a product is sold that was built using VA ?!?!?
  • Oh puh-leeze.

    We ARE talking about a development environment here. I would hope that it's safe to assume any "professional" developer would be able to handle a tar file. If not, I wouldn't want to use anything they developed.

    It would be different if we were talking about an "end user" program such as word perfect or an office suite.

    Yes, this is meant as a kind of a troll, but think about it. What developer with any self respect would complain about a non-RPM'd developer tool?

    Haven't you ever downloaded the tools from Didn't you ever compile GCC, or egcs, from scratch to optimize the compiler and make it run faster? I can't believe I'm hearing a Linux "developer" complain about not knowing how to handle a tar file!
  • i thought kawa was pretty damn good myself... about the best on the windows platform. I think that it would look great on a linux machine (port port port!!)

    just had to add that in..
  • JBuilder (by Bor^H^H^HIns^H^H^HBorland) is 80% Java according to the hard copy. The remaining 20% is probably just the two VMs. FreeBuilder (defunct?) is 100% Java _and_ GPL'd.
  • >Haven't you ever downloaded the tools from
    > Didn't you ever compile GCC, or egcs,
    >from scratch to optimize the compiler and make it
    >run faster?
    Haven't played with GCC since college and I get the tool sources off of CD usually, but I am in the process of installing a system from scratch starting with kernel source code and the "bootdisk howto". Pretty straightforward going so far, although getting X to recognize an onboard SIS graphics card is a bit of a pain, I'm to the point where everything works except the pixels on the screen are out of order, I might muck around in its source to see if I can fix that...

    Might make an "Install Linux yourself from source code with tweezers and a magnifying glass HOWTO" when I'm done... Right now it's just so I'll know what it all does.

    >Yes, this is meant as a kind of a troll, but
    >think about it. What developer with any self
    >respect would complain about a non-RPM'd
    >developer tool?
    Anyone, such as me, who doesn't think solely and myopically of their own needs.

    >I can't believe I'm hearing a Linux
    >"developer" complain about not knowing how to
    >handle a tar file!
    Of course I know how to handle a tar file. But this is precisely the point. The developer community is extremely self-centered, that's why the system's been around for 8 years and we're only JUST starting to write a desktop for the thing.

    Think of someone LEARNING to program on linux. Everything had darn well better come pre-installed or they're screwed. And there's more to install than unzipping, there's uninstalling, inventory/versioning, and fun configuration things like enabling desktop icons and making them go away again during uninstall....

    Trying to get X working on my graphics card I've installed and uninstalled the server at least three times. (Uninstall the old X server, install X-SIS from suse, uninstall that and try the new SVGA server which has exactly the same pixel ordering problem X-SIS did. The mouse leaves droppings, dragging windows smudges the contents, text is illegible, it's sad...)

    It would have been a real pain to figure out which files were XBASE and which were specific to the card without a built-in uninstall. (Cleaning up the sumlinks would have been nice too, but that's at least partly a Red Hat specific problem...)

    Getting places like IBM -USED- to providing uniform install packages is important. Like it or not, Red Hat's Package manager is the standard we've got. It is the most widely used install program, and I believe every single distribution except Debian and Slackware now uses it exclusively. And both Debian and slackware provide it as an option.


  • >Certainly not! I use Debian, and I don't want
    >some RedHat shit on my system.

    If I remember correctly, this is why Bruce Perens left. The reason -I- left debian was the general "I don't care if anyone other than me uses it, although I'd prefer it if they didn't" attitude of the mailing list. I could only take about six months of that, then I went for the distribution that was most interested in bringing open source to the largest number of people. Turned out to be Red Hat.

    >Plus RPM is a proprietary binary package that

    How can you have a proprietary GPL'd toolset?

    >can't be extracted with standard tools, so when
    >you want to read the README on a
    >Sun/Alpha/Windows machine you're completly dead.

    Only by your definition of "standard tools". Considering you have to download gzip for most platforms other than Linux anyway, where's the problem? (Other unixen come with "compress", remember?) On linux (including debian), a tool to use the suckers is part of the base package.

    And why isn't the readme on the web page you download it from?

    >The Debian package format has the advantage to be
    >an 'ar' archive (+ tar.gz inside)

    It has the disadvantage of nobody using it.

    Nobody replaces an established standard without a darn good reason, and even then it's an uphill battle. That's the whole reason micros~1 has survived this far. GIF is patented 8 bit with no transparency and clearly superior PNG -STILL- is having an uphill battle.

    There an art to knowing what can and cannot work, and one big trick is not to confuse the means with the ends (such as Stallman telling people not to call the system "Linux").

    Don't stand at the bottom of hoover dam and push. It won't work. Go around, get dynamite, do something useful. But standing there and pushing is just sad.

    >Proposing RPM to be the standard on Linux
    >machines is the worse idea I've ever seen

    You should get out more. Try visiting Washington DC, it's an eye-opener.


  • I didn't say it crashed. But it sure wasn't able to serve up the pages.

    As I pointed out, I'm not convinced it was /. effect. I initially tried the site only a few minutes after the article was posted. I tried several more times before posting my comment. Maybe that was long enough that it was already being flooded.

    In any case, they're telling people in newsletters and press releases to go and check out their product. They should be prepared for a large response. Especially a company like IBM which advertises themselves heavily as an Internet server company. Perceptions of a company and its abilities come from many sources. This is just one.
  • Does VAFJ use its own JDK or does it link into the blackdown JDK ?
  • VisualAge for Java features an interactive compiler, which means that code changes are directly parsed into a running application rather than having to recompile-this is a BIG timesaver. For someone from a C/C++ background, the object browser interface is a little odd at first, but after you get used to it you will think it seems weird to use a file-based interface like most java IDEs.

    Lots of other features as well, including the ability to execute arbitrary code snippets on the fly, a powerful versioning system, and so on.

    No, I don't work for IBM, I just really dig this tool.
  • It uses its own VM, because it has to. VisualAge is dynamically compiled, which means that changes to the code are automatically parsed into the running application, rather than save-compile-run like most tools. For this reason, the tool needs to have special hooks in the Java engine.
  • Login: slashdot

    Password: slashdot
  • Are there *still* a ton of people trying to get at this? I've been trying for the last half hour or so, (it's now 4:30 CST) and I'm just waiting.

    You'd think IBM's site would be better than this. I can't believe it!
  • Does anyone have any screenshots of CodeWarrior posted? I couldn't find any on their site, and would like to see the product before I buy it...
  • I second the motion of the guys supporting Code Warrior... Code Warrior is, bar none, the best damn IDE on the planet... I bought the GNU version, and assuming there is an upgrade, I'll buy the professional edition in the Fall (which will support Java and Code Warrior's native debugger) I'm excited to try Visual Age, though I've used Code Warrior almost exclusively on various platforms (Windows, Solaris and now Linux)

    If my opinion doesn't sell you, keep in mind that even John Carmack would agree that Code Warrior is the simplest, fastest way to write good code....
  • Posted by tha_skunk:

    Just downloaded the package and runs just
    cool.Was even able to import a package
    from me.

    BUT, the shit uses jfc 1.0.3 and my package
    swing1.1. So all those import javax.swing.*
    are considered of going into nirvana :-(((

    And with a limit of 500Classes I can't even
    import the hole swingall.jar :-(

    anybody knows how I can get it to accept

  • There is a Kilgore Trout in Vonnegut books, as I understand it (never read em), and a musical group of the same name. There is a clothing seller known as Kilgour Trout in Cleveland and a town named Kilgour somewhere or other.

    Also, D.M. Kilgour studied the effects of high temperatures on fish in 1985 and B.G. Kilgour studied bioassessment of freshwater ecosystems.

    Who's to say what the reference is, really? :)
  • Seemed to work quite well on a box here at work. We were able to create a fairly good app pretty quickly. Nice interface.

    Seems that maybe we will get Borland C++ soon - they just announced JBuilder for Linux, so they're probably working on Borland C++ Builder for Linux as we speak, saving the announcement for the next Linux show. Might not hurt to pop over to their web site and ask them when they'll have C++ Builder for the Linux platform just to /. and get the fire under them, though.

    Will in Seattle
  • Why don't you ask for it?

    This release was prompted by a large user demand. A similar outcry for VASmalltalk for Linux might have a similar effect. As someone mentioned already, VAJ/Linux implies that some/all of VAST already runs on Linux.

    As an added bonus, this might remind IBM that the Smalltalk community hasn't died.
  • Yes RPMS have certain advantages but in this case IBM has done a fantastic job of the install program, way easier than RPMS.

    uncompress file.tar.Z
    tar -xf file.tar

    What could be simpler? No su-ing, nothing, just unpack and go :) RPMS in this case would just be a big hassle for all parties invoved.
  • Have you tried XEmacs []? Read through some documentation on gdb and pick up a good Emacs tutorial and you'll be hacking away.

    A busy session with "make", "gdb" and some interactive source-level debugging can look like this screenshot []. XEmacs parses gcc's output and with a click you jump right to the warning or error.

    Best yet, you can do everything with your hands on the keyboard, or you can use the mouse if you feel like it. XEmacs 21, the new beta series, also has a very nice package management system. Select a package source from the Options/Manage Packages menu and it'll retrieve them from the net and install them--modes for every language known to man.

  • I have used the Mac version extensively, and the color coding in their editor is one of the nicer features of the application. You can see a screen shot I did of the editor on this page: rver.main.html

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore