November 22

code artist’s toolbox..

     Writing code is an artform, and artists need tools to express themselves on their medium. Such practice requires essential utilities, such as an editor, a compiler, maybe a versioning utility for larger projects constantly evolving.

The basic must-haves:

  • an editor (vi, vim, emacs, .. )
  • GNU C Compiler

     That is very basic.. but this is serious business, so we’ll top that with the make utility at the very least, which comes in pretty handy at handling what files have been changed, how that affects other files, and what has to be re-compiled.

     Because some projects can get pretty large and complex, they become difficult to manage fairly quickly. There could be different versions of a program’s code, and keeping track of which is which can be an accounting migrane. git is a popular version control system used to track the different versions, apply changes easily, and much more.

     On a hypothetical ubuntu system, we could grab the very basic set of tools needed to build simple programs or debian packages by invoking the following command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install make gcc build-essential vim

where make and gcc may already be installed but we include them just in case, build-essential is a debian-specific package allowing us to produce *.deb pakages with make using the deb-pkg argument for instance, and for the sake of variety we use the vim editor.

With these basic packages, we can now even build Linux kernel modules!