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TheKompany.com: A New Approach to Linux Business - page 5

The Building Blocks for Linux

  • September 25, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

Shawn Gordon's chief passion--and talking to him, one senses that he's passionate about nearly everything--is development tools, particularly IDEs. He has himself programmed in 15 or so languages, and is fervent in the belief that choosing the right language for the task is among the most important decisions a programmer can make. But most programmers have limited options. They don't know all the available languages. Enter KODE.

"What we've done is, everything in it is a plugin. All the widgets, which can be shared with ReKall, the languages. We can implement any language we want." Even a Visual Basic programmer, perhaps, will one day be able to use KODE, Kompany Open Development Environment, to program with the big boys. "It'll generate gcc and it will get compiled by that compiler. They can use what ever language they're comfortable with; the IDE is consistent throughout."

The idea is to leverage a programmer's knowledge independent of language--KODE will handle that through plugins for each programming language and translate it as needed. The important thing, Gordon says, is a common, comfortable development environment.

"You've got Borland, who comes close. I love Borland's tools. I've thought Delphi was kind of the crown to reach for. But they've got a different one for every tool. I think they're getting close with Kylix, at least for Delphi and C++ Builder.

"But this is our primary objective."

And though KODE will be proprietary, it won't be so entirely.

"A lot of it is going to be open source, but some parts of it are going to be proprietary, because they have to be." In part, this is due to the licensing of pieces of it from third parties (in much the same way that the file format filters in StarOffice are unlikely to be released when the main program goes open source). But KODE for some freely available languages will be free.

And, as Gordon notes, selling development tools to businesses provides money to devote to open and free developers.

"The only way for me to pay people to do work, to support the open source, is for me to sell some software."

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