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definition - Programming_tool

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Programming tool

                   

A programming tool or software development tool is a program or application that software developers use to create, debug, maintain, or otherwise support other programs and applications. The term usually refers to relatively simple programs that can be combined together to accomplish a task, much as one might use multiple hand tools to fix a physical object. Programming tool or programming software is a sub-category of system software but sometimes it is stated as a separate category of software along with application and system software.[1]

Contents

  History

The history of software tools began with the first computers in the early 1950's that used linkers, loaders, and control programs.[citation needed] Tools became famous with Unix in the early 1970s with tools like grep, awk and make that were meant to be combined flexibly with pipes. The term "software tools" came from the book of the same name by Brian Kernighan and P. J. Plauger.

Tools were originally simple and light weight. As some tools have been maintained, they have been integrated into more powerful integrated development environments (IDEs). These environments consolidate functionality into one place, sometimes increasing simplicity and productivity, other times sacrificing flexibility and extensibility. The workflow of IDEs is routinely contrasted with alternative approaches, such as the use of Unix shell tools with text editors like Vim and Emacs.

The distinction between tools and applications is murky. For example, developers use simple databases (such as a file containing a list of important values) all the time as tools.[dubious ] However a full-blown database is usually thought of as an application in its own right.

For many years, computer-assisted software engineering (CASE) tools were sought after. Successful tools have proven elusive.[citation needed] In one sense, CASE tools emphasized design and architecture support, such as for UML. But the most successful of these tools are IDEs.

The ability to use a variety of tools productively is one hallmark of a skilled software engineer.

  List of tools

Software tools come in many forms:

  IDEs

Integrated Development Environments combine the features of many tools into one package. They for example make it easier to do specific tasks, such as searching for content only in files in a particular project. IDEs may for example be used for development of enterprise-level applications.

Different aspects of IDEs for specific programming languages can be found in this comparison of integrated development environments.

  See also

  References

  1. ^ "Programming Software". Conjurers Software. http://www.defit.org/2012/02/programming-software.html. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
   
               

 

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