Development tools vendors are about to boost the legitimacy of Linux by releasing products for the operating system.
Laurent Séraphin, European product marketing manager at Inprise, told Computing that the tools and middleware vendor will ship a version of its Jbuilder Java development tool for generating Linux code later this year.
Linux versions of Inprise's popular client/server tool Delphi and C++ Builder will ship in mid 2000.
The move is a response to a survey Inprise conducted of 24,000 developers worldwide. More than 75 per cent of respondents said that they were planning applications running on Linux.
Some rival vendors say they would be following suit. Kieran Kilmartin, product marketing manager at Oracle, said that the company will release Developer for Linux in the first quarter next year.
Sybase is said to be planning a future Linux release of its Powerbuilder client/server tool, although formal plans could not be disclosed.
Carl Zetie, senior industry analyst at researcher Giga Information Group, says the Linux strategies of the tools vendors are a sign that the platform is evolving.
"We are seeing the maturing of Linux," he said. "Until now, it has only been for hardcore programmers. We have started to see application servers and databases on Linux. The next step is the client/server tools."
Gary Barnett, analyst at researcher Ovum, said: "If enough tools vendors get onto the Linux bandwagon, they will turn it into a very serious contender."
Zetie predicts that the availability of Linux client/server tools would make server side Linux development more efficient.
"Experience with fourth generation languages that attempted to support both Windows and the Motif graphical user interface has shown that cross development rapidly gets to be exasperating because of the differences between the systems," said Zetie.
"It pretty much takes the rapid out of rapid application development," he added.
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