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Where do you go to find your development tools?

The open source communities have good centralized sites devoted to promoting their software, like and

But when you are developing software for a living, and you are willing to pay money for the best tools out there, how do you find them?

Some people get 90% of what they need from an IDE. Then it's just a matter of comparing a handful of products. But when you are looking for source code analysis, linters, documentation tools, etc. I don't know where to even find a listing of what is on the market.

I've noticed that there are a lot of questions that appear here like: What do you use for version control? What do you use to build help systems? What do you use for a text editor? Well, give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him to fish and...

Is word of mouth what you go by? I suspect the answer will vary depending on what community you belong to. The Java people have different resources than the VB people, who have different resources than the Perl people. I personally develop cross-platform software in C, and I use the open source tools, but I'm always looking for something better.

Sunday, May 5, 2002

I use Java, and aside from sites like Sourceforge/Freshmeat, I usually find things either through

* Google/Usenet
* Roedy Green's site:
* JavaWorld competitions

It's important to visit communities, if you want to know the tools.

Sunday, May 5, 2002

--I don't know where to even find a listing of what is on the market.--

Uh. "Google" might be useful.

Nigel Googlyshires
Sunday, May 5, 2002

You can find a large number of proprietary tools at

I've looked around there and it really is amazing how much is out there.  The presentation/organization at componentsource is pretty good; they make it easy to wade through a bewildering variety of tools.

Herbert Sitz
Monday, May 6, 2002

I call and get catalogs from places like Xtras, ComponentSource, etc., and find the names of products that sound like what I'm looking for. I then search for several of these at once in Google, which will usually bring me to comparitive pages, or lists of tools. Another good source of what's out there are the ads in popular programming magazines (Windows::Developer, Dr. Dobb's, C/C++ User's Journal, MSDN, etc.). Don't skip the little ads in the back or the product announcements :)

Regardless of where I learn about the product, I almost always buy from Provantage because they almost always have the best price.

I will note, though, that it's very easy to get gear lust, just like it is with music or sports equipment -- to the point you don't get started on something because you "need" that next great tool which will make part X easier. In the end, aside from a compiler, I think it boils down to an editor, a code checker, and a documenter. Sometimes you can get more than one of these in the same package or IDE, but those I've wound up with were all separate products.

Troy King
Monday, May 6, 2002

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