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Typical Development Tool Chains

All stages of Android software development have corresponding tools to help developer complete tasks. Groups of development tools are called tool chains, or toolsets. The typical tool chains are listed in Table 3-3.

Table 3-3. Typical Tool Chains for Android Software Development

Many toolsets are available, provided by different companies and organizations, each with its own characteristics. Icc, the Vtune Amplifier, and idb are provided by Intel, while gcc, gdb, and gproof by the free software organization GNU; and CETK, Application Verifier, Device Emulator are provided by Microsoft. Some of these tools are free like the GNU toolsets. Others, such as the Microsoft toolsets, must be purchased. These tools run on different platforms. For example, Jflash runs on the Linux platform while most of the Microsoft tools are based on Windows (including desktop Windows OS and Android

OS-Windows CE/Mobile). And some are even cross-platform tools; for example, GNU toolsets can run on multiple platforms such as Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems.

The way in which these toolsets are used falls into two categories: one is command line and the other is integrated development environment (IDE). Command line toolsets are executed by single commands entered in their command lines. In the case of IDEs, all functions are integrated into one tool, including editing, compiling, linking, deploying, and debugging, so that the full development process can be performed

in one application. Most of the GNU tools run on command lines. Probably the most widely used IDE is Microsoft Visual Studio†. Anjuta DevStudio is a Linux-based IDE. The Android development tool, Eclipse, is an IDE that can run on multiple operating systems including Windows and Linux. In this book, we're going to use the Windows version.

GNU toolsets can run on multiple platforms; their openness, large usage scope, and compatibility with other tools have made them a common choice for Android application development.

Tip GNU, GPL, and LGPL Gnu is by far the largest, most famous, and influential free software organization. it was created by richard stallman in 1985 who founded the free software foundation (fsf) to break away from commercial software. You must comply with Gnu software license before using Gnu software.

Gpl, short for Gnu General public license, is one of the Gnu software licenses. Gpl allows the public to enjoy the freedom of running, copying, and sharing software, obtaining source code, and improving the software and sharing it with the public. Gpl also stipulates that as long as one part or the entirety of the altered content comes from the programs complied by Gpl, then the sharing of the altered software must comply with Gpl requirements, which means that you need to publish the changed source code and refrain from adding restrictions on the sharing of the improved software. Gpl was the catalyst for developing and publishing the linux os and related software.

lGpl, which means lesser Gpl, is also one of the Gnu software licenses. it is a variant of Gpl. What's different is that users enjoy private usage on lGpl-authorized free software. and the new software developed can be proprietary instead of free. Before using the free software, users must obtain lGpl or other variants of Gpl. lGpl was initially used for some Gnu program libraries (software libraries). so it was called library Gpl. mozilla and are examples of software developed under lGpl.

GNU development tools are free. Anyone who agrees to GPL license can download them. GNU has also provided complete tool chains for software development on Android systems and Intel architecture systems. Such tools include compiler, assembly, linker, and debugging tools. They can be run independently from command lines or integrated into an IDE such as Eclipse. The GNU tool chains are listed in Table 3-4.

Table 3-4. GNU Tool Chains





vi, Emacs, ed

Text editor used for editing source code

Compiling & linking


A set of multi-programming language compilers






Optimization tool for analyzing program performance and helping developers to create faster-running programs

Project Management


Auto management tool for software compilation

System Building


All materials and files required for build projects

The components are further explained below.

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