simple integrated development environment!
What side4linux is
is beta software that has been under development for only a short
while. It works fairly well but be prepared for the occasional crash
by saving complete copies of your Product directories to a different
location. Remember, save early and save often !!
- side4linux is a simple IDE intended for source
code programming in C, G-code and Assembler with an emphasis on
manufacturing applications and mechanically machined components.
- The IDE consists of a multi tabbed
editor which has syntax highlighting and
additional mechanical engineering tools such as a G-code Arc calculator
and a bolt center circle calculator.
- It provides a project based source code
editing and build environment
for the above languages based around Linux, the ATMEL AVR MPU's and
generic ARM MPU's. The intention is to integrate the full development
CAD/CAM/CIM system over time for the areas of machine control and
- side4linux divides data into 'Project Areas' which builds into
which is comprised of all of the Projects needed to make
that single Product.
are divided into eight different areas: ANCA, ARMC, AVRA, AVRC, CLC,
GNOMECGL, PCBS. Some of these areas are Linux related and some are
specific to the MPU's currently supported.
- Each project area of the Product is
to prevent confusion and to allow for sensible development processes to
- It differs from other IDE's in the
support for 'ANCA style'
G-code programming, as a front end for the AVRA
assembler (another Sourceforge project), embedded 'C', embedded
assembler, the support for making PCB's and the ability to run external
CNC machinery such as milling machines, lathes and robots.
- No doubt other IDE's are better in many
ways but this one is unique to
it's intended audience (mechanical engineering). We are trying to
all of the important open source tools that are used in this area into
single build environment so that users may not only make mechanical
parts but may also use the IDE to alter the build environment software
using the same IDE!
- Naturally side4linux
is built using side4linux!
- Why not just use someone else's IDE?
is designed to
serve mechanical engineering and is not generic in nature. It only
contains the bells/whistles needed for this particular field and yet it
is extensible should the demand not be
- side4linux is
not designed to be the biggest or the best, just nicely usable.
As you are aware from the use of the GPL side4linux
is provided free
of charge and is open source, this is our way of thanking the
programming community for the wonderful range of Open Source tools that
we use daily.
note that instead of reinventing the wheel we have set side4linux up as
a program launcher so some features cannot work unless these additional
programs are installed, be sure to have the following in your
execution PATH to try everything,
meant for GNOME friendly distributions like Debian, Ubuntu or SUSE.
You may find that if you use Mandrake (or other KDE dominant
distributions) additional Gnome libraries may need to be downloaded and
- firefox (the browser needed for the provided HELP pages).
- gcc4 (C compiler).
- GNU Autotool set (autoconf, make etc.).
- GTK+ (2.16 or better recommended).
- glade2/3 (GTK graphical interface builder needed to build
GNOME visual code).
- avra (AVR assembler, not needed for anything other than
AVR assembly coding, get
AVRA from Sourceforge).
- Gnome and libGnome development libraries.
- libGlade development libraries.
- Mesa for OpenGL, if you are going to try any of the
GNOMECGL Demo's or Tools. (libGL and libGLU)
- 'gEDA' and 'pcb' are needed to create printed circuit
boards (download and install the latest 'PCBS' support package from the
- Latest 'C' help files, download and install the latest 'help' support packages from the side4linux
- 'gksu ' / 'gksudo' used to provide user access to the
machinery where super user privileges are required.
- 'xpdf' to read PDF documents provided.
- 'xterm' used by various embedded 'tools' during activation
to provide error and status messaging.
As an example of what side4linux
can do please view the following graphic which outlines the Machine Controller
that we are designing,
If you are new to Linux and anything above scares you then click on
this LINK to a Linux Help
download the compressed file copy of the site and keep it for later
Enjoy! and may the Open Source be with you!
David Burke, Adelaide, South Australia, 2009.