Practical Development Environments
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2005
Pages: 330

This book doesn't tell you how to write faster code, or how to write code with fewer memory leaks, or even how to debug code at all. What it does tell you is how to build your product in better ways, how to keep track of the code that you write, and how to track the bugs in your code. Plus some more things you'll wish you had known before starting a project.

Practical Development Environments is a guide, a collection of advice about real development environments for small to medium-sized projects and groups. Each of the chapters considers a different kind of tool - tools for tracking versions of files, build tools, testing tools, bug-tracking tools, tools for creating documentation, and tools for creating packaged releases. Each chapter discusses what you should look for in that kind of tool and what to avoid, and also describes some good ideas, bad ideas, and annoying experiences for each area. Specific instances of each type of tool are described in enough detail so that you can decide which ones you want to investigate further.

Developers want to write code, not maintain makefiles. Writers want to write content instead of manage templates. IT provides machines, but doesn't have time to maintain all the different tools. Managers want the product to move smoothly from development to release, and are interested in tools to help this happen more often. Whether as a full-time position or just because they are helpful, all projects have toolsmiths: making choices about tools, installing them, and then maintaining the tools that everyone else depends upon. This book is especially for everyone who ends up being a toolsmith for his or her group.

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Any plan to update the tools sections?

By Jason

from Salt Lake City, UT

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Practical Development Environments:

Being that some of the 'practical' part of the book is now outdated, is there any plan to perhaps publish a pdf, or release another edition with updated tools lists?

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Good advice, tools sections dated now

By Matt Doar

from San Jose, CA

About Me Author, Consultant, Developer, Sys Admin, Toolsmith

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Well-written


  • Partly outdated

Best Uses

  • Intermediate
  • Novice
  • Toolsmith

Comments about oreilly Practical Development Environments:

I'm the author and the book still works as intended. Each chapter has a section on using software development tools (version control, builds, bug trackers etc). The second half of each chapter refers to tools in each area that were current five years ago, so these parts have aged correctly.

I've run a consulting business for the past four years based around many of the ideas in this book and find that, for the most part, they are working well for my clients.


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