Product Reviews

CodeWarrior Learning Edition

In the previous issue of Developer Central, I took a look at Metrowerks' Code Warrior, a $599 full-featured IDE, compiler, linker, and debugger for C, C++, or Java code. This issue, they sent me a copy of their Learning Edition, which is aimed at new developers trying to come up to speed on C++ or Java.

The Learning Edition has nearly all of the features of the full package. It manages projects consisting of multiple files well, and jumps back and forth between files, headers, and symbols easily. There's support for MFC 6 and ATL 3.0 on the C++ side, and JDK 1.3 on the Java side. The graphical diff and merge tool is fast and well- designed. You get Metrowerk's own thread-safe standard libraries as well.

In addition, you also get a set of multimedia tutorials. These assume that you don't know anything about coding with an IDE, and start by explaining basic notions of a project and how to add and remove files. The tutorials will teach you how to build, execute, and debug a project, but they don't cover any of the basic language syntax. You'll find some of that in the extensive documentation for Code Warrior itself, but if you really are a beginner you'll want a good book as well. You can also get started on learning the languages at, their free tutorial site.

Oddly enough, the CD did not create a shortcut to the tutorial; I had to find it myself by prowling around on the hard drive.

So what's missing? You can only build applications, not libraries, and there's a limit on the number of files that you can add. Advanced code optimizations are disabled in the Learning Edition, as are makefile exports and version control integration. And although the package included both Windows and Mac CD-ROMs, cross- platform support is limited compared to the full package.

Still, $79 is quite a deal for a full-featured C++ and Java IDE. If you want to dabble but aren't sure that you want to invest yet, give it a spin.

[This review originally appeared in

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.


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