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What's up with development kits?

Continuing the discussion from Discover SGDK (GCC and Development Libraries for Sega Genesis):

I was thinking about what I know about development kits, and it’s very skewed around a very personal experience where I thought I was going to turn my PS2 into a “PC” running Linux.

So, what is a development kit? When I think about, I’m not sure I like the idea, fully, but maybe it’s because of how I only know of them from the perspective of video game consoles, which means it’s always from a point of complete closedness, and then dev kits are like a half-ass opening of the platform.

But maybe dev kits cover all sort of collections of items that assist in the development of a thing, regardless of how open or closed it is. The physicality of hardware comes to mind: you need to send out the component so folks use the component! Okay, gotcha.

What other development kits are there?

My second question is about the milieu of SGDK: what is the purpose of a dev kit for older consoles/hardware/etc.?

I imagine it isn’t just one, but many reasons, which themselves can depend on variables such as community support or access to specialized whatever. I get the academic goals, or preservation and reverse engineering.

As someone not interested in those things, what is a reason I would be interested in a dev kit? :slight_smile:

Thats a tall order.

Some FLOSS ones immediately off the top of my head.

DevKitPro cover a lot of architectures/consoles/spaces : https://devkitpro.org

Multiples exist for things like gameboy. Last Fosdom had a talk about a Forth based gameboy kit.

There is one called Kalista … something that targets Dreamcast.

Homebrew games , game ports and translations are a big drivers of these. People are often fans of a specific hardware architecture/platform and there is a mystique and fandom around keeping these platforms alive by writing code for them.

I think youve got to be a fan of programming and a hardware platform/console a kit targets. If your not, your two ships passing in the night.

This isn’t too uncommon though with development tools in general. Plenty of linux users have no interest in GCC for example.

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Thanks! Your reply deserves more :heart:s!

Groovy, I’m not gonna go out of my way to curate a list. But hopefully when someone does, I’ll have better templates in place. :sunglasses: