Red Hat broadens programming language support

RHEL can now support multiple versions of a single programming language, such as Python

Potentially making work easier for system administrators, Red Hat has updated its development packages to support running multiple versions of the same programming language on its flagship enterprise operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Red Hat has released updates to two of its packages of third-party open source software for running programs on RHEL, Red Hat Developer Toolset and Red Hat Software Collections. Red Hat Developer Toolset is a package of compliers and related tools for the C and C++ programming languages. Red Hat Software Collections assembles a set of tools, languages and databases for building Web applications.

Both packages provide a way to update the development tools in between major updates of RHEL, which typically are released every two to three years. These software packages are updated more frequently, allowing users to get more timely releases of third-party software packages while still getting the full support from Red Hat.

The Red Hat Software Collections 2, now available in beta form, now can support multiple versions of the same language.

RHEL's support of Python is an example of how this could benefit system administrators. In the past, RHEL only included one version of Python, and it was frequently an older version that RHEL itself needed to run its Yum software package manager.

However, many administrators found that they needed a newer version of Python to run frameworks such as Django. As a result, the administrator would need to compile the newer version from scratch and change any pointers within Python programs to this second version of Python running on the system. The administrator would also be responsible for updating the second version of Python with security patches.

With Red Hat Software Collections 2, an administrator can now use various Python editions, including Python 2.7, Python 3.3, Python 3.4 -- all of which will be supported with Red Hat updates. Red Hat Collections also adds updates to other programming languages, including PHP 5.6, PERL 5.2, Passenger 4.0, and Node.js 0.10.33.

The newly released Developer Toolset 3.1 also includes the latest versions of a number of widely-used open source development tools, including the GNU Compiler Collection 4.9.2 and Eclipse 4.4.2 with support for Java 8.

Both software packages are fully compatible with both RHEL 7 and RHEL 6, across physical, virtual and cloud environments.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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Joab Jackson

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