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toolchain

A collection of tools used to develop for a particular hardware target, or to work with a particular data format (thus ‘the Crusoe development toolchain’, or the ‘DocBook toolchain’). Often used in the context of building software on one system which will be installed or run on some other device; in that case the chain of tools usually consists of such items as a particular version of a compiler, libraries, special headers, etc. May also be used of text-formatting, page layout, or multimedia tools which render from some markup to a variety of production formats. Differs from ‘toolkit’ in that the former implies a collection of semi-independent tools with complementary functions, while ‘toolchain’ implies that each of the parts is a serial stage in a rather tightly bound pipeline. Seems to have become current in early 1999 and 2000; now common.