After I wrote several articles about using ATmega microcontrollers (DIP40) in Arduino environment I had some feedback that I was asked how to be effectively put into operation this project. As I came into the Arduino world from classical microcontrollers development world, I have not found necessary to elaborate a method or hardware project for this.
Meanwhile I realized that in Arduino world as there are many users who not have a background in digital electronics / microcontrollers development. This is the great advantage of Arduino, it is so easy to use that even if someone have no knowledge or experience with electronics or programming, can get a simple project running in hours (or minutes).
Personally, I use the Arduino as a platform for experimentation. Even if most of the times I bypass hardware "abstraction layer" (and working directly with microcontroller hardware) I continue to use the Arduino IDE because is so simple(and fast) to start experimenting with different algorithms or techniques to control various peripherals.
I must admit that sometimes I use Arduino IDE as a replacement for AVR Studio, as long as USBASP is well supported. So I think that this project will not be useless, although there are many similar projects, each with advantages and disadvantages.
Here is a comparison between various common microcontrollers (DIP40 package) from ATmega family.
Please note that ATmega328P and ATmega2560 are not DIP40. I put them here for comparison (ATmega328P ~ Aruino Uno / ATmega2560 ~ Arduino Mega 2560).
I also emphasized column for ATmega1284 / 1284P, this is the most capable microcontroller for ATmega in DIP40 package (at least at the time I wrote the article).