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Why Mac OS X Is Unsuitable For Web Development 831

Posted by Soulskill
from the people-have-opinions dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Ted Dziuba has an interesting and amusing post on how he made a big mistake when he was offered a choice for his company laptop. His options were a Lenovo Thinkpad or a MacBook Pro, and he picked the Mac, thinking it would be closer to what he was used to. So what's wrong with using the Mac as a development machine for Milo, a Python application backed by PostgreSQL and Redis? 'I've only poked around a little, but so far I've found three separate package managers for OS X: Fink, MacPorts & Homebrew,' writes Dziuba, adding that when you are older, you will understand the value of automated version dependency satisfaction. Next is that your development platform should be as close as possible to your production platform, but 'OS X and Linux have different kernels, which means different I/O & process schedulers, different file systems, and a whole host of other implementation details that you'll write off as having been abstracted away until you have your first serious encounter with "It Works On My Machine.'" Finally, he says, Textmate sucks. 'Sooner or later, you have to face facts. Man up and learn Emacs.'"
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Why Mac OS X Is Unsuitable For Web Development

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  • Re:Bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:02PM (#35645212) Homepage Journal
    doesnt matter.

    'xammp in some flavor' running in your desktop os, still means 'different from the production environment' you are going to run the thing on. xammp on mac will need to behave as xammp on a mac.
  • Emacs? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:03PM (#35645224)

    Using Emacs as your main tool for web development is like pounding nails in with your fist instead of a hammer. Sure, you could do it, but other than a misguided need to prove your masculinity and/or street cred, why would you?

    What's worse, instead of making you seem like a badass, it mostly makes you look like somebody who doesn't understand the concept of their being a right tool for a job. Special butterfly keystrokes notwithstanding, Emacs isn't the best tool for every job, including this one. Nor is any pure text editor, honestly.

  • Re:Bullshit. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:09PM (#35645336)

    This is a stupid article. An operating system is just that - it provides an interface to hardware so you can run your programs. You can use anything to do web development. When he has a complaint about vi then I will read it. Otherwise this is a waste of my time. I just posted this because I needed to say it.

  • by jmcbain (1233044) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:14PM (#35645382)

    That is exactly his problem. He has a deployment environment that's different from this development environment, and he expects them to be the same when they're clearly not. This is quite possibly the stupidest drivel I have ever read, and obviously he's an amateur programmer. If your deployment environment is Linux, then get a Linux box to develop your code. His argument is just as stupid as saying "Windows is unsuitable for developing Linux software". This clown should be catapulted into the sun.

    Furthermore, if this guy is a Web developer, then why is he concerned about underlying architectures? Stick with HTML and CSS and leave the heavy coding for the adults.

  • by robmv (855035) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:26PM (#35645562)

    Sorry, but you have the explanation reversed. Only OS X prohibits you to run a Linux host and run OS X on a VM, only OS X prohibits you to run Windows as a host and OS X on a VM, so if you want to run all three OSs simultaneously you are forced to use a Mac and OS X as the host

  • Ummm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techsoldaten (309296) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:26PM (#35645564) Journal

    Um, ahem...

    This is a very reactionary post and does not belong on the front page of Slashdot. There are a lot of options to address the issues the author brings up and the premise of the article is misleading. Also, the author clearly references Windows development issues, which means he lacks essential open source credibility and should be shunned by the community.

    I mean:

    - How about Eclipse as an IDE? That should be better than emacs and textmate for most things.

    - How about MAMP with SPMPT for Postgres? You could also script start and stop scripts for redis in MAMP similar to the ones that exist for memcached.

    - While fink, macports and homebrew all do suck in their own special way (homebrew is a little suckier), what's to stop you from writing your own ports for them? Isn't this the way rpms caught on, where people knew how to compile them in the first place?

    Maybe the polyphany of OSX package managers leads to issues but the same issues have existed in the Linux world for years and it's taken a lot of effort to resolve them. People took the time to resolve them, and that's what lead to a better system. You can't criticize "Mac culture" for offering the same opportunities available to linux users, sorry you don't feel the need to contribute.

    - As far as file systems go, so help me, most competent developers can deal with this pretty easily. Since the author cites 'grown up' developers in his article, I guess that means grown ups are too lazy to do something about file systems when writing applications. Like make applications for linux and BSD and ignore windows altogether, or use a windows machine for creating windows applications.

  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:27PM (#35645570) Journal

    Written an article explaining that you shouldn't choose OSX when you need to develop for Linux, apparently...

  • Re:Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:31PM (#35645622)

    I have no idea why this troll of an article ever hit /.

    With compelling arguments like "textmate sucks, man up and use emacs" (yes that really is the whole argument for what's wrong with text editing on OS X) I'd expect better from an IRC troll, let alone a slashdot troll. And hell, that's completely ignoring the fact that if you really want to, emacs runs just fine on OS X.

    Personally, I consider a Mac to be pretty much the ultimate web dev platform, because it gives you easy access to all browsers on all major platforms, and gives you some of the best tools (yes, better than emacs, and even better than vi) to develop with. There are many imperfections, but it's better than all the other options.

  • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:33PM (#35645656)
    Nobody said anything about anyone gay. Wait, you don't think a man acting effeminately and a man being homosexual are the same thing, do you? Talk about stereotypes...
  • by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:34PM (#35645678) Journal
    Gender is a powerful cult in almost every culture. Yes it's lame and probably counter-productive in many ways, but that probably suits most people fine, when you get right down to it. Or as a very wise man once said:
    "People -- what a bunch of bastards!"
  • Re:Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:55PM (#35645964)

    Okay, if you want counter arguments to the "points" in the troll, here you go:

    So you totally ignore the pathetic developer package management in OS X

    The article complains that there are 3 different package managers for OS X and that choosing between 3 tools confuses him... Well here's news for him, there's *way* more than 3 package managers for linux. He then goes on to explain that he uses dpkg on linux and is very happy with it. If this is the case, I suggest he uses fink on OS X, as it's a direct port of debian's package manager. He also complains that he ends up compiling things all the time. Clearly, he fails at reading the manual pages, because fink is entirely capable of installing binary packages.

    the fact no one uses OS X for serious web hosting

    Entirely correct – this is why you use things like (insert favourite scm tool here) to deploy to a test environment and check that your code works in something extremely similar to your deployment environment. This is basic computing 101 – test your binaries where they'll be running. Sorry, but "I'm going to deploy to linux, therefore OS X sucks" is not a good argument.

    then blather on about a cruddy text editor?

    no, actually, I "blathered on about" a cruddy argument. If he had valid complaints about TextMate I wouldn't call him a troll, but instead he simply states "man up and use emacs" – this isn't an argument, it's just plain bare faced trolling.

    You obviously don't develop.

    Wrong, but this is only an appeal to ridicule, a well documented logical fallacy, so I'll chose to ignore it.

    Guess you're another overzealous Apple fanboy.

    Another appeal to ridicule, so I won't grace it by saying "Guess you're another overzealous anti-apple fanboy." Damn, I just did, guess I couldn't help myself.

  • Re:Oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mysidia (191772) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:58PM (#35645998)

    Personally, I consider a Mac to be pretty much the ultimate web dev platform, because it gives you easy access to all browsers on all major platforms, and gives you some of the best tools (yes, better than emacs, and even better than vi) to develop with. There are many imperfections, but it's better than all the other options.

    Author is bitching because he thinks the Mac is not an ideal platform to run the application.

    With that I agree. Don't run the server-side of the web application on your development workstation.

    Instead: save the files directly to a remote folder on an actual webserver running the target OS, by remote mounting the filesystem (or automatic synchronization), and run the application on the remote server, for testing during development.

  • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haeleth (414428) on Monday March 28, 2011 @07:00PM (#35646022) Journal

    How about Eclipse as an IDE? That should be better than emacs and textmate for most things.

    Well, it has certainly finally taken the crown from emacs in the crucial "loading time" and "memory consumption" stakes! Congratulations, Eclipse team, on finally making all those pro-vi arguments about emacs being inefficient look silly.

  • Re:Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cederic (9623) on Monday March 28, 2011 @07:41PM (#35646416) Journal

    No, see Beelsebob's post above.

    "Deploy"

    It's a key step in your engineering process. It should be a repeatable testable process. It should take microseconds through automation. It should be configurable to permit deployment to dev, systest, SIT, UAT, stress, OAT, Prod, DR* environments without needing to change the packaged deployable.

    You're entirely correct with "Don't run the server-side of the web application on your development workstation." but mounting production server storage from your dev machine is frankly almost as bad.

    *adjust to fit your SDLC

  • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Monday March 28, 2011 @07:46PM (#35646458) Homepage

    So you suggest that people buy Apple computers even when they fail, because you can run a better operating system in a VM? Let me quote:

    What a total retard.

  • by macs4all (973270) on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:16PM (#35646724)

    That's like saying man up and go see a Justin Bieber concert while prancing around in a field of flowers dressed in all pink.

    I think you meant "man up use cat".

    Is it possible to have an Apple-related article on /. without wasting fifty linear feet of scrolling-space with off-topic femininity/sexual-orientation slurs?

    Seriously. It's getting ridiculous. Stop it.

  • Re:Ummm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lightknight (213164) on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:27PM (#35646818) Homepage

    Minutes. 45 minutes. It does not last a full hour.

    And it takes one of my cores hostage when it goes down.

  • by mferrare (65039) on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:31PM (#35646848)

    There is no need for an Emacs vs vi flamewar.

    Vi won.

  • by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:58PM (#35647050) Journal
    Contrary to what many believe here, making money is not proof of virtue, intelligence, or anything else. Lots of total 'tards are rich, look at Trump.
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:09PM (#35647130) Homepage

    ...sure. Pick an OS because it is the one that is the most hostile to being virtualized and has the most expensive hardware so when you do decide to run something in a VM you will pay dearly for the priveledge or simply be out of luck.

    The real question is why bother with MacOS in the first place?

  • Re:Voodoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@justconnected . n et> on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:11PM (#35647152)

    Particularly when it's written in Python. I mean... jesus. If you've managed to have a problem with your *web application* written in Python, because the scheduler is different? Get out of coding.

    I was writing a C/curses application with pthreads on OSX that compiled with no modifications on Linux. Ran fine, too, after I changed a stupid assumption about select() that worked on *BSD but not Linux. And that was my fault for not following POSIX.

    This guy is an idiot with a rage-on. How did this make Slashdot? Oh right...

  • by macs4all (973270) on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:15PM (#35647172)

    This is quite possibly the stupidest drivel I have ever read, and obviously he's an amateur programmer.

    Ted Dziuba is a co-founder of Milo.com [milo.com], which just sold to eBay for $75 million. [businessinsider.com]

    I'm guessing your leet Web skills brought in more than that last year, which is why you feel comfortable calling him an "amateur."

    So, he's now a RICH idiot. Your point being?

  • by sootman (158191) on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:24PM (#35647242) Homepage Journal

    Two things:

    1) My mother and grandfather told me ages ago, "It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools." Related to that,

    2) Use the right tool for the job. If OS X is not the right tool for the job, then DON'T USE IT. But don't go out and be a whiny bitch just because you don't understand what the fuck the requirements are for your job.

    I've been developing web sites for 15 years this summer, starting with Windows 3.1 and Notepad. I've been using OS X since 10.0.3 and I've been using it full-time for web development for about 8 years (since 10.2, aka "the first usable release of OS X.") Saying OS X is unsuitable for web development is flat-out wrong.

  • by macs4all (973270) on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:54PM (#35647452)

    ...sure. Pick an OS because it is the one that is the most hostile to being virtualized and has the most expensive hardware so when you do decide to run something in a VM you will pay dearly for the priveledge or simply be out of luck.

    The real question is why bother with MacOS in the first place?

    Um, because more than one in ten of your website visitors is likely to be running OS X, and there is no other hardware that can LEGALLY run OS X?

    And, if you are RUNNING on a Mac, then then your bald-faced allusion that OS X is "the most hostile to being virtualized" is absolutely moot.

    As for the "most expensive hardware" claim, there are PLENTY of machines, especially laptops that cost as much, or even significantly MORE, than even the most expensive Mac laptops.And don't start with your "I can buy a laptop for $100 at Fry's" bullshit. Because everyone with more than two functioning neurons knows that that laptop will be in the dumpster, broken, in less than a year, whereas the Mac laptop will, by and large, be chugging along at the five to ten year mark.

  • by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:58AM (#35652372) Homepage Journal

    I develop Python web applications using Mac desktops and Linux servers. I use MacPorts for package management. I have never had a single complaint like the author of TFA. One reason Python exists is to gain a certain level of abstraction from the OS, which the author doesn't seem to understand.

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