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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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  • Voodoo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:09PM (#35645342) Homepage Journal

    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.

    I can't imagine writing code so finicky and unstable that it can only be cajoled into running under such a specific environment. If those details are important, then the software should be developed specifically to handle various cases. They way he describes it, it's a bunch of voodoo that can't fully be understood, and whenever the product doesn't work they simply place blame on some nebulous external factor.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Monday March 28, 2011 @06:29PM (#35645588)

    I just spend $3200 (including tax) on a maxed-out 17" MacBook Pro. Call me crazy or dedicated or both.

    But in my opinion, unless you're developing for iOS or MacOS X, the Mac is a poor platform for LOTS of different kinds of things. I'm a chip designer, for instance, and there is ZERO software for the Mac in this area. I have to run Windows in a VM just so I can synthesize for FPGAs.

    The Mac also has a dearth of good code editors. On Linux, I really liked nEdit. It has everything, and it is intuitive (or at least I felt that way when I was using it). For Windows, I've enjoyed using Edit Plus and Ultraedit. But for the Mac, the editors generally just suck. Every single one of them has some kind of amazingly bad UI design flaw. For instance, I think it was TextWrangler where searching with wrap-around and search&replace in selection are mutually exclusive -- if you want to use hotkeys to do these things, you have to open the Find dialog and change settings to go back and forth, and the devs told me this was intentional, like it was a good thing. For a while there, I considered blogging about it, it was that frustrating. :)

    Actually, of all of them, Smultron is my favorite. It's back in development. It's still buggy as hell, but the author seems to be willing to listen when I report bugs. It's lightweight, and the UI is simple, consistent, and intuitive. So, it's getting there. Give it a version or two.

    For a lot of kinds of development, I just use the Mac as a client for some other machine. If I'm doing web development, I actually just mount files on a Linux server using SMB (because netatalk has problems and OSX doesn't support NFS well) and serve the web pages from there.

    What the Mac IS good at is content development. Multimedia, documents, etc. If I want to make a presentation or diagram, I use Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, along with MacTex and OmniGraffle. There are quite a number of other net clients (like NetNewsWire and Adium) and other sorts of apps that are just wonderful.

    You can use Netbeans and Eclipse on the Mac, but Java just doesn't integrate all that cleanly with other Mac apps. You can get used to it, though. But generally, the Mac just isn't so great for software development.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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