4 Replies - 5549 Views - Last Post: 18 April 2011 - 09:38 AM

#1 The Architect 2.0  Icon User is offline

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Linux is good for programmers

Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:37 AM

can someone tell me exactly why people say linux is better for programmers? in respect to both os x and windows.

i honestly have no clue what they're talking about: IDEs, cmdline functionality, simpler application development.
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Replies To: Linux is good for programmers

#2 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux is good for programmers

Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:11 AM

Linux is great for programming. Quite often the distro comes with what you need built in, and it is so easy to install if it doesn't. Most linux programmers tend to use command line interfaces such as Vim or Emacs for programming, these are very advanced text editors.

The best thing about linux is that (mostly due to being open source) it is extremely easy to set up to exactly how you want it. Plus it is very fast and free!

I have not used Mac yet (due to its expensiveness) but I know many programmers that use it and virtually all designers I know use only macs.
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#3 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux is good for programmers

Posted 18 April 2011 - 07:47 AM


cmdline functionality

That's a big one, but you get the same in Mac, and you can install cygwin for Windows. As a matter of fact, on the Mac, you can do pretty much the same things with the same software that you can on linux. Windows is a bit different.

But this really is a discussion that brings out the zealots. You'd hear one thing from the linux crowd, one thing from the mac crowd, and different thing from the windows crowd.

To cut through the BS, it mainly depends on 1) what you're developing for. If your client is on a windows network, it'd hardly do to deliver them a linux executable. 2) what language you're developing for. For instance, Java you can develop on whatever platform you want, since it's cross platform. C/C++, you need to compile that for each platform you want to use it on. C# is windows-only (not counting Mono-project).
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#4 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux is good for programmers

Posted 18 April 2011 - 09:17 AM

View PostThe Architect 2.0, on 18 April 2011 - 05:37 AM, said:

people say linux is better for programmers

Who are "they?" Better than what? I'll assume Windows.

Windows is a homogeneous environment with some of the best development tools available. The basic versions of those tools are available for free. Linux kernel supports a distro free for all with no two systems entirely the same. From the windows manager down to where the basic libraries live can differ on linux.

I think Linux is probably a better toy for programmers. You can run different windowed environments or none at all. You can freely develop in any number of languages. Unixy command line paradigms let programmers indulge in orgasmic scripting Nirvana. As long as you distribute your software in the accepted wrapper for a given linux distro, it should work. However, it's usually more of a hassle than a Windows program, because Windows has fewer variables.

Linux appeals to a programmer's hacking sensibility. I don't know if it's "better." If a programmer blames any OS for their inability to program, then they really aren't a programmer at all.
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#5 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux is good for programmers

Posted 18 April 2011 - 09:38 AM

First note that I am a windows programmer and only use Linux on servers and VMs. So this is an outside perspective:

#1 there are a TON of development tools for Linux. Some of those tools are free on Linux but costly on other platforms (i.e. Intel's compilers). -- Cost will always be a factor, there are tons of open source pieces of software for Linux -- not all of it is terribly pretty, but because it is open source it offers you a chance to improve upon it if you so desire (after all you ARE a programmer right?)

#2 Nothing is every terribly easy in Linux -- so one gets used to writing scripts and using all of the tools available in your standard Linux environment. At first this is kind of a hassle and many give up... but if you stick it out you suddenly find yourself wondering how all of the drones live caged up in the tyrannical excuses for "user experiences" proffered by the vendors.

#3 Linux offers an fantastic "do-it-yourself" environment where one can still get down and dirty and do what it is you really want to. The APIs are open, there is tons of information, tons of source code is available to review...

#4 Researchers tend to use Linux/Unix - probably because of cost, licensing, and that "do-it-yourself" attitude I talked about above (or this is just want Universities install?) - so if you are really interested in the very fringes of technology you will not find much information on most of the other major platforms. You will tend to find tons of information and code for Linux/*nix.

As a windows-based programmer I am often frustrated by this. There is some library I am really interested in, but it has not been ported to windows. I guess the is less of a problem for MacOS.

So you will find Linux to be very "by programmer's for programmer's" -- its kind of the wild west of the Operating System world. Life is not exactly easy to get started there, but there are freedoms just not really available elsewhere.
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