Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd May 2014 18:21 UTC, submitted by Shane
General Development

I was at the OpenStack Summit this week. The overwhelming majority of OpenStack deployments are Linux-based, yet the most popular laptop vendor (by a long way) at the conference was Apple. People are writing code with the intention of deploying it on Linux, but they're doing so under an entirely different OS.

But what's really interesting is the tools they're using to do so. When I looked over people's shoulders, I saw terminals and a web browser. They're not using Macs because their development tools require them, they're using Macs because of what else they get - an aesthetically pleasing OS, iTunes and what's easily the best trackpad hardware/driver combination on the market. These are people who work on the same laptop that they use at home. They'll use it when they're commuting, either for playing videos or for getting a head start so they can leave early. They use an Apple because they don't want to use different hardware for work and pleasure.

Apple's laptops are still the best PCs money can buy at the moment (despite their horribly outdated displays). It's no wonder Linux developers, too, favour them.

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porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

My last comment about who uses a Mac was ment to be a little tongue-in-cheek and I thought it would be taken humorously. But I wake up to find it was not. Next time, I will put a smiley next to it.

I know that there are very good apps that do vector design on the Mac, but inkscape is free in every way and we have been using with amazing results for the last three years and have two designers who have mastered them. We have built our workflow around apps such as inkscape.

So our experiment to switch to a Mac wasn´t succesful at all, among other things because installing inkscape on the Mac is a pain in the ass. First, you need XQuartz, then install X11, then install. Not fun, but once you have done that, the app does not feel as fast or as solid as it does on linux.

Of course, generally speaking, installing apps on the Mac is easy, but my point was that we rely on a lot of open source software whose ports either do not exist or are not as solid on the Mac.

And the reason I want to emphasize this is because I have gotten tired of hearing the same line over the years: Mac OS is just another linux with a prettier interface and nicer multimedia apps: "you see, you have a terminal app on the Mac too".

It is not. And I for one prefer Kmail to Mail, Amarok to iTunes any day of the year; or dolphin to the "finder"; or ktorrent to "transmission" (an open-source app that also runs on linux by the way) and the list goes and on. Not to mention the beautifully written educational apps from KDE's education suite that my two little kids use daily.

I realize that the Mac has its users and it uses, but I take offense to the generalization that Macs simply are better and that linux users such as myself will see the one shining light of truth any day now.

Notice I have focused on usability and never got into the economics of using a Mac vs a PC with Linux in terms of total cost of ownership because that is a thorny and completely different debate.

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