Linked by David Adams on Fri 17th Dec 2004 18:20 UTC, submitted by jeanmarc
Editorial The real heart of open source lies in its potential to be greater than the sum of its parts, the capacity to leverage the talent and abilities of an entire community of developers and users who are striving towards a common goal, according to an editorial at Linux Insider.
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RE: Another example of cross-platform apps
by neocephas on Sat 18th Dec 2004 08:33 UTC

I've got DrScheme opened up in windows right now. There are windows, linux, and I believe a Mac version. It's my understanding that it uses wxWidgets for its toolkit.

DrScheme uses an old fork of wxWidgets, so re-compiling wxWidgets won't do you much good. However, the CVS does use a version of wxWidgets with gtk2, I think.

Frankly, as a developer, I've always found linux developer tools to be lacking, while windows always seems to have a plethora of decent tools.

Well, that's pretty subjective. As a comp sci student, I find programming on Windows pretty frustrating. As you said, the Win32/MFC/.NET Forms sucks. Likewise, the fact the different versions of Visual Studio are incompatible with each other and that MS is deprecating so many APIs all the time (particulary for GUIs) is frustrating when you are trying to program a simple assignment.

Additionally, the lack of a good shell is also a hindrance, at least to me. Coming from a student's perspective, with a shell, you are at least introduced and encouraged to understand how a compiler works and operates. If you take away an IDE from a lot of classmates of mine, they would have no idea how to compile their programs. Linux development tends to encourage this awareness of how things work.

Moreover, for a student, using open source makes a lot more sense. You can see the source and learn from it. You can contribute back if you want, and this is quite frequent in the university environment. Also, learning these tools (OSS) makes you more flexible and you skills are more cross platform. Most of the research at my school usually involves Solaris or Linux. Not being able to be navigate with a command prompt isn't exactly a good thing.

Practically, you also get a large resource of tools to work with. Imagine, as a student, if you had to pay for all the external libraries you want to use in your projects (ie I made a streaming audio player that took advantage of mplayer and drscheme and some mp3/ogg java libraries). The costs would be highly prohibitive (even at academic discounts) and you would be force to do simple projects or rewrite large amounts of code.

I guess after all this rambling, I'm just saying that your view that linux development tools are lacking is unfair. I find open source tools educational, usefull, flexible, and powerful. Some people like it some people don't. I helped my friend dual boot with ubuntu and now he works primarily in linux and prefers using a terminal and compiling on the prompt. I tried the same with my roommate, but he needs photoshop and stuff like that, so he never touches his linux partition. To each his own.