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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@neocephas
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 10:37 UTC

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.

Thanks for the info. I'll look into that if I decide to use DrScheme in Linux.

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.

Yeah, it's subjective and programming and choice of tools is about as subjective as you can get. I said that win32/MFC was a clusterf*ck, not .NET. .NET is good engineering. I've never had a problem upgrading solutions/projects from older versions of VS to newer version. Of course it would be interesting to see if say Whidbey knows about say VC++ 4.0 projects, but Microsoft has always been good about backward compatibility. Microsoft never depecrates apis. That's one of the reasons they've been so successful. Longhorn will probably change all of that though.

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.

That's why you use Cygwin or native versions of unix utilities. You don't learn how a compiler works just because you use it on the command line. The only thing you learn on the command line are the various compiler switches. If you want to learn how a compiler works buy the dragon book or some other compiler book. I've been programming linux professionaly for close to 7 years now and once you know your way around the command line there's no point in re-learning it over and over and over. In any case there's no difference from typing make and pressing a build button, except that you have to write Makefiles, which is nothing special and Make isn't a great build tool to begin with. It's just that everybody knows it. The same thing with the autotools. Nobody really likes the autotools, but everybody uses it because they are a standard.

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.

For a student it does make a lot of sense to read a lot of source code. At the stage in my career the only code i'm really interested in reading is my own, co-workers, or maybe sample code to learn a new language. I just don't have the patience or inclination to read people's source just for the sake of it. Let's face it, there's a lot of crap code out there that does more harm than good. I remember look at the GNU telnetd code once to see how they were doing things and it was basically unreadable. At least the man page acknowledged that fact.

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'll agree that some tools are prohibitively expensive for students, but I don't know what that has to do with linux or windows. There's lot of free tools out there for windows. Maybe not the code, but it's free as in beer.

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.

It's not unfair, it's just my opinion. Each developer has their own unique way of developing and their preferred tools. One size doesn't fit all. Yes, to each his own.