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Apple's laptops are still the best PCs money can buy at the moment (despite their horribly outdated displays).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

I have been forced to use OS X and here´s a few quick impressions. I don´t have time for a full review of all of the crap I have encountered.

Look and feel

The OS looks ok, but default fonts are too small for me and changing them system-wide isn´t as intuitive as it should be.

Changing folder icons for a different set of icons is almost an impossibility and changing the color of folders alone is an exercise in frustration. You can either only do it one folder at a time by editing the icon in “Preview” or you have to install an error-prone program “folder-teint” that only allows you to change the colors of the icons.

Source: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2746156

Task and Application Management

The dock as a task manager is a mess as it is hard to see what is open and what is not. Sure Mission Control comes to the rescue, but it feels more like a patch to a different problem than a real solution.

In KDE or even Windows 7, I can look at my task manager and pick the right application windows from several windows of the same app by just looking at the task manager. In OS X, that operation requires several clicks or keyboard presses.

Why do I have to sort manually all the applications in “LaunchPad”?
Why in heaven´s name can I not right click and sort alphabetically? If you use a lot of applications, and I do, it is an exercise in frustration.

Window Management and Task Flow

Why isn´t it possible to split the “Finder”, MAC OS file manager, in two panes to copy files back and forth? Why can´t I split my desktop horizontally or vertically by snapping applications to the top or the side of the screen, just like Windows and KDE have done for a long time? Why will the top bar of an application not maximize the window? Why does maximizing a windows not take over all available area and only restore it to its previous maximum size?

Open Source applications
Open source applications such as LibreOffice and Inkscape are much easier to install and much more stable in Linux, and maybe even on Windows, than on the Mac.I haven´t had a single LibreOffice/OpenOffice crash in years on Linux, but plenty on the Mac

And the list goes on and on. Please stop posting these paid advertisements on OSNews.

Nobody I know uses a Mac for real work unless you are a DJ.

Reply Score: 10

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree with most of your talking points, but a few things stand out.

The OS looks ok, but default fonts are too small for me and changing them system-wide isn´t as intuitive as it should be.


That's funny, I have the opposite problem: Fonts in OS X seem too big to me, with the exception of the Numbers app. I usually find myself scaling them down, whereas on Windows I'm often scaling them up, especially in web browsers.

Why does maximizing a windows not take over all available area and only restore it to its previous maximum size?


It's not a maximize button, it's a zoom button. The entire concept of maximizing windows is foreign to OS X native apps. When you click zoom, the window grows to the most appropriate size for the content currently displayed. Most third party apps treat the zoom button like a maximize button though.

Open source applications such as LibreOffice and Inkscape are much easier to install and much more stable in Linux, and maybe even on Windows, than on the Mac.I haven´t had a single LibreOffice/OpenOffice crash in years on Linux, but plenty on the Mac


I've never had stability issues with those apps (or other ported GNU/Linux apps) since the switch to Intel, with the exception of early versions of OpenOffice (called NeoOffice on the Mac back then). But this is all anecdotal for both of us. As for ease of installation, what's so difficult about dragging and dropping to the Applications folder, or running a .pkg file? The former is so simple a child could do it, and the latter is no different from running an installation wizard on Windows. Conversely, the last time I installed any of those apps on Slackware Linux, I compiled the packages using Slackbuilds. That's over the heads of most Windows and even Mac users.

Nobody I know uses a Mac for real work unless you are a DJ.


Come on now, that's just straight up flamebait. The rest of your post was insightful and topical, but you had to go and pull out one of the worst cliches of the computing world. If you've owned a Mac (and you make it sound like you have), then you know they are a good fit for just about any task as Windows or GNU/Linux, with a few exceptions. For example, the only reason my company hasn't gone to Macs across the board is because we use Quickbooks, which isn't supported on that platform. This is a vertical channel manufacturer/distributor, not a design house or recording studio.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

As for ease of installation, what's so difficult about dragging and dropping to the Applications folder, or running a .pkg file? The former is so simple a child could do it, and the latter is no different from running an installation wizard on Windows. Conversely, the last time I installed any of those apps on Slackware Linux, I compiled the packages using Slackbuilds. That's over the heads of most Windows and even Mac users.


You say that as though your experience on Slackware is representative. Other Linux distros have a one-click install process, so you should either compare with that, or compare your experience on Slackware to the experience of compiling packages for OSX.

Reply Parent Score: 5

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.

Reply Parent Score: 9

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Most of developers doing real work use mostly terminals with vim, comparing KDE with OSX is not the issue here, it is about the entire enviroment, network configuration, media, etc. btw, are you even a developer?

Reply Parent Score: 1

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Most of developers doing real work use mostly terminals with vim


Yes, they enjoy replicating the experience with green phosphor VT 100 terminals and wonder what those hippies at Palo Alto are doing.

What is this Alto thing they keep on speaking about.

Reply Parent Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I have been forced to use OS X and here´s a few quick impressions. I don´t have time for a full review of all of the crap I have encountered.

Look and feel


If you care about how your OS looks, OSX may suite you (tastes vary). If you care about your OS looking different from the way you got it, OSX is definitely not for you.

You mentioned font size - that isn't a look a feel issue, its a usability issue , and yes, imo OSX still has problems in this area (there are multiple ways to address the problem but all of them have caveats). Its not much worse than Windows though (better in some ways, worse in others).

As far as the color of the folders... I personally don't care about stuff like that at all. But if you actually do, you may as well try something else because Apple doesn't want the OS to look the way you want it to, they want it to look the way they designed it to look. Opinions on this approach to usability design (homogeneous vs heterogeneous) vary, but Apple is definitely in the homogeneous design camp.

The dock as a task manager is a mess as it is hard to see what is open and what is not.


There is a little indicator under each open item (assuming you are using default settings). I don't find it to be a problem at all.

In KDE or even Windows 7, I can look at my task manager and pick the right application windows from several windows of the same app by just looking at the task manager. In OS X, that operation requires several clicks or keyboard presses.


Right-click (or two-finger tap), pick the window from the jump list... Whats the problem with that? It actually works almost exactly the same way as Windows 7 (there has been a lot of "borrowing' between MS and Apple in this particular area - in both directions - they are almost the same now).

Why do I have to sort manually all the applications in “LaunchPad”?
Why in heaven´s name can I not right click and sort alphabetically? If you use a lot of applications, and I do, it is an exercise in frustration.


If you just start typing the name of what you want it will filter the display by name... That said, you are right, it is a stupid omission. On the other hand I find Launchpad to be nothing more than iPad/iPhone propaganda - it doesn't serve any useful purpose to me. I just put my applications folder on the dock, put it in list view, and Im done. Same thing (a list of all your apps), but they are already in alphabetical order that way and I don't have to switch to a fullscreen view to deal with it).

Why isn´t it possible to split the “Finder”, MAC OS file manager, in two panes to copy files back and forth? Why can´t I split my desktop horizontally or vertically by snapping applications to the top or the side of the screen, just like Windows and KDE have done for a long time?


Id like that too ;)

Why will the top bar of an application not maximize the window? Why does maximizing a windows not take over all available area and only restore it to its previous maximum size?


Its not a maximize button... Apps that support full screen operation have a "maximize" button on the right - apps that don't just have zoom (the button you are talking about). Zoom just expands the window to its contents, not to the screen. This gripe is not one I agree with you on - I far prefer this behavior..

Open source applications such as LibreOffice and Inkscape are much easier to install and much more stable in Linux, and maybe even on Windows, than on the Mac.


Well I don't use either of those, but Im a developer and I have hundreds of open source apps/tools (some GUI based, some console). I actually find I have less trouble in this area than on Linux, mostly thanks to homebrew (homebrew rocks).

And the list goes on and on. Please stop posting these paid advertisements on OSNews.


Thats not fair. Opinions vary - some people like OSX, some people don't. I could make a list just like yours listing reasons why OSX is better, but its not - its just different. If you like how its different you'll like it, if not you won't. That simple.

Nobody I know uses a Mac for real work unless you are a DJ.


I have an entire web development team that would beg to differ...

Reply Parent Score: 4

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"Nobody I know uses a Mac for real work unless you are a DJ.


I have an entire web development team that would beg to differ...
"

Like he said. Real work.

* j/k

Reply Parent Score: 6

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

There is a little indicator under each open item (assuming you are using default settings). I don't find it to be a problem at all.


I've never tried OSX for any length of time, but I hated the way this works in Windows 7. The ONLY items I want to see in the dock/taskbar are the ones I have open. Fortunately, Windows (as of 8.1) gives me this option. Not sure about OSX. I'm not sure this is something I could ever get used to. I tried it for about a day in Win7, and was about ready to pull my hair out, esp when I had two different copies of the same app open, with only one icon in the taskbar to represent both of them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

mobileheresy Member since:
2014-01-09

"Nobody I know uses a Mac for real work unless you are a DJ.


I have an entire web development team that would beg to differ...
"

And I use my MBP for SAP projects. Show me anything that's more business and "real work" related than this: huge ERP systems, big iron, databases in the terabyte range

In previous years I have also used Windows and Linux. Currently a top of the line MBP simply works the best for me.

Time machine is awesome. Before going on a business trip I create a backup. If anything bad happens I get a new MBP, run a restore. Voilá: I have the same environment as before. Just smooth. No time wasted on tinkering with a new laptop. That's what I expect from an enterprise grade machine.

Recently I had a good laugh: I have a SAP sandbox system running in a VM on the MBP. For one customer I installed a SAP development system running in a VM on their VMWare server. Looking at the resources I noticed that the sandbox system on my Mac has actually more power than the customer system shared by a couple of developers.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

You'll find that your mileage will be better if you approach new platforms with an open mind. It's unfortunate that you're being forced to use OS X. However, if you take the time to look around, you might find that many of your issues can easily be addressed with free software. Other issues simply fade away as you get used to the new platform. Who knows, you might even end up liking the new way of doing things better. It's happened to me in the past as I've moved between operating systems, desktop environments, window managers, programming languages, frameworks, etc.

I know some programmers who insist on using their own code style regardless of the language and conventions around the language when they code for a new platform. Don't be that guy.

Reply Parent Score: 2