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Discussion on: You Probably Don't Need a Mac

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chiefnoah profile image
Noah Pederson

Windows with WSL is actually very viable for many kinds of software dev, and I use it happily for C and Go systems programming, and web development. That being said, the native Python toolkit for windows is... not great. It's burned me enough times that I flat out refuse to touch Python for Windows ever again, I'll just run it in my Linux vm tyvm

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bloodgain profile image
Cliff • Edited

WSL is a nice step forward, but is still lacking. They only recently announced planned support for Linux GUI-based apps. NVIDIA doesn't allow virtualization on consumer graphics cards (i.e. GTX/RTX series), so that's a barrier to a lot of things.

When I can basically have Windows on a Linux kernel (or dual kernels, however that would work), I'll be happy with Windows for development. It's a perfectly nice user environment, and I use it on my HTPC/Gaming rig, but it's often a hassle for getting real work done.

Side note, always go Anaconda for Python. Solves a lot of problems up front, even on Windows. Also try the PyCharm IDE from JetBrains. I also hear the Python plugin for VS Code is good, and it has support from Anaconda now.

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donut87 profile image
Christian Baer

WSL would be the only reason I would be ok with 'developing on Windows'. I haven't touched this in a while, but my experiences were

  • a shitty git integration where I had to use some GUI, I didn't like
  • having to download installer files instead of typing apt/yum install for every single piece of SW
  • a really slow file system (tomcat needed 3 minutes to boot as opposed to 40 seconds)
  • non working docker
  • and some other inconveniences

With WSL I would basically build a Linux environment with Windows GUI. Since I am perfectly fine with the Gnome3 in Ubuntu, I have next to no reason to switch back.
For me Windows is a nice gaming platform.

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bloodgain profile image
Cliff

The only way I'll use Git on Windows is Git Bash. I hear some of the GUIs are nice, though, like SourceTree, SmartGit, and GitKraken. It sounds like maybe you got to experience TortoiseGit, which I hate. Tortoise was usable for the old CVS style VCSs, but it's too clunky for a modern one.

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donut87 profile image
Christian Baer

I think it was tortoise. But that is not really the point. I would have to install Git Bash, whereas on Linux I already have a bash (zsh, fsh, etc.)
I suppose windows is the best when developing Desktop apps for Windows. For Web, mobile devices etc. I prefer to chose a *nix system.
Currently I am working on a Mac (and not really loving it).

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bloodgain profile image
Cliff

Git Bash is part of the regular Git install. It's basically the equivalent of installing Git on a Linux system that doesn't have it. And often to get zsh or fish, you'd have to install those, so it's pretty similar. It's based on MinTTY, and is actually pretty good. It requires some configuration, but I have to do that for every *nix shell I touch, too.

I don't disagree. I'll take Linux all day every day for development over Windows. And it's telling that the best way to do a lot of development on Windows is to steal good ideas from *nix. I'm just saying it's not all bad.

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