Linux's Stereotype: A Programming OS?

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Is Linux Truly a Programming OS?

Yes (Please Explain Why)
No (Please Explain Why)
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Yes & No (I Believe it can be Whatever you Want it to be; Please Explain Why)
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Linux's Stereotype: A Programming OS?

Post by Lowe »

I was wondering if Linux -- Mint, in particular -- could offer a conducive environment to aid me with my programming goals. For instance, I am currently working with Python and Java. While I have not gotten too far into either languages yet, I certainly plan to do so, and I have my eye on Linux as my new OS, and in particular: Linux Mint. Not really worried about compatibility issues, as the plan will be to dual-boot and keep my Windows 7/Gaming things on one boot, and Linux/Programming on the other -- all assuming Linux would actually aid me in my programming aspirations, more so than with Windows 7.

Currently, I have read a few of the topics in the Newbie Question forum as well as an announcement in this forum about Linux NOT being Windows, but I couldn't really walk away from that article/announcement with a yes or no for debunking the stereotype that I have heard a lot about. I have heard quite a few times that Linux is geared more toward a Programmer than your typical user, so I am wanting to know if what I am hearing about Linux is true or not, and why it is or isn't.
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Re: Linux's Stereotype: A Programming OS?

Post by xenopeek »

Clearly the answer must be Yes & No. Is an Apache attack helicopter faster than your car? Yes. Is it armored, and protecting you in various ways from enemy combatants, better than your car? Yes. Can you hop in and fly it with your driver license? No.

So if you aren't willing, or don't have the time, to learn something new--in this case an operating system--then Linux may not be better for you than the operating system that you already know. And if you will be developing programs that will be primarily run on Windows, or you need tools that are only available on Windows, then also Linux may not be the best choice. Though if you have a Windows installation for testing, that could work fine for programs that will be primarily run on Windows.

The above is a silly analogy BTW, I know :) But when I compare programming on Linux with programming on Windows, that is how I feel. (But then I started programming on home computers and spent most of my programming career on DOS and Unix, with just a few years programming for Windows.)

Linux gives me a well stocked tool chest for helping me do stuff as a programmer (the shell and the awesome collection of command line tools), and for most tasks I can easily find and install a program from a central software repository for free--from which I can also get the source code if I want to. So no need to go hunt on the Internet and hope I don't download trialware, adware, spyware or some other kind of malware. Or purchase a program just for a one-off task that I need it for.

It takes time to learn, but it also saves you time. To me it was worth the investment of time to learn, and after spending about half a year dual-booting Linux and Windows I was ready to ditch Windows and do everything I needed to do more efficiently on Linux. But that is of course subjective, and there will be millions of Windows users that are more comfortable and efficient programming on Windows than I was.
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Re: Linux's Stereotype: A Programming OS?

Post by AnonKS »

I personally prefer programming, as well as web dev, in Linux. Not everyone does tho. I use idle for python, Emacs for most everything else, and aptana for web dev. Everything works great but doesn't really differ from my windows experience much. In windows I used idle for Python, notepad++ or context for c/c++, eclipse for java, and aptana for web dev. I dropped eclipse when a friends introduced me to Emacs :). It's all a question of preference though. I prefer to work in Linux, probably because, I like Linux better. I know guys who use text based Linux and program in emacs and never see a desktop environment lol. Just try it out and see which you prefer.

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