in my opinion your doubts about Windows as a solid platform for web
development are basically groundless. Probably you are intimidated by
the large number of MacBook Pro you see at geek conferences ;)
Don't worry: appearances are often deceptive. I'm a practical guy and
I can assure you that Windows is an OS as good for web development as
Mac OS X or Linux. Indeed, as you will see, Windows is the *best*
platform for web development because it is able to imitate every other
major environment even though it retains its own strong identity. I
think Microsoft should call the next Windows release Windows Zelig :)
My suggestion is to stay with Windows for the following reasons:
1. Apart from the Apple niche, you will find Windows already pre-
installed on every desktop/notebook computer on sale. In fact it is a
"free" operating system. You can buy a beautiful Sony Vaio, a solid
Lenovo ThinkPad, a Dell/HP computer or an inexpensive toy. They are
all Windows machines and they are a lot cheaper than Macs. Moreover
Windows just works with every hardware on the market: unfortunately
you can't say the same for Linux...
2. As you already noted, Windows font rendering on screen, based on
ClearType - so ugly in the eyes of Mac/Linux users - is the outcome of
a long research effort aiming at improving the readability of long
texts on low resolution LCD screens. As a programmer spending long
hours in front of a computer screen writing and reading code, I can't
praise more highly this wonderful technology. Moreover the recent
ClearType font collection includes the popular Consolas font, probably
the more beautiful monospaced font ever. Bill Gates is not a genius
but he cares about your eyes ;) Apple's screen typography, based on a
different approach, is more beautiful to see (typefaces are more loyal
to their original design) but is clearly inferior to ClearType with
respect to readability since letters lacks a decent sharpness on low
res screens. (See www.microsoft.com/typography)
3. Every major text editor/IDE has a Windows version (vim, emacs,
Komodo, Eclipse, Dreamweaver, etc.). In the rare event that a Windows
version is not available (see TextMate) you will easily find a good
4. Adobe Creative Suite, an essential tool for Web Development/Design,
is only available for Windows and Mac. At the moment Linux
alternatives (gimp, etc.) lack some essential features and have a poor
5. If you use Subversion for your projects (I can't live without),
TortoiseSVN (tortoisesvn.tigris.org), a Windows-only Subversion gui
client, will make your life a lot easier.
6. For command line addicts Console (sourceforge.net/projects/console)
is a fantastic and rich interface for the ugly Windows command prompt
and, if you need Unix commands also, you can install Cygwin
(cygwin.com), a Linux-like environment for Windows (also manageable
through the Console's interface).
7. PHP, Apache, Python, Django, Ruby, Rails, MySQL, PostgreSQL and
many other open source tools work smoothly in a Windows development
environment, even though Linux remains the gold standard for
production servers. Moreover if are a newbie, you can download
InstantDjango (instantdjango.com), InstantRails
(instantrails.rubyforge.org), EasyPHP (easyphp.fr), XAMPP
(www.apachefriends.org): they all are Windows-only packages. Of course
with Windows you will not be able to replicate your Linux production
server on your computer but that's not vital.
8. On Windows you can install any browser to test your web pages:
Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari, etc. No need for Parallels or other hacks.
9. If you need an SSH client, PuTTY (www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/
~sgtatham/putty) is an invaluable tool.
10. It's too late now: I have to left home. I hope my remarks can be
useful. Bye, John.
Post by Aleandro
Hi, I'm a Windows XP longtime user but I have also Ubuntu Linux 7.10
on my dual-boot computer. I've just discovered Python and Django and I
have to decide what os to use for web development with Django.
In fact, while I use Ubuntu Linux on my production server, I'm really
- gVim, TortoiseSVN, the command prompt and all major browsers at my
fingertips (IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari);
- Python, Django and PostgreSQL/MySQL installed in just a few simple
- Adobe Photoshop;
- superb font rendering with cleartype and no wasted time installing
Considering that the latest trend in web development is to use UNIX
based OSes (Linux or Mac OS X) also for the development side, I have a
simple and direct question for you: what are the tangible
disadvantages of Django web development on Windows compared with a
UNIX based OS?
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