We have received some emails with questions about whether switcheating to Mac is worthwhile for a developer . I’m going to base this on the email that Pepe sent to us, because it shows the most common doubts that programmers have when switching to Mac, I just remind you that what I’m exposing here is based on my humble opinion as a developer and engineer that I am, it’s clear that many of the questions don’t have a unique answer, nor do I pretend to give lessons to anyone and of course any discrepancy is solved politely in the comments. The mail begins saying “I’m a computer engineer and I need to program for Windows and Linux…” There are already people here who would have stopped reading and recommended you to choose a PC. Not me, because I think that to test the applications you can have Windows and Linux in both partitions of your disk and even with programs like Parallels or Fusion you can launch environments like Visual Studio for a specific development or boot from Windows if you are going to use the IDE for a long time. Clearly if you are going to use your computer 90% of the time to program in . NET, I would recommend you to choose a PC , but on the contrary, if you want a Mac because you like it, because you want to go into Mac OS X and you are going to surf, listen to music, use some photo retouching application (I am thinking about Photoshop CS3) or video retouching application (like Final Cut) that you don’t think twice and you buy a Mac, you will say goodbye to viruses, trojans, BSODs or ConfirmCancel dialogues (like the ones in the great Vista).
“Can you program in Tiger or Leopard applications for Windows?” As far as I know (and correct me if I’m wrong) yes and no… for the theme OOP in Tiger there is XCode and development environments for Java (eclipse, Netbeans… ) but there is no Visual Studio (.NET platform), neither can you compile applications directly, nor can you mount a SQL Server , you have to virtualize to run a suitable environment. Another thing is HTML, PHP, XML, Ruby … this kind of interpreting language for websites does have tools and environments for Mac like the powerful Coda (which also integrates an FTP manager) or free alternatives like Smultron. There are also packages that offer installation of web servers (Apache), databases (MySQL) and PHP engines like MAMP.
“On the other hand, since the kernel of MAC OS X is UNIX, can I program applications that then run on Linux? I guess so, but I’m worried about the graphical environment and the GUI” For the topic Linux , the truth is that I’m a bit out of date in the penguin system, but being both systems based on UNIX as it points out, I think as they say in this blog post that X11 allows to run Linux applications and install environments to develop in this environment. There are also packages like Fink that facilitate this integration of systems. In GUI issues I can’t assure that it is exactly the same, this will have to be checked, in any case the variations will be minimal I understand.
Finally pepe says goodbye with “…I’d really like not to touch Windows anymore in my life, it’s got me fed up.” , well, Pepe, the truth is that I have to use Windows at work because of necessity, since if you are a .NET developer and an expert in Microsoft technologies (SQL Server, Biztalk, etc.) you will surely need it all the time. However, when I get home, to perform tasks outside the programming, such as checking your feeds, playing music, watching movies, etc. etc. is worth the switching, that’s for sure or at least that’s how I see it. Anything you know, we comment it in the comments that are for that.