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Mac OS X growing on developers?

38 replies on 3 pages. Most recent reply: Sep 6, 2003 10:43 AM by Wouter Zelle

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Paul Wujek

Posts: 7
Nickname: pw
Registered: May, 2003

Dual Processor Laptop? Posted: Jul 19, 2003 7:19 AM
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Even though PowerPC processors use less power than Intel, or AMD, you're still going to need an asbestos pad on your lap with a dual processor machine!

Ernie Varitimos

Posts: 38
Nickname: erntheburn
Registered: May, 2003

Re: Dual Processor Laptop? Posted: Jul 19, 2003 7:53 AM
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Even though PowerPC processors use less power than Intel, or AMD, you're still going to need an asbestos pad on your lap with a dual processor machine!

I will admit that the PowerBooks, specifically the 15" Titanium and the new 12" PB can get pretty hot underneath. I first noticed it while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, I thought it would be relaxing to kick back below the multi-colored clay cliffs of Aquinnah and catch up on my personal journal. One of the great features of the PowerBook is the screen. Even in the mid-day peak sun on the beach, the screen is bright, sharp and easy on the eyes. But after a while, even though the air temperature was a dry 80 and there was a gentle ocean breeze, I started to feel a bit piqued, my legs were getting irradiated! It actually wasn't so bad, but it was definitely uncomfortable. I learned, so now I rest it on the cooler.

But this is a rare case. I hardly, if ever, have the need to use my laptop from my lap. For one thing it presents an awkward typing and viewing posture. Secondly, I typically use my laptop at a client provided desk, a conference table or on my kitchen counter top at home. It doesn't bother me to leave behind a la Nina.

What's amazing to me is that with all that power and utility and the heat that is generated, that my Titanium typically lasts a solid 3 plus hours, even under heavy use, before I need to plug in the adapter. And with the combination of an Airport and a booster antena, I have an effective WiFi range of several hundred feet, letting me lounge around the house or go out back to the gazebo to my remote office ;-)

-ernie

John O'Hanley

Posts: 20
Nickname: johnnyo
Registered: Oct, 2002

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Jul 21, 2003 12:57 PM
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I have never taken the plunge. I considered it last year, but vaguely recall that there seemed to be issues around the JDK 1.4 on the Mac, that it wasn't quite up to date. Have such issues disappeared? What kind of behavior can be expected for the JDK 1.5 release for example?

Ernie Varitimos

Posts: 38
Nickname: erntheburn
Registered: May, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Jul 21, 2003 5:43 PM
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I have never taken the plunge. I considered it last year, but vaguely recall that there seemed to be issues around the JDK 1.4 on the Mac, that it wasn't quite up to date. Have such issues disappeared? What kind of behavior can be expected for the JDK 1.5 release for example?

Apple's implementaion of JDK 1.4.1 is pretty solid, although it was a little behind the release curve, mainly because of a complete rewrite and integration with the native graphics engine. The graphical performance is outstanding because all rendering is handled by Quartz Extreme, which is PDF based, resulting in excellent text rendering and posscript handling capabilities.

Apple has made the commitment to release future Java updates within 60 days of Sun's releases, they are even an active JCP member. This mainly applies to major version releases (1.x), you might be waiting a little longer for minor releases to come out (1.4.2 for example). The real benefit is that major Java software vendors have recognized the value of Java on OS X and are releasing certified versions, like IDEs including Intellij's IDEA, Borlands JBuidler, Sun's NetBeans and even Eclipse. Oracle released JBuilder and Toplink and even has a beta version of Oracle 9i as well. I use the XML editor Oxygen.

In my opinion, OS X is the best desktop OS for Java development by far, and I'm in pretty good company as some of my Sun alumni and Java notables have embraced it as well including James Gosling and Ken Arnold.

-ernie

Ernie Varitimos

Posts: 38
Nickname: erntheburn
Registered: May, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Jul 22, 2003 4:36 AM
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Seems that Jakarta developers are voicing strong advocacy for OS X.

http://jakarta.apache.org/site/os.html

Joshua Smith

Posts: 5
Nickname: jesmith
Registered: Jul, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Jul 27, 2003 8:05 AM
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I jumped to OS X on a Titanium laptop a couple years ago (from a PC laptop; and before than Unix workstations from Sun & MIPS), and I've never regretted it. I use it both for Java development, and all the non-coding things people need computers for (PowerPoint, email, etc.). I do have a XP PC on my desk at work, which I use when I need high performance (at 2GHz, it outpaces my 667MHz Mac by a factor of about 20 on anything graphical -- Java graphics are the weak point for the Mac). Or when I have to write something for that platform, like an ActiveX control (VPC on my laptop is unbearably slow; installing VS.NET took 2 solid days of disk-spinning).

Here are the things I love about my Mac:
- Sleep mode that works, and comes back to life in less than a second
- Everything developers need (ssh, emacs, java, etc.) is pre-installed
- The slashes always go / never \ (this use to drive me crazy in cygwin)
- It never crashes. Ever.
- The wide screen is great for S/W dev
- The built-in email client has excellent Spam filtering
- The built-in email client is faster than Eudora on my old PC was
- Safari/Mac is more usable than IE/PC (particularly the tabs)
- Konfabulator (this alone may convince you to switch)
- IPod (OK, you don't need a Mac for this, but it helps)
- Virtual immunity from viruses
- javadev@lists.apple.com
- My laptop is two years old and nothing is broken yet

Here are the things I hate:
- If you go to sleep with a disk mounted, and wake up in a different network, the machine becomes unusably slow. This is the only reason I ever reboot my laptop. (One of these days, I'll figure out how to make it automatically unmount all net drives at Sleep time.) I recall that the Sun workstations I worked on all suffered similar problems with network changes, so this is probably a fundamental BSD problem
- The built-in emacs only works in the vt100 emulator terminal because it was compiled without linking to X. I haven't found a good XEmacs-style one yet, but I haven't tried all of them yet, either. (I cannot use IDE's nearly as efficiently as emacs, so I don't know anything about that world.)
- Java graphics are really slow for no good reason and Apple doesn't seem to care (when 1.4 was rushed out the door, graphics slowed considerably, and the developer preview of the next update only brings perf back up to 1.3.1 levels). How hard can it be to make drawImage fast?

My next home machine will definitely be a G5.

My next laptop will definitely be a Mac.

Erik Price

Posts: 39
Nickname: erikprice
Registered: Mar, 2003

Re: Dual Processor Laptop? Posted: Jul 27, 2003 2:30 PM
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> I will admit that the PowerBooks, specifically the 15"
> Titanium and the new 12" PB can get pretty hot underneath.
> I first noticed it while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard,
> I thought it would be relaxing to kick back below the
> multi-colored clay cliffs of Aquinnah and catch up on my
> personal journal. One of the great features of the
> PowerBook is the screen. Even in the mid-day peak sun on
> the beach, the screen is bright, sharp and easy on the
> eyes. But after a while, even though the air temperature
> was a dry 80 and there was a gentle ocean breeze, I
> started to feel a bit piqued, my legs were getting
> irradiated!


Are you sure it was your legs that were getting irradiated? ;)
I'm very familiar with that beach, having lived on MV for a number of summers...

Sam Roberts

Posts: 1
Nickname: sroberts
Registered: Aug, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 1, 2003 9:53 AM
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I use Linux as my development desktop at work, and have
used it for years, and other unix systems before.

I used to use it at home, but I run OS X now (partially
because to buy such an expensive machine, it had to
be useable by my gf to do her video editing).

Linux is more productive for me as a developer, and OS
X does NOT have /everything a unix box has/. However,
its a good compromise. It has enough that I can have
fun coding at home, where productivity isn't as important
as having fun. It also allows me to do all the time
wasting I don't do on my linux box: watch movies, play
with my CDs, etc.

Things that are missing and that slow me down:

- virtual desktops

- mouseless application startup/desktop navigation (I use sawfish as my X wm under Linux, and I can move to any app, on any desktop, and start new ones, with only the keyboard)

- seamless cut-n-paste between Cocoa and X11 applications
(if you copy from X11 to Cocoa, you need to use the do
an apple-C after selection, but not between X11 apps)


These are the main things, and while they might seem
small, there are a constant irritating drag on my
workflow.

Still, I'm happy, but I wouldn't use it as my main
developement system without putting some serious
research into getting system addons to deal with
these things - and with OS X, these little addons all
cost money, its a commercial OS with a commercial
culture.

Cheers,
Sam

anon

Posts: 1
Nickname: anonymousj
Registered: Aug, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 4, 2003 4:43 AM
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I love Mac OSX, my friends Love Mac OSX, OSX rules, the reason why we don't have Macs: they're just too expensive and software support outside the US and europe is Dismal.

In third world countries like mine we have no choice but to live on the crumbs of the IT world, and unfortunately Macs don't qualify as crumbs...

Thierry Janaudy

Posts: 2
Nickname: thierry
Registered: Aug, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 8, 2003 9:42 AM
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I own a Power Book G4, and I am a consultant specializing in Java enterprise architectures as well.

The Power Book is a magnificent laptop.

The only problems I have found so far is the lack of Java tools from the JavaSoft site that can be install on the Max OS X.

Sun no longer provides any Java-based install software, therefore, if you want to install J2ME toolkit, or the J2EE ref. impl. you can't, or for JAI for ex., you cannot use the native libs, etc...

I have filled a 'bug report' (4866276) that has been accepted and removed: I was just asking to provide Java-based installs.

Thierry Janaudy

Posts: 2
Nickname: thierry
Registered: Aug, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 9, 2003 8:56 AM
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Well... I have just found a DIY for J2ME:

http://wireless.java.sun.com/midp/articles/osx/

David Shorter

Posts: 1
Nickname: davidless
Registered: Aug, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 11, 2003 7:07 AM
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Hello Ernie

I'm trying to integrate MagicDraw 7.0 with Eclipse v2.1. My problem is that the Eclipse v2.1 build for Macs is preconfigured to use JVM 1.3.1 while MD7.0 needs JVM 1.4.1. Is there an easy way of forcing Eclipse 2.1 to launch using 1.4.1?

The VersionTracker info for the later Eclipse v3.0 M2 build (which I'm fairly sure MD7.0 won't integrate with) refers to modifying the info.plist file to force Eclipse to use JVM1.4.1 – but there's no sign of that file in either of the Eclipse downloads.

Thanks for any help
David S

Ernie Varitimos

Posts: 38
Nickname: erntheburn
Registered: May, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 11, 2003 7:41 AM
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David Shorter wrote:
I'm trying to integrate MagicDraw 7.0 with Eclipse v2.1. My problem is that the Eclipse v2.1 build for Macs is preconfigured to use JVM 1.3.1 while MD7.0 needs JVM 1.4.1. Is there an easy way of forcing Eclipse 2.1 to launch using 1.4.1?


You can get to the info.plist by right-clicking on the Eclipse application and selecting "Show Package Contents." Application files on Mac OS X are really folders and that's where the resources like info.plist can be found. Open on the Contents folder and double-click on the info.plist icon and the Property List Editor will open. Navigate to Root:Java:JVMVersion and change the version from 1.3.1 to 1.4.1.

I don't know for sure that this will point Eclipse to that version of the JVM and don't have any inclination to find out right now, since the project I'm on is using 1.3.1 due to the constraints of WebSphere 5.x. I would also post your question to the Eclipse website. When you find out one way or the other, I would be interested in knowing the deal.

-ernie

Bruce Eckel

Posts: 875
Nickname: beckel
Registered: Jun, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 11, 2003 10:46 AM
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It wasn't so much that I didn't like pre-OSX Macs; they didn't like me. I bought one for testing and tried to play a DVD in it; it told me that I had to change the resolution to what the resolution already was. Stuff like that, it seemed like any program I tried gave me trouble.

But I have to say that watching Bill use his OSX laptop (and we even did some pair-programming with it last time he was here) has been pretty nice. Windows hibernation and suspension has (finally) gotten pretty good, but it's nothing like the instant-on that Bill has. That feature alone is very intruiging, but the fact that it runs Unix and OSX seems to like me OK helps a lot.

I also like the design of the CD-ROM; it makes so much sense to just accept the CD rather than extend this fragile thing that could so easily snap off. But one thing I've used a lot on my computers is the Easy-CD Creator that allows you to leave a CD "open" for as long as you want and just periodically write to it; this is how I do my backups, especially on a notebook (I have a Python program that does the backups for me, of just the files that have changed). Does anyone know if this "Open CD" ability is available on the OSX laptop?

I like Linux a lot, and love how it keeps getting better. My XP machine dual-boots it now and it's so much better than it used to be. Eventually I believe it will become something that the compleat idiot can use. But in the meantime, if I'm trying to get things done I need not to fight with the OS, so the "out of the box" nature of the Mac is very appealing to me. But like Bill, I have to have tools that do the job (someday I hope OpenOffice on Linux might be able to replace my Office Suite, but I ride that stuff pretty hard so I'm still not sure it's up to it). Having Word available is important, etc.

And I also need to be able to go back and forth between platforms; I'll still have to have a Windows machine around, so I have to think "what will I be able to do on the OSX laptop that I'll need to transfer back and forth with the Windows machine, and what kinds of problems will I encounter?" My Winbook is still working pretty well so this is not an imminent decision, but Bill will be up here in Crested Butte again in a week so I'll have another chance to prod his machine.

Like I say, it's awfully tempting.

Jonathan Feinberg

Posts: 3
Nickname: jdf
Registered: Aug, 2003

Re: Mac OS X growing on developers? Posted: Aug 11, 2003 1:54 PM
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Bruce Eckel says:
> But one thing I've used a lot on my computers is the
> Easy-CD Creator that allows you to leave a CD "open"
> for as long as you want and just periodically write to it;
> this is how I do my backups, especially on a notebook
> (I have a Python program that does the backups for me,
> of just the files that have changed). Does anyone know if
> this "Open CD" ability is available on the OSX laptop?

You may create a CDR-sized disk image and mount it, and just write whatever you like to it (it's mounted at /Volumes/Whatever). Then, periodically, right-click the disk image and "Burn". Simple enough for you? :)

But mostly, Cocoa programming is a delirious pleasure.

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