[thelist] Developing in Linux

Phil Turmel pturmel-webdev at turmel.org
Mon May 12 07:19:50 CDT 2008

Bill Moseley wrote:
> On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 08:50:15PM +0300, Fred Jones wrote:
>> I have tried now to switch from Windows to Linux. Thus far I feel that I
>> have been unsuccessful. I posted a somewhat detailed post about this
>> here:
> What is your purpose for switching to Linux?  It's hard to give any
> recommendation for switching without knowing how you use your
> computer.  Were you expecting just a better Windows experience?
> You will never be able to do in Linux what you do well in
> Windows.  Linux isn't a Windows replacement (regardless of what hype
> you hear about Ubuntu's desktop).  So, you can't think in those terms.
> Just wait until you get used to using Linux for a while and, if are
> like me, it will drive you *insane* trying to use a Windows machine.
> OS X makes me just as crazy.  Resize windows in just the lower corner?
> Only move windows by the task bar?  How stupid is that?
> I had a dual boot machine for about a year and kept trying to switch
> back and forth between Windows and Linux.  Linux sucked because I kept
> trying to use it like Windows.  I never learned anything about Linux
> like that.  Finally my machine died and I just went for the change and
> starting to learn how to do my work in a Linux environment -- and
> learned I had to quit trying to figure out how to make Linux work like
> the Windows I was used to.
Hi Fred,

My experience is similar to Bill's...  I dual-boot for niche work 
applications (Microstation, Proficy ME, RSLogix/RSLinx, FactorySQL) but 
work in Linux for all personal stuff.  Windows now drives me insane.

>> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=790506
>> 1. UltraEdit is an excellent editor and I know it well
>> 2. SQLyog is a fantastic MySQL GUI and I have not found an equal to
>> it for Linux
>> 3. IrfanView is an excellent image view/simple editor
>> 4. Version 2.3 of FileZilla is actually better IMO than version 3.
>> Only version 3 is available for Linux however
> Sounds like you want to use Windows.
> I use my machine differently, perhaps.  So, with that in mind my
> comments on those point might be:
> 1) I don't know UltraEdit but have you considered using a new editor?
> There's plenty to pick from, and I suspect the Emacs and Vim users
> would argue that they have very powerful editors.

I use UltraEdit v13 on Windows, and searched for*ever* to find a nice 
Linux multi-file editor.  Now I use kate (part of KDE).  Has a similar 
layout to UltraEdit and similar functionality.  Love it.  I haven't done 
exhaustive tests on how large a file it can handle, but I've opened log 
files in the hundreds of megabytes, FWIW.

KDE can be added to an Ubuntu install, or it can be installed instead of 
Gnome by using the Kubuntu variant of Ubuntu.

> 2) What do the GUI tools have over the CLI interface?  I also always
> wonder how those ERDs look when your application is in the
> hundred-table range.  I like my schema in text files. And when I need
> help with SQL I ask here, as I'm not an SQL expert.

I travel a lot, so I find web-based administration tools superior to 
local tools.  While I usually can make OpenVPN connect while on the 
road, many of my customers' firewalls make it difficult.  But I can 
almost always use https.  So, I recommend phpmyadmin, phppgadmin, 
phpldapadmin, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and Oracle iSQLplus.

> 3) Hard to imagine you can't find a replacement.  I have a number of
> image viewers installed (and I'll bet I use "display" as much as
> anything else).  Resize an image?  I'd do that on the command line.
> I use The Gimp otherwise.

The KDE native viewer is pretty darn good.  The GIMP for anything 
ad-hoc.  ImageMagick on the command line for bulk work.

> 4) I have not used FTP in years, I'll bet.  I use svn, rsync, and scp
> all day long.  Ubuntu lets you setup easy drag-n-drop "Connect to
> server", but I've never found the need to use it.

KDE lets you define 'network folders' with a variety of protocols, 
including ssh (scp/sftp), ftp, and smb.  These are directly accessible 
within kate's standard KDE file open/save dialogs, so remote file 
editing is seamless.  Much more convenient than UltraEdit's equivalent.

> Does Windows still not ship with a SSH client?
>> 1. I tried to open a large SQL dump in gedit and my PC choked on
>> it--Quanta performed even worse. I opened it in UltraEdit in Windows
>> with no problem whatsoever. Note that my Windows machine has a
>> quarter the RAM as well. And the Ubuntu machine was using (according
>> to the System Monitor) under 1G RAM at the time.
> I use vim.  Never had any issues but I would probably grep out the
> items I need or filter or whatever instead of edit some huge file.
> When you are at a command line you don't have to resort to doing
> everything with your editor regardless of what the Emacs users say.. ;)

I just use nano on the command line for light-duty editing.  In spite of 
  decades of command line experience, I find vi(m) and emacs to be 
unnecessarily painful.  Serious editing is done with kate.  Bulk work is 
scripted with grep, sed and awk.

>> 2. Seems to me that switching windows via clicking on the taskbar is
>> faster in Windows
> Switching windows?  Do you have compiz animation enabled?
> Slightly slower window changes would seem like background noise to me,
> compared to the rest of the day's work.  But, if it's that much slower
> there are many other window managers that promote speed.

I tried compiz a few times on different machines.  Pretty cool at first, 
but too disruptive for normal use.  I disable all composite effects (3d, 
transparency).  KDE's startup wizard has a slider for plain/fast <==> 
fancy/slow.  I put it in the middle.

I found kernel 2.6.24 to be a serious improvement in desktop 
performance.  Not easy to quantify, but much smoother experience.  I 
roll my own kernel, but I believe K/Ubuntu HH uses it.

[snip /]

>> I tried Hardy, but I found it buggy. Perhaps because I used the 64
>> bit version. Anyway it didn't work well for me so I have Gutsy now.
>> I have read now that Hardy may be faster.
> I can't answer with any authority, but the recommendations I've seen
> are that there's not much advantage to using 64 bit version unless you
> need the addressable memory.

Concur. I understand there are still some utilities and Firefox plugins 
that aren't ported to 64bit yet.  I'd stick to the 32 bit version for a 
while longer (unless you have >=3GB ram).

In the end, you do what you have to to be productive.  I've worked out 
how to do that in Linux.  The thousands of $ in software licenses I've 
avoided is a bonus.



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