A long thread on use.perl about Standardizing on Microsoft. I think Ziggy may have a point, though typically such rationalizations are not found in the Microsoft shop.
I’ve worked for and technically work in a Microsoft Shop. I’m planning on moving my operating system to a Linux derivative (gentoo) in the (mostly because Perl has such a legacy unix culture it tends to be painful to do things in Perl under Windows). Generally I’ve found that “We use windows because we’ve weight the costs and overall it lowers the bottom line” to be the last rationalization out of their mouths. Phrases like “enterprise system” and “robust development enviroment” come to into play long before that.
Microsoft has one of the most complex and arcane development enviroments I’ve ever met. Twenty plus years of development decisons and evolution and requirements for backwards compatibility (yes I can run some DOS apps on my WinXP box) make the Win32 API a scary beast. It’s not surpising that Windows developers have alot of Point-n-Click goodness, they need it to deal with the crap behind the scenes.
That said, until recently I haven’t had a good user experience with any other Windowing OS. I ran a Mac for several years (System 6.95, System 7.??) and was teased miserably as “the mac guy” by my friends. I finally dropped it after having one re-install too many because I simply couldn’t convince it do what I wanted. After that I ran XWin (XFree86 on Mandrake 7) for a while but ended up switching back to WinNT 4 Server because after I’d filled up a partition during finals the semester my daughter was born … I didn’t have time to put up with the eccentricities of Linux + XWin.
Windows, despite all it’s idiocies has been stable and easy to use. There’s a wealth of help out there (lot’s of people in the same leaky boat). I will probably continue to run some kind of a windows box (or virtual machine) because it’s what my family knows (though I have hopes of teaching Katie the wonders of Linux).
This has turned out to be a far longer rant that I expected. Except that in the community I run in (Perl) I’m the odd boy out because I run Windows. I’m planning on changing that and running Gentoo because I finally feel I have enough free time to learn how to run Linux (and that Linux has matured to the point where even >I< can learn it). We’ll see how it goes in a few months when I make the switch.Written on April 23rd , 2003 by Chris Prather