Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by mlw » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 11:19:37



Having years of experience in both environments.

I'm serious about this: I personally beta tested (i.e. delivered to my home) MS
Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.1 WFW, W95 (Chicago), NT (pre 3.1), MS C 6.0, MS C 7.0, NT
3.5, NT 3.51, and NT 4.0. I have also been working with Linux and FreeBSD since
1995. I even wrote a couple programming chapters in the book: Tricks of The
Windows 3.1 Masters. I was a real Windows advocate.

OK, credentials aside, lets get to the discussion.

The reason I no longer enjoy programming on Windows is that expertise isn't
about understanding how computers work, I made my reputation about knowing how
Windows worked inside and out, and knowing how to get around limitations. It
was also about keeping "up to date" about the changes coming in Windows. The
new APIs, the changes to existing APIs, etc.

It was keeping track of MS trivia, not inventing anything new or cool.

The last few years have been real fun. I have been working with Linux and
FreeBSD. I have been able to focus on what I want to accomplish, not periodic
changes in the various APIs. I have rediscovered the things that I liked about
computers. If have done some Windows work, but have found it tedious.

In the last few years, I have enjoyed working on language analysis tools, a
search engine, music ID system, shared memory daemon, some Beowulf stuff, and
am really liking PostgreSQL.

Joy of work wise, Linux and FreeBSD rules, Windows just plain sucks. I really
hate it. Not because of Microsoft, exactly, but because the UNIX environment is
more mature with people more interested in doing something right than doing
something half assed to make a marketing deadline.

--
5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are GO!
------------------------
http://www.mohawksoft.com

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by TomF » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 13:36:04



> The last few years have been real fun. I have been working with Linux and
> FreeBSD. I have been able to focus on what I want to accomplish, not
> periodic changes in the various APIs. I have rediscovered the things that
> I liked about computers. If have done some Windows work, but have found
> it tedious.

I think I know what you mean.

Nowhere near the level you were at, I used to do Windows programming. I
actually knew MFC pretty well (I shudder to think of it now).

Using Linux and other Unix tools has taught me what a geniune waste of time
all that was. Not because it didn't make money (it did) and not because it
wasn't fun (it was, on a strange level), and not because Windows is a
pointless environment to work in (it is, but that's beside the point). It's
because of what you said in your post: this is much more about what
computing was always about. Finding good solutions to problems.

The more Linux and Unix I read about and play with, the more tools I am
exposed to, the more I look around at the world we have with Microsoft,
Apple and Sun and wonder "why are we doing all this? It's all been done
before."

All of it. Virtual machines, multiplatform libraries, distributed
computing, stateful and stateless systems, compiled and interpreted
languages and libraries, multithreaded operating systems, and so on....

We don't need to learn a proprietary API to do the same things we've done a
hundred times before in Unix.

--

Read about the carnage:
http://www.*edcode.com/

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by Bob Nelso » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 13:38:44



> Having years of experience in both environments.

[...]

Quote:> Joy of work wise, Linux and FreeBSD rules, Windows just plain sucks. I
> really hate it. Not because of Microsoft, exactly, but because the UNIX
> environment is more mature with people more interested in doing something
> right than doing something half assed to make a marketing deadline.

Agreed...and furthermore...

The API is much cleaner (and more readily mastered) in the Unix environment.
And, no, this isn't just because of the Hungarian notation favored in the
Microsoft Windows realm. In keeping with the simple but elegant philsophy
of ``do one thing and do it well'', Unix offers far fewer of the
``candy-machine''-style functions one encounters in Windows.

Subjectively, and speaking not only for me but work colleagues who program
under both operating systems, there's a feeling that the programmer is just
another accessory when doing Windows, espcially when dealing with the
wizard-driven IDEs.

Speaking of same, here's a link to a three-year-old but still relevant
article dealing with the ``Dumbing Down of Programming'':

        http://www.salon.com/21st/feature/1998/05/cov_12feature.html

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Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by Special » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 13:49:04


What a stupid statement.   Sure you do -- it's simply the Linux system API's
instead of the Windows API's.



> We don't need to learn a proprietary API to do the same things we've done
a
> hundred times before in Unix.

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by Mike » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 14:42:21



Quote:> Having years of experience in both environments.
...
> The last few years have been real fun. I have been working with Linux and
> FreeBSD. I have been able to focus on what I want to accomplish, not
periodic
> changes in the various APIs. I have rediscovered the things that I liked
about
> computers. If have done some Windows work, but have found it tedious.

> In the last few years, I have enjoyed working on language analysis tools,
a
> search engine, music ID system, shared memory daemon, some Beowulf stuff,
and
> am really liking PostgreSQL.

> Joy of work wise, Linux and FreeBSD rules, Windows just plain sucks. I
really
> hate it. Not because of Microsoft, exactly, but because the UNIX
environment is
> more mature with people more interested in doing something right than
doing
> something half assed to make a marketing deadline.

Well, having worked with both systems, I'd come to the opposite
conclusion... but forget about that. This, along with your post a day or two
ago, is damn near the first Linux advocacy I've read in months that actually
suggests that Linux has any redeeming qualities at all, except that it's not
Microsoft. Damn. It's been a long time.

One of the guys at work ran a RedHat Linux file server for his group, using
a Perforce RCS system. It worked fine, and as with most things PC related,
the hardware had good reliability, and cost a whole lot less than our
name-brand Unix workstations. It was a perfect ad for Linux, except that he
couldn't turn off the anti-Sun anti-HP anti-Microsoft spew long enough to
make the case. To him, it wasn't a case of Linux succeeding, it was a case
of everyone else failing.

And way too often, that's the problem with the folks here. They spend so
much time spewing about how bad Microsoft is that they fail to realize that
the case for Linux has nothing to do with Microsoft.

-- Mike --

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by Terry Port » Thu, 09 Aug 2001 08:04:26


On Mon, 06 Aug 2001 22:19:37 -0400, mlw dashed off:

Quote:> Joy of work wise, Linux and FreeBSD rules, Windows just plain sucks. I really
> hate it. Not because of Microsoft, exactly, but because the UNIX environment is
> more mature with people more interested in doing something right than doing
> something half assed to make a marketing deadline.

I'm not at the level of programming that you are Mark, but I must say
I have watched your posts the last couple of years, and seen your attitude
towards Windows get colder, and the reverse for Linux.

Like you, I don't hate Microsoft, it is simply consumer rubbish, an
expensive way to waste your life.

I have completed a few small programming tasks under Linux, and they were
all as smooth as silk, fun, and worked *exactly* as I planned.

What more can a man ask ?

--
Kind Regards from Terry
My Desktop is powered by GNU/Linux.  
Free Micro burner: http://jsno.downunder.net.au/terry/          
** Registration Number: 103931,  http://counter.li.org **

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by blah » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 17:33:51



> And way too often, that's the problem with the folks here. They spend so
> much time spewing about how bad Microsoft is that they fail to realize that
> the case for Linux has nothing to do with Microsoft.

The problem with advocating Linux is that at its core you are really
advocating UNIX, and UNIX is an acquired taste.  Over time it becomes an
*ion, and nothing less will do, but people not familiar with it are
always going to have complaints.  The most you can do is hold their hand
and help them over the hump.  I personally think it is a big mistake to
try to repackage Linux as a Microsoft clone, pretending that the user need
never encounter the command line, and an awful lot of that seems to be
happening in the Linux world nowadays.

I also disagree that the case for Linux has nothing to do with Microsoft.
Microsoft has strategic goals which directly affect the future viability
of *all* alternative systems.  Besides, there are few activities in this
world more honorable than smacking Microsoft upside the head.

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by mlw » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 20:09:01



> What a stupid statement.   Sure you do -- it's simply the Linux system API's
> instead of the Windows API's.

That is one of the things that Windows developers don't understand. Take the NT
kernel call ObReferenceObjectbyHandle(...), if you understand the NT kernel,
and perhaps to a few experiments, you could figure out that a user level app
can send an event handle to an NT kernel driver, and the kernel driver can
signal the user level event in its DPC. It isn't clearly documented, in fact
Microsoft's own documents used to say kernel modules could not signal
applications. (It may still)

The Windows API is a black box, and Microsoft wants to keep it that way.
Microsoft has a HUGH advantage when it comes to developing applications. If a
Microsoft developer needs to do something, not easily done with the Windows
API, they can look at the source of how something is implemented, and work
around the limitations. If you do not have access to MS source code, you can
not do this. You have to guess, you have to really understand Windows.

Under Linux and FreeBSD the entire system is an open book with equal access for
all. You don't need to stay up late thinking about how to get around the
limitation, you can just look at the code and figure out what you need to do.
More over, it has been my experience that APIs designed on UNIX platforms are
usually more complete and well thought out, thus you are less likely to run
into poorly designed API as one does so often with Windows.




> > We don't need to learn a proprietary API to do the same things we've done
> a
> > hundred times before in Unix.

--
5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are GO!
------------------------
http://www.mohawksoft.com
 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by mlw » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 21:11:11



> It is great when a person enjoys himself.

> I always believed in the saying that if you have a job doing what you
> love, then you never work a day in your life.

> (The punch line)

> So what exactly do you do to earn money when you are not programming
> Linux ?

I have been working on Linux and FreeBSD for the last 3 years for my work.
 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by mlw » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 22:08:14





> >> It is great when a person enjoys himself.

> >> I always believed in the saying that if you have a job doing what you
> >> love, then you never work a day in your life.

> >> (The punch line)

> >> So what exactly do you do to earn money when you are not programming
> >> Linux ?

> >I have been working on Linux and FreeBSD for the last 3 years for my work.

> Just pulling your leg....

> Seriously, is there decent money in Linux and FreeBSD programming ?

I don't know about those just starting out, but if you are good, and you really
know what you are doing, you can get paid very well. The economic slump may be
a bit troublesome, but it may also help because companies are trying to save
money, that with Microsoft's plans for XP, I see a lot of companies taking
Linux seriously.

It is funny, however, that the very skills that made one valuable on Windows,
may be what hurts them on Linux. I interview a ton of people who have been
working for years and all they know is MFC and Visual Studio.

It is laughable. To me, a software developer must have some basic skills to be
a professional. They know what a hash table is and how it works. They know how
a binary tree works, they know how the various sort algorithms work and what
the problems are. They understand the concepts behind things like mutexes,
spinlocks, and semaphores. They understand basic OS design theories, they also
have read at least one structured programming text. In short, someone who is
competent and maintains their profession. Software development like any other
profession requires some basic knowledge.

Anyone who says something like "Why should I need to know that" in regards to
these sorts of questions is not a professional software developer.

--
5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are GO!
------------------------
http://www.mohawksoft.com

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by SteveCampbel » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 22:26:11


And yeah blah Did speak unto the masses thusly:


>> And way too often, that's the problem with the folks here. They spend so
>> much time spewing about how bad Microsoft is that they fail to realize
>> that the case for Linux has nothing to do with Microsoft.

> The problem with advocating Linux is that at its core you are really
> advocating UNIX, and UNIX is an acquired taste.  Over time it becomes an
> *ion, and nothing less will do, but people not familiar with it are
> always going to have complaints.  The most you can do is hold their hand
> and help them over the hump.  I personally think it is a big mistake to
> try to repackage Linux as a Microsoft clone, pretending that the user need
> never encounter the command line, and an awful lot of that seems to be
> happening in the Linux world nowadays.

> I also disagree that the case for Linux has nothing to do with Microsoft.
> Microsoft has strategic goals which directly affect the future viability
> of *all* alternative systems.  Besides, there are few activities in this
> world more honorable than smacking Microsoft upside the head.

It's potty training.......
My brother ( much more of code minded person then myself), wouldn't install
Linux for months after I did, claimig that he had an OS that fit his uses
and that any change would be unproductive (heard it all before).
I eventually talked him into mandrake 7.2, which as you know is as close to
windows as you can get ( mandrake 8.0 is closer but also mildly insane,
roll-on 8.1).
4 months later and he has just set up an access server based on a ground-up
LFS implementation, a real OS installed by what I would call natural
childbirth, the way it was done on dinosaurs and the like.
Now he scoffs at me and my mandrake as he quintuple-boots his own box into
all manner of odd Linae. Don't be too * the soft and fluffy distros,
if they save someone a few hundred quid on windows, fair play, and they
always have the potential to create another bearded, sleepless geek.

--
registered Linux user #212154
Don't get mad, get Linux

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by TomF » Wed, 08 Aug 2001 23:55:05



> What a stupid statement.   Sure you do -- it's simply the Linux system
> API's instead of the Windows API's.

The Linux APIs ARE NOT PROPRIETARY.

Which part of proprietary did you not comprehend in my earlier statement?

...............typical.




>> We don't need to learn a proprietary API to do the same things we've done
> a
>> hundred times before in Unix.

--

Read about the carnage:
http://www.*edcode.com/

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by pip » Thu, 09 Aug 2001 01:09:49




> > What a stupid statement.   Sure you do -- it's simply the Linux system
> > API's instead of the Windows API's.

> The Linux APIs ARE NOT PROPRIETARY.

> Which part of proprietary did you not comprehend in my earlier statement?

> ...............typical.

LOL! You must admit that you've got to see a bit of irony here... How
did the Linux API's get made ? Sun Man pages ? A posix spec that costs a
load to buy and that you can't republish may as well be proprientary.
Luckily, now we all have access :)
 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by Penguinist » Thu, 09 Aug 2001 01:36:32


Mark, what programming tools do you use? I'm most experienced with Borland,
now I'm looking for native Linux/Unix stuff. gcc is really weird, I've
played with 3.0, it seems slow, and it generated this huge "Hello World"
binary, over 120,000 bytes. I don't care if it's command-line or perty IDE,
I just want something that works right! Also the documentation for gcc is,
er, not quite as helpful as I would like.

I'll stick with it if you think it's worthy, but I can't help feeling there
must be something better for writing nice C++ code on Linux.

thanks,
Penguinista


> Having years of experience in both environments.

> I'm serious about this: I personally beta tested (i.e. delivered to my
> home) MS Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.1 WFW, W95 (Chicago), NT (pre 3.1), MS C 6.0,
> MS C 7.0, NT 3.5, NT 3.51, and NT 4.0. I have also been working with Linux
> and FreeBSD since 1995. I even wrote a couple programming chapters in the
> book: Tricks of The Windows 3.1 Masters. I was a real Windows advocate.

> OK, credentials aside, lets get to the discussion.

> The reason I no longer enjoy programming on Windows is that expertise
> isn't about understanding how computers work, I made my reputation about
> knowing how Windows worked inside and out, and knowing how to get around
> limitations. It was also about keeping "up to date" about the changes
> coming in Windows. The new APIs, the changes to existing APIs, etc.

> It was keeping track of MS trivia, not inventing anything new or cool.

> The last few years have been real fun. I have been working with Linux and
> FreeBSD. I have been able to focus on what I want to accomplish, not
> periodic changes in the various APIs. I have rediscovered the things that
> I liked about computers. If have done some Windows work, but have found it
> tedious.

> In the last few years, I have enjoyed working on language analysis tools,
> a search engine, music ID system, shared memory daemon, some Beowulf
> stuff, and am really liking PostgreSQL.

> Joy of work wise, Linux and FreeBSD rules, Windows just plain sucks. I
> really hate it. Not because of Microsoft, exactly, but because the UNIX
> environment is more mature with people more interested in doing something
> right than doing something half assed to make a marketing deadline.

 
 
 

Programming Windows vs Programming Linux (UNIX)

Post by pip » Thu, 09 Aug 2001 01:36:36



> Mark, what programming tools do you use? I'm most experienced with Borland,
> now I'm looking for native Linux/Unix stuff. gcc is really weird, I've
> played with 3.0, it seems slow, and it generated this huge "Hello World"
> binary, over 120,000 bytes. I don't care if it's command-line or perty IDE,
> I just want something that works right! Also the documentation for gcc is,
> er, not quite as helpful as I would like.

> I'll stick with it if you think it's worthy, but I can't help feeling there
> must be something better for writing nice C++ code on Linux.

Get a commercial Linux C++ compiler and IDE - there are plenty to choose
from. Even the ones that wrap up gcc in a nice coating would be nice to
use. Try QT for GUI.
 
 
 

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