Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mac Fanboys in Java Land

Could somebody explain to me why lots of Java (and Ruby, Phyton, ...) programmers seem to think Macs are the best thing since sliced bread? I'll be the first to admit that Apple hardware is excellent and that they have a UI flair that is unrivaled by any other company in the IT industry today.

However, as a programmer I don't care too much about dumbing it all down to a level where my grandmother can use it. I tried the Mac thing and sure it's great for some casual usage, but a number of things just annoy me when I try to get real work done:
  • First of all: why does Apple treat Java as a second grade citizen?
  • Why can't I resize my windows on the left side?
  • Why can't Apple just use a standard PC AZERTY keyboard layout (used in Belgium where I live)? If they did, I would at least be able to find my curly braces and square brackets, and pipe symbol for that matter!
  • Why does OS X need to deviate from pretty much every common Unix convention like the FHS, making things like the hosts file end up in /private/etc/hosts.
  • Why is it that I need to copy the entire Eclipse installation just to be able to run two workspaces at the same time?
  • Why is Apple incapable of putting a standard DVI or VGA adaptor on a MacBook?
And the list goes on! (For those wondering: I currently run Ubuntu on a Dell XPS laptop: no installation or configuration hassles, and usage freedom to boot!)

1 comment:

  1. I have been asking myself the same question. Personally, I think a Mac is perfect for inexperienced computer users. And I can certainly understand that graphical artists and anyone who's involved in desktop publishing prefer it, since it has traditionally been the platform of choice for those kind of applications. After all, old habits die hard. But for any other kind of power user, it just seems to me that when you buy a Mac, you pay premium prices for a slick user interface on top of yesterday's hardware.

    I think a Mac, and by extension any type of Apple hardware, is a fashion statement more than anything else. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of MacBook Pro-wielding conference-goers are secretly using a not-so-fashionable HP or Dell deep within their basement when they want to get some real work done.