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Apple laptops for Java developers


We are trying to migrate our Java developers from Windows based development to Mac platform. Wondering if experts have used both the platforms for development.. if so I would like to take the suggestions:

I'm trying to compare:
Installing and configuring java tools (eclipse, apache tomcat, other frameworks spring, struts, ext js etc.,)
Security on MAC over Windows OS
Other features such as installing different versions of JDK, IBM tools (WebSphere) etc.,

1 Solution

I've worked on OS9, OSX (every version but Lion,)  Solaris, RHEL, Ubuntu, WinXP, Win2K, Vista, Windows Server, etc.  I was a developer and sw dev mgr in the broadcasting industry for years, then leapt to finance where i coded and ran projects, and now I'm in pharma, where i only code.  At this point I am biased toward mac os x for development.  I'm on a corp build of xp now, but on the waitlist for a mbp.

Installing and configuring tools is easy and versatile.  OS X has a convention of putting executables in the /Applications directory, but this is by no means required, especially for cross-platform development tools like Eclipse, or the deployment envs like Tomcat.  Apple's own dev tools, last time I used them (it's been awhile, since I use eclipse) own their own directory /Developer Tools.  For tomcat, et al, I usually install in /usr/local, and manage the env through the terminal.  This makes for easy transitions to linux deployment envs.  

OS X has a method for dealing with 3rd party jars, but you can ignore it, or use it, and use it with eclipse.

OS X also supports svn, and some gui's for it.  It comes with apache pre-installled, or you can install your own.  

You can create a developer tarball and put it just about anywhere.

For other apps or envs, like perl or php, you can download and compile source, or find one of several binary distros.  You can use mysql or oracle locally.   There's also fink and other package managers to install unix-y tools easily.

For developers, one very significant advantage to OS X is it's support for dual displays is smooth as silk.  Macs just know when a new display is attached, and behave.  This is a constant struggle with every windows laptop I've had, dock or no dock.

I also only reboot my mac like 10 times per year, if that.  And it has great battery life so weather permitting, I'd work outside, or in the company break area, or conference rooms, etc. without lugging the brick.

Amongst what turns me off about win envs are the following:  lengthy reboot times in corporate envs;  Needing to reboot to set system env variables;  NTLM, which always seems to require a workaround; the registry. Dual-display resets (like every day.)  Long wake up times; Net-installs; etc.

I can't comment on security for OS X other than to say it's fairly simple to use.  I haven't admin'd a mac network in a long time,  though.  Individually, it's unix-like.  

I hope this helps.  Please follow up with other questions if you got em.

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