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Michael Cameron
31 posts
Favoured Desktop OSs

- GTK+ is about as close as you can get to the Win32 API experience on Windows, but it is still a moving target.
- Package managers are a double-edged sword. Linux fixed the dependency hell problem and now every open source project depends on a thousand different things.
- A zillion distributions, a zillion ways your code might break on a system that wasn't tested.

Pretty good run down of thing Serge, but these three things I'm not so sure about.

GTK+ might be the most Windows 'looking' GUI toolkit but as far as function and being a stable target it's not even remotely the same. On Linux you have X11, X Toolkit Intrinsics (Xt), X Athena Widgets (Xaw) and Motif - each of which are much more comparable to Win32 except _because_ they're not a moving target people either forget about them or say "oh that's old" or "looks dated" etc. Which is a shame since imo Xaw looks great (ignoring these terrible color schemes)

and if you code using the standard APIs like Xaw and X11 then the standard tools like xrdb will work for setting theme colors and so on.

"Linux fixed the dependency hell problem" - if you call that fixed =P imo, they just made it worse because now people rely on the heroic complexity of package managers rather than drag and drop tar-balls. Worst of all it's a problem that doesn't even exist if you create your programs correctly.

"A zillion distributions, a zillion ways your code might break on a system that wasn't tested." - ditto, correct programs should just work. Don't dynamic link, stick to the standard APIs, don't rely on UB, etc. Of course Linux still supports way more hardware than Windows so you're going to have to account for things like endianess and different coherency mechanisms of other CPUs etc. so it's still a wider target but that's not really even a Linux thing.
Andrew Bromage
183 posts / 1 project
Research engineer, resident maths nerd (Erdős number 3).
Favoured Desktop OSs
Minor nitpick: X Toolkit Intrinsics doesn't have a "look" as such. It is a framework for building specific widget sets (of which Athena and Motif are examples).

By analogy to the customary Linux world: Xt is to Glib as Motif is to GTK.
Ginger Bill
222 posts / 2 projects
I am ginger thus have no soul.
Favoured Desktop OSs
Apple hardware doesn't age well. I'm typing this on a mid-2012 Macbook Pro and it feels sluggish. It is not unusable, but it is far from OK. A 4 year old laptop in 2016 should work just as well as it did in 2012. There's no excuse.

I've found the exact opposite over the years. For prebuilt hardware, it's the only hardware that ages well. I have a Power Mac G4 (15 years old) and G5 (13 years old) lying around and that still works but I don't use it because virtually no software runs on it anymore. I also have a MacBook laptop from 2007/2008 and that works better than most Windows laptops I've had for a year. I don't know about modern Mac laptops so it must have changed in build quality but their older laptops and even their current desktops are still well built computers.

That being said, I have had Macs that have died on me but I do use a lot of Macs (home, work, etc). On one, the motherboard broke but the computer was 8 years old and I was about to get a new anyway that week (it must of heard me :P). There was another one I used (not mine but at some school) that I tried fix but I think the problem was that it must have been dropped from a great-height.
5 posts
Favoured Desktop OSs
Do people generally find NVIDIA drivers more stable on Linux than AMD ones?

For the proprietary drivers, NVIDIA is much better, but when performance is not too important, I would go with the open source drivers and AMD's is quite good.