For the last few days I’ve decided to spend my coding time back on my Gentoo box rather than the PowerMac. The initial prompting for this was a small protest of the March delivery date for my MacBook Pro (even though I ordered it the day of the keynote). “If they won’t ship me any love on time, I’ll just go back to my other machine” I thought.
Upon firing up Eclipse it took just moments to realise how much more responsive it is under Linux. I’m running a Pentium 4 2.8 (HT) with 1GB ram and this thing SCREAMS. Everything is instant and development is a dream. Naturally this shouldn’t be anything new for me as this machine was my primary workstation before I got the Mac.
Two things struck me from this exercise:
1. Linux is an awesome environment for Java development and one I’ll spend much more time appreciating from now on.
2. MacOS X really is something special if I can put up with the appalling performance of anything Java-based and still consider it a requirement for my work.
To be fair, I should point out that overall there are still many little annoyances about working with my Gentoo box for development purposes. Little things, like how the Gnome terminal always starts up in that annoying small window (and you can’t set a desired default size) and how when you put it to full screen it becomes very slow. GEdit also seems to chug when large documents are thrown at it. Beyond the little (livable) things, I find myself dramatically missing familiar staples of my OS X diet like Dashboard. However, despite all this, if I was given a PC (and only a PC) to work on there is no doubt I could quite happily live a productive and joy filled coding life.
I have heard some good things about Eclipse performance on the new Intel iMacs, and now that 3.2M5 is shipping with all the required Universal Binaries for SWT, getting it working on the MacBook shouldn’t be an issue. I can only hope that it comes close to being as impressive as my recent trip down memory lane.