Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cross-Platform Developer's Tools Comparison

One of the first things with moving to or even evaluating a new platform is figuring out what is "there" on the target OS. This answers the question "What can I still do" or better yet "How do I...".  Here's my comparison list of tools across Linux, OS X, and Windows. Yes, I know that OSX is Linux under the covers, however it is enough of a "standoff-ish" platform (IMHO) with regards to user experience, development platform/tools (used to build the software I'm talking about), etc. that I categorize it separately.

Tool Linux OSX Windows
Blog Writer Qumana Live Writer
Database Tool DbVisualizer DbVisualizer DbVisualizer
SQL Server Management Studio Express
Development IDE Eclipse
Visual Studio
File Compression 7-Zip 7zX 7-Zip
File/Folder Comparison Beyond Compare Delta Walker Beyond Compare
Instant Messaging Pidgin Adium Pidgin Pidgin
Source Control Subclipse Subclipse
System Tray Status/Tools iStat Menus SysInternals
Text Editor Beyond Compare Text Wrangler Notepad++
Video Player VLC Player VLC Player VLC Player
XML Editor <oXygen> <oXygen> <oXygen>

Note that this list is what I've found for software that is comparable and gets the job done for me.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts on moving from Windows to Mac

This past weekend I migrated my laptop world from Windows to Mac OS X. As I'm bring apps and data over I'm discovering things that I didn't expect and having difficulty finding things...

  1. Keyboard navigation - the home, end, and paging (up/down) keys are missing. Paging is the most missed as I do more browsing, reading and searching than I do filling out forms. I suspect that only a subset of PC users actually use these keys - probably those of us who are more technically proficient. This leads to my first observation: applications that automatically select all text in a field (name, address bar, etc.) are appreciated. Firefox and Chrome do this but Safari and "native" Mac programs don't seem to which makes me think it's either a philosophical difference or perhaps there's a shortcut keystroke I haven't discovered.
  2. Menus and system tray along the top. I know that both OSes can be tweaked and customized but I tend to keep the customizations "down". I learned long ago that you can make your whole computing world "just so" only to go to another machine and be lost because it's not your machine. I like the tray in the upper right of the screen as it's more at eye level. I didn't realize this until the Mac when I realized I wasn't crouching over and squinting down in the corner to see the icons and the context menus. Of course, that's also a hazard of age and tired eyesight. I'm still finding that I'm looking for the application menu at the top of the window rather than the top of the screen.


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Monday, September 6, 2010

A nasty OpenSSO configurator “bug”

After lots of trial ‘n error, I found that when configuring a new, first instance you must use the FQDN when launching the configurator. In addition, your machine’s hostname must be in a FQDN with AT LEAST TWO DOTS in the name. The only reference I found on the web was buried in this thread that’s two years old: Also in the thread is mention that the default linux machine name of ‘localhost.localdomain’ isn’t supported and doesn’t work. What drives you crazy is the only error you see either through the JSP-based GUI or through the command line tool is “invalid hostname”.