Best OS for Web Design and Development

In this article, I’m taking Linux (Debian and others), Macintosh OS X (Panther) and Windows XP and comparing them to find the ideal operating system for web design and development. After using Windows, Macintosh OS X and Linux (in various incarnations) each for extended periods of time over the last 4 1/2 years, here is what I’ve found.

Linux
Advantages: The obvious advantage to developing on Linux is that you’re working on the OS that you’ll probably be running your site on. It’s nice to be able to save locally and view your content on a local webserver. This is also possible in Windows and OS X so it’s not necessarily a major advantage but it’s nice.

Other advantages of Linux are that it has great text editors (Quanta, Kate, gEdit to name a few) and there is no lack of FTP tools. In my mind, that’s about it as far as advantages go.

Read on for disadvantages of Linux and my insights on OS X and Windows.

Disadvantages: The biggest disadvantage of designing for the web in Linux is the utter lack
of good graphics software. Sure, there’s the Gimp which
isn’t a bad piece of Open Source software, but in all honesty it does not compare
to Photoshop or even Fireworks. For one, it’s lacking any “save for web” feature
to make optimizing images a quick and easy process. That alone is enough to
make me choose photoshop over the Gimp, but there are a host of other disadvantages
to the Gimp which I won’t go into here. You can now run Photoshop in Linux
using Codeweavers
Crossover Office
but in my experience, Photoshop does not run nearly as fast
under Crossover Office or as well as it does using it on a native platform.

If you’re looking for vector graphics software, you’ll also come up empty
handed. I do 99% of my layout work in Illustrator or Freehand and
there is nothing even close on Linux. SodiPodi and a couple others may be contenders
later on down the road, but right now they are far from being serious competitors
to either Illustrator or Freehand.

Macintosh OS X (Panther)

Advantages: One of the principal advantages of using a Mac to design is
that the GUI of OS X promotes good design. You may disagree, but I feel that
working in such a clean, polished environment helps you clear your mind and focus
on design. I personally have changed the theme of OS X to the iPod
inspired theme
using ShapeShifter to
remove some of the bright colors OS X has by default making the OS X experience
even better.

Exposé. Exposé makes working with several applications (which
is very common in web development) a breeze. It even makes working with the
Mac version of Photoshop tolerable. Many of the Mac users I work with love
how there is no "gray box" behind Photoshop for OS X. Personally, I like the
gray box on the PC–it blocked out all the clutter of the desktop and other
app’s while working on graphics. In addition, double clicking it quickly
brings up the "Open File" dialog and by minimizing it, you quickly clear your
desktop.

Another advantage with OS X is that it has a native SSH client. I love being
able to open the Terminal and ssh to the server without having to use Putty.
This is also (obviously) available in Linux. In addition to SSH, Apache, PHP
and MySQL run well on OS X (probably better than on Windows)

Disadvantages: I use Dreamweaver
MX 2004
and Flash
MX 2004
quite
a bit. On the Mac, the interface to both of these programs is not nearly as
nice as on a PC. On a PC, using the numerous panels and palettes necessary
to use both of these programs is almost effortless. On the Mac, I find myself
constantly rearranging them. While both Dreamweaver and Flash allow you to
save your panel layouts, using the programs in OS X is not as efficient as
using them on a PC. I also miss the tabs you have on a PC when working with
multiple documents. In addition, I have found Flash MX 2004 to be much less
stable on OS X than on a PC, with semi-frequent crashes of the sort where the
entire program just disappears.

Windows XP
Advantages: I’ve already mentioned several of the advantages to Web
Development on a PC (Dreamweaver/Flash interface advantages, Photoshop "gray
box" etc.). In addition to these, there are a few other things that make designing
on Windows nice.

Browsers. This is a big one. The majority of Internet users use Microsoft
Internet Explorer on a PC. It’s essential to be able to test your sites on
IE, whether or not it’s the browser you use (I prefer Firebird)
and IE on a Mac is significantly different from IE on Windows.

FTP clients. I’ve had much better luck with using FTP clients on Windows than
on either Linux or OS X. Maybe it’s that I haven’t searched hard enough, but
I haven’t found anything that I like better than (now discontinued) Leech
FTP
and FileZilla. Both
are free, fast and fully featured.

In Windows there are also dozens of great text editors – from basic to advanced,
many of them free.

Disadvantages: Well. Say what you will, and your comments are welcome,
but there really aren’t many disadvantages. If cost isn’t an issue (and it
almost always is), most good software is written for Windows. With
Windows XP stability isn’t an issue anymore (hasn’t been for me anyway). You
can run most web servers you can run on Linux or OS X on Windows, Apache being
the most important, (though I’d never consider using Windows as a server).
The only thing left to complain about is the proprietaryness (is that a word)
of Windows and Microsoft, but as far as the OS itself, in a strictly utilitarian
sense, there isn’t much to complain about. On the server side of things, I’m
100% for open source software and I use it exclusively there. On the desktop,
it’s a different story altogether.

Conclusions
While web development is possible, even enjoyable,
in all three OS’s, I’ve found Windows to be the best all around. Really, what
it comes down to is the available software and it’s ability to run well on
the OS in question. All three are very stable operating systems with all the
necessary server side tools to work with. However when it comes down to the
availability and usability of software, Windows still can’t be beat.

  • http://www.n0dez.com/ n0dez

    It seems you’ve forgotten some things to say about Linux, Mac OS X and Windows XP. You also have forgotten FreeBSD (UNIX), which is very popular as a server OS. I agree with you; GIMP is a nice piece of open source but lacks of some tools. FreeBSD, Linux and Mac OS X don’t suffer constant new viruses and worms. Stabilty and Windows are two different things; they never go together. Tip of the day: never use Windows as a server OS (I agree with you!) Windows was never design to be networking able, multitasking, multiuser, etc. However, Windows IT IS a great gaming OS (as far as the BSOD -blue screens of death- doesn’t bother you). I would personaly choose FreeBSD as a server OS. It does the job. For the desktop, I run FreeBSD (Slackware Linux as well). I have never suffered any stability and virus/worm issues. However, for designing, I would choose Mac OS X, for Web development (perl, php scripts, etc), FreeBSD. Linux is also a good choice.

    n0dez

  • neutral

    TO PREVIOUS COMMENTER

    WHY U GUYS ALWAYS WANT TO ANTI-MICROSOFT?

  • melmoth

    Did you read the article, nodez? He’s talking about designing, not server stuff. Did you just copy and paste that rant from /. or something?

    Bah. A bit thin on the details, but for roughly a page of text, this is a pretty good treatment of the subject.

  • http://www.danshockley.com Krioni

    BBEdit!!!! How in the world can you talk about web development (of course, it covers much more) without mentioning BBEdit as an advantage for Mac OS X? I’ve seen hard-core UNIX gurus drop the vi/emacs battle and settle on BBEdit. Geez.

  • rojaro

    well, i’ve just ditched my mac yesterday and i am about to kill my windows machine and make it a linux fileserver as i basically just used it to play games. but now where i have photoshop, the games and pretty much everything else i need running under linux, there is really no way to say that windows can beat my linux workstation anymore …

  • http://www.inkscape.org/ kidproto

    You all should check out INKSCAPE. It is a great new vector editor for win32/linux/osX. Come help us build it up to be the greatest open source vector editor:

    http://www.inkscape.org/

  • elie

    If you don’t need to do CMYK (which you wouldn’t need to for Web anyway), there’s no reason why you can’t use GIMP instead. The “disadvantages” that Photoshop users see in the GIMP mostly have to do with force of habit (there are some differences in the interface). With the newest version of GIMP (1.3), most of these UI differences are smoothed out anyway. It’s different, for sure, but not inferior.

  • Virtex

    I just pulled up the GIMP (version 1.2.3) and looked to see if it had a mode to convert an image to web safe colors. Under the Image->Mode->Indexed dialog is a checkbox that says “Use WWW-Optimized Palette”. It would seem your quarrel against the GIMP for not having this feature is unjustified.

  • Marcus

    Perhaps you’re not familiar with the save for web feature of Photoshop. It involves MUCH more than having a web palette to use for exporting gif’s. It gives you a side by side comparison of different formats (gif, jpg, png) a way to select image quality (for jpg) several options for exporting gifs as well as the ability to resize the image all from one screen. While most of this (if not all) can probably be done by the GIMP, it doesn’t happen in one quick screen. This is one of the reasons I much prefer Photoshop to the GIMP. Here’s an example: http://www.marcusvorwaller.com/weblog/archives/saveforweb.jpg

  • Don

    One of the things that is unfortunate is the total lack some people have when it comes to understanding English. There is no “best” OS for web design. There is only a preferred OS for web design. The reason people disagree with you is because you don’t understand the difference. If you say that you prefer one OS, others can say they prefer that one or another, but they can’t argue over being wrong or right. Perhaps if you got your head out of the html and into the Webster’s you’d be far more successful in everything you do.

  • Alain

    The «primary» tools for web designer is text editor (javascript, html, mysql, php) for us who doesn’t use generator of code (macromedia stuff) , so the best text editor i know is BBEdit.

  • http://www.inkscape.org/ MenTaLguY

    Whoa, Don… lay off Marcus a bit.

    All he’s doing here is presenting his own cost/benefit analysis of different platforms for web design, with the assumption that his needs are fairly representative of the average web design professional.

    (I think that assumption is subject to debate, although admittedly if my own experiences with the vector drawing apps available for Linux hadn’t been so crappy, I wouldn’t have bothered with Inkscape…)

    Yes, maybe he could have been a little more diplomatic about it, but this is a casual opinion piece on his personal blog after all, and I daresay beating folks over the head with the dictionary isn’t particularly diplomatic either.

  • Hmfster

    Ever tried BeOS? :-)

  • Jason Lotito

    While from a designer stand point, I can agree (well, almost, my girlfriend, a designer, swears by Mac’s), I have to disagree on the developer angle.

    Design and development are two completely different things. Where as design deals with the visual aspect, the development, the code behind the site, should not be done on a Windows machine.

    In this case, Linux is probably your best choice (IMHO). Linux is a much more serious development platform than Windows is. When you compare Windows, to let’s say SuSE, Windows comes up very much short in the development category.

    I don’t use a Mac every day, so I don’t feel justified commenting.

  • 413x

    my choice: go multiplatform! there’s scite, mozilla/firebird/whatever, apache, photoshop, gimp, sodipodi, the xml, svg and png specs, open office or abiword, xwindows (which does remote desktops very well, also with windows clients), … and many more helpful tools – so why binding yourself to one single platform/os? use the one you feel most comfortable for the different parts of your work. but i do have to admit.. i really love slackware linux.. ;)

  • 413x

    oh.. and i forgot.. without total commander, geoshell, photoshop, foobar2000, miranda and putty windows would be totally useless… ;)) please don’t take this too serious..! hehe

  • Medur

    Just a thing. The “Expose” feature of Mac OS X is available in Linux (with Gnome), in the Metacity application called “Expocity”. So.

  • David

    The GIMP is shit. Long live Photoshop.

  • http://iz.uandmedance.com elmlish

    While there is nothing really wrong with developing for the web on Windows, I greatly prefer Mac OS X on my trusty powerbook.

    I’ve found Windows easy enough to tweak to a point where it suits my needs, ( I’m a big time fan of personlization), but I really love the Unixicity of Mac OS X. The underlying file system is wonderful. The nice touches that make everything easier are so much more in play (at least in my opinion) than on Windows.

    Now, I’ve played with linux(slackware,debian,redhat,mandrake), and FreeBSD but I’ve never really gotten a system running the way I like. This is mostly due to me running these experiments on my way old school pentium 200 with wacked out hardware so I can’t really say much to the wonders of that environment. But I do know that Photoshop still rules the roost. It is so much easier to use. Yes, mostly because that’s what I’m used to but as been said before on this forum, there are a lot of convenience tools that really make life easier. Actions are one of them. Script-fu could probably fill in for that, but man, I just can’t get enough of photshop. Love that program, even though I’d really really like to use something that doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg.
    I’m also a 3d artist and boy would I like blender to be as nice as Maya, but it’s not. It’s great in it’s own way and I’m learning more everyday I use it but blender is not nearly as convenient as Maya.

    I think the whole development on one platform is mostly dependent on the tools available and windows and Mac OS X seem pretty close in that respect. Windows is more flakey, OS X is polished, but not perfect lacking some choice, and linux and freebsd are great but do lack native versions of my favorite tools.

    It’s a toss up for me. I like them all. (don’t get me started on the politics though, that’s a completely different story.)

    ~elmlish~

  • Anony

    Does it matter? Should we even bother debating what the “best” OS is for the design? What’s best for you may not be best for me. Instead we should encourage the emergence of open standards, so that everyone has a choice to use what’s best for them. I think this is generally the climate today.

    Also, light-gray on white is extremely difficult to read, although it seems to be the “trend” in web development these days.

  • http://www.otierney.net Tristan

    I disagree with your comments. To say photoshop is better because you can double click on the background to open things faster, and because you see the “clutter” behind the window is pure personal preference.

    I believe Panther is the best for this reason:
    I can run all the linux browsers (Mozilla, Firebird, Konqueror through X11) as well as the mac browsers (Camino, Safari, iCab, OmniWeb, Mac IE) as well as the windows browsers (IE with virtual pc)

    So you’re telling me a platform that has the capability to render in all browsers, and is better designed but has minor flaws in your apps is worse? Most the designers I know prefer macs. (Myself include, as a UI designer). And as a web designer, it’s your job to make sure it works in at least all of those major browsers. Expose and the Mac “way” of doing things in general makes me so much more productive i wouldn’t dream of using windows for web design.

  • George Lien

    neutral wrote: “WHY U GUYS ALWAYS WANT TO ANTI-MICROSOFT?”

    It’s not about anti-Microsoft, or anti any company here.

    It’s about CHOICE. Abuses happen when there is no alternatives.

    Microsoft products have many security problems because most of the computer users in the world use its products.

    Imagine if everybody was using Microsoft–verses now only ninty some percent of computer users–the Internet would be in a much worst shape than it is now.

    Just as I’m a multi-lingual person, I’m a multi-platform person who began as a Mac user, building my own Windows PCs today, now moving on to Linux.

    Promoting platform diversity is as important as promoting culture diversity in order to make this world into a friendlier place to live in.

    Best Regards,
    George Lien

  • Jamie

    Have to agree with Tristan- PowerPC Mac hardware is the only platform where you can run all the environments and software on one machine- whether you use a PPC Linux distro with MacOnLinux and an x86 emulation environment, or you use OSX with VirtualPC, you can run all the software from all of the platforms at a reasonable speed at the same time in a virtual network. You can even pop Solarisx86 on there as well!
    Roll on VPC7 for Mac with the DirectX pass-through :)

  • john smith(uk)

    i prefer windows 2k, it’s neat quick and has never crashed for me. I use dreamweaver and photoshop and they always work like a dream. I have used MAC’s but couldn’t get on with them and i like linux from a server point of view but not desktop, yet! I think whats comming up in this forum is whats been said before mr x likes macos which is great, mr y likes linux which is also great. Instead of fighting we should be working togeather to provide great web sites, HTML, perl etc.. is completly portable between all OS’s (even WinCE :) I know the web site users don’t care how the site was built as long as it works.

  • Marcus

    Don’t get me wrong– I love OS X and wouldn’t dream of giving up my 1.6ghz G5 at work! And when it comes to Linux, I have a Debian FS in my closet and a Redhat 9 Rackshack server. This article was more to explore which OS provided the most efficient, all-around environment for designing and developing for the web–all the way from graphics to writing code. I agree with many of your points regarding the advantages or disadvantages one system might have over another, but when you add them all up–as far as my personal preference is concerned, Windows comes out on top.

  • NixerX

    What I see here is a bunch people ( exempting the Linux folks )whining about Open Source Software not being as good. It’s probably hard to see throught those spoiled brat tears that the people that develop thing’s like the gimp aren’t paid like the people at Adobe or Macromedia it’s done on there own time. If 25% of you people that used an OpenSource product, love it or hate it, donated 5-10 dollars to the app or distro you would see that applications development increase in ways that would please you. Don’t take advantage of a good thing and then do thing like call it SHIT. Weather your insolent ass likes it or not it is the product of peoples HARD work,. respect it.
    I for one am a Slacker for life. Long Live Linus, Patrick Volkerding, and those of the community that support OpenSource through word, money or other.
    -N

  • sandifop

    From a video standpoint: I prefer to edit on a Mac; however, I must have a Win client when I am preparing content for delivery. The Mac will create and open products that 90% cannot use.

  • hyperb0re

    Windows Server 2003 is my choice. Nice and quick.

  • CryBaby

    hmmm… from the lack of any reference to multiple monitors, it seems like this guy is actually trying to use professional apps with an amatuer, single-monitor setup on his Apple. Is he one of those rare long-term neophytes who hasn’t yet figured out that all pro design apps on Apple (photoshop, illustrator, Macromedia stuff, etc.) are optimized for use with a >=2 monitor environment? 1 for the tools and 1 or more for your workspace. This has been a standard assumption in the Apple world for many years now. Rock-solid, elegant multi-monitor support is one reason why Apple remains the top choice of professional designers (why do you think all current Macs have built-in dual-monitor cards?). Anyone using a single monitor is, by definition, a design hobbyist. Adobe and Macromedia already understand that most people who buy their software for Windows are hobbyists or part-timers who will probably run on a single monitor setup. So, they optimize their windows versions for that environment and, big surprise, they have succeeded in coming up with interfaces that work better on a single monitor than their Mac counterparts. Of course, the converse is also true.

    Where’s this guy’s resume? I’d like to see some of his design skillz. I bet it would say a lot about how qualified his is (not) to rate OS’s from a designer’s piont of view. If this website is any indicatioin, I believe my point has already been made.

  • CryBaby

    I failed to tear apart Marcus’s support of Windows as the “best tool” for web *development*. Let me start by saying that if you’re planning to deploy your web app on a Windows server then, by all means, stick with Windows for development. For those of us with a clue who deploy on UNIX servers, the Windows environment introduces severe handicaps. First, Marcus mentioned that Apache, PHP and MySQL run on Windows so it’s possible to set up a development environment on your Windows workstation. Well, at the professional level (is there a theme here?), an app might actually use mcrypt or one of the other PHP libraries that are not available for Windows. An app might also extend beyond AMP (as many of mine do) and utilize Perl, shell scripts, or tight integration with a mail server (e.g. piping incoming mail to a custom processing script). If my mail server doesn’t run on Windows, I’m out of luck. What if I need to compile from source to enable an option or apply a patch to my development environment to match my server environment? Out of luck (don’t talk to me about Cygwin). What about UNIX/Windows differences in PHP’s Apache environment variables? My apps actually use them. What if I use PostgreSQL? Do I want to waste time trying to get the experimental Windows port to work vs. simply reproducing the steps I took to set it up on the production server? No, I do not. I have real work to do. I could go on for days with real and hypothetical brick walls you will run into trying to set up a UNIX development environment on Windows, but I think I’ve said enough to make the point that, obviously, there are big, big differences between the platforms and once you reach beyond the most common applications and techniques, you will be bitten while trying to pretend that Windows is UNIX.

    Now let’s talk about development tools. I don’t know about you, but my main tool is a text editor. I used UltraEdit for quite a while on Windows and Quanta for a year on Linux when it was my only workstation OS. BBEdit puts them both to shame. Both in terms of power and ease-of-use. There are obviously tons of editors on Windows and while you are entitled to your preferences, I have yet to see or hear of one that could be called “better” than BBEdit in any way. Next, FTP/SFTP client. Used and liked BulletProof on Windows and gFTP on Linux. Transmit on the Mac is the best of both. Also, when you’re going UNIX to UNIX, as on a Mac workstation / UNIX server, you generally have no need for ASCII/BINARY mode headaches. Everything goes in binary mode and you get no surprises. You can reliably compare file sizes at a glance and rest assured that no file mutilation has occurred during transfer. Also, is there even a pro-quality free or cheap SFTP client available on Windows (I haven’t checked for a while)?

    If you prefer graphics apps on Windows you are, as stated, probably using a single monitor. I’ll take my dual-monitor Mac any day. Linux of course doesn’t have most pro apps available. What else? SSH client. Yes, putty is OK but you run into character set translation and terminal type compatibility issues. These are generally not an issue in an all-UNIX environment. Well, that my analysis. Mac wins as a web development workstation on every count. Try it, you’ll never go back.

  • http://csc.wz.cz tom

    For those who think that Gimp can be just as good as Photoshop or Fireworks for web developers, I’d just like to add that there’s nothing like the Slices in Gimp as far as I know. Slices are an invaluable tool for exporting web graphics.

    http://tinyurl.com/3f6bt

  • http://www.asianreflection.com Damon Lynch

    It is not enough to compare systems on technical merits only. Most people prefer cooperation and solidarity over ruthless competition motivated by greed and domination. GNU/Linux and projects like Quanta Plus are founded on a community of coopeation that is open to all. If you are financially poor and you live in Angola, you can join our community — and developers from that part of the world are joining, coming together with other developers from all over the world. What a fantastic spirit. The same cannot be said for Windows and Mac. Hence, they are not as beneficial for the world at large as GNU/Linux. Ultimately Windows and Mac benefit only a tiny global elite.

  • Johnny Smith

    I find the criticism of the GIMP’s saving ability for web content versus Photoshop’s pretty bizarre; the GIMP’s superior ability in this regard is one of its best features. I personally find Photoshop easier to use for most editing work, but still end up running images through the GIMP afterwards to take advantage of its significantly better optimization resulting in smaller (and thus faster downloading) image files.

  • Han

    It’s all about choice indeed. The software that runs only on windows at the moment _can_ be ported _natively_ to both mac and *nix ( actually mac is *nix since X), this will be good for everyone, even for microsoft. Admittedly they will make less money but on the other hand they will be forced to work harder for their money and make a better product.
    So don’t say, OSX sucks and OSY rocks because I got application Z. It’s all about user demand and effort from a greater group of developers, professional or not.
    Think ahead and support the underdogs to make them viable alternatives to improve quality for all.
    Any match where the result is known before it started is boring.

  • dna

    FYI: You can get a grey background in Photoshop on your Mac by pressing the “F” key (once=grey w/menu, twice=black w/o menu), or by clicking the screen icons near the bottom of the tool palette.

    As for CryBaby’s statement: “Anyone using a single monitor is, by definition, a design hobbyist”: utter crap.

  • http://liefstryder.co.uk yuusen

    I agree with the above comment regarding VPC and X11 running on OSX. Noone here yet (read back) has mentioned any specific benefits of any one hardware platform, aside the single mention of Power PC. Therefore I am deducing that everyone who has an issue on this page has one with the SOFTWARE. Okay, so saying you are having trouble facing the fact that there may be better software for doing what you are doing on another platform, why not find a way to access ALL the platforms, then you wont have to fork out for more hardware and you wont have any gripes. I am still, ofcourse, referring to OSX.

    If, as it seems, the proof is in the software then allow yourself access to it all.

    Like a few people have said already: “It’s about choice.”

  • Marcus

    CryBaby… You assume too much, and I’d like to see your references–you have no ground to stand on.

    FYI, I use multiple monitors and I have not noticed any advantage to using them on Mac or Windows.

  • http://www.edmack.com Ed Mack

    One note: The Photoshop on Linux argument no longer exists, I tried the cross-over plugin abotu a month ago, and photoshop ran as good as native. Some Apps have even ran faster in Wine than on native windows, although thats not too many of course :)

  • http://N/A Gjermund G. Thorsen

    I think it’s a sad thing how you can compare to operating systems( Linux and MacBSD ) with a menu system( LittlePulp FindDOS )

    Do you work for M$?

    My way is Apache2, vim/BBedit and php4/MySQL4 for now… design or algos, I’ll beat the shit outta’ya whether you use Windolls 2092 and DW FU 2004 :-p

  • Scott Falcon

    Great article!

  • http://cstf.co.uk Phil Ironside

    I use both systems, I use Fireworks/Freehand on windows as it was the graphics package I was weened on and then us linux for an application server/database and text editing using Vim and Quanta mainly. When I need a new graphics angle I use the Gimp to design in. I do this because like all open source software it comes from a different angle and allows me to attack problems from a different perspective. I used to only use windows because I had not discovered the joys of linux. The biggest advantage with Linux and web development is that it teaches good programming skills and use of command line utils. I would be lost without ftp and where would we be without the while do command when changing file names or looping processes of a load of files.

    Isn’t it a matter of using the right OS for the right job? But if you only know one you have not got a choice.

  • Rob

    Just a couple of flamebait comments, First to set the records straight I have both a powerbook (my weapon of choice) and 2 XP boxes, which also function just fine for my needs, I only cry out for source (just show me the source damit)

    However a couple of coments need to be challenged

    To Nodez: “Windows was never design to be networking able, multitasking, multiuser, etc.”

    – Utter crap, XP is fully everything you claim it is not. Whil not being as fast networking wise as BSD, it certainly provides a more responsive UI than Linux (not OSX though :)

    To Nixer: ” bunch people ( exempting the Linux folks )whining about Open Source Software not being as good. It’s probably hard to see throught those spoiled brat tears that the people that develop thing’s like the gimp ”

    I am sorry but just being open source (free) is not enough. An not people are not whining, they are simply stating their personal / professional preferences / opinions. The most whining I here is from the very vocal open source zelots who hate it when other ciritise any opensource project, and are immediately branded M$ trolls.
    A lot of OS projects are very good, and getting better all the time, and when they are good enough for individuals needs they will likey switch, but until then they need to play catchup. Accept it and deal with it.

  • Jeroen

    This article is so incomplete that you never should have posted it. This kind of comparisions ask for an in-depth article, which this is NOT.

    Crap.

  • Bill

    “For one, it’s lacking any “save for web” feature to make optimizing images a quick and easy process.”

    Huh? The default “Save” on the GIMP does a better job at optimizing than Photoshop’s somewhat awkward “Save for Web”. If you don’t believe me, take any old JPEG file (which we’ll call “source.jpg” for the sake of argument) and save it as “photoshop.jpg” from within Photoshop using the “Save for Web” option and save it as “gimp.jpg” from within the GIMP. Ensure that in both cases the compression level is the same. Examine the resulting files. At least nine times out of ten the GIMP version will be better compressed.

    Most of the decent web designers I know switch back and forth between different apps and OSes as needs dictate. To pronounce any one OS king is naive indeed.

    Of course, I shouldn’t be saying any of this. The more web amateurs / bloggers there are out there who aren’t smart enough to look beyond MS’s restrictive world the better it is for the pros…

  • http://impotence-rx.biz viagra

    Hi, I just wanted so say thank you guys ! i really like your site and i hope you’ll continue to improving it.

  • Pingback: /dev/blog()

  • http://storm.esm.rochester.edu Noah

    Wow – this article sums up my experience over the past 2 years almost perfectly. Here I sit – G5 on my left, Slackware server below my desk, and Windows workhorse next to the server – and every comment this author has made resonates perfectly. I have given OS X and Slackware (with win4lin even) every chance to become my working platform, but alas, in the end windows (XP) wins the the battle for web-design. Honestly though, if Macromedia could reach the same quality standards for OS X as it does for windows, I'd never leave my G5. And in my heart of hearts, linux is King. It's annoying when your least favorite OS is the best one for your job. Bah.

  • http://www.low-fi.org.uk alex kent

    i agree, i wish Macromedia would make their mac versions as well as their Windows versions.

    i personally prefer MacOSX.
    being able to run the exact same software setup as my live server (apache/mysql/php/mod_perl) on my 12"powerbook and hack perl scripts on the train is just too nice.

    n0dez in case you have been under a rock for the last 8 years WindowsNT (then 2000 and XP) was designed from the ground up to be networkable, multitasking, etc. etc.

  • buszhet

    No matter your OS on your computer,
    but the MOST important is you can work with that.

    it's your choice.

  • henry

    Don’t know if you’ll ever look back here, but it would be cool if you redid this piece now to reflect any changes.