Linux and other open source software play a significant role in technology nowadays. Linux runs on most supercomputers, server systems and most smartphones (inside Android) in the world.
I also use Linux on the desktop and especially for development it’s just great. You can test in an environment that is very close to your server and there’s many great tools that are made for developers. Also Linux makes it easy to write your own tools.
Linux Mint, gVim, Chromium, Thunderbird, WordPress.
For example it’s super easy to write a script that compiles a MarkDown file to HTML and copies it to your clipboard, so you can plug it into WordPress right away.
Requirements to my Environment
For my development environment I have a couple of requirements, because obviously I spend a bunch of hours on it per day.
It needs to be the following:
Linux on the Desktop is pretty reliable, although some of the nice to have features are a little bit buggy once in a while. It’s extremely re-produceable, since I don’t need to worry about licenses, drivers, installation media, etc. Since multiple desktop environments like Gnome, KDE, XFCE and the like are available, it supports many users in terms of taste and choice of GUIs, even within these there are many possibilities to customize.
My Operating System: Linux Mint
Currently I’m on Linux Mint and it allows me to run all the services that I need to develop and test right on my machine, which means I’m not tied to being connected to my server or the internet all the time.
Since it also runs on my server, I can be fairly certain that I don’t run into bumps concerning cross-platform availability of features or tools.
My Code/Text Editor: gVim
Both for blog posts and code I use gVim, which is a GUI-overlay for the ancient and powerful editor vim. My .gvimrc config file is another thing that is very re-produceable, since I can just copy it to another machine or copy it back in after re-installing.
To extend the functionality of vim a little I have gathered a couple of vim plugins too.
My Publishing Platform: WordPress
Admittedly, this is not very useful without a web server for rent, but WordPress itself is open source too. It’s amazingly simple and easy to extend.
The amount and quality of open source tools to get the work done is simply astonishing. Lack of resources is not an excuse not to start up a website or technology based company. The only thing that is in the way is time to pick up technologies, but it gets easier with every framework or language in your backpack!
Tomorrow I’ll write a little more about building the actual product 😉