[MUD-Dev] Preference for host OS

Brian Hook bwh at wksoftware.com
Mon Sep 10 22:26:26 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Thanks for all the replies.  I'm going to do a single response to a
bunch of paraphrased comments to keep traffic down:

Re: Windows

  Yes, it's not very cost-effective or portable.  It's pretty much
  dropped to the lowest rung on the ladder.

Re: BSD vs. Linux

  This really seems to come down to "BSD is more stable and Linux is
  more popular".  Given that, I think I'd lean towards BSD since the
  philosophy of that community tends to emphasize robustness and
  stability.  My problem with Linux is that there are so many
  distributions that it's difficult to really say "Linux", and
  people have very strong opinions on the various distos and their
  implementations.  For someone that doesn't have years of
  experience comparing these, it's tough to really get good data
  that isn't tainted with some kind of religious subjectivity.
  Hence my original question -- I figure with enough data I can
  start to get some gestalt understanding of the issue.

Re: Solaris/x86

  From all my friends, the generalization is: "It sucks, but that
  was a long time ago, and it may not suck now".  Followed by
  several people saying that it definitely doesn't suck now.
  However I don't know anyone that used it back in the "Bad days"
  (ca. 1995) and still uses it today and can thus comment on the
  differences/improvements.

Re: Write portably

  I'm definitely aware of this.  My code right now is happily
  portable between 32 and 64-bit architectures; Windows and Unix/OS
  X; little vs. big-endian; Win32 threading vs. pthreads; and my 3D
  client code runs on OpenGL and DirectX (and should port to MacOS
  and OS X very easily).  The issue isn't one of development, but
  deployment.

  In general, my development platform and deployment platform should
  be fairly uncoupled.  Sure, there might be some system specific
  stuff that could bog, but I'm confident that by sticking with the
  standard subset of features (BSD sockets + pthreads) that I should
  be fairly safe.  And the server itself is not going to be a GUI
  app (administration will likely be through an SSH connection
  possibly with output piped on the administrator's side to a GUI
  app running on OS X).

Re: Use what your admins/programmers are comfortable with

  In general, this is sound advice, but any admins hired are going
  to have to be flexible.  The business case is going to have to win
  out over the personal preference of individual administrators,
  since it's doubtful they'll even have a consensus.  I don't like
  hiring people with religious preferences on anything (coders,
  artists, designers or admins).  There's nothing more aggravating
  than having one guy using Emacs, another using vi, and another
  using MSDEV Studio and no one can settle on tab size or "tabs
  vs. spaces".  And, of course, the one guy that hates Language X
  and refuses to use it and thus writes his own "conversion" API
  between his personal coding sandbox and the rest of the code base.

  I also don't want to use a non-ideal solution simply because it's
  the comfortable T-shirt that no one wants to throw away, and
  that's the trap you can fall into when you use the "let's use what
  we've used before" approach.  Obsolescence through complacency.
  I'm far more comfortable dealing with Win2K as a server, but I'm
  not going to let that force me into using it (as close to a slam
  dunk "loser" as you'll get in server arguments).  Not to mention
  the hideous cost, which weighs on you as a startup.

Re: OS X

  For those that don't know, OS X is basically the open source
  Darwin kernel with a nice GUI on top.  I like Aqua and OS X quite
  a bit, and it does ship with development tools (at least the
  retail box does).  These include ProjectBuilder, InterfaceBuilder,
  gcc, gdb, etc.  VERY nice development tools, if not the best in
  the world (if you include AppKit, CoreFoundation, and Cocoa).  OS
  X lets you open a tcsh terminal if you'd like, and has the
  standard BSD tools you'd expect on any good Unix.  It's my primary
  "Unixish" development platform.  Ideally I can develop on it and
  then just recompile and go on my cheap x86 Unix clone of choice
  when it's time to deploy.

Thanks,

Brian

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