Hampton Lintorn Catlin
Hampton Catlin is the co-founder and CEO of Wordset, an online collaborative dictionary, and rarebit. He is also the inventor of Sass, Haml, and m.wikipedia.org . He's the founder of the libsass project and the author of "The Pragmatic Guide to Sass." He was formerly mobile lead at the Wikimedia Foundation and CTO of Moovweb, helping large companies build better interfaces.
Also, my husband, Michael Lintorn Catlin, has a blog you should checkout if you want to follow what we're up to, non-professionally.
Hell has Frozen
So, as many of you know, I’m all about OS choice in the Rails community. I very much dislike the conformity to the all-encompassing Throne of Apple. Anyhow, yesterday my PC broke and in a momentary decision I decided to give another try at Macs. I’ve already had 3 Macs (2 with OS X) and was generally disappointed with them. After that, I then moved on to Linux once I got bitten by the Unix bug. I have used Linux for the past 2 years as my primary development and home usage environment.
However, yesterday in my fit of rage at my loss of a harddrive, I decided to run down to the Apple store and buy myself another Mac to see if everything really had changed. Jeff and Lukas are always on about how Macs are perfect now and that I should try a newer version of the OS and how it changed their lives.
I figure, at best… they are right and this time it will click better with Rails development. Or, at worst, I have much more authority to bash Mac-worship. Besides, I’ve had a lot of my portfolio in Apple and it has done well for me (I bought it at $14 a share!). So, why not bump up their sales numbers to make me a little money back.
So, things have NOT gone smoothly. I was really hopeful about the whole “Rails installed” thing. I figured I could just drop my $4k+ and then I would be able to immediately develop. Nope!!!!
First, the computer did not come with Leopard installed. I had to use the upgrade DVD. So, I had to wait 2 hours at my desk while it installed the upgrade. And guess what… it failed! My machine was thus instantly busted. It said something about the hard drive failing.
You heard it here, I had TWO hard drives fail in one day. So, I went back to the Mac store where they wanted me to schedule an appointment for the next day to meet with a Genius… yes, I had purchased the computer 2 hours before and they wanted me to schedule help for the next day when I knew full well that the HD was bust (I had the error screen open for them). I had to put a bit of pressure on them, and finally the manager came and was willing to switch it out.
6 hours have gone since purchase. I get it up and running and it takes 2 more hours to do the upgrade again with my new machine (they had none with Leopard pre-installed). At least it worked this time. 8 hours.
I open up the console… Subversion is installed! Nice! I didn’t know that. Things are looking up. I check out one of my rails apps… awesome! Oh, but wait… no mysql support. Let me go through all of the posts and pages that I have had to go through to get this task done…
http://documentation.rubyonrails.com/2007/10/26/today-is-leopard-day http://www.garyharan.com/index.php/2007/12/11/installing-rmagick-gem-on-os-x-105-leopard/ http://hivelogic.com/narrative/articles/installing-mysql-on-mac-os-x http://darwinports.com/download/
Wait.. where is gcc…. wtf? I didn’t see any developer disk. More googling. Oh, GCC is on my DVD… well, that’s at home. Ok, so I assume I can just download the 100MB install of GCC and build etc, right? WHAT? No? I have to download 1.1GB of random apple tools if I want to compile anything. So, that’s 2 hours to download that before I can do anything.
Screw off. You’re kidding, right?
I just want to build a gem. Or like, install a database. Why is this hard?
On the plus side…. I’m very happy with OS X’s support for multiple monitors. I’m happy with having easy Wifi support. Those two are MUCH better than on Linux. However, let me show you the entire process of installing a fully working rails stack with mysql support and rmagick on Ubuntu.
- Roughly its this sudo apt-get install ruby-1.8 rubygems build-essential ruby-rmagick ruby-mysql sugo gem install rails mongrel merb -y
Done! That’s it. Nothing funky. No need to go read tons of blogs. And there is no excuse for Apple. This should be easy. I’m currently at 12 hours of trying to get a basic Rails app running… and I’m not really that close. I’ve had a fully day wasted now and I’m not really close.
This is not ok. There is no excuse for not having easy package management installed by default. Its fucking 2007. I’m not very happy right now. This OS is great for designers and noobs, but apparently Apple could give a shit about advanced users. I’m not saying there aren’t good things. There are…. but this is far from even being a decent Unix-style development environment.
Steve, take 2 minutes from your day of adding Wizzes, WIshes, Zooms, Fades, Plinks, Boinks, Slides and etc…. and put the 1 week of developer-time it would take to make this a solid environment. As a shareholder… please!