Experience with IDEA on Mac OSX?

I need to buy a Mac so I can develop iOS software... And in that process I was wondering if I should just buy a Mac that I can develop iOS apps on or if I at the same time should spec my Mac so I can do my Java development there also... So just wondering how well IDEA and Java behaves when running under Mac OSX? And how well this works compared to my Linux system I am using today?


Regards,

BTJ

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I've done Java development for many years, on Linux, on Windows and on OS/X.  I much preferred Linux to Windows for development. Windows is a painful environment that has a lousy command-line. OS/X, for me, is a better Unix then Linux was. I've got a full shell, excellent terminal clients and a GUI environment that "just works". I don't mess around with Linux drivers or get annoyed that special keys don't work. And I don't have to deal with annoying Windows idiocies like locked log files.

The biggest transition issue for me was the different keyboard. OS/X uses command-C and command-V for copy and paste and has very different standard key chords for applications. I initially tried to swim against the current and map keys to what I expected but found it wasn't worth it. A nice benefit is that copy and paste work in terminal windows "as-is", unlike control-C.

I also found that using a GUI environment on the Mac is much more keyboard friendly then I expected - definitely more so then Windows was. Given my original biases against Macs I expected them to only work with a mouse. Not at all the case. Especially if you add one of the application launchers like Albert, Quicksilver or Launchbar. Linux even adopted a Quicksilver clone. I also found that, thanks to AppleScript, GUI apps tend to be much more automateable then in Linux or Windows.

It's not all pros of course. For the longest time Windows was the only first-class Java client. Linux moved into a close second but the Mac was a distant third. It's still not at 100% parity and won't be until the remaining known (small) gaps in Java 7 on OS/X are filled by Oracle. And if you need to develop against anything before Java 6, you're out of luck - Apple is notorious for killing off support for older versions. OS/X also doesn't have the package management that Linux does. Homebrew is a very nice package manager but it doesn't have the depth of apt's or yum's repositories. In addition, software that you might expect to get for free on Linux will cost you money on OS/X.

As another pro, software on OS/X tends to be of higher quality then on either Linux or Windows. It looks better and is easier to use. When you fire up something like Inkscape on OS/X (which works just fine) it's glaring how much uglier and "non-standard" it feels.

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Thanks for your input... Guess I have to start getting used to using a Mac... Never liked Apple but guess I have to try and ignore Apple and see how Mac OSX works... :)


BTJ

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Yes, technical politics are completely separate from user experience. If it makes you feel any better about yourself, just focus on their open source work with LLVM and Clang. :-)

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I'll try to foxus on that... :)

BTJ

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At work I use IDEA with Windows and I have a Mac at home. The default IDEA keybindings on Windows and Mac are so much different that I tend to use the mouse in IDEA at home much more than at work.

So I learnt that IDEA is efficient to use but don't use it under different platforms.

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IntelliJ works great on a Mac. I have been using a Mac exclusively for Java development for about 4-5 years. The key bindings on a Mac are a little different. Mostly just use command instead of ctrl but there are a few bindings that are different due to conflicts with the OS keyboard shortcuts. I usually change the OS key board shortcuts in System Preferences so they don't interfer with IntelliJ's.

I used IntelliJ on Ubuntu Linux prior to getting a Mac and IMHO the Mac provides a much less frustrating experience.

In another response someone said you can't develop in versions of Java prior to 1.6 and that simply isn't true. You can install Java 1.5 under Lion just fine.

There is a bash script out there that will do it for you which you can get from this page, which isn't in english, but google translate handles it nicely:

http://blog.arkey.fr/2011/08/22/script-pour-installer-le-jdk-5-sur-macosx-lion/

Translated link:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.arkey.fr%2F2011%2F08%2F22%2Fscript-pour-installer-le-jdk-5-sur-macosx-lion%2F&act=url

Also remember that Jetbrains has their AppCode application which is an Obj-C IDE. As nice as Apple's user software is the editor in XCode is simply horrible.

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