The 90 Percent

So here’s the thing: I find myself gravitating more and more towards doing my day-to-day computing on Windows machines. Because, frankly, life has gotten too short for me to battle whatever atrocity some desktop developer has decided to impose on me this week in the name of “better usability.” The fact I can do things like “do a day’s note-taking at LCA on a cheap Windows tablet with a full GNU toolchain and a bluetooth keyboard” is an extra bonus, and something I certainly can’t do (without a lot of pain) in the Linux world.

What’s interesting is how it has influenced my choice in tools. It’s not the GUIs, though. In fact, the appearance of cmder and msys21 and PowerShell and the like are what makes Windows a useable choice; no, instead the tooling it’s pushing me towards is command line stuff that doesn’t treat Windows like a pariah. So, for example, pretty much anything that depends heavily on Ruby or Perl is right out; pelican and Mercurial are lot easier and more pleasant to use on Windows than other options not just because of how Mercurial works, but because the Python world is much less indifferent (or actively hostile towards) Windows.

Even more emphatically, software written in Go is trivial to use and deploy on Windows, just as it is in the Linux world. That makes it hugely preferred to me - for many tools, Go is actually closer to “write once, run anywhere” than previous efforts at the same ever got.

  1. Complete with pacman, no less!