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#1 2008-02-15 19:00:34

supersako
Member
Registered: 2007-11-08
Posts: 9

Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

Hello Everyone,

I would like to first say I do not intend to start a flame war and am in a situation where I just can't make up my mind, and have to do so fast as I have many deadlines to meet. I came from a windows programming environment mainly using text editors such as TextPad. I have been using archlinux for a couple months and decided to switch to it as my main OS (no windows install except on my brothers/parents desktop). I have tried KDEmod, Gnome, XFCE... and I cannot make up my mind on which DE to use. I am looking for something that I can customize (i like eyecandy to give all my friends linux envy) but I am looking for which DE is the most programmer friendly. Now I do not mind doing most of my work from the command line so that should not be an issue. Just want to know what all the other programmers using archlinux have setup as their main DE and which tools are used for programming... maybe a link to a screenshot of your desktop as well if you have one available..

FYI: I am learning some advanced OOP C++ at school right so I will be mostly programming in the following languages for work/school:

-C++
-Java
-Python
-xhtml,css,javascript,ajax
-php & mysql

Thanks,

   supersako

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#2 2008-02-15 19:58:51

F
Member
Registered: 2006-10-09
Posts: 322

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

What? You being a programmer shouldn't have any effect on your DE. Its not like some DE's favor certain languages over another (unless of course you plan on coding for the DE itself, which is entirely a different issue).

Anyways, as a programmer myself (although again, this is irrelevant), I definitely recommend dwm.
And as my personal weapon-of-choice (read: editor): vim

Enjoy.

Last edited by F (2008-02-15 20:00:27)

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#3 2008-02-15 20:03:48

buttons
Member
From: NJ, USA
Registered: 2007-08-04
Posts: 618

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

F wrote:

What? You being a programmer shouldn't have any effect on your DE. Its not like some DE's favor certain languages over another (unless of course you plan on coding for the DE itself, which is entirely a different issue).

Anyways, as a programmer myself (although again, this is irrelevant), I definitely recommend dwm.
And as my personal weapon-of-choice (read: editor): vim

Enjoy.

+1

I recommend xmonad, as well.  Really, any tiling window manager is a good choice for coding.

It's not going to impress your friends...unless they're programmers.

Also, vim is terrific.


Cthulhu For President!

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#4 2008-02-15 21:00:58

supersako
Member
Registered: 2007-11-08
Posts: 9

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

hey thanks for the quick responses guys, I think your right I should be going after usability and productivity more than eyecandy. Plus, I could just have kdemod loaded with compiz and such for when I want to show someone what linux can do and just use dwm for coding and when i want to get stuff done ;P Thats the whole point of using linux is the flexibility and choices.. thanks for your tips F and buttons..

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#5 2008-02-15 21:52:56

jbromley
Member
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2007-02-04
Posts: 268

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

I'm also in agreement with F. The DE you use will not have a great impact on your development. Here are some things that I think will:

* A DE/window manager with good keyboard shortcuts. Every time you have to move your hand from the keyboard to the mouse is time lost. I like XMonad.
* A good programming font. You want something that will still look crisp at 4 a.m. after 12 hours of coding. I like Terminus font - it's a nice clear bitmap font. For me anti-aliased fonts don't cut it for long-term viewing. Of course this is completely subjective - just get yourself what makes your eyes not fatigue during long sessions.
* A nice, calm color theme for your editor/terminals. Again, this is to avoid eye fatigue. I like a variation on the zenburn theme. (Google it, you'll find it for a number of software packages.)
* A wide monitor, or better yet two monitors. It's great to be able to have two full windows open side-by-side. It greatly facilitates reading code/documentation, using a debugger while debugging, etc. I've got a 1920x1200 laptop and it is far superior to the 1440x1050 I used to work on.
* An editor you know intimately and can extend. Doesn't matter if it's emacs (my favorite) or vim or something else. Be sure you take advantage of available plugins/extensions to integrate your development tasks into your editor as much as possible.
* A window manager/DE with few customization options. This way you don't waste time futzing around with your theme and other non-essential configuration. I'm only half joking about this one. wink

Well, that's about it off of the top of my head.
Good luck,
j

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#6 2008-02-15 22:11:23

Abadaar
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2006-11-10
Posts: 28

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

I do some programming in C++, C, Python, Java, PHP mostly and I switch between these 2 modes:
-Normal text editors (such as nano and sometimes Gedit) plus a few terminals

-Eclipse with CDT for C, C++, Pydev for Python and JDT for Java
(there is also some PHP thingy for Eclipse but I don't like it)

Java is the only language that I develop only in Eclipse.

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#7 2008-02-15 22:51:51

peets
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2007-01-11
Posts: 936
Website

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

what jbromley said.

But,

I don't find a large monitor or many of them is all that useful. Multiple workspaces / virtual desktops or whatever they're called do the job very well. Plus, if your keybindings make sense, it will be faster to switch workspaces than to turn your head to the other [half of the] screen. I can't see the whole screen at once, and I can only read a very small portion of it at once. I've never encountered a situation where I needed to look at more than two applications' output at the same time -- two windows will fit on any size screen.

So save your bucks! Don't buy that third 32'' screen! Get a DE/WM which will let you smoothly switch focus from one window to the other and from one workspace to the other (I mean, try to find something better than alt+tab). And you won't have to even know xinerama exists.

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#8 2008-02-16 01:17:02

venox
Member
From: Curitiba, Brazil
Registered: 2003-08-23
Posts: 137
Website

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

buttons wrote:

I recommend xmonad, as well.  Really, any tiling window manager is a good choice for coding.

It's not going to impress your friends...unless they're programmers.

Also, vim is terrific.

+1

xmonad and vim ftw!
BTW, if your friends are non-programmers, they're gonna think you're retarded or something.

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#9 2008-02-16 01:29:53

pauldonnelly
Member
Registered: 2006-06-19
Posts: 776

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

peets wrote:

I don't find a large monitor or many of them is all that useful. Multiple workspaces / virtual desktops or whatever they're called do the job very well.

I also find that a lot of screen space isn't hugely helpful. Very rarely do I need to see the whole contents of some window while typing in another. I don't even find virtual desktops especially helpful in this regard. I like to have a spare virtual desktop so that I can "page stuff out"  (such as my buddy list or a Bittorrent client) without cluttering my list of minimized windows, but other than that it doesn't get much use. Most of programming is either reading docs or writing code, and neither of those needs constant reference to anything.

I may be atypical though, since I'm not obsessed with keyboard shortcuts and am not currently using a tiling WM (although they are nice in some ways).

But a big "+1" to a relaxing color scheme.

The only thing I look for in my desktop is that it doesn't put a bunch of distracting junk on the screen (task bars, title bars, icons, and such), so I can focus on my code. In fact, I think I'll trim down my Conky display now.

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#10 2008-02-16 03:21:37

exiguous
Member
Registered: 2007-11-11
Posts: 44

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

I'm using Openbox right now.

- excellent documentation
- highly configurable
- easy to configure key bindings (so you can limit or eliminate your mouse usage)
- can make it look very nice if you want that

The only problem with it is that you'll probably spend time customizing Openbox when you should be working on your coding projects (as mentioned above). It is a risk.

vim is great. You might want to check out gvim as well.

I like to use a solid colour for the desktop background (grey35). I find pictures and patterns distracting and I'm not a fan of maximizing everything.

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#11 2008-02-16 05:27:38

blu3ness
Member
From: Edmonton, Canada
Registered: 2007-12-28
Posts: 169

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

I'm by no means a professional programmer, so I focus a lot of my attention on aesthetics of the DE I used, like you, I've used gnome, KDE, xfce. But I'm currently using openbox. It's alright, by no means superb, but it gets the job done pretty well, that's enough for me. I like being able to configure it to the way I want it to be, combined with conky, it actually increases my productivity quite a bit, I find myself very efficient working in openbox, so I'm sticking with it. Now, I have heard great things about tiling windows managers, but I have stayed away from them, just so I don't scare my other friends that think I'm using a 386 or something (I have archlinux on my laptop). So yeah, if you are uncomfortable with KDE or Gnome, definitely try out fluxbox/openbox. It works well.


On a note of editors, if you are just coming from windows, you should probably use gedit or kate to get started, but of course, the ultimate editors are Emacs and Vim, by the time you are familiar with those, you'll never look back. I initially used emacs, but I'm currently using Vim, I think both has their advantages, but I prefer vim. smile


Archlinux on Compaq Presario v5000 laptop smile

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#12 2008-02-16 14:50:54

jacko
Member
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 840

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

On a note of editors, if you are just coming from windows, you should probably use gedit or kate to get started, but of course, the ultimate editors are Emacs and Vim, by the time you are familiar with those, you'll never look back. I initially used emacs, but I'm currently using Vim, I think both has their advantages, but I prefer vim.

how is 'esc' ':w' ':q' quicker then 'ctrl+s', name one special feature of vim that I would enjoy while using git? I am curious to hear your answer.

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#13 2008-02-16 15:37:42

eerok
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2005-03-20
Posts: 171

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

Meh, let's skip the holy wars.  I also used emacs for years and switched to vim.  The main reason is that I really disliked elisp.  They're both good editors, but everyone has their preference.


noobus in perpetuus

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#14 2008-02-16 16:40:39

finferflu
Forum Fellow
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 1,899
Website

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

I'm not a programmer, but Ratpoison was designed by programmers for programmers. It is aimed at avoiding any lack of concentration, being all keyboard driven. I am a long time user of Ratpoison, and apart from some issues with popup windows (you'll have similar issues with dwn/Xmonad from time to time as well), it's a pleasant experience. If you plan to use applications with few pop up windows (NOT Pidgin, for example tongue), such as text editors like Vim and Emacs, you'll be happy.


Have you Syued today?
Free music for free people! | Earthlings

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- A. de Saint-Exupery

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#15 2008-02-16 19:12:14

coarseSand
Member
From: Ottawa, Canada
Registered: 2008-02-11
Posts: 203

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

jacko wrote:

how is 'esc' ':w' ':q' quicker then 'ctrl+s', name one special feature of vim that I would enjoy while using git? I am curious to hear your answer.

It isn't, because that's an ex command, not vi. You'd actually just do 'esc' 'ZZ'. Or more likely just 'ZZ' because you shouldn't be in insert mode anyways. Also, does C+s regularly quit your text editor? You might want to get that checked out.


vim? EMACS? Pssh, I code in Scribus.

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#16 2008-02-16 19:20:31

wuischke
Member
From: Suisse Romande
Registered: 2007-01-06
Posts: 630

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

Please...no emacs vs. vim here.

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#17 2008-02-16 20:03:59

coarseSand
Member
From: Ottawa, Canada
Registered: 2008-02-11
Posts: 203

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

Didn't intend to ignite the holy war again, I was just making the ex/vi correction when I noticed the C+s mistake. I should have added some emoticons to my post as it's really in jest, as I'm not that experienced a Linux user nor have I been using vi all that long (2-3 months). tongue

Getting back to the thread though, was using XFCE until today, now it's xmonad. If you want to make the best use of your screen space a tiling manager is your best choice; if you want things to be pretty (especially if you want to use it to try and convert windows users), go with a full DE, possibly w/Compiz, but be prepared for some hefty resource use. I just never saw any point in drawing fire on my screen. big_smile


vim? EMACS? Pssh, I code in Scribus.

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#18 2008-02-16 20:38:52

jacko
Member
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 840

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

Also, does C+s regularly quit your text editor? You might want to get that checked out.

you might wanna get your eyes checked out, I never said it did nor did I try and compare emacs to vim, you did that on your very own.

I was asking a ligament question and no one has yet to answer it.

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#19 2008-02-16 21:06:07

wuischke
Member
From: Suisse Romande
Registered: 2007-01-06
Posts: 630

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

I was asking a ligament question and no one has yet to answer it.

Take a look at the topic title and the first post. Does it say "how is 'esc' ':w' ':q' quicker then 'ctrl+s'" or does it mention either vim or emacs at all?
I beg you (very politely, English is not my mother tongue) to stop talking about this, when the topic is about desktop environments.

Coincidentally I switched to xmonad a couple of days before you asked this question. I'm currently learning Haskell (functional programming is imho very challenging) as well, so I'll soon start to hack it according to my needs. Before I was using OpenBox. I'm still using xcompmgr to get pretty transparency effects for my terminals.

I use geany, leafpad and in a terminal vim to write code.

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#20 2008-02-16 21:16:14

coarseSand
Member
From: Ottawa, Canada
Registered: 2008-02-11
Posts: 203

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

Apologies to everyone else, I couldn't find a way to PM jacko through the forums, largely because I'm new to the forums and there seems to be no way to do so.

jacko wrote:

how is 'esc' ':w' ':q' quicker then 'ctrl+s'

You did say that ctrl+s (a.k.a C+s) does the same thing as 'esc' ':w' ':q'.

':q' quits vi and vim. Leaving us to assume that you think ctrl+s saves and quits. My eyes are fine, it would seem.

As for the git question, hopefully someone does answer you as I'm looking at using a versioning system for my home folder, and if it has a vim-like interface I'm there big_smile (if that sounded dumb, I have no experience with SVN or CVS, so I have no idea how a versioning system works yet)


Edit: @wuischke: Geany is probably my favorite of the IDEs around. Have fun with learning Haskell; I already have enough things on my plate as it is. O_o

@supersavo: Ultimately your DE won't affect you if you want to stay out of tiling WMs. BUT YOUR IDE WILL. Before I got into vim I was using Geany for all of my coding work, and it's easily the best of the ones available. I tried SCiTE and scribus as well, but the best I found was Geany. It has tabbed files, folding, autocompletion for your HTML tags, and syntax highlighting (basically all the general stuff you'd want). It uses the GTK though, so for the DE you may want to avoid using KDE, but any of the other environments should be fine.

Last edited by coarseSand (2008-02-16 21:27:13)


vim? EMACS? Pssh, I code in Scribus.

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#21 2008-02-16 22:00:01

PJ
Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 602

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

coarseSand wrote:

I tried SCiTE and scribus as well, but the best I found was Geany.

scribus?? Did you really write code in scribus? roll

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#22 2008-02-16 22:32:00

eerok
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2005-03-20
Posts: 171

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

PJ wrote:
coarseSand wrote:

I tried SCiTE and scribus as well, but the best I found was Geany.

scribus?? Did you really write code in scribus? roll

I bet it fit very nicely on the page yikes


noobus in perpetuus

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#23 2008-02-16 22:44:58

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

jacko wrote:

how is 'esc' ':w' ':q' quicker then 'ctrl+s', name one special feature of vim that I would enjoy while using git? I am curious to hear your answer.

use Shift-Z-Z

Everyone: Please accept that different people have different ideas as to what is required, useful, or acceptable in an editor and in a window manager.

I personally use vim, a couple of terminals, and pekwm. I recently added a 22" monitor to my 12" laptop and find I need only two virtual desktops instead of one, and that my productivity has increased so much I'm considering increasing my fee.

To the OP: You really have to try different things until you find something that suits your preferred workflow. I still change my tools on a regular basis because what I have isn't quite ideal. I've coded in gnome and gedit, eclipse, tried writing my own text editor in python, tried emacs, tried most of the DEs out there, and this is what I use now. Its probably not what I will be using in five months. As a coder, you are probably also a tinkerer and will continue to try to improve your tools. You have seen a lot of suggestions here and will see a few more, most of them don't resemble the workflow you seem to be used to, but they may improve your productivity.. or they may slow you down or they might not have any effect at all.

Dusty

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#24 2008-02-17 00:47:01

blu3ness
Member
From: Edmonton, Canada
Registered: 2007-12-28
Posts: 169

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

I agree with Dusty, you should definitely try out the editors yourselves, other people's opinions are helpful but they are always biased smile

But for myself, I like Vim for the following reasons:
1. Universal, vim is everywhere, bsd, linux, mac, windows, you name it, even I spend most of my time on my laptop, I often find myself in a computer lab or SSHed to somebody else's machine, being familiar with vim helps a lot. I also carry portable gVim in my USB stick, so it goes with me everywhere I go.
2. Neat little shortcuts, I don't have to move my mouse when I'm writing code, my hands are always on the home row, very comfortable combined with an ergonomic keyboard.
3. Keyword completion with ^P, especially nice with all the function and variable keywords. Also helps you catch typos.
4. A lot of extensions, latex-suite, ruby on rails make vim really flexible.

my .02, gl tongue


Archlinux on Compaq Presario v5000 laptop smile

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#25 2008-02-17 02:33:22

buttons
Member
From: NJ, USA
Registered: 2007-08-04
Posts: 618

Re: Programmer here.. can't decide which DE to use.. HELP! :(

Taking a step back, your answer is really in the flow of conversation here.

(counts are rough)
Replies dealing with DE/WMs: 6
Replies dealing with choice of text editor: 22

Your DE/WM is the one with the nicest way to look at your text editor.  Whichever one that happens to be.


Cthulhu For President!

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