The tools you use


Signal vs Noise asked today to tell them The tools you use. Since I have a new environment, I thought I’d share it here instead.

I am on Windows. I know, not the best. But, with a little help from virtualization technology, it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’ll get the easy bits out:

A few days ago, I wanted to try Ubuntu, just for kicks. I downloaded Ubuntu Server, and installed it on VMware Server, a free virtualization product for Windows. After setting up, I wanted something to play with, so I copied a Rails application I’m working on at the moment. I ran my tests, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. My tests were running faster than if they were run on Windows.

So, I took out a wristwatch, and ran the tests on both sides. Yup, Virtual Linux was faster than Windows. By a good margin too: 25 seconds vs 7. That’s from hitting Enter after “rake test:units” until the command line is back again. Obviously, YMMV.

So, I installed Samba on Linux, setup a shared drive, and am now happily editing using the e Text Editor, while running my tests under Linux, and serve the application using Mongrel, on Linux.

So, my development environment is:

If you are on Windows, I really encourage you to try this. It was worth it for me.


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I am François Beausoleil, a Ruby on Rails and Scala developer. During the day, I work on Seevibes, a platform to measure social interactions related to TV shows. At night, I am interested many things. Read my biography.

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