Unity vs Gnome

A long time ago I gave up on the idea of meticulously customizing my computer. Perhaps it's because I've installed, utilized and reconfigured more than one, or because I was really getting into programming. Or maybe it's just too much work. Over time, I've found it's sometimes simplest to just reformat a system.

I've been using Ubuntu as my main environment on my PCs for awhile now, and I've just stuck with the standard distribution. Recently, I tried out Gnome 3, which has been heavily criticized. I'm not sure why. Gnome 3 gives you maximum desktop space, an easy to use launcher and window manager and almost endless customization. What makes this type of customization different? It's the plugins! Installing "Gnome Extensions" is as easy as could be, the process is similar to a Chrome app or Firefox plugin.

 

Coding in Ubuntu

I tend to make a big deal about opensource. I presented on it at PodCamp London, I develop in Android and PHP using MySQL, Apache and other open tools. I clearly talk about it constantly seeing that a friend from my lodge bought me a Linux Fish car decal. So, obviously my development environment is built on opensource.

What is Oneiric Ocelot?

Each version of Ubuntu gets better and better. I wouldn't put it on par with latest offerings from Apple and Microsoft but it's pretty damn close. While at first I resisted Ubuntu's switch to Unity, I recently decided to embrace it. Personally, my experience with the upgrade didn't have the best results and others have reported the same, so be wary. So, I backed up my files and formatted my Ubuntu partition (I still keep the VistaHome partition that came with the PC, just in case). I haven't had Ubuntu upgrade problems in years, and hopefully this doesn't happen again.

Web Development Server

A few steps need to be taken to set up your Ubuntu machine for web development. You need to install apache2, mysql and php.

Website Development Tools

Geany is my top choice for php and other web development. It provides tab-based documents and syntax-highlighting.

For MySQL development, I use the MySQL Query Browser and MySQL Administrator GUI apps, which can be easily installed via the Software Center. Personally, I prefer these two separate tools over MySQL Workbench. However, if you prefer Workbench, you can download it here.

Android Development

Eclipse has become the preferred tool for Android development. Google provides very straightforward instructions on how to set up the development environment. The key here is to resist installing Eclipse from a repository; instead, download Eclipse Classic directly from the Eclipse website.