PC web developer wants advice for going mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sfkhooper, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. sfkhooper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    Geelong, Australia
    #1
    I find myself in a very strange position. I've been programming on PC's for 20 years but now I want to go mac and don't know where to start.

    My core business is developing websites and web based applications using MS Visual Studio. Most sites have some kind of database component which are developed using MS SQL Server and ASP/VB.Net, plus of course the usual html/javascript/css/flash elements.

    What I want to know is what software can I use to do all this on a mac? I'm pretty sure I'm goig to need PHP/MySQL to replace .Net/MS-SQL, would most people agree with this? But I very much like working within IDE's, preferably with a good debugger. What are the choices out there?

    Also, with regards AJAX in websites, I've been using a third party suite of controls called DevExpress for the last couple of years which I absolutely love. Are similar web-control suites available for mac-based web development? If so, does the choice depend on the ide or language you run with?

    All of our graphic design work is done using Adobe CS4, so I don't think we'll have a problem going over to mac regards that, it's just the code and ide side I'm a bit clueless on.

    Any suggestions or pointers will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    First, I'd point you to the Web Design and Development forum here. Check out the stickies in that forum as many software have been recommended.

    I believe you can use MSSQL with PHP, you just may have to build PHP yourself with the right modules. I've seen a few threads about it here. As for .Net, check out Mono, it may provide some assistance when you need to work with some .Net code. It's not quite the same, but it's at least an option. You'll want to get comfortable with PHP/MySQL though to be able to do more though.

    For IDE, that's all about personal preference. For total IDE, NetBeans is a good option. I personally use BBEdit for my coding as I just like a good text editor in front of me. Check the stickies in the forum link I gave above for other text editors and IDEs.
     
  3. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #3
    I would go with GWT for development, PostgreSQL for the database, and IntelliJ Idea for IDE.

    Another option is Ruby on Rails, same db, same IDE or JetBrains RubyMine.
     
  4. sfkhooper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    Geelong, Australia
    #4
    Is Coda worth a look? I watched a couple of video reviews tonight and it looks pretty cool
     
  5. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    It has gotten good reviews from members here. It's not my style, but everyone has their own needs from a program.
     
  6. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #6
    IntelliJ is a damn good IDE IMO....I use it on Windows as well as on SL...
     
  7. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #7

    If your core business is built around Microsoft, you are basically wanting to commit financial suicide by switching to the Mac. When Visual Studio is your core tool, moving to OS X doesn't make any sense. AT ALL. Except for kicking you out of business over night.

    Yes, PHP and MySQL are viable tools for web related development. But you do not know them at all and it will take you a long time to master them by not giving you much benefit in return. It's just a different tool set for the same problem. In your case, and if you're really serious about seeing this through, I'd rather give Mono, MonoDevelop and MySQL (with the .NET bindings) a very thorough look.

    Unless you come up with a real business case for switching the platform, I'd say stop wasting your time (and burning your money) thinking about it.
     
  8. sfkhooper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    Geelong, Australia
    #8
    Perhaps I should point out that this is not a mere whimsy but something we have been considering for some time. Additionally, we have skills in PHP and MySql. There is no way I would expect to be able to run my business and develop with completely foreign languages.
     
  9. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #9
    So why do you want to switch exactly? Winni's points do make an awful lot of sense.
     
  10. sfkhooper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    Geelong, Australia
    #10
    With the greatest of respect to those offering helpful information, they "why's" of this exercise are many, but ultimately irrelevant to the original post.

    I am attracted to Coda because of the intergation with SVN and the live collaboration which would particularly suite our style of developing, especially between development and design staff who often work together. I think we'll download the trial and work through a mock project that encompasses most standard-project elements.

    InteliJ looks like a fine development tool, but I don't see support for PHP. I think this can be said of NetBeans also, yes? They're both Java development tools. Resorting to Java to develop? Now that would be financial suicide for us! :)

    GWT? Google Web Toolkit doesn't seem to be directed toward the sorts of projects we work on. We're a commercial web design company that specialise in custom design corporate presence and ecommerce sites.

    Ruby Mine looks promising, although there would be a learning curve with Ruby. That can wait until the dust settles from our mac transition.

    Can I just say to the naysayers - never be afraid to course. Twenty years ago when I started out in the industry I do remember being quite nervous about new technologies and languages, especially if I needed to adopt them for a commercial project (say, as a contractor for instance). But I learnt many years ago that I have an ability to adapt extremely quickly and that has given me the freedom dive into the unfamiliar; an attitude that has brought me a great deal of satisfaction both personally and professionally.

    Embrace change!
     
  11. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #11
    A bit off the topic...but why would developing in Java be financial suicide? Just curious...
     
  12. sfkhooper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    Geelong, Australia
    #12
    Somone else suggested that switching to mac from ms would be financial suicide, which I have rebuked. somebody else suggested I look at Java, which I don't know Java at all, so I would be dead in the water with it. I mean no disrespect to the language or those that use it.

    Crikey! It seems quite difficult to remain on-topic in this forum. Or is it just this post?
     
  13. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #13
    That's fair enough but the quality of the answers will, of course, suffer.

    IntelliJ Idea actually has PHP support via a PHP plugin, but I don't know how good it is. Idea is mainly for Java development, although it is quite capable for some other languages as well. I also use it for Ruby and Scala.

    JetBrains have also made a dedicated PHP IDE called PHPStorm, which has a free trial. A colleague of mine says that it is a good product but I haven't used it myself. I try to avoid PHP if at all possible :)

    SVN is a good SCM, although personally I prefer Git. At work, I use Git as a frontend to SVN (Git supports this out of the box) and at home I use pure Git. To be a bit more blunt, SVN sucks less than CVS (I basically was primus motor on switching my department from CVS to SVN) but SVN still sucks. Git is the only SCM I've used that doesn't suck. PHPStorm supports SVN and Git natively.

    With regard to Coda, the design looks nice but after having checked out the features they present on the site and some of the screen casts, I'm not too impressed. I haven't tried it, but it seems to be missing error checking in PHP code on the fly, intelligent refactoring tools, unit testing support, visual SCM support (such as a visual diff editor), and a built in debugger. Again, some of these features might be present but check out http://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/ for a comparison. With PHPStorm, you would also get the benefit of full JavaScript support. Here's a review: http://blog.naenius.com/2010/05/phpstorm-a-true-delight-to-work-with/

    If you're really set on PHP I would recommend trying both Coda and PHPStorm.

    With GWT you program in Java which is then compiled to JavaScript. I don't see why it would not fit your purposes but if you would rather not use an unfamiliar language, GWT is, of course, out of the question. I've looked a GWT extensively, and are currently trying to convince my department to switch from Struts (which is horribly dated). However, we're a Java shop.

    If it were me, I would get the development platform settled first, and then switch OS if it made sense. Going from VB to PHP to Ruby seems like a really bad idea. In addition, Ruby (and RoR) will probably be as unfamiliar to you as Java. It don't really understand your argument. Either you want to change to a familiar language which apparently is PHP for your company. Otherwise, you want to change to a more sensible language but if this is the case you should take a more in depth look at Java, C# or Ruby before you make the decision to go with PHP.

    Change is sometimes good but not just for the sake of change. I only have a few years in the industry but I've actually grown slightly more conservative. I have been able to make some changes to the way my department develops software (they're much more conservative than I am) but I wouldn't dream of recommending a change unless the reasoning is sound. Any large change will cost more development time in the short run so there ought to be some significant long term benefits before it makes sense.

    On my own time, money and deadlines are less important and I dapple in lots of new languages and frameworks privately.
     
  14. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #14
    Just a note Netbeans with PHP's Zend Framework is terrific for developing large applications.

    Netbeans as of 6.9 i would have to say is better than Zend Studio for working with PHP code and Zend Framework.
     
  15. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    NetBeans handles PHP just fine (including code completion), even JavaScript. Just make sure you download the version of NetBeans that has those pieces. I've used NetBeans for Java, PHP, JavaScript, and C++ and it does really well, just a bit bloated for my taste.
     

Share This Page