Trying to complete move to Mac from PC

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mork, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Mork macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009

    I have a new mac book pro and it's a great machine. NO CRASHES!!!! :)

    I am, however, having a few conversion "difficulties"....

    As a software developer, I've been able to mostly find the same tools (for example, Eclipse) or nearly the same tools as were available on the PC...with a few (very) important exceptions.

    The tools I've not been able to replace (so far...) include:

    1. "File Locator Pro". The best search tool I've ever used. Period. No mac equivalent that I've found.

    2. "Beyond Compare" (file comparison tool for developers). No real mac competitor that I've found.

    I do have VM Fusion installed so I can still "use" these tools. However, these tools run in the Windows VM, not on the Mac so they're not useful any longer when doing software development on the Mac. Plus, who wants to switch back and forth anyway?

    These two tools are almost important enough where I'd have a XP Pro box that I'd really do most of my development on and leave the Mac for, well, . I'm surprised that the developer market isn't as full on the mac as on the PC (at least this is what I've observed so far).

    Are there suitable replacements for these tools that anyone knows of?

    I look forward to anyone's reply.



    P.S. I've also noticed that in Thunderbird for the Mac (minor, but annoying nit), it's not always easy to tell which email account a new message is in vs. Windows where it's always obvious...
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    1. Spotlight.
    2. Comparison? GrandPerspective, maybe?
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    For where I sit, it appears that you are trying to convert from a Windows computer to develop software for Windows to a Mac to develop software for Windows. Am I missing something?

    Xcode is one of the finest development environments in existence. It is available only on the Mac. You have it on your Mac or on the Software Restore disc that shipped with it.
  4. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    Interesting perspective

    Actually, no, I'm not trying to write software for a PC for a Mac for a PC, or whatever you were getting at. <s>

    Turns out that the PC has some excellent available tools that would help any software developer for any platform (like the Mac). Writing Java code is platform agnostic, so the only thing in common writing code for all the platforms to me is the tool set I use. The code itself is the same.

    Since I would like to develop on the mac exclusively, it would be nice if I could use (or find) similar quality tools as exist on the PC.

    Of course, some software/tools (like the O/S, for one major thing!) on the Mac are better than on the PC, no question. No crashes (so far) on the Mac. Windows gets more and more unstable the more you use it. With DLL Hell and the "Registry", Windows, IMHO, is a vastly inferior design to OS X or Linux. Windows 7? Oh boy! (More of the same...)

    Regarding the tools we use for software development ...

    It's kind of like saying that you want to, instead of repairing cars, you now want to repair motorcycles (pardon the rough analogy). You'd still want to be able to use all the tools you know, right? What if you still had to make sure a bolt had to be a certain tightness but on motorcycles no torque wrench existed?

    It doesn't appear that some of these tools yet exist for the Mac (like the ones I listed, but also the Snagit screen capture tool is another favorite I miss enough to do any type of real document creating on the PC).

    If you check out File Locator Pro (assuming you're a software developer), you can see what I mean. it's much much more than a file "finder".

    I can more or less "diff" software using Eclilpse, but "Beyond Compare" is the best tool out there (IMHO).

    I'll keep looking, but may end up just using the Mac for email and Web, unfortunately (or sell it). I've only had the Mac for a couple weeks so maybe I'm being overly pessimistic.

    For now, I've got to keep that XP machine hummin too for my software development work and document creating (using Snagit, etc.).


    - M
  5. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Re: #2, I think Mork means a program like FileMerge (included with xcode).

    Mork: after installing OS X Dev Tools, search for "FileMerge" (found instantly with spotlight)
  6. mcavjame macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    phased to this universe
    I think you'll find as you use the mac more you'll discover tools that benefit you.

    One thing you asked for was snagit for screen grabs for documenting. OS X has a couple ways of doing/managing screen grabs. The first is grab app in the utilities folder. The second are hot keys command shift 4 brings up a cross hair that allows you to select a portion of the screen, then places that image as a file on your desktop. command shift control 4 is a variant of this that places the captured area to the clipboard. There are third party apps like SnapZ Pro X. It has the added benefit of capturing video of a session.
  7. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Interesting to note btw that the solutions we have discussed so far to these Windows 3rd party apps on OS X are high quality and part of OS X.

    Without downloading some third party screenshot application, for example, for Windows, the built-in way is to take highly inefficient bitmaps. A few times when asking for a screenshot from a Windows user, I have gotten a multi-megabyte MS Word file with a bitmap embedded in it. Laughable man! :D
  8. ungana macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio

    I too am a developer moving (back) to Mac from the PC.

    I had a hard time locating a replacement for Beyond Compare; however I found an app called DiffMerge that isn't too bad (it's free too):

    Some people have recommended an app called "Changes" as well (but it doesn't really compare to Beyond Compare):

    This app looks pretty nice; but the cost really keeps me from trying it out (this one costs a lot more than any other I've come across):

    There is also a difference tool in TextWrangler (free), but I haven't had a chance to check it out.

    I wouldn't really bother trying out FileMerge. It's pretty bad in my opinion.

    I'm not a Java developer, but I've heard pretty good things about IntelliJ on the Mac side. You might want to try it out.

    As far as a replacement for File Locator Pro. You might try Google Desktop. I tried it out a long time ago on the PC, and it seem to index everything.

    I've found though that the built in search works pretty well once everything has been indexed. It seems to have indexed all my code, and if I search for a method name from spotlight, it'll bring back all the appropriate files.

    I've found this to be a pretty good resource for getting started finding developer tools: Even if the tool listed won't work for you, you can normally do a search for it and find a thread somewhere with someone giving some alternatives too it. You might find the appropriate tool then.

    I hope this helps =)
  9. chrisbraddock macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2010
    Almost two years after your post and I have the same two deficiencies finalizing my transition from Win to Mac.

    So, what did you end up settling for in the end with regards to these two needs?

    I feel your pain including understanding that the recommendations for Spotlight/FileMerge aren't giving the functionality we're used to with the above two apps.

    I tested DeltaWalker for diff/merge but its no Beyond Compare (although they're promising improvements).

    I've been able to get Beyond Compare running with Winebottler but this is still way far from ideal. Nothing yet for FLP so typically I'll jump to the console and find/grep.
  10. bohemier macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2010
    Hello chrisbraddock. Would you tell us how you got Beyond Compare to run in WineBottler ? Which previx did you use as template? I can't make it work...

  11. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    I found another great program, Deltawalker, that in some ways I think is even better than Beyond Compare. In any case, it's working for me fine.

    Regarding File Locator Pro, I've been told by that company that they are now "planning" a Mac version. Whether that means next month or next year or later I have no idea.

    For finding stuff, although FLP is amazing, I use a Spotlight add-on called "DataLore". It, unlike Spotlight, looks everywhere on your drive. When spotlight can't find something, DataLore has never let me down.

    Now, if FLP makes it to the Mac, that would be awesome.

    Hope this helps. :)

    -- M
  12. chrisbraddock macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2010
    Mmm, sorry I do not remember. I just used one of the default ones though - I do know that much.

    I've since moved to Araxis Merge.

    The UltraEdit guys are supposedly also working on UltraCompare for Mac.

    EasyFind is thus far my File Locator Pro replacement.

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