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More Devs Now Use OS X Than Linux, Says Survey (9to5mac.com) 532

An anonymous reader writes from an article on 9to5Mac: Stack Overflow reports that more developers now use OS X than Linux as their primary OS, and that if the trend continues, fewer than half of all developers will be using Windows next year. The site says it carried out "the most comprehensive developer survey ever conducted," with more than 56,000 coders across 173 countries taking part.
The survey also mentioned more were still developing for Android than iOS -- 61.9% versus 47.5%. However, almost a third of developers are using Swift, which was also the second most loved language after Rust.
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More Devs Now Use OS X Than Linux, Says Survey

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  • i said, Windows is equivalent to the incandescent light bulb. Linux approximates the CFL, and OS X could be the LED.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      i said, Windows is equivalent to the incandescent light bulb. Linux approximates the CFL, and OS X could be the LED.

      Or people using Apple products are just full of themselves and think they can program.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by terjeber ( 856226 )

        or, OSX is the most useful implementation of Unix anywhere and at any time in history, from a users point of view.

        As a developer I was raised on SunOS (before it became Solaris). Unix is in my genes. However, both as a developer and outside of work, I use computers for other things than 'vi' and 'make', or 'emacs' and 'ant' or whatever silly thing you could think of. I use it for my images, for editing 4K video from my camera etc. Since Linux on the Desktop is never going to happen, and actual usable applic

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by s4m7 ( 519684 )

          You'd have to be a real masochist today to chose a Linux desktop over an OSX desktop for a Unix development experience.

          Never understood the OSX superiority complex. It's almost like you guys are overcompensating for something.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by terjeber ( 856226 )

            For the record, I have used Linux since 1993. I also used Minix back then on my home-grown BBS (you wouldn't know, you are too young). I had a short brush with Macs when I went to business school, but didn't own an OSX machine until I got a Macbook Pro a couple of years back. My personal web stuff is all on Linux on AWS. I am not an Apple fan boi by any stretch of the imagination.

            So, what makes OSX infinitely more usable than Linux? Two things, usability and apps. There are no usable apps for regular stuff

            • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Saturday March 19, 2016 @10:39AM (#51731109) Journal

              For the record, I have used Linux since 1993. I also used Minix back then on my home-grown BBS (you wouldn't know, you are too young).

              I know what you mean, going beyond tuning a solaris kernel with MAXUSERS or ATT unix, Interactive, coding C with vi on a hp700/44 serial terminal. Pretty much everything is a step up from that.

              I had a short brush with Macs when I went to business school, but didn't own an OSX machine until I got a Macbook Pro a couple of years back. My personal web stuff is all on Linux on AWS. I am not an Apple fan boi by any stretch of the imagination.

              I beleive you. I always though that 68000 mac hardware was better than PCs. Apple made less hardware back then, but they used the same stuff that was on the servers so it was rock solid. I loved it.

              So, what makes OSX infinitely more usable than Linux? Two things, usability and apps. There are no usable apps for regular stuff for Linux. Seriously. Show me an alternative to Photoshop, for example.

              I can't show you an alternative to Photoshop, except GIMP, but I haven't used it for a production so I can't speak to usability, I'm told it's very powerful. What I can speak to is Audio production in Linux is hands down where the innovation is occurring. Sure, Mac maybe more usable, but that's a poweruser issue, not an innovation issue. My observations about many Apple applications is that they let you get to a level of good productivity real fast with a fantastic user experience at the expense of sheilding you from the power of the machine and making innovation less accessible. Sure that lets you be creative, but nothing out of the ordinary.

              The usability paradigm in Linux attracts a different type of user. When I commit to an application I want to own the space and not be limited by the type of commercial imperatives that can alter my investment in learning, in that regard open source software is superior because sometimes the users also contribute to the code base. Obviously this does not exclude them from being a MAC user, that is the power of open source though.

              I think people are too scared to explore because of what the constantly changing Windows environment did to them. Apples brilliance was taking people out of that paradigm, who can fault that move. However Apple also missed out on the significant advances in the Power PC CPU architecture, as IBM received a massive cash inflow of development from Microsoft *and* Sony, so they weren't that smart moving to intel. I'm certain Intel would have been aware of their strategic position though, when making that deal.

              I'm curious about what languages you are developing in though, do you mind sharing?

              The sad reality is not that OSX folks have a superiority complex, they quite possibly do, the sad thing is that when you point out that OSX beats Linux on everything, Linux users are sooo insecure they have to lash out. Get over your self, get rid of Linux (on your desktop) and be happier.

              Wow, I would have said it was the other way around, I am just so damn comfortable in Linux that the UI is almost irrelevant. I have all the platforms in the house, including a powerbook for my wife. I thought that since Apple didn't have to pay for the use of an excellent O.S platform they could focus their effort on the UI - they did great job too, however I'm just not fond of how that UI context works, it's same reason I dumped Unity. Mac is more usable, but I feel limited, like the power of the machine is abstracted away from me. You're probably right but does my preference count? I don't care what others use, however is it ok for me to use Linux because I actually like the way it works and I'm happy with it? I am stupid for not using a MAC to code?

              Please don't take offence, I'm not criticizing devs who use Macs either, I'm actually interested what I can learn about if there are things better than what I do. I'm not convinced that it is a

            • by tsa ( 15680 )

              2016 will be the year of Linux off the desktop! Woot!

              But seriously, I switched to Mac for the same reason as you. I was sick of using crappy open source software for doing simple things in complicated ways. I gladly paid a few euros for some programs that were much much better than their open source equivalent.

        • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @11:37PM (#51729235)
          Wow.. even with the glitches I experience from time to time in my Linux desktop it still doesn't quite match the cheese grater to the testicles I feel when I use OSX. Like seriously, force people to mouse to the top of the screen every time they want to use a menu function?? The 80's are embarrassed they never caught on.
          • Give them time. You remember how long it took to accept a second button on the mouse, don't you?

        • OSX is basically a nice mix between Unix to make developers happy and enterprise software (ie, you can run Office which is almost mandatory for most corporations). Linux is nice too but it lacks a lot of stuff that the enterprise wants, or the developer who doesn't want to waste time micromanaging it.
          The Mac Book Pro, though expensive, is very nice to use. Probably some Apple patents around which is why other PC laptops have really clumsy touch pads.

        • I've been accused of Apple fanboi-isms and I'm not sure if I in even my "best" (or "worst", depends on where you stand) Apple fanboi days would be as condescending as you.

          I'm taking a programming course at the local university to update my skills. In this class we are to program a "robot" (it has motors and sensors but it's not much more than an RC toy) to do various tasks. We were offered use of the university computers, but those I cannot take home to work on, or bring our own. The instructor gave inst

      • i said, Windows is equivalent to the incandescent light bulb. Linux approximates the CFL, and OS X could be the LED.

        Or people using Apple products are just full of themselves and think they can program.

        I have nearly 4 decades of embedded developer experience, and the vast majority of that has been using Apple products.

        And why? Because with one computer, I could have my Dev. Tools, plus an entire Desktop Publishing chain for Documentation, and real MS Office for participating in the rest of the "business" stuff.

        And that was even back in the early 90s. Now the Mac is a even a more obvious choice for most Development work.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Wasn't MacOS supposed to have been "the desktop Unix" 10 or 15 years ago. Wasn't this supposed to have happened already rather than it just happening now?

      • Wasn't MacOS supposed to have been "the desktop Unix" 10 or 15 years ago. Wasn't this supposed to have happened already rather than it just happening now?

        OS X (not MacOS) IS "The Destop Unix", and has been so since 2000. That's SIXTEEN YEARS.

        Welcome to the party; sorry your invitation got lost in the mail...

  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @09:14PM (#51728599)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Slowly control is wrested from the beast.

    Computers are tools, I use the best one for the job. OSX is best for most development tasks. x86 is still cheap power.

    The masses are going to use tablets from now on, and that ship has sailed for MS.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @09:32PM (#51728697)
    For some definition of "developers" that is probably true. In this case, this is "people who use Stackoverflow and self-select in order to respond to survey questions". Their population is heavily biased towards web developers and JavaScript, and 70% are self-taught. So, the needs of most of those people are modest, and their choices tell you little about the quality of a platform. Many of them could probably develop on ChromeOS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      that, and I bet they aren't really Scottish, either!
      • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @11:51PM (#51729281)

        The GP didn't say they weren't developers, just that they didn't do a good job representing developers as a whole. The claims is that more developers develop on something, the GP points out that it is really more of a particular subset. His opinion is also that the subset in question isn't likely very good.

        It's not a "No true Scotsman," fallacy to say that a subgroup isn't representative of the whole group. For example if you said "All Scottish people are drunks, I mean just look at all of them in this bar," it would not be a fallacy for someone to say "You are in a bar, the people here do not represent all the people in Scotland, this is a small subgroup."

        Further, something like a developer isn't just an arbitrary label. You aren't a developer just because you say you are any more than you are astronaut or a plumber or the like. Someone that fucks around with a tiny bit of JS coding a bit in their free time isn't a developer, just like someone who once changed the drain trap on their sink is a plumber. When you talk about professions, there is the idea that you do it, well, professionally.

    • Let the hate flow through you...

      But seriously. I'm not surprised by this at all. Around 75% of the devs I know use macs, from long time Microsoft folk to embedded systems guys. It has fuckall to do with how serious a coder you are and a lot more to do with the fact that OSX is BSD with a pretty face.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Counter anecdote: most of the developers I know use Windows. Windows is the most popular platform and most software is vertical applications running on it. Visual Studio with .NET is great for developing applications, and for cloud Azure is pretty much the easiest and best integrated environment. On the embedded site most of the tools supplied by manufacturers only run on Windows (some support Linux and even Mac OS, but most don't).

        The GP is probably right, it's all the web developers who hang out on Stack

      • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Saturday March 19, 2016 @08:32AM (#51730579)

        OSX is BSD with a pretty face.

        With drivers that actually work, for everything. If I billed myself my normal hourly rate for what it's taken to get linux drivers working for a lot of my machines I'm at the cost of a Mac anyway.

    • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Saturday March 19, 2016 @12:22AM (#51729369)
      Also, Stack Overflow surveys are heavily biased towards people who like to dick around and do surveys instead of focusing on work.
    • If the survey is skewed towards web developers, why then are Rust and Swift the most popular languages?

      • They are the "most loved" technologies (probably: what people would like to use), not the "most popular" technologies (what people actually use).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tgv ( 254536 )

      Pray tell, what needs to real programmers have, that an OSX machine cannot possibly provide?

      And we all know that real programmers don't need any OS at all. Seymour Cray could toggle a program from the front panel. He didn't need no tabbed Gnome file browser, or any other piece of Linux software that did a half-assed attempt at imitating Windows or OSX.

  • If you could write IOS applications in other platforms like linux or windows.

  • duh (Score:5, Informative)

    by bananaquackmoo ( 1204116 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @09:46PM (#51728787)
    Hint: OSX runs is BSD based and runs a terminal.
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Yep. If it was still like MacOS classic, then I wouldn't like Macs.

  • by johnrpenner ( 40054 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @09:49PM (#51728803) Homepage

    mac hardware lets you run all three major OS's (osx + windows + linux) on a single piece of hardware.

    also — you get all the commandline UNIX-y goodness + the ability to run Microsoft Word + the ability to run Adobe Photoshop right beside your terminal window.

    and it never stops running for some arcane reason after a pkg update.

    • One thing that I really like about Mac OS (though I don't know if the other ones support now since it's been a while since I've had to use them) is that you can move files around and the applications still are able to find them.

      For example say I get some new MP3s. I don't want them in my Library folder yet since I don't know if I want to keep them so I have a folder that isn't backed up where I shove temporary stuff. I'll put the files there and import them into iTunes. When in iTunes I'll listen to the

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @11:07PM (#51729143)

      And on a mac laptop, sleep and hibernate and resume always work.

    • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @11:29PM (#51729203)

      and it never stops running for some arcane reason after a pkg update.
      No, just wireless, or CIFS, or some other subsystem breaks or performance goes to shit. I was amazed at how many issues the 15 OSX users at my last company managed to encounter (I was the datacenter manager but I got pulled in as senior troubleshooter since we were only a 40 person IT shop). I'm now at a global 5,000 person firm and we have hundreds of OSX users and they definitely create more than their share of tickets, not sure if that's a result of the OS or the userbase but frankly it doesn't matter to me as it still results in more work for me per supported user. I think OSX is an OK OS and have taken on a Macbook Air as my work laptop, partly because it's light and partly to make myself more familiar with OSX so I can better support my users, but people who think OSX is some magical panacea are delusional, it's still a complex OS written by human programmers so it's still going to have its share of bugs.

    • mac hardware lets you run all three major OS's (osx + windows + linux) on a single piece of hardware.

      I think you meant to say:

      OS X tries to prevent you from running all the major OSes on anything but Mac hardware

      You can do it on any x86 hardware, you just have to hack around DSMOS, which serves literally no purpose other than to prevent OS X from running on anything but a Mac.

    • I'm actually wondering, why doesn't Linux run Android apps like native yet? It shouldn't be all that hard to do, just port the Java layer, and shim the low-level APIs where needed. I mean, if BSD can run Linux apps...

      And then Linux would have Word, too. A trimmed-down version of it, but one that is sufficient for 90% of the users out there, and it wouldn't screw your formatting etc for people who use full-fledged Word.

  • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @09:50PM (#51728805)
    Apple forces people to use OSX for development.. so I'm kind of surprised this is news. Good on Linux that this is even something to talk about.

    Personally, I develop the full application stack and I use OSX for iOS and Linux for everything else. I'm not really sure why Linux feels more efficient, maybe because I grew up with windows.
  • For what it's worth: although all my code is running exclusively on Linux, my desktop is a Mac. The reason is that the company's sysadmins only support windows 7 or Mac on desktops. What would you choose?
  • I work in a company that develops software that ONLY runs on Linux. Why the fuck do we use OSX for our dev platform? It makes no fucking sense at all.

  • I was surprised by how much of a discount Apple gives for bulk to companies. All manufacturers have discounts, but Apple is kind of notorious for being conservative on that front...

    Then I asked a friend who's at the head of a company of a few hundred employees that all use Macbook Pros how much they were paying for them. It wasn't a "little" cheaper. It was drastic (obviously Apple has higher margins, so they can mark them down more...i just never knew they actually did).

    Like, marked down enough to be in li

    • by tom229 ( 1640685 )
      Interesting, but I don't think that's what's happening here. Look at the numbers in the tfa. The majority of the participants are self taught "designers" with 2-5 years experience mostly working on web scripting. Hipster 20-something hacks of web designers doing their work on overpriced macbooks should surprise no one.
  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @10:36PM (#51729015) Homepage
    When I did a PC refresh project at a Fortune 500 to replace older Dell workstations with newer Dell workstations, the engineers didn't want a Dell workstation and asked for a MacBook Pro instead. Drove the project manager from Dell up the wall whenever someone made that request.
    • I think that instead of people wondering why the hell someone would want OSX they should instead ask what Windows has that would make a developer want to stay.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @10:41PM (#51729041) Journal

    If you need to test a website or write a mobile app only a Mac is allowed by VMware to run all the platforms. So get a Mac and virtualize all. Get Windows or Linux and you miss out on IOS and MacOSX.

    This will probably be the nail for Visual Studio until someone or MS sues. Remember the patch for VMWare Fusion/ Workstation where they forget to turn off the chock_nonApple()? They quickly patched that

  • so much butthurt in this thread.
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @11:05PM (#51729127)

    If you are making money on your development skills, having dual 30 inch displays helps to boost your productivity a bit permanently while only requiring a small investment from you or your employer every several years. OSX supports these setups perfectly by letting you configure arrangement of the monitors and their exact physical layout on the desk, and has a menu bar and dock on every screen, plus multiple monitors can be connected through a single Thunderbolt cable. Windows and Linux don't. If you want power user / developer mindshare this is a must.

  • So this is the reason why software has become less intuitive less user friendly and less functional.

    Because developers have crippled them selves with the same broken base that is mac osx.

    where the design mantra is "why do you need that?"

    and thus all the software that trickles out form these devs reinforce the ideology of why do you need that? do it this way instead.

    and if that way dont work for you will tough apple turtle shell pie for you baby, because it only this way or be abandoned and find your on

    • OSX may be broken, but it can still limp along when Windows is twitching in a ditch and being left behind. Seriously, worst UIs in the world all come from Microsoft. People were using Unix to develop before Gates wrote his first BASIC.

  • Say What Now? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bjwest ( 14070 ) on Saturday March 19, 2016 @12:27AM (#51729391)

    Stack Overflow reports that more developers now use OS X than Linux as their primary OS, and that if the trend continues, fewer than half of all developers will be using Windows next year.

    Someone care to enlighten me on the logic here? Where does Windows usage become involved in the OS X vs Linux equation. Or, if they're trying to say people are jumping ship from Win to OS X, why mention Linux at all? Either way, there's one too many OS's mentioned in TFS. Didn't read TFA, because TFS does not compute.

  • Do not equate the preferences of a single site survey to that of the entire developer community. At best you have merely sampled people who are pretentious enough to brag in surveys.

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