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MacOS for Web Development

05 June 2024 at 12:00 · #tech#web#oss#personal#experience

My experience with MacOS for web development, coming from a GNOME Linux environment.


Notes:

  1. This article is coming from a person that has been daily driving Linux with the GNOME Desktop Environment for a while. Of course any criticism is coming from that perspective.

  2. The device I am using is the base model of the MacBook Air M1 2020 with the latest version of MacOS (Sonoma 14.5 at the time of writing).

  3. This article was written after using MacOS for well over a week.


Recently, I got myself an MacBook Air, my first MacOS device. Since when I got it, I planned to switch to Asahi Linux, but due to the lack of support for Thunderbolt (that is neecessary if you have a laptop with 3 ports from which 2 are Thunderbolt), I decided to stick with MacOS till the support is there.

I have been using MacOS for a bit now, and I have some thoughts about it.

Workflow

I found that MacOS' workflow isn't as bad as it seems. Over time, I have become accustomed to it and found it quite easy to use. Features like Spotlight Search have helped me navigate my system easily, similar to GNOME's search functionality.

One great advantage of MacOS is that it is Unix-based (and Unix Certifed), so the terminal experience is on par with Linux.

In terms of workflow, MacOS is generally satisfactory. However, there are areas where GNOME excels, such as window management. I have addressed this by using a third-party app called Rectangle, a great open source app that fixes the window management issue on MacOS. With Rectangle, I can easily manage my windows, similar to GNOME's window management, and even better in some cases.

Another area that I don't quite like about MacOS is the constant popups for simple permissions like Visual Studio Code wanting to access the Downloads folder. This can get quite annoying, while it's good for security, it can be quite intrusive.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with the workflow on MacOS. With the help of a few third-party apps, I have made MacOS my home. However, it's worth noting that GNOME's workflow is superior in many ways. Nonetheless, MacOS is still a usable option when it comes to workflow.

Development

As a web developer, I have found MacOS to be quite good. The terminal experience is excellent (as mentioned above), and I can use all the tools I need. I have also found that the performance is quite good, even on the base model MacBook Air M1 2020. I have not encountered any performance issues so far. For the battery life, I can say that it is quite good, I can easily get through a day of work without needing to charge.

Applications

As for the day to day applications, it's not a major issue. I found plenty of alternatives for the applications I used on Linux. For example, the TomatoBar is a good alternative for the Pomodoro app I used on Linux.

Conclusion

In conclusion, me, as a long time GNOME user, I can say that MacOS is a good option for web development. The workflow is satisfactory, and the development experience is quite good. I have not encountered any major issues so far, and I am quite satisfied with the performance. However, I still prefer GNOME over MacOS, as I find the workflow on GNOME to be superior. Nonetheless, MacOS is still a good option for web development, and if you have an macOS device, you can easily use it for development, without any major issues.


I will anyway switch to Asahi Linux when the support for Thunderbolt is there, but till then, I will stick with MacOS.

Update: Why my experience with MacOS is good, I am starting to miss GNOME, as I love the workflow on GNOME, and GNOME in general. I am starting to start the "Asahi Plan" earlier than I thought, and integrating Asahi Linux in my post-install Fedora Linux Script, even without the Thunderbolt support. Once the migration is done, I will write an article about it. Stay tuned! 😉


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