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Old 04-10-2008, 09:53 AM   #1
SlackPad
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Web Development: Which Distro, Editor, FTP in Linux?


I'm looking to get back on Linux, and I'd like to use a solid KDE distro with strong development tools. Specifically, I'm going to run a local LAMP stack, with options for Postgre, and the following server-side languages would be installed: PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl, and a few others.

I'm tempted by Slackware (not Gentoo...looks like a s**tfight is happening there, and that's a shame) because it's designed to compile software. I think that Arch with KDEMod and the ABS (Arch Build System) may be my answer, since there's plenty of software that I don't need to compile.

I also plan on using this for some office functions, which is why I'm going with KDE over, say, Zenwalk with Xfce. Hardware support is important enough, since it'll be on a laptop, probably another ThinkPad. So, in a decision between Debian, Arch, and Slackware (and any other similar OSes that may get the job done...I'm also avoiding Sidux because I'm more concerned with stability, and can always compile the bleeding-edge software if need be), what gets your choice for this purpose?

Any advice is as always appreciated. I like what Ubuntu is doing, but I've heard rumors about Kubuntu going semi-commercial, and a friend of mine was recently tossed out of the UbuntuForums in what I'd also describe as a s**tfight, so I don't plan on going back to that distro.

And for an editor, I'm still on the fence. I love how Vim works, and am always taking baby steps to become proficient in it. I never really could get my hands around Emacs, but would be willing to give it another try -- I use TextMate on my Mac, so I'm sure Emacs would be a comfortable switch. I liked Geany when I once used it, and I've heard very good things about both Kate and GEdit. So Editor advice is appreceiated as well. I code heavily in HTML and CSS, significantly in PHP and JavaScript, and am teaching myself Python, Ruby, and Perl at varying paces. Right now, I'm not very interested in learning, C, C++, or Java, if that helps in an editor decision. Customizability and Unix integration are key as well.

One feature of TextMate I love is its simple yet effective take on project management. Control+T opens a small window that I can type into immediately, and it searches the entire project for a file. It's not too strict either, so "hacc" would almost certainly match ".htaccess" closest even though my typo didn't spell it perfectly.

Finally, FTP software. When I was using Linux, I always had problems when moving a site over 1000 files to my server. On my Mac, Transmit always did this perfectly, and it's a wonderful application. Beyond the terminal, is there an industrial-strength FTP program in Linux that can rival Transmit? I've tried FileZilla, Kasablanca, gFTP, KDE's FTP program (which came as close to the answer as any, but still the connection problems...), and a couple others. I'd be willing to use a GTK-based client if it works well, since beauty is skin-deep.
 
Old 04-11-2008, 07:18 AM   #2
jlinkels
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Asking a favorite distro for thit or that in this forum is something ... well ... it usually doesn't lead to a conclusion because most people are advocate for their own distro. That includes myself of course.

I installed Debian Lenny recently on a Thinkpad T61 to full satisfaction. If you google, you'll see quite some success stories about Debian on Thinkpads. You should choose Lenny though, Stable is not sufficiently up-to-date. My blog about the installation will be on-line this weekend.

The only issues are sound which should be solved in kernel 2.6.24 which comes with Lenny now. And I cannot run flash in Opera as I am using the AMD64 arch. Not sure if Flash works in Konqueror and Mozilla.

About the development editor, consider Quanta. It has a lot of integrated tools and helpers, but you are still editing HTML text, no WYSIWYG editor. Although the latter is integrated I don't feel comfortable with it. It comes with a good FTP uploader.

Hope this helps
jlinkels
 
Old 04-11-2008, 09:21 AM   #3
SlackPad
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Sorry, but I've used Quanta, and it's no good. I'd even take Bluefish over it. For a novice HTML hacker, Quanta would get the job done, but I need something more powerful because I regularly program PHP, Python, and JavaScript, most of my work is in HTML and CSS, and I also need SQL support. Productivity helpers are essential. And I agree with you: In this crazy world of browsers, WYSIWYG is completely worthless -- I've never used one that worked with anything but the simplest layouts.

But this wasn't intended as an editor debate as much as it is about the distro and FTP stuff. Do you find Debian's build utilities to be good enough for your purposes? Further, do you build software from source, or just apt-get/aptitude it? My demands are sorta rigorous since I'm a professional web developer...
 
Old 04-11-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
jlinkels
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Debian provides a number of tools to ease building from source. I have to admit that if you build from source Your Own Way it is difficult to integrate with Debian, you have to use the Debian Way. If you want to use the Debian tools for building, you have to learn and understand how they work. Once you understood and use them, it is easier than building in other ways.

Building Debian packages from source is no problem therefor, I regularly compiled my own kernels or modules.

I have never been very succesful in building alien packages. That might have been because of the Debian structure or package management, or because of my lack of knowledge.

jlinkels
 
Old 04-11-2008, 03:55 PM   #5
SlackPad
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I really love Debian and that OS as a desktop and server machine, but I think I'd rather do things in the "unix way" than the "Debian way" when it comes to compiling and installing software, especially because this will better prepare me for deploying web apps and their needed configurations on all varieties of LAMP boxes.
 
Old 04-11-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
jlinkels
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Every distro has its pecularities. If you like it the Unix way, Debian is not the best for you. I am sure that there exist distros which try to achieve the highest level of Unix purity you can get. Linux is not just free, it is also the freedom of choice.

Would be nice if you let us know what distro/editor/ftp you eventually chose.

jlinkels
 
Old 04-30-2008, 12:40 AM   #7
ext6
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Registered: Jul 2004
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linux editor

I hope I'm not too late to get in a quick question re Quanta. How does one do a find/replace for carriage returns. I've tried everything I can think of, but I'm probably missing something really obvious. In other editors, you can search on \r for CR or \t for tab. What does Quanta expect to see?

Thanks for your time.
 
  


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