! exactly dev

I'd ditched Windows and spent a while exploring the Linux ecosystem for content creation. And I have to say, it was not a nice experience.

As much as I respect the Linux mantra of "free as in freedom" and "you need to roll up your sleeves and figure out stuff on your own", it just isn't good enough for non-dev work. Sorry guys, but I need software that gets out of my way and at least does what it's supposed to do. I can't stand a horrible UI or delays and random crashes, which is exactly what happens with most things under Linux.

To replace my Windows workflow I used the following:
1. Windows -> elementaryOS (because Debian/Ubuntu repositories seem to have the best software support, and elementaryOS is the least horrible looking thing that supports that) and then Arch, because, well, Arch.
2. Blender + Maya -> Blender + Maya on Linux.
3. Reaper + FL Studio -> Ardour + LMMS.
4. Photoshop -> GIMP + Krita + Inkscape.
5. ZBrush -> nothing :(

As you can see, my use cases are pretty much all over the spectrum.

Firstly, installing and configuring stuff. A pleasure on Windows, an absolute pain on Linux. Everything just worked on Windows, I had to wrestle with library versions and patches and unstable audio layers (Linux audio just sucks, except for JACK) on Linux.

Out of these, Blender and Maya were the best experience. But even then, both would suffer from random crashes that just didn't happen on Windows.
Ardour is actually really nice when it works. Its use of JACK for routing makes it really really flexible, but it just isn't stable enough to depend on. LMMS is utter crap. I'm sorry, but I just hate the UI. Can't stand it.
GIMP, Krita, and Inkscape can't beat Photoshop, even when you consider them together. Adobe software workflow is just so much better and more intuitive.
Blender 3D sculpting is not bad, but it's nowhere as good as ZBrush.

Also, if you're a C++ dev like me, nothing beats Visual Studio 2017. Nothing. That IDE just blows everything else out of the water. Even VSCode. And it's not slow at all, it handled a fairly large project (PBRTv3) just fine on my Windows development VM. Yes, a VM.

So...I ditched Linux and went back to Windows, but I keep Linux as a VM for when I actually want to mess with Blender or Ardour. Or some dev stuff which Windows sucks at (which is becoming less frequent because of WSL).

Out of all the above, the only one I'd consider ready for production use would be Blender. Developers of open source software, please learn from Blender. Kickass UI and user friendly operation is extremely important, you can't make a random window with GTK buttons and text boxes and arcane config files and expect people to use it for serious work.

Also, Windows beats Linux hands down as an everyday OS. It's always been rock solid, if you take care of it properly (and that goes for any OS). Updates hardly take any time because I run it on a SSD. As for all the advertising and marketing bullshit, you can block a large amount of stuff. And for what can't be blocked, well, I just have to live with it, because the alternative is compromising on my creative output, which is too much for me.

I still run Linux on my server, though. And on my embedded devices (Pi, BeagleBone, etc.). It absolutely rocks there.

I realize that Linux software is not going to improve unless we do something about it, so I'll be contributing fixes and code (the joys of being a C++ dev, yay). Still, I feel that the platform and software as a whole is just not mature enough.

  • 1
    Okay but 3ds max shits all over blender
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    I get whatchu mean. I use MacOS primarily, and it’s difficult to switch to Linux. I used to use Windows, but after switching to Mac, I can’t go back to Windows.
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    Mmm this seems pretty subjective. I can respect preferences but saying total absolutes like "visual studio" blowing everything out of the water for c++ development right after saying that it is better than a text editor (because that is what vs code is) seems weird to me. Really weird.
  • 0
    @AleCx04 honestly, id rather chop my dick off than use vs, eclipse has good support for c++
  • 1
    @BindView hence I use Maya to compensate
    I learnt Maya before Max, so, I'm comfortable with that.
  • 1
    Oh, hows it? Heard good things about maya but didnt really try it bc of 3ds.
  • 0
    It is pretty subjective, yes.
    Ah sorry, haven't slept in a while.
    I meant VS Code + C/C++ extension + g++/clang + gdb/lldb with appropriate tools + other misc extensions and tools (like makefiles).
    Which is what I use on Linux. VSCode is an editor, yes, but with the correct extensions and tools it's pretty much an IDE.
  • 0
    @BindView if you already know Max you won't get so much out of moving to Maya.
    It's pretty good though. For a comparison, Maya has a better workflow for animation and related stuff (rigging etc.), but it's catching up in modelling too, the recent releases seem to make it more competitive with Max for modelling. Also, MEL and Python scripting is great.
    Also, Autodesk seems to be pushing Maya more than Max (kinda doesn't make sense to have two softwares that do very similar things).
  • 1
    That's like your opinion man.

    Which is totally cool and I totally get it but I'm just loving my Linux box more and more everyday. Also learning vim is kinda changing my life at the moment.
  • 0
    @luper thank you for not turning this into a flame war.
    Oh yes, Vim is epic. Do you use Vim 8 or NeoVim? Which plugin manager? I've been learning it for a while too.
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    @RememberMe flame wars are so dumb, it's like hating some cause think redheads are hotter than blondes and you disagree.

    Plain old vim for me, been thinking about trying out neovim. I'm pretty new (3 months) to vim so Ive been manually install plug-ins, should probably stop that.
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    Mac. UI polish, mainstream apps, and Unix-based.
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    I use Linux for about 10 months noe and I'm never going back to windows(I am going to buy a mac soon tho).


    POSIX shell and utilities
    Better performence and os ecosystem
    Optimized support for nearly every open source software and dev tools I use(docker, jetbrains IDE's, Python, Node.js and much more)

    Why I hate windows? Windows is designed for general use and regular people. Not for developers or tech junkies like me.
    I work as as security ysadmin and my work forces me to to use Windows. I fucking hate it.

    Why I plan to buy a mac then? I'm an Android developer and I need the good design tools. I also want to develop for iOS in the future.
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    You are right on Linux and sound, it has always been and is still such a complete mess.

    I believe you and I have similar experience regarding Linux applications. There are tons of native Linux/Unix apps which are really great, but applications that are coming from the Windows world and ported to Linux are too often slow and unstable, probably because the Linux user base is too small for the companies to bother. I think that is why a lot of Win users trying out Linux gets so disappointed. But bad apps is not a Linux problem, it's an application problem.

    But I agree with you, for everyday use, Windows works really fine.
  • 0
    I actually preffer CLion to Visual Studio
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    @d4ng3r0u5 I thought of getting a Mac for precisely those reasons.
    But the hardware specs suck for the price, especially the GPU. And I definitely need a beefy GPU, not just for gaming but for other stuff as well.
  • 2
    Linux is ahead of the curve on a lot of things. Creative/design software/photo editing is not one of those thing for sure.
  • 0
    @meltdown nah, I like vim more
    With plugins it's insanely powerful.
    Thanks for the link though.
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