[development] Development platform?

Pierre Rineau pierre.rineau at makina-corpus.com
Tue Sep 21 23:33:23 UTC 2010

On Sat, 2010-09-11 at 05:11 +0100, António P.P.Almeida wrote:
> On 11 Set 2010 04h44 WEST, jeff at ayendesigns.com wrote:
> With that machine and modern OS there's no need to buy
> anything. Windows as a development platform is rather poor. Unless
> you're developing .NET stuff. Get a UNIX OS. It's older (70s tech)
> than Windows (80s tech) but a much more solid platform. Completely
> different approach, the command line is one of its greatest assets
> Install Debian Squeeze and say goodbye to most of your problems. I'm
> in a machine with less power than yours, running several Drupal dev
> installs, firewall, MTA, with no problems. I dumped Apache some time
> ago and run nginx exclusively. 

Apache works fine, I did run Drupal sites on an even slower box than
that. Having so much latency (something like 30 seconds) even on a
simple 1GH atom is not possible, he must have mysql or apache
configuration problems. This is probably not hardware related.

In fact, I currently run a Drupal site, with MySQL on a 1Ghz box, with
1g memory, and on the same box are also running a SMTPd, a IMAPd, a Bind
DNS server, FTP, firewall, complex routing rules, IRC bouncer, and some
other services, and it just works, my Drupal, of course, serves almost
only cached content, but that's not the point here.

If you are using distributions such as Fedora or Ubuntu, keep a 32bit
binaries distribution, on Ubuntu some known bugs are still there with
memory consumption. Memory consumption is probably what kills a
development environment, especially if you are using Linux, the flash
player would still run 32bits using the nswpluginwrapper, which cause it
to slow your browser as soon as you have flash somewhere.

Keep in mind that your memory may be the greatest bottleneck since you
are probably also running an heavy IDE (I'm running Eclipse, with a lot
of ram, it's really fast, but with few ram, it behaves like hell),
developments tools, debugging tools, many web browsers, your mail
client, a desktop environment, and a lot of other every day's life junk.

> Drop Firefox and get Chromium. The new 6 beta release is a good deal
> faster than the previous 5.0.375, so it seems. The chromium browser
> inspector is roughly at par with firebug.

This is a bad advice, if you develop a web application, you should test
it on a lot of browser (by the way, FF4 seems to be faster than chrome
to start on some environments, and JS benchmarks shows that FF4 is still
slower, but not visible for humans beings).

The real advice here is keep the browser on which you are comfortable
with the best developments tools, this is the best for you, not the
fastest one, you have to realize that a lot of people will use browsers
slower that yours, and if your site is that slow, it will for all of
those people.

I would also advice some other practices such as, if you are often
enabling or disabling modules, clearing your cache and such, disable the
'update' module, and enable it only when you want to check your contrib
modules versions, this module will do webservices call at each first
admin pages hit after you enabled or disabled a new module, this call
can sometime take up to 20~30 seconds, depending on the distant server
availability and your internet connection.


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