Dave Richards from Largo, Florida has posted an excellent article on supporting your local governmental IT staff when they choose open source. Mr. Richards points out the obvious cost savings in choosing free software but makes some other excellent points.
Ubuntu 8.04 provides many free tools that makes a web developer's job very easy and the tools we use better and moe secure.
First, BlueFish is a very good source editor. It has all the expected features and is very fast. Quanta is a good KDE equivalent, but so far, I believe BlueFish is faster and a bit better.
Second, virtualization is highly supported. Why is this important??
I decided to start over with my home computer. I backed up my home drive, then wiped my system drive and reinstalled. Oops...I forgot to backup mysql.
Gnome vs KDE
I decided to go back to Ubuntu at home. I was having a tough time deciding which version of Ubuntu I wanted to use when I realized I can just use Ubuntu at home and Kubuntu at work. I had originally installed Ubuntu with Windows and have done quite a bit of work on Ubuntu experimenting and installing from source, so I felt like I needed a clean system.
One of the coolest commands in Linux is fortune. =)
If you don't have fortune installed:
$ sudo apt-get install fortune-mod fortunes
The above command will output a random fortune, quote or saying. This command has been around forever and it's one of my favourites. The better email clients will allow you to use the command to append a random quote at the end of your emails.
This blurb isn't just about Linux. Its about the BitTorrent peer to peer file sharing protocol. And BitTorrent isn't just about illegal downloads.
Notice I didn't say crash or drop.
It infuriates me to hear a "real state market expert," from a major real estate sales firm or mortgage company, get on the radio or television and say things such as now is the best time to buy, or the market has never seen such low prices. Of course they are going to say that because these "experts" have an agenda.
I ran into a situation recently where an external hard drive I have, a USB drive I use for backing up my data, continuously became read only after a period of time.
Any seasoned Linux user can tell you this isn't a good thing. If the kernel detects error in the file system, rather than letting you continue to write to the drive and risk further corruption, Linux will disallow writing to the drive.
One of the many things I love about Linux, and Ubuntu in particular is the ability to install pretty much everything you need from the package repositories, including all the development tools you could ever need.
With other operating systems, you have to purchase or download the software, then install it. Updates are made easy as the updater checks for updates for all software installed via the repositories, vs other operating systems who only update their own. Do you ever need to go outside the repositories? I rarely do (maybe once or twice out of hundreds of installs).
I've written before about some of the advantages of open source software, but I have just stumbled onto an article illustrating on key advantage of open source software, longevity.