Richard Cagle Web Developer

I make things work.

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v2.6.0 - Putting the Win in Windows

Released 2022-08-09

This is an update to my previous post about Windows.

I recently purchased a laptop for Gaming and this laptop came with Windows 11 installed.

I've managed to stay far away from Windows for a number of years so it was with some curiosity that I began taking a look at some of the features. Firstly I noticed that the UI was much nicer. You had gesture controls that made multi-desktops easy to access, a cleaner taskbar, and an overall "smoother" feel to the whole thing.

I'd read about the Windows Subsystem for Linux and was excited to give it a try. Unfortunately (at the time) Windows only had CMD and Powershell as terminals so I turned to my trusty friend ConEmu. I setup the subsystem per Microsoft's instructions and was dropped into a very linux-like shell. I was incredibly skeptical but I thought a great test would be to start setting things up like I had them on my Macbook that I used for development.

I setup Fish Shell, along with brew, redis, and postgres. Everything just worked. I was actually quite astounded. I installed git and copied down some repos. I installed my editor of choice: Sublime Text, created some projects that pointed to the repos I'd downloaded and what do you know. It just worked. I setup the DB for a rails app I'd been working on (that uses websockets heavily, mind you) and it fired right up. No muss, no fuss.

The last time I'd tried to do something like this I ended up feeling like it was all barely held together. But now I had an environment nearly identical to my Mac that just worked!

As an added bonus, a few weeks after setting this up, I ran Windows Update and boom - they'd released a brand new Terminal and it's SO much better than anything they've done natively before. I switched over to it from ConEmu and haven't looked back.

With only a few minor quirks in enabling services, there really isn't any difference doing web development on my Windows 11 machine vs my Macbook. The ability to switch between the two is incredibly handy and I think it really sets Microsoft up to be a leader in providing tools for Open Source development (ironic, no?).

Great job, Microsoft! I'm super grateful for all this effort.

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