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Programming - OS matter?

  1. Jul 26, 2005 #1
    Does the OS matter in programming, say for Java, or C++, or any language? The CS department here seems to use linux, but they also lend out macs, and I would be surprised if XP was not acceptable, so I am under the impression that it does not matter. However, this seems a bit strange considering software support for linux, I would think that if there were only a few changes that needed to be made then it would be easy to offer software for any OS. So what is the general consensus? Danke!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2005 #2


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    Linux and OSX use gcc / cc. If you want gcc on XP, then you might want to install cygwin (http://www.cygwin.com) for a unix-like experience. For simple console applications, it probably won't matter too much. One issue that did arise when I was working on code that needed to run on a pc and a mac is the little-endian / big-endian issue.

    When I was learning C++ (on Windows), my instructor used Visual C++ for all of his examples. Use of Borland C++ was acceptable. However, when using Borland, I noticed that minor differences were confusing to me, as a beginner. I switched to Visual C++ and things went smoother.

    In my opinion, as a beginner, it's best to use the same setup (OS, compiler, etc..) that the instructor uses... or else the setup of your friends who could help you.

    My $0.02.
  4. Jul 27, 2005 #3
    the OS certantly matters. Visual C++, Visual Basic, Delphi, and many other RAD tools generally one run under Win32, as they are compiled to *.exe's. Linux has a language in itself, which also does not run under Windows. But to your speficic question. C++ and Java are very OS flexible languages, just make sure you dont use any libraries that are native to the OS which your program is not designed to run on.
  5. Jul 29, 2005 #4
    Thanks for the responses. I will do as you suggested and see what the professor is using and then use that setup.
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