Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why Windows sucks for development.

So I've been trying to get Unicode characters to display on the terminal. I found that on Windows you have to change the character set to do this. But I had no success.

Then I came across a recommendation to use Windows PowerShell. I was confused. Windows has two shells? Get's worse. Windows 7 64 has at least 3 different shells. And to really give you a headache. All have ruby 1.8.7 though I installed ruby 1.9.2. So What's going on here?

Mac OS X comes with ruby 1.8.7 built-in and upgrading is a one line command from the shell (though I confess all I did was install macruby to get both 1.8 and 1.9 on the same computer). On Ubuntu upgrading is a pain, but that's likely because a new Ubuntu is coming out this month which will (likely) come updated.

So why is the Windows development platform so fragmented? I'm guessing backwards compatibility. Though I think in this case there is no reason why the command prompt couldn't be upgraded and a new one had to be created.

I was able to get ruby 1.9.2 to work by uninstalling some components I'd added (like rhodes) that seem to have changed the ruby path. And now I know about the powershell, now if only I was able to display Unicode in the shell that would be great.

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