Advantages of open source: quickly working around problems

Yesterday was fun. We use SBCL (Common Lisp) on a project I work on, and my customer hit a limit of SBCL not using all the memory on one of their new servers. A quick email to a SBCL developer, and we were patched and running very quickly (thanks Nikodemus!)

A decision to use any open source project is usually based on how "vibrant" and active the community is surrounding an open source project. This is easy to determine developer activity by release history and user base by newsgroups + wikis.

I definitely have my favorite commercial developers (plugs to Franz Lisp, Jetbrains/IntelliJ, OmniGroup/OmniGraffle, and TextMate) and my decision to purchase and use commercial products is based strongly on support, patches, and new versions.


  1. Mark,

    I believe in an earlier post that you said that you used netbeans 6.1 for ruby/rails development. you mention in this post that you are a textmate user. do you use textmate for ruby/rails development also?
    what other things do you use textmate for?


  2. Hello Jim,

    I use TextMate for writing short Ruby and Python scripts, for "code browsing" large systems (in Lisp, Ruby, Rails, or Java). Since I develop on a MacBook, I tend to use TextMate for a lot of things - well worth the price.

    I use NetBeans 6.1 when working on Ruby on Rails web applications, some new Java development, and I am starting to look at the very good Javascript and SOA support in NetBeans. Historically, I have done many Java projects using IntelliJ, so I still fire up IntelliJ for maintenance on those projects that are already set up in IntelliJ.

    I use Emacs + ELI when doing development with Franz Lisp, and Emacs + SLIME when developing with SBCL or CLozureCL.


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