While working on Pressbooks, a multi-site WordPress based web application, I noticed that some of our customers were getting blank pages in the admin section. Specifically, customers with a lot of Sites (or Books as they are known in Pressbooks).
Checking the error logs I saw that these customers were running out of memory.
PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 268435456 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 292913 bytes) in /path/to/object-cache.php on line 212.
First, to temporarilystop the out-of-memory problem so I could profile I added the following to wp-config.php:
define( 'WP_MAX_MEMORY_LIMIT', '512M' );
Next, using Blackfire.IO I was able to determine the following:
Two weeks ago I drank the cool-aid and switched my laptop to Windows 10.
I haven’t used Windows on my personal computer for twelve years. This is a big deal for me. I ran Ubuntu and OSX before that.
As a LAMP developer the switch has been painful. Here are my top 3 pain points:
PuTTY , an app released in 1998, is still the best option for SSH on Windows. Actually, KiTTY is but you need to run PuTTy tools like Pageant or Key Generator do anything useful. I spend too much time painstakingly converting perfectly good SSH keys into strange PPK files. I squint click through a tree of options to do the most basic of tasks like login without password.
A better SSH for Windows might be GIT-SCM. When you install this you get Git Bash which has SSH. To be honest the Git Bash terminal is open 100% of the time I am sitting at my desktop. An unfortunate island of isolation that my other Windows tools are constantly fighting against…
SSH toolkits are BSD licensed. The fact that Microsoft hasn’t included SSH in Powershell by now is simply unacceptable. If Microsoft seriously wants web developers checking out Windows 10 then this is the biggest road block or, more to the point, this is the road that will lead me back to Linux when I can’t take it anymore.
As a developer my monitor resolution is 1920 x 1080 (or higher!). In Windows 10 no matter where I start I’m pretty much guaranteed that three clicks in I time travel back to Windows NT. Tiny, ugly, anti-responsive dialogues that require toothpick like clicking to change every day web developer configurations. Come on Microsoft, even Linux isn’t this ugly in 2015!
Hyper-V support in Vagrant! This is actually the main reason I switched. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s competition to Virtualbox. Conclusion? Don’t believe the hype.
I spent days trying to get Vagrant to provision a LAMP stack using Hyper-V. I even spent $159.82 CAD to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro so that I could activate this feature.
Hours wasted. I failed. Or more specifically I succeeded and it sucked for web development as I know it. I went back to Virtualbox. On the plus side at least SMB shares work (with caveats!).
Here is a list of URLs for anyone who dares try this themselves. Maybe you’ll have better luck than me?
I’m still a LAMP developer at heart, with all the Stockholm Syndrome that comes from making a living with PHP, but Microsoft is changing.
Most notably C# is now open source. In 2014 I worked a job where I coded C# and, well, I liked it. For desktop, for tablet, for command line, I actually think the .NET ecosystem is pretty great. For web? For backend? Absolutely not. That said, all things considered, I decided I could no longer simply put my fingers in my ears singing “Na na na na I can’t hear you!”
Yes, I understand the distinction between Libre and Open and at this point in my life I am willing to make the trade off. I think Microsoft is setting up for the next decade and by me switching my laptop I am making a bet.
For this to pay off Microsoft needs to accept that .NET is not the dominant web development platform and attract those developers anyways. If they make life easier for the eclectic ecosystem that is the *NIX backend, then mobile and desktop will follow.