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    Using a laptop for development - thoughts??

    jurgmay

      Hi all,

       

      My 2007 iMac is in need of replacement and I'm toying with the idea of buying a laptop but I'm wondering whether screen size might be an issue. I'm thinking about screen clutter when I've got a database, script debugger and data viewer open...

       

      Is anyone out there doing regular development on a laptop? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons.

       

      Many thanks.

        • 1. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
          philmodjunk

          Do it all the time. Have two of them. I also have two large monitors hooked up to the laptop that I am using to respond to you so that I actually have three screens up. And that's the advantage of a laptop. If, as is all too often the case in my personal life, I have to take the wife to DR or ER, I can unhook the monitors and take this machine with me and keep working while we wait. yet I have a "full up system" with monitors and mouse at my home office when I need it.

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          • 2. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
            jurgmay

            Thanks Phil. That sounds like a good setup. I'm definitely leaning more towards a laptop than another desktop machine as it definitely provides more flexibility.

             

            Thanks for your quick reply!

            • 3. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
              beverly

              for me, that is the key, jurgmay: flexibility.

              1. hook up to monitor, add bigger keyboard (all at home/office)

              2. take on the road to clients

              3. either way can connect to projector (as sometimes needed at office or away)

               

              beverly

              • 4. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                philmodjunk

                Do take security to mind though if you have the files physically copied to your lap top. (I am usually using remote desktop myself). Encryption At Rest may force you to enter an extra password with a local copy of your files, but it ensures that should your laptop be lost or stolen, your client/employer's data is secure--especially any files that store the type of data used to steal a person's identity.

                • 5. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                  pbedouk

                  I have a similar issue with my iMac needing replacing.  I am considering a windows machine (laptop) this time.

                   

                  May I ask if you and the other responders are using Windows platforms?  If so, are there serious differences in moving from FM on a Mac to a PC??  Can I develop on a PC but deploy to a Mac?

                   

                  Not exactly on topic, but close!

                   

                  Thanks.

                  • 6. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                    jormond

                    I've done and do development on both Mac and Windows. The main consideration for me is this, where are the majority of the users you work with?

                     

                    For the most part, the file will work on either. But there are a few considerations:
                    1. Fonts don't render exactly the same. Specifically the width of fonts tends to vary.2. Calls to the OS or file system will need to be accounted for. Most of this can be done on either machine, but you need to account for it.

                    3. If you use something like Perform Applescript... You won't be able to run that on a Windows machine, and I'm not even entirely sure you can edit it ( but may be wrong on that point, it's been a little while ).

                    • 7. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                      philmodjunk

                      You just copy the file over and it works on the other system for the most part. If your solution will be used on both mac and windows systems, there can actually be a few benefits to developing on a windows system. Windows systems need a bit more room vertically and horizontally to display the same text. When you develop on a mac and deploy to windows,you sometimes get a few instances where text is clipped or wrapped in an undesirable way and you have to adjust the object's size on the layout slightly. Moving from Windows to Mac, however, is much less likely to encounter the same issue.

                      • 8. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                        schamblee

                        I prefer Windows myself.    I have a MacBook Pro with Parallel which will allow multiple OSs.  Winodws 7 and 10 currently installed.  I had 8.1 installed too but it was just taking up space, so I removed it.   I have Windows computers too.  There are a few options.  

                        • 9. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                          jormond

                          A MacBook Pro with Parallels and Windows 10 is my ideal machine. I can do whatever I need with that. And have tremendous flexibility.

                          • 10. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                            ibrahim_bittar

                            All the options mentioned here are really good if you have a big screen for office work, then you're set.

                            • 11. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                              skywillmott

                              One of the most obvious differences between FileMaker on Mac and Windows is that on Windows it runs in a 'Multiple Document Interface' (MDI), which means all open database windows run within the confines of the parent application window, whereas on Mac it uses the equivalent of Windows' 'Single Document Interface' (SDI), where each file window occupies it's own space within the entire screen, or screens if you have multiple displays, though on Mac of course it always has the single menubar at the top of the screen. This means that on Windows, I find it feels a bit cramped when trying to use multiple applications at the same time as FileMaker, and the grey background of the parent window is ugly when the application is maximised and the file window is floating around inside of it. However, according to the publicised 'roadmap'  that FileMaker Inc recently showed us, the next version of FileMaker on Windows is expected to move to using SDI as well, which I'm very happy about :-)

                               

                              mdiVsSdi.png

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                              • 12. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                                Markus Schneider

                                That's the point...

                                 

                                There are fonts that render almost identical on both platforms (although sometimes annoying labels, not enough space to display the full label-text on the other platform) - but if You have new windows (ie for showing related info, entering data, used for individual dialogs, etc.) to pop up, You have to take care that You don't use 'full window' display...

                                 

                                btw. in the webinar that was avalilable to the FileMaker community, FMI said that this behavior on Windows might change (-:

                                • 13. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                                  Benjamin Fehr

                                  A MacBook Pro with Parallels and Windows 10 is my ideal machine.

                                  … and with Parallels, selecting "My PC", there's not only the usual Disk A / C / D, etc., but also

                                  Disk

                                       z: \ Macintosh HD \ Users \ …

                                   

                                  You can use all your Mac files on Windows OS.

                                   

                                  about "Laptop":

                                  I'm using a MBP 13" Retina (Late 2013) with a affordable 40" Sony HD TV as a second Monitor.

                                  I'm now thinking about to replace the Sony TV with a 4k (UHD) TV.

                                  I don't play video games on my computer. A TV might be slower than a dedicated PC Monitor Set but this won't bother you with FM development.

                                  • 14. Re: Using a laptop for development - thoughts??
                                    arehkopf

                                    the bigger external screen is important for developing.

                                    But for mobile use it is also possible to use an iPad as an external monitor (e.g. Duet Display).

                                    This also helps a lot.

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