Snarky Comment of the $timeperiod

I read Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror as frequently as he posts material.  Like many blogs, the true entertainment value comes from the comments.  I saw this one today:

$40 for SmartFtp. $40 for Winzip. Multiply by all the small tools you need. I won’t even begin to get to get into real development tools like Visual Studio. Windows developers seem to be made of money. One of the reasons I got out of the Windows world a decade ago was the cash I was shelling out just to stay current.

I’m particularly fond of the "Windows developers seem to be made of money" part.  It expresses surprise that somehow, people who develop on Windows have a lot of money to spend on tools.  The viewpoint of astonishment implies that, as a non-Windows developer, the writer does not have very much money and is curious why people who develop for Windows have more money than he does.  Hmmm…

I’m not implying there’s more money to be made on either side of the war, just that I wish people weren’t stupid about their jabs at the other side.  There’s tons of free FTP utilities for Windows; one was mentioned in the very post this user commented on.  I haven’t used Winzip for at least 5 years because the zip support built into Windows is adequate for me, and 7-zip is useful for when I encounter a file that’s not a zip file for whatever reason.  Visual Studio is a nicety but SharpDevelop is just fine and free; a decent coder should be able to get by with Notepad in emergencies anyway.  The poster’s main points are:

  1. All Windows development tools cost money.
  2. Windows developers can afford the tools because they have a lot of money compared to non-Windows developers.

The first one is false.  The second depends on your definition of "a lot" and "Windows developer", but doesn’t do much to encourage me to hug a Penguin in the near future.