What is a good developing platform?

I’m one of those guys that loves to switch between platform. One time, I just feel the need to use Linux, the other, I just run back to Windows. During those switches, I have experienced both sides through the development process of software and websites. But still I’m not so sure what platform fits my needs.

On Windows, everything is easy to install and configure. Click a few times and you are ready to go. I use some fairly popular developing tools. For PHP developing, I use Zend Studio. To testrun my PHP webapplications, I run WampServer. For Ruby On Rails, I chose Netbeans 6 with InstantRails to run them on. So thing run pritty smoothley.

On Linux on the other hand, you can run into a few problems if you run into missing dependencies. But still, that is easaly solved through yum on Fedora boxes. On linux I pritty mutch use Eclipse PDT for PHP developing and Netbeans for RoR. All those applications are run through a native install of Apache, PHP, MySQL, Mongrel, and RoR.

So it takes more time to get set under Linux. The thing I haven’t thought off is what the system performance is between the two. Windows XP is pritty fast, and with the comming of SP3, performance will increase. Linux is also pritty fast after some finetuning of the kernel. Probably even faster then XP when you finish up configuring your whole box.

So what platform is better? I just can’t choose, and I realy would love to finally stay with one system. There is even a third possiblity. I’m playing with the idea to buy a MacBook Pro. I never worked with a Mac before, but what I have hear of, it is pritty neat. The only thing I’m not sure of is if all the software I need is available on Mac. I like to use free software. I know that Zend isn’t free, but I need it for work, since we develop our webapplication online directly through FTP. And that is something that Eclipse and other development tools miss.

So maybe some of you readers can tell me your experience of the development platform you use, and all the pros and cons. So don’t hesitate, and please do tell me 🙂