Jeremy is putting aside his Mac for 2005, and notes in the process:
“More importantly, the open source software I want to use (vim, emacs, firefox, thunderbird, gaim, the gimp, etc) are all first class citizens on Linux. On the Mac I always feel like they don’t quite belongï¿½they are second class citizens. It’s very difficult for me to articulate why this is or exactly why I feel this way. I’m hoping someone else who’s had this experience can do a better job than I can.”
I know exactly what he’s talking about. I think it’s because Linux (and unix before it) is based around simple text files. Most things are text files, with the expectation that you can change text files, and that if you change a text file, you don’t have to worry about anything else. In some cases, this doesn’t hold – maybe you have to re-process the text file after you change it – but, for the most part, this is how things work on a Linux machine. The files are self-contained (even if they’re not, there’s still a design sensibility that says that this is the wrong behavior, and they should be).