I've only ever used Linux on a VBox on my native Windows 7 PC. I used Ubuntu distribution there, for about 50 hours or so. Still, very much a beginner.
Soon I'll begin a grad school program in mathematics. Many classes will use programming, particularly in C++ (but also many other languages).
I'll get a laptop with Ubuntu on it. I'll use it almost exclusively for programming and taking notes during class.
So, I want the best environment for programming. Basically, I want something that's very efficient, and low latency. Is the desktop even important in that regard? Or, is a desktop mostly for aesthetics? I apologize for my ignorance.
Besides aesthetics, and window/program management, what is the important of choosing a particular desktop?
I'd also be particularly enthusiastic to use a desktop that professionals may use most often. Is there any sort of favored environment for professional developers using LINUX?
Or perhaps, as a develop, should I be considering using another distro altogether?