Win95 UI design was basically very effective and people still like it
This. I've switched from Windows to Linux more than 10 years ago, because Linux is better suited for software development. I've been a Gnome user since the beginning, because it was simple and basically implemented the Win95 way of doing things. When the Gnome3/Unity craze came, had to switch to KDE just because it still uses the GUI metaphor found in Windows 95.
programs that archive digital conversations make it easy to look back and see exactly who said what
Not only lying will vanish then, but changing one's mind over time, too
Why would anyone want a whole OS tuned for such a purpose?
Use whatever distro you like and configure just your text editor / IDE / whatever. Use something like Vagrant (https://www.vagrantup.com/) to set up your dev environments.
MAC user's dynamic debugging list evaluator? Never heard of that.