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Linux and Mac OS X 172

Posted by pudge
from the unprecedented-is-five-syllables-long dept.
William J writes "Here is an article with an interesting slant on the relationship between the Mac OS and Linux. The author suggests that Gnome and KDE developers can learn from the Mac GUI. Worth quoting: 'It is amazing to me that an OS which was developed largely by volunteers (and which is essentially free) can run with unprecedented stability on the same hodgepodge of PC hardware on which another company has spent billions of dollars in R&D costs and is still unable to produce a product which can run for more than a few days without crashing -- and it costs hundreds of dollars.'"
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Linux and Mac OS X

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  • Proposal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __past__ (542467) on Saturday February 23, 2002 @02:44PM (#3057872)
    Could our beloved Editors perhaps consider not to post links to stories without any content?

    What the heck is the point of this article? OS X is more polished than KDE/Gnome, Windows is not so stable, you can use Linux as a server for Macs... News at eleven!

    • Re:Proposal (Score:3, Informative)

      by sydb (176695)
      This story is a melange of Linux, Mac, Windows and *BSD and hence is likely to fan the religious flames, generate page hits, advertising views and revenue.

      That's why it's here.
  • Why oh why does everyone think KDE has something to do with Linux? Sure, it runs on Linux, but it works just fine on loads of other platforms as well (I've been running it on FreeBSD for a while now with no problems). I wouldn't be surprised if there was an OS X port of KDE sometime in the future as well...

    That's the whole thing about Linux, KDE and Gnome... You're not limited to one combination of hardware and software. All these articles which put KDE and Linux together are missing that point.

    • anyway KDE is a MS Windows App [sourceforge.net]
    • We just need to get the Gnome and KDE developers to realize this as well. Most of Gnome and KDE run just fine under my FreeBSD boxen, but there's always an occasional linuxism so that something doesn't work or works oddly. There's this big huge standard out there called "POSIX", and another one called "X11R6". It's a shame there is still the occasional developer who doesn't know about them.
      • If you want better FreeBSD support, try asking if any developers would like FreeBSD CDs sending to them. If I had FreeBSD, I'd install it and test on it. I don't fancy downloading it over a modem, though. Rik
        • Send me your snail mail to arandir@usermode.org and I'll send off a copy to you. Also check out freebsd.kde.org, which is an effort to improve KDE on the FreeBSD side.

          My intention was not to bitch at KDE or Gnome, and I hope you didn't take it that way. But being the minority OS user, we sometimes have to shout to get recognition.
  • by sg3000 (87992) <sg_public@nOSpaM.mac.com> on Saturday February 23, 2002 @03:01PM (#3057924)
    > I was unable to get a Windows 2000 PC to see any
    > Macs (OSX or 9) on the network or vice-versa.

    I don't want to be tough, but I've had no problems getting my Mac to load Windows servers via SAMBA. I do it every day, and I'd hardly say I'm an expert at SAMBA. So I'd say that rather than this being an OS X or Windows limitation, this guy may just "lack the skills to pay the bills". What was the point of the article again?
    • The Mac will load Windows servers no problem, as you describe.

      However, as the article describes, he was unable to see the Mac from Windows. At the moment this requires installing tools that should be included and easily accessible in OS X but are not.

      So, not to be tough, but you are a bit off base here.
  • by Drone-X (148724) on Saturday February 23, 2002 @03:03PM (#3057938)
    Worth quoting: 'It is amazing to me that an OS which was developed largely by volunteers (and which is essentially free) can run with unprecedented stability on the same hodgepodge of PC hardware on which another company has spent billions of dollars in R&D costs and is still unable to produce a product which can run for more than a few days without crashing -- and it costs hundreds of dollars.'"
    For software development you only need some brains, time and a computer. Because of this and also thanks to a certain global communication tool, it's hardly suprising people accomplish grand things without coorporations backing them.

    Really, people don't need management to accomplish something. Given the resources (money and time) people can and will do productive things for society.

    • by __past__ (542467) on Saturday February 23, 2002 @03:33PM (#3058032)
      Aaah, it's nice to once again hear this, after all this focusing on how to make money with open source!

      Before the Linux hype, it was quite common knowledge (or, at least, opinion) that Free Software is not only great because of its unbeatable price or even the "philosophic" implications (that come down to "be kind to your customers" when restricted to licenses), but because of its quality, which in turn is directly related to the freedom of programmers - at least as important as the freedoms of software users.

      Not only do people not need management, they can build better things without worrying about deadlines (leading to "good enough" solutions), corporate politics, marketability etc. Free programmers can focus on doing the Right Thing, which is often not possible in a corporate environment. The results of this are where the pride of the free software movement should come from, not the sympathy of venture capitalists or IBM or Apple.
  • Why isn't someone undertaking a port of Aqua to Linux? It is build on top of a Unix system, after all. It wouldn't have to be a perfect copy, maybe just a set of APIs mostly compatible with Carbon APIs.

    The advantages of this are :
    (a) you have sound user interface design for free
    (b) you have an instant installed base familiar with the user interface
    (c) you have many applications which can be ported possibly with a minimum of effort.

    Something like this would definately put it up Apple. But it does make sense. If people can rush off and build .Net clones, why not do someting actually useful?
    • Because Apple is just another jackbooted corporate thug, and sues anyone who dares make anything that even sort of looks like Aqua. Which is why my credo remains "DEATH TO APPLE, DEATH TO THE MAC," despite their porting BSD and finally getting a real operating system.
      • Re:Porting Aqua (Score:2, Interesting)

        by base3 (539820)
        Hit it on the head. Every time I think of going over to the Mac to avoid giving money to the Evil Empire [microsoft.com], I remember things like

        o Apple licensed the nefarious Amazon one-click patent, giving Amazon a precedent with which to bludgeon smaller companies.

        o Apple crippled their DVD writing software to disallow mastering for replication.

        o Apple used legal threats on non-for-profit skinners.

        o Apple screwed over the clone vendors.

        And that's just off the top of my head. I'm not thrilled about buying Microsoft, but I wouldn't feel particularly good about supporting another company with a monopoly (can you get Mac OSX for a clone? No. Then they have a monopoly) which leverages their software to sell overpriced hardware. It's obvious that if Apple were sufficiently competent, they would be another Microsoft. But while Apple is ruthless, predatory, and sells out its users just like MS, they're not as good at it.

        • Just because you can't get OS X on anything other than a Macintosh does not mean that Apple has a monopoly in any meaningful sense. They own 5% of the personal computer market. To be a monopoly a compnay must own at least 51% of their respective market. M$ has a monopoly in operating systems, office suites and web browsers. Apple makes their own hardware and OS and competes with M$, SGI, Linux and Sun. They don't have a monopoly in anything.
          • Go look up the word monopoly in a dictionary. The MacOS is a commodity for personal computers, and the Mac platform is a commodity computer (albeit in a proprietary package with a force-bundled OS (hmm... just like Microsoft...)). They're the only one that sells this commodity.

            SGI, Sun, et al, also hold monopolies in their space. But both Microsoft and Apple hold monopolies where the government actually has a right to be concerned--in the consumer market.

            • This is nonsensical. The fact that no one else makes an OS for the Mac in no way makes Apple a monopolist, unless of course you think that Ford is a monopolist because no one else makes engines for Fords.

              In a commodity market, differentiation is a major way to lure customers. "Computers" is the commodity here, and the Mac is just one part of the market for computers. Apple protects those things by which they attempt to differentiate their products. Love it or hate it, that does not constitute monopolist action.
            • Go look up the word monopoly in a dictionary. The MacOS is a commodity for personal computers, and the Mac platform is a commodity computer (albeit in a proprietary package
              with a force-bundled OS (hmm... just like Microsoft...)). They're the only one that sells this commodity.

              So who is forcing Apple to bundle MacOS with their computers? Or did you mean you're forced to buy MacOS if you buy an Apple computer? Well, since it's their computer, they can sell it any damn way they like. It would be a bit like complaining you can't buy a Ford car with a GM engine in it. It just doesn't make sense, unless you're a whining idiot.

        • I think you're a bit off on this one. I don't know about the DVD mastering issue, but the rest of what you're talking about is rather skewed.

          Apple's licensing of Amazon's one-click service doesn't do anything other than make Apple's online store easier to use for their customers. Amazon has a patent on that technology whether Apple licenses that technology or not, so it really makes no difference. Besides, you seem to forget that Apple's DELAYING the release of QuickTime 5 indefinitely because of the MPEGLA's licensing scheme for MPEG 4 -- not because Apple doesn't want to pay the MPEGLA for the technology, but because they don't want any content providers (including Apple, I admit) to have to pay streaming fees to the MPEGLA. I think it all evens out in the end.

          Apple's legal threats on skinners I don't care much for, but as a business Apple has every right to want to protect their intellectual propertey. If they've spent millions of dollars designing a hot new interface for their operating system, why should anyone else be able to rip it off at whim?

          Apple "screwed over" the clone vendors because they had to. The clone licensing deal was a badly engineered move, and Apple wasn't competetive enough at the time to resist being clobbered by the clone makers. If Apple had gone under, the clone makers would have gone under as well anyway. Steve Jobs did what he had to do to ensure the health of the company.

          Now let's name a few of the GOOD things Apple as a company has done.

          o Open-sourced Darwin. Sure, it isn't Aqua/Carbon/Cocoa, but it's a good start.

          o Released a free speech, free beer Quicktime Streaming Server that runs on multiple platforms.

          o Contributed PPC optimizations to GCC, which benefits LinuxPPC just as much as it does OS X.

          o Given away sophisticated developers tools so freeware and shareware developers can program for OS X easily and cheaply. Let's see Microsoft try that.

          And of course Apple's continuing to develop high-quality, innovative products. They could become another Microsoft if they had the chance, maybe, but the fact is that they're NOT, and they won't be for a long time simply because of market pressures. Don't let anti-business "open source" zealotry get in the way of reason and understanding facts here.

          Regards,

          Jared
          • Apple's licensing of Amazon's one-click service doesn't do anything other than make Apple's online store easier to use for their customers. Amazon has a patent on that technology whether Apple licenses that technology or not, so it really makes no difference.

            While it's true that Amazon has the patent, it didn't really have much to go on in enforcing it. Now, a smaller company being threatened by Amazon for using an obvious business technique of storing credit card information can be further intimidated by the fact that Amazon can point to Apple as having thought the patent legitimate enough to license it. While the details are secret, I'd bet that Apple had to pay a minimal sum to Amazon, if anything at all--Amazon was probably so glad to have this precedent to point to that they gave the license to Apple for free.

        • Re:Porting Aqua (Score:2, Interesting)

          by alex_ant (535895)

          That's a really funny definition of "monopoly." By your logic, Sun has a monopoly on Solaris, SGI has a monopoly on IRIX, HP has a monopoly on HPUX, and IBM has a monopoly on AIX. Monopolies = bad, so Sun, SGI, HP, and IBM are all evil, and will be until they port their big iron OSes to your peecee. "I want 4Dwm! Open-source it, SGI! Give it to me free, or else yer nothin' but a dirty monopolist!"

          Aqua is a work of art. Believe it or not /., some people in the world actually believe in intellectual property.

          Apple is not predatory. It's too small to be predatory. Its attack of the clones happened only after a radical shift in management. I think the term there would be "non-suicidal," not "predatory."

          How does Apple sell out its users? I've had a mac.com email address for the longest time (Mac owners get them for free - how evil of Apple to offer such nasty tie-ins!), even though I've rarely used it, and I've not gotten a SINGLE piece of spam to it. Ever.

          As has been covered so many times here before, more expensive hardware != overpriced hardware. You get what you pay for. This is a myth that really needs to get shot down - I don't see why so many obviously smart geeks have such a terrible time understanding this. Some people in the world are actually not content with cheap-ass high-MHz beige commodity boxes built by soulless vendors like Dell, Gateway, etc. who just don't give a shit about their product and who WOULD sell their customers out to gain any edge they could in the cutthroat Wintel market.

          I'm not an Apple apologist, but I am a Mac/Linux user and I will go to certain lengths to defend the company against the heaps of obvious bullshit piled upon it. I agree that a large and powerful Apple would not be a pretty sight. I would be most content with Apple at around 10-15% market share.

          • As has been covered so many times here before, more expensive hardware != overpriced hardware.

            That might have been true back when Apples came with SCSI, but they are now no better than Wintel commodity hardware, except that they use a PowerPC. They have IDE interfaces (and not even the fastest or highest capacity ones), ATI video, and other things that PC users can purchase off the shelf for far less money.

            Just because they have a standard (read: limited) platform and control what commodity hardware goes in the box doesn't mean it isn't overpriced.

            • Re:Porting Aqua (Score:3, Interesting)

              by pressman (182919)
              What the /. Linux crowd fails to see is that Apple customers don't mind paying a little extra money for the time and care put into developing Macintosh systems. Most Mac users don't want to get into the guts of their computer except to maybe install an extra harddrive or some extra RAM. We generally don't care about getting under the hood because the people who made the computer engineered it so we don't have to do that if we don't want to.

              For Linux users I can understand why getting to the guts of the computer and the OS is so important. It's part of the computing experience for that market. Linux users LIKE getting to the very core of their computers. I don't understand why they have to bash Apple and it's users just because Apple doesn't consider them part of their target market demographic. Why would Apple market to people who don't want to spend money on anything? They are a company whose goal is to make money and they can't make money off a free OS and low margin computer components.

              I don't go around bashing Linux because it doesn't meet all of my computing needs. It's a good OS for what it's intended to do, but it doesn;t come close to meeting my needs or the needs of millions and millions of other computer users... users being the operative word.

              Macs just work out of the box. Ceratin people want that.

              Linux only works if you configure it to work the way you want it to and have the technical knowledge to do that. Certain people want and need that from their OS and computer.
              Windows has lots of games and is ubiquitous. Very few people really want Windows but it is the only option they know. It seems to meet their needs reasonably, but then again their standards and expectations of a computer might be a bit lower than Mac or *NIX users.

              So, if the macintosh doesn't fit your criteria for a computing environment, DON'T BUY ONE OR USE MAC OS! Stop complaining about the price of their hardware and buy the system you need. You're just wasting energy and the time of other people.
              • Geez, that was defensive. And pretty much wrong:

                o Neither Windows nor Linux require users to get "in the guts" of their computer. The difference is that with Wintel, at least users have that option.

                o Where did you get any Linux bigotry out of my post? I'm using Windows right now.

                o Plenty of PC clones just "work out of the box."

                o There are Linux distributions that don't require any more technical knowledge to operate than the MacOS. Not enough, mind you, but they exist

                o I didn't buy or use Mac OS. It's just that Apple gets away with stuff that would make Microsoft blush, just because they're the underdog. That's not fair. If you feel like I'm wasting your energy, that's your problem. I didn't make you reply.

                • It's just that Apple gets away with stuff that would make Microsoft blush, just because they're the underdog. That's not fair.

                  Just what is it that Apple is getting away with that would make even the robber barons of Microsoft blush?

                • ::sigh::

                  I really feel sorry for the people that have to use Windows on a regular basis. I know people that have to reformat their harddrives everyfew weeks because of problems.

                  Don't even get me started on Windows' "features." Since OS X's public release, there has been 1 (one) security related problem. It was promptly fixed by Apple. We have security holes found weekly in Microsoft products. And I am really sick of CodeRed and nimda attacks filling up my apache logs.

                  I use a Mac because I can get my work done without having to fight with the OS.
        • You said:
          Apple crippled their DVD writing software to disallow mastering for replication.

          I reply:

          I fail to see any problematic "crippling" of DVD production in Apple's current hardware.

          If you were referring to the fact that iDVD [apple.com] will not export a master image (to a DLT tape for example) - Apple has to differentiate DVD Studio Pro [apple.com] from their free software.

          If you were referring to the fact that the SuperDrive can only produce DVD-R 5-general disks, and not authoring disks, I also fail to see that as a problem, as all of the DVD manufacturing services I have checked will accept a general disk as a media source.

          It is true that disks produced in this way can not be protected with CSS and macrovision, (an author would need to make a master on a DLT, or an authoring DVD-R rather than on a superdrive to add these protections ) but I feel that many on Slashdot would see this as an advantage in that it increases the amount of unprotected, legally viewable under Linux (or [Free,Open,Net]BSD ) available in the world ;-)
          • Apple has to differentiate DVD Studio Pro from their free software.

            When one removes a feature to "differentiate" one substantially identical piece of software from another, those in the industry call that crippling.

        • o Apple licensed the nefarious Amazon one-click patent, giving Amazon a precedent with which to bludgeon smaller companies.

          They had too, or risk being sued by Amazon

          o Apple crippled their DVD writing software to disallow mastering for replication.

          Also to avoid lawsuits

          o Apple used legal threats on non-for-profit skinners.

          Nothing wrong with protecting their intellectual property.

          o Apple screwed over the clone vendors.

          As the owner of a Mac clone I have to say I was disappointed, but it was hurting Apple the same way it hurt IBM.

    • try gnustep [gnustep.org]
    • Re:Porting Aqua (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Drone-X (148724)
      (a) you have sound user interface design for free
      GNOME and KDE will get there, it will just takes a bit more time. Looking at the GNOME usability project with a.o. the work Sun is putting into it, I'm confident that by version 3.0 GNOME will be a killer.

      MacOS X OTOH has had a lot of critism [asktog.com].

      (b) you have an instant installed base familiar with the user interface
      Not all that much people are familiar with Aqua.

      The number of people familiar with GNOME and/or KDE is probably larger? I admit I don't have any numbers to back this up except for the fact that there are more machines out there running GNU/Linux rather than Macintosh, add to this that MacOS X was released not so long ago and I may just be right.

      Either how, the number is probably not going to be worth the bother.

      (c) you have many applications which can be ported possibly with a minimum of effort.
      GnuStep should allow for this without actually porting Aqua. The advantage of this strategy is that you get to keep X :). (For those that for whatever reason believe X is bad/bloated/whatever, think about the drivers.)

      But it does make sense. If people can rush off and build .Net clones, why not do someting actually useful?
      Gimme a break. .NET seems like a sound development platform and it's almost garantueed to be a huge success (it's Java with lots of extras plus MS is backing it).
      • The number of people familiar with GNOME and/or KDE is probably larger? I admit I don't have any numbers to back this up except for the fact that there are more machines out there running GNU/Linux rather than Macintosh, add to this that MacOS X was released not so long ago and I may just be right.

        Actually, because of OS X, BSD now has triple the desktop market share of Linux. [osopinion.com]
      • GNOME and KDE will get there, it will just takes a bit more time. Looking at the GNOME usability project with a.o. the work Sun is putting into it, I'm confident that by version 3.0 GNOME will be a killer. MacOS X OTOH has had a lot of critism [asktog.com].

        You are implying that Tog would like Gnome or KDE better. I think he would find just as many, if not more faults with both of them. Just because he doesn't like Aqua doesn't get away from the fact that much of it is based on many of his ideas from when he worked on the Macintosh!

        I use Gnome on my Linux box, but I enjoy Aqua much better.

        • You're right, the "OTOH" was misplaced. What I wanted to say was that MacOS X lost sacrifised some usability for eye-candy. If GNOME with its usability project avoids that, then it can end up more user-friendly long-term.

          But of course MacOS X may change its appearant philosophy in the future.

    • It sounds like what you want is OpenSTEP, the predecessor to Cocoa. Before NeXT bought Apple for -$200m, OpenSTEP was available on NT and a variety of UNIXes.

      You can still see the signs of it, too - just take a look through the Foundation and AppKit header files. They're filled with platform specific definitions wrapped in #ifdefs.
    • I don't know if you've noticed, but Apple's legal department is pretty damn fierce. All the Aqua skins and themes they could find have recieved cease & desist leters, XPod was forced to change it's name, iMac knockoffs liek the eOne also come to mind...

      Also, the Carbon (and Cocoa) APIs are not part of Aqua, think of Aqua as the MacOS's window manager (in fact, that's eactly what it is). You seem to be talking about a port of the entire proprietary "front-end" to the OS, for which you'd also need the QuickTime and Quartz layers as well, which now house some of the essential MacOS services, even if they are accessed indirectly though Carbon and Cocoa. This "Aqua on Linux" would mean who needs OSX's $149 proprietary interface, API, and kernel? No one, if you can get a just-as-good for free. Apple only holds a 5% market share and they're very careful to make any move, however aswome it would make the world, that will put them out. Apple can't create cool stuff if they're out of business.

      After what happened with the MS Windows GUI vs. MacOS GUI back in the 80s, can you really blame then for guarding their IP like hawks? Had that turned out differently, we might all be rooting for Miscrosoft to "relieve the industry of the monopilizing Apple computer". Think about it.

      ...and yes, I am a die hard Mac fan. 'nuff said.

  • "unable to produce a product which can run for more than a few days without crashing"

    Has the submitter even used OSX? I've been using it daily since October and it has only crashed on me once. The majority of OSX users do not rebooted their Macs, they just put them to sleep. Remeber, Macs have instant wake-up from sleep, unlike Windows or Linux.

    OSX uptime is typcially measured in weeks, not days.
    • I think he was talking about Windows
    • Has the submitter even read the article? I've read the article and it was talking about MSWindows and not OSX. The majority of UNIX users do not rebooted their boxes, they just leave them running. Remember, UNIX stay running without crashing and memory leaks, unlike Windows or MacOS.

      Linux uptime is typically measured in months not weeks.
    • Dude I think he was talking about Windows..

    • "Macs have instant wake-up from sleep, unlike Windows"

      /presses the power button

      /sees "Writing hibernation file to disk"

      /machine powers down

      /powers machine up again

      /waits 15 seconds

      /is back at the desktop

      oh look, we can do that too....
      • "Macs have instant wake-up from sleep, unlike Windows"


        /presses the power button

        /sees "Writing hibernation file to disk"

        /machine powers down

        /powers machine up again

        /waits 15 seconds

        /is back at the desktop

        oh look, we can do that too....

        That's nice. Fifteen seconds is kind of a long way from "instantaneous", though. Also, I'm pretty sure "sleep", which the poster you're quoting said, and "hibernate", which you did, are different things. My G4 takes four seconds to wake from sleep. At least that's how long before my Sony CRT is powered back up so I can see something. Four seconds isn't instantaneous either, but it's a bit better than 15 seconds. I've heard people with Titanium Powerbooks say when they wake it from sleep by opening the lid, it's up and running by the time they have the lid open. What's the wake from sleep time like on the box you're using?

  • Worth quoting: 'It is amazing to me that an OS which was developed largely by volunteers (and which is essentially free) can run with unprecedented stability on the same hodgepodge of PC hardware on which another company has spent billions of dollars in R&D costs and is still unable to produce a product which can run for more than a few days without crashing -- and it costs hundreds of dollars.'"

    This was in fact a reference to Windows, not Mac OSX.

    On the subject of Windows stability. If you're not using that crap VIA puts out, but instead use tested Intel solutions, it is not an issue. Since my migration to Windows 2000, I have had a total of eight memory dumps. That is since my initial use of Windows 2000, RC2. As a desktop OS in the Intel world, nothing comes close(available software versus stability). Eight memory dumps over twelve systems in a period of Three years seems like a good track record to me.

    I will probably be modded to hell for posting anything positive about Windows, but these are the facts.

    • If I had mod points I would give one to you.

      Your opinion seems to me that it is based on reason instead of anti-MS trendiness.

      I have been trying to think of a way to break it to everyone that Windows CAN be reliable, though I'll limit my claims to versions based on the NT code base.

      It seems like every time you try to mention that properly configured, and with tested hardware, windows isn't all that bad, you are called a microlemming or some such term and modded for being a troll or something. Windows is much happier with 128 or 256 MB of ram. With the price of RAM these days, why not get a few extra 128MB modules?

      My NT Server 4 box had been running for two months without a reboot*. I use it for memory-intensive applications like graphics work and visual studio programming (insert bloated application joke here).

      * Well, I did have to take it down yesterday to apply the two new IE hotfixes...

      (Of course everyone will love that last sentence.)

  • It is amazing to me that an OS which was developed largely by volunteers (and which is essentially free) can run with unprecedented stability on the same hodgepodge of PC hardware on which another company has spent billions of dollars in R&D costs and is still unable to produce a product which can run for more than a few days without crashing -- and it costs hundreds of dollars.
    Because of the context, you have to read this quote very carefully before you realize that the "product" he refers to is Windows, not MacOS.

    In any case, the author betrays a certain ignorance of how commercial software gets developed. Products that have reliability as their primary goal are few and far between. A bigger priority is features. Features help sell the product, and market-driven products tend towards nasty feature bloat. You can see this in all Microsoft products. And elsewhere -- I know little about the Copeland/Gershwin debacle [apple.com], but folks working at Infinite Loop at the time assure me that feature bloat did more to destroy that product than anything.

    Open source products, by contrast, are driven by consultants and "Free Software" enthusiasts who just want software that works. Which is not to say there's no feature bloat there either, as any user of EMACS or KDE can testify. But since the process is driven by the people who actually do the work, there's a more realistic notion as to what features are actually practical. And with the source open to everybody, there's a more objective idea of how reliable the software actually is.

  • Developing the GUI (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I think it's telling that Apple was able to achieve in just a couple of years what the open source community has been struggling to do for years, unsuccessfully -- that is, bring a great user experience to a Unix platform.

    Open source development models are great at a lot of things, lousy at others. Agreeing where to go or what to do or how best to do it is something the OSS model has failed miserably at.

    What OSX proves is just how essential it is to have engineers working under a single umbrella, with a single vision, and a single set of user interface guidelines. There is no technical reason why Linux should be so much harder to use than OS X - the failings are all due to the failure of the OSS GUI teams to coalesce around a single vision .
    • Oops, that wasn't mean to be posted anonymously - I'm shacker.
  • That's an interesting statement. I wonder where he read those "predictions", www.microsoft.com maybe?

    lol
    Chris
  • Some of the comments here seem interestingly one sided, and I think a lot of us are missing the big picture here.

    Linux, by it's very nature, will never be a consumer OS. The fragmentation involved in a non-managed open-source computing project will never translate into a unified technology easily marketable to Joe Shmo, the average consumer.

    On the other hand, Apple has managed to do an extraordinary (and unprecedented job) of brining a UNIX-based OS (Darwin) to the masses. The fact of the matter is, my grandmother, who has owned an iMac for three months now, can use OS X. I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell, even if I set up a standard distribution, GNOME, and graphic login, she could consistently and flawlessly use Linux.

    Apple should be congratulated -- not condemned -- for bringing what is, at it's core, an open-source OS to the masses. Darwin, and Apple, represent what I hope will be the salvation of computing from the monopoly that is Microsoft.

    Linux power users, sysadmins, and academics should work along with those in charge of the consumer segment of the mac market to bring us a world in which consumers and home users use Macs, power users, servers and sysadmins run Linux, and the business (ie white collar) world runs desktop Wintel boxes. Because yes, as much as we all might hate to admit it, Microsoft does have a place in a post-monopolistic world: regardless of what most of we uberusers maintain, large corporations (which, for better or for worse, form a good part of the structure on which our society functions) will always be reluctant to give end users anything less than a robust commercial interface. Macs will be too expensive, Linux will always be too cutting-edge; Wintel boxes running a variant of Microsoft Office will provide the middle ground for businesses seeking stability, low prices, and standardization -- something that they will never get from proprietary Apple hardware and/or open-source Linux software.

    Computing today too often reminds me of a sort of religious fanaticism. Everybody has their religion, and everybody else is just downright wrong. As in the real world, pluralism is the value that should and hopefully will triumph. We should work towards a vision in which Linux has a 80% server share (with the remainder going mainly to other UNIXes), a 10% power desktop share, and a 30% academic share. Such a world would have consumers running 80% Macs and business end-users running 80% Wintel. We need to give up on the idea that OSes need to be "swiss army knives" (or Gerber multitools, if you prefer) capable of and suitable to any task. There is an array of OSes, an array of tools out there. I use a Mac for Digital Video and Photography, Wintel for writing papers and grants, doing CAD, and contact management, and I have a Linux box sitting under my desk that I use as a file/web/mail server and occasionally for workstation tasks. The face of tomorrow's computing, of Linux, of Windows, and of the Mac will hopefully be founded upon that view.

    I welcome your comments and await replies,
    Shylock

  • Is now available at Versiontracker.com

    Now that I have XWindows running on OSX, I don't really need Linux. The apps I used the most, GIMP, Nedit, and Bluefish run well in OSX.

    Damn, OSX is too cool for words.

    If you haven't had the chance, skip down to the store and play with one of the OSX boxes there, or find a friend who has it. It is fun.

  • I'm beginning to wonder why we all just assume that one OS must necessarily be a threat to and compete with any other. Obviously if an OS doens't win desktops it won't last long, but when has it ever been a natural law that one OS must dominate to the exclusion of all others?

    I can hear the responses - "Hello? Windows?" - but to me this is a skewed perspective. Windows is dominant because Windows is dominant, and because MS was ruthlessly competitive when it counted and Apple was in huge denial about the consequences of not licensing the Mac OS. MS has taken advantage of the herd instinct to win desktops, but the very existence of thriving "alternative OS" communities like Mac, Linux, etc. should be a clue that the natural order of the world is not "one OS shall rule them all."

    I believe that the current MS dominance is just the first chapter in computing history. Someday, Windows will be on the wane and multiple OS's will share the world's desktops using interoperability standards like XML, Samba, SOAP, and other wonderful technologies to seamlessly interact. It's a dream, but I believe it will come true. Can't we all just get along?

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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