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Bill Joy on Linux and Mac OS X 223

Posted by pudge
from the pass-the-kool-aid dept.
(rfm)2 writes "In a Wired interview, Bill Joy mentions he just got a new dual 2GHz G5 Power Mac with 8 GB RAM and half a terabyte of internal disk. He is clearly underwhelmed by Linux: 'Re-implementing what I designed in 1979 is not interesting to me personally. For kids who are 20 years younger than me, Linux is a great way to cut your teeth. It's a cultural phenomenon and a business phenomenon. Mac OS X is a rock-solid system that's beautifully designed. I much prefer it to Linux.'"
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Bill Joy on Linux and Mac OS X

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  • by rkabir (575053) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:51PM (#7524434)
    After all, Mac OS has got solid user oriented UI... We're working on that with linux - but we've got years to go before it's set for the home user -> linux trounces for business of course :-D oh, and fp!
    • Not the UI (Score:4, Interesting)

      by The Herbaliser (660976) on Friday November 21, 2003 @11:03AM (#7528722)
      I didn't get the sense from reading the interview that he was talking about the UI.

      Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I think when he says that Linux isn't interesting from a technological standpoint, he's not talking about how easily he can check his email: he's talking about architectural and technological innovation.

      There are fundamental differences between the Darwin and Linux kernels that makes Darwin, in my opinion, a more interesting, and "better" design. This has nothing to do with UI.

      On a related note: While Bill Joy may or may not be using his computer at home, I don't think it's fair to call him a "home user". I have no doubt that he's quite comfortable on the command-line, and if you read the rest of the interview, you get the sense he's using his G5 for more than just web-browsing.
  • by OzPixel (559736) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:54PM (#7524451) Journal
    What he was doing in 1979 was academic work, and the source code was available. In the years since then, Unix has been locked away by various companies (e.g. SCO). Linux isn't about making the best user experience, it's about a return to making improvements based on freely shared knowledge.

    David.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Bullshit. BSD yesterday, BSD today, BSD tomorrow.
      • by alangmead (109702) * on Thursday November 20, 2003 @08:42PM (#7525059)

        Until the the Net1 release, the Berkeley code was intermingled with Bell Labs code, considered a derived work, and needed the purchase of an AT&T license. Your "BSD yesterday" corresponds to about BSD 4.4-lite, from 1994.

        See Twenty Years of Berkeley Unix From AT&T-Owned to Freely Redistributable [oreilly.com] for details.

        In a way OzPixel's post [slashdot.org] got it wrong too. People in the academic environment got the freedoms of liberal distribution, but people outside of the university environment who were interested in learning about or using these technologies were out of luck. Linux expanded to a wider audience than BSD was capable of reaching.

    • Linux isn't about making the best user experience, it's about a return to making improvements based on freely shared knowledge.

      That's the point of GNU/Hurd certainly, but my impression is that most of the Linux world aspires to something beyond reimplementing late-70's Unix. Certainly most parts of the larger "Linux" world -- KDE, XFree, Apache, GNOME -- aspire to more than that. Certainly IBM isn't running ads saying "Linux -- it's just like before Bill joy wrote vi!"

      The AC has a valid point, too.

    • He says its an interesting business and cultural phenomenon, just not interesting technologically, so while you seem to think he's missing the point, you're actually pretty much agreeing with him.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:57PM (#7524461)
    What made Apple successful (if you can call it that) a strong set of UI guidelines that everyone is supposed to follow. Thus there are two key questions:
    1. Does the Linux community have a set of UI guidelines?
    2. Do Linux app developers follow them?

    If the answer to either question is "no" then Linux is not likely to take over the desktops of average (= your grandma) users.
    • by Arkham (10779) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:06PM (#7524519)

      1. Does the Linux community have a set of UI guidelines?
      2. Do Linux app developers follow them?


      1) I suspect there are UI guidelines for KDE and Gnome, but not a unifying standard. The KDE/Gnome difference is part of the problem when you're looking for UI consistency.
      2) No, but the same can be said of Windows developers. Microsoft has a standard, but people don't seem to follow it with any consistency.

      • Instead of creating loose guidelines, they should architect their KDE/GNOME application frameworks so they enforce a consistent UI experience. The frameworks should make writing HIG-conforming apps easier than writing a non-HIG-conforming apps.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:49PM (#7524799)
      1 : yes , GNOME has the HIG : http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/

      2 : Yes, Gnome developers and others not core applications are now in a very intensive use of the HIG
      all the core gnome applications use it _now_ (gnome 2.2/2.4), all not core applications are in use or in implementation of them (gnumeric is now hig, gimp is in work, abiword is mostly hig, evolution 2 will be, gaim is,and so on )

      openoffice 2 will use the gnome HIG

      it's not joke. it's very now, in suse 8.x and upper, mandrake 9 and upper, Redhat 8/9 and fedora now. and other recent distribution (end 2002/ begin 2003, mostly)

      of course, it has many works to do , many application to "hig", but it"s a really concern of many opensources developpers now. many speak about in their development, many "mature project" think about

      in the same time, KDE is striving to inform developpers to follow some official guidelines to do "good" kde applications.

      so, is linux is likely to take over the desktop of average (my grandma don't use computer at all and only watch tv for informations) users ? yes, because many developpers and industrial player WANT that , and there are still some Huge Work to do. but it grows well.

      I recommand people to read some website like http://www.gnomedesktop.org or http://dot.kde.org to know that two community, and see (sometimes) presentation of new project or improvment of old project.

      I also remind that two community can HELP MAC OSX
      KDE applications could be use with GPL edition of QT for osx
      and fink (http://fink.sourceforge.net) help to install some gtk/gnome applications which can useful and nice to use with osx X11.app.

      linux is not about reinventing "unix"
      it was done years ago

      it's about a FREEDOM and OPEN COMPLETE OPERATING SYSTEM and DESKTOP Environment

      linux is the KERNEL
      GNU/Linux is the OS
      GNOME is the desktop environment (for bsd, irix, aix, solaris and other)

      all is VERY much more powerful and re-conceived from technologies of 1979.

      to think it's now only re-inventation of the old good unix, is completely nonsense

      or maybe, he has only a Vi and some shells on a poor lonely 2.2 linux kernel ?

      very strange.

      in the same time : OSX is a GOOD os. not so free, but very mature.

      and HO, it mostly re-imaginated many unix concept too
      the kernel is MACH, not so old good "unix"

      the whole os fondation is BSD, so unix, but complete rewrite (and free of at&t copyright ) of the so good old unix
      the userland high level API is COCOA, re-implementation of OPENSTEP, completely NOT unix, NOT xlib, NOT xtoolkit

      the whole user interface is AQUA : a re-imagination of the nextstep interface.

      in plain short : Mac OSX is _NOT_ the plain old unix no more than linux

      in some part it's bsd, some mach, some gnu, some next, some new apple additions

      to criticize linux to simply reinvent "unix" is also criticize OSX.

      thanks to read me. I use daily linux, OSX and freebsd (at work and for my own need) , to chidlishly criticize one or all of them (with some dumb comment about the old unix) is a plain insult to ALL.

      and please, I urge you to think about the fact a FREE(freedom) and the need to access sourcecode is also a goal which worth to write an OS. even if already good os are available.
    • The real issue isn't whether they have UI guidelines but how often people follow them. Within the Gnome developers and KDE developers there is a core that try to adhere to standards. I think that overall Gnome is doing a little better here. Rumors for their next edition suggest they've been paying a lot of attention to interface. For a long time it seemed like both Gnome and KDE were simply following the Microsoft path. By and large though I think the main Gnome apps and the main KDE apps follow standa
    • "guidelines" are not the reason OS/X works better. It works better because the graphics system itself is better.

      Linux would be a lot better if all the morons who keep asking for "guidelines" and "unification" would stop doing the "fun" stuff and write code to draw anti-aliased shapes or write low-level interface code so that it is easy to create a window and draw into it and get events.

      You can write a Mac program that violates every UI "guideline" you want and it will still be easier to write and easier

    • I have to disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pastafazou (648001)
      I would say what made Apple successful was the whole ease of use factor. Put the CD in the drive, hold down the "C" key, turn machine on. Machine boots off of CD. Click the install icon, provide a few simple responses and info, and your OS is installed. No "detecting hardware...found something...don't know what it is...do you have a driver for this ? piece of hardware?" that you get with windows, and certainly not like linux installs. Configuring the network has always been straightforward as well, wit
      • Windows has one advantage over Linux and OS X, and that is the amount of mindshare it currently has in the marketplace. Most everything else can only vaguely be termed a technical advantage - and if you've never spent a day or two in "driver hell", you really don't know just how lame the driver support can be. Also, OS X doesn't have driver problems because Apple has all the drivers set up in advance for the extremely limited subset of all hardware that works with Apple. Linux has driver problems because ha

        • if Apple ever decides to release it for the x86 architecture. Unless they do that, they've limited their mindshare to people who can afford to buy an Apple. Sure, it's easy to use - but it's also expensive to use.

          IMHO, $800 for a 1GHz G4 and 17" monitor is not expensive. Spend another $50 for 256MB of memory from Crucial, and you'll have a machine that will satisfy 90% of home users for the next 5-6 years. Through Apple's loan program it's $19 a month. Five dollars a week... Seventy-two cents a day.

          Can

    • 1. Does the Linux community have a set of UI guidelines?

      Yes, lots. That's the problem. The KDE and GNOME projects have been working to have compatable UI guidelines, though so that should solve this problem.

      2. Do Linux app developers follow them?

      Sometimes. I'd say OSS follows a UI guideline as well as windows apps usually do.
  • ya.. well (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm a big fan of OSX.

    but; give me a dual 2ghz system, gb of ram, and a half tb or storage, and I'll love whatever it runs. I'd take DOS on a system like that.
  • 8Gb RAM? (Score:5, Funny)

    by oberondarksoul (723118) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:03PM (#7524493) Homepage
    Does 'overkill' mean nothing to these people?
    • Re:8Gb RAM? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Pegasus (13291)
      Oh, just try running OS X on 8gig box vs. 256mb or so one ... The difference in responsivness is tremendous. Remember that ram is an order of magnitude faster than hard disk.
      I would love to have that amount of memory for KDE desktop, but unfortunately i only have a gig and a half and am therefore 'forced' to use xfce [xfce.org] :)

      Such is computing for the impatient ...

      • Re:8Gb RAM? (Score:3, Informative)

        by lylonius (20917)
        and sometimes even 5 orders of magnitude:
        ram access time is ~100ns
        disk access time is ~10ms (10,000,000 ns)
      • Re:8Gb RAM? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Graff (532189)

        Oh, just try running OS X on 8gig box vs. 256mb or so one ... The difference in responsivness is tremendous.

        After about 512 megs of RAM you don't see much speedup for normal tasks. Large databases and such will improve with gigs of memory but for normal home and office use 256 is absolute minimum, 384 is the minimum preferred and 512 is plenty.

        I currently have 1.5 gigs of RAM just because it was cheap and I occasionally do some larger tasks, but I almost never use it all. I've had this machine up for

        • Re:8Gb RAM? (Score:2, Informative)

          by andrewleung (48567)
          i guess not all of us have read the 256MB to 8GB RAM G5 test results... [xlr8yourmac.com]

          some interesting results. diminishing returns after 1.5GB of RAM. (which is a good choice now)

          i wish they had more video coding tests... especially for higher res....
          • Re:8Gb RAM? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Graff (532189)

            i guess not all of us have read the 256MB to 8GB RAM G5 test results...

            Actually that's about what I'd expect for a program like Photoshop and large files. Photoshop is not a typical home or small office application, it has much higher system and memory demands. If you notice what I said was:

            After about 512 megs of RAM you don't see much speedup for normal tasks. Large databases and such will improve with gigs of memory but for normal home and office use 256 is absolute minimum, 384 is the minimum p

    • Not really. 8GB of RAM would be great for doing things like running applications and such in. Load the whole app into memory and never have to touch disk except to write out a file or read one in.
    • Re:8Gb RAM? (Score:2, Funny)

      by nelsonal (549144)
      To quote a true master of such things, "So, the bottom line is, if you're a guy, you cannot have enough RAM. Bill Gates currently has over 743 billion 'megs' of RAM, and he still routinely feels the need to stuff a zucchini in his underwear."
      I just wonder how long it will be until that is a small amount of RAM. It's currently a large storage array, but even I can remember when computers with 1 Gig of storage were reserved for profitable purposes only.
  • painful to say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schapman (703722) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:06PM (#7524528)
    as much as it pains me to say this... linux needs to drift much more to the windows/MacOS way of doing things... point and drool works for the majority of the people out there. If u need a windows driver... click on it and it goes (most of the time :P )... I think Linux has the foundation to be the ultimate OS if there is an easy setup and configuration, along with the power to drop to the command line and change anything. I recently had a chance to try out the new MacOS, and was very impressed... if I could have a windowing system like that, with all the configuration abilities of linux... the world would be a happier place for me. as it is now.. the only reason i run windows now is because im a hard core gamer.. and too many games use DirectX(in my opinion, one of the greatest things MSoft has ever made (and free :P) ), but if i could game on linux and have the ease of use for others in my household that windows provides... I'd make the full switch no prob.
  • by nathanh (1214) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:13PM (#7524567) Homepage
    Re-implementing what I designed in 1979 is not interesting to me personally.

    And if Linux was entirely about re-implementing what Bill Joy designed in 1979, then he might have a point.

    But the things Bill Joy designed and partially wrote back in the 1970s are functionally inferior to features found in modern Linux.

    Sure, Linux and BSD share similar APIs, but it is more than a little deceptive to claim that BSD and Linux are the same design. Internally they're completely different.

    This is like a 100 year old Mr Ford looking at a modern V8 EFI car with independent suspension and AWD and ABS and saying "pfft, it's not very interesting, I designed all this back in the early 1900s". It shows a complete lack of comprehension regarding the modern state-of-the-art.

    • Oh. Yes. 15 years ago, the manpage for 'ls' wasn't 15 pages long.

      And yes, ls is availible to me on every OSX Mac in the world. However, almost no mac users use it on a daily basis. There's a reason for this.
      • And it's weird, because ls isn't really that useful anyway. It doesn't actually "list" files that match a pattern, the shell does that for you.

        ls just prints out information about the files.
        It's only when you turn on recursion that it starts to make more sense, but even then, you could just get a lot of stuff that scrolls all the way up that you don't want to wade through.

        For that kind of thing, a graphical interface is ideal.

        "find" and -printf are TONS more useful in that respect.
        It's gotten to the poin
      • And yes, ls is availible to me on every OSX Mac in the world. However, almost no mac users use it on a daily basis. There's a reason for this.

        Uhh, yes... so what's your point?

        Are you trying to say that because Linux has ls, just like BSD in 1979, and just like MacOSX today, that Linux is inferior, but MacOSX isn't inferior?

        Or are you saying that because Linux users use ls, and Mac users don't, that Linux is inferior to MacOSX? Or inferior to BSD? Does MacOSX become inferior if I choose to use ls?

        • by zpok (604055) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @09:05PM (#7525158) Homepage
          Well let me run with this a bit.

          All this inferior-superior stuff is what you're looking for. Not me, and I doubt parent poster had any of that in mind.

          Most people are looking for an experience. If you dig compiling, recompiling and using x systems on top of each other, not allowing for drag and drop between them, can't set your monitor resolution without turning your machine inside out, don't have the luxury of font management, printing, etc etc. then Linux is for you!

          If you're not the adventurous type, not a programmer and don't enjoy beating your own system (see above), maybe OS X is really what you're looking for.

          I don't mean to bash Linux here, but you all should stop pretending Linux is easy. It's not. It's wonderful, who would have thought it, but it's not for those a lot of Linux adepts deem "dumb" - even if they might one day give you a heart transplant.

          Let me put it real simple: Linux is not for people who are not into Linux. And Mac OS X - even Windows (the horror) are systems for people who basically don't give a fuck. If I had done what mr Sun has done, I would not build a computer from spare parts and program drivers to get my linux box talking with my other stuff, I'd go out and buy a monster machine running OS X - if I were him.

          So put all that superior-inferior crap where the sun doesn't shine (forgot where that was, somewhere between Lancre and Badass). That most certainly was not the point.

          Hope you enjoyed my rant, Cheers!
          • Most people are looking for an experience. If you dig compiling, recompiling and using x systems on top of each other, not allowing for drag and drop between them, can't set your monitor resolution without turning your machine inside out, don't have the luxury of font management, printing, etc etc. then Linux is for you!

            I don't know what system you're using, but your experience is not the same as mine.

            I haven't compiled anything in years. I did all that back in 1993. These days I just click on the u

            • by zpok (604055)
              Sounds like your experience with Linux is the same as Bill Joy's, but is based on Linux from 1993. Maybe you should update your knowledge before attempting another rant

              Oh, I don't know about that. Most linux users would happily agree if I weren't mentioning OS X in the same post.

              You may have got yourself a perfect system and may be fully capable to maintain it. That's really really cool (no sarcasm), but I'm sure I wouldn't be able to duplicate that.

              Drag and drop: I'm sure you understood me right:
              • by C_nemo (520601)
                Im not the grandparent poster, as the nick so clearly states, but i think i can ansver alot of your questions.

                As a linux and mac user i know drag'n'drop the proper way. The mac way, that is. It's amazing, you can drag'n'drop everything everywhere, drag a url to the desktop -> web link, drag marked text to the desktop -> textClipping which you can read later, drag a folder icon from the titlebar to the Terminal.app -> path on the command line. Linux is nowhere near the userfiendlyness of OSX in any
                • OK, well well...

                  This actually sounds amazing. I'm going to look for this and try it out for myself. :-)

                • First experience is not really positive.

                  I think I'm going to keep a journal to report a bit on this.

                  Still looking for the Gnome 2.4 installer, still trying to make sense of it all. But intrigued as I am, will go on looking.

                  All ftp sites have a readme saying I should go to dir /latest/stable/ or just /stable/ and none of them have that directory. Weird. None of the links actually go to an installer or a directory with something that says "Here Is Gnome 2.4, Start Here!!!!!".

                  As for install instructions, y
                  • The insane amount of packages have always been my main gripe with Gnome. I usually wait for my main distro to get upgraded, or chose another gnome installation such as Ximian Desktop (RPM) or Dropline Gnome (slackware), which both offer installers to do all the dirty work for you. Ximian Desktop 2 is Gnome 2.2 based(no resolution switching on the fly) but is a _realy_ polished product, but i think you will have to get a RedHat/Fedora distribution to get the drag'n'drop between Gnome/KDE properly (you might
          • The world as I see it.

            Linux/Unix = Geeks who REALLY know their shit, use Unix at work (or wish they could but cant thanks to managment) and who generallly want a system that doesnt have microsofts taint on it, but also dont want to spend the money to buy a mac, would rather use a x86 chip, and/or like having full control of their system.

            Mac OS X = either upgrading (or new) users who a) love the simplicity and style and dont mind shelling out 2-3 hundred extra to get the "Apple" lifestyle (and dont say t

          • Most people are looking for an experience.

            I hear what you're saying, but I think in fact that most people are _not_ looking for "an experience," at least not in front of their computers. Most people are looking to get some work done with less pain than they had doing things however they did them before. Most people want a solution that works for them, that they don't have to put together or optimize or spend a lot of time understanding.
          • If you dig compiling, recompiling and using x systems on top of each other, not allowing for drag and drop between them, can't set your monitor resolution without turning your machine inside out, don't have the luxury of font management, printing, etc etc. then Linux is for you!

            Wow, that's a pretty fucking good joke! Hehe. I have all that stuff on Linux, so you are a good joker! Hehe.&lt/vitriolic sarcasm>

            • Two users pointed out that the distro they use is indeed extremely friendly (Gnome).

              I am going to have to see this for myself, can't wait.

              BTW My own experience indeed is from two years back, but many comments from linux users now say exactly the same things I did. Wasn't joking.
        • I'm not saying that ls is inferior on any one operating system. (To my knowledge, I thought that ls was the same on most modern unixes)

          What i'm saying is that Mac users don't need to use an overly-complex, antiquated mechanism to display a list of files in a directory. The finder does that for them. I don't want to have to properly format my syntax so that my files are sorted by size in an ascending order.

          Joy's main argument is that modern unix-geeks have been unable to devise something better than wha
    • Actually, it's more like looking at a kit-car. Sure, it beats the original ford cars no problem. But since then ford has now got *automatic*, *awd*, etc etc.

      That kit-car is now just getting awd, independent suspension, etc. But some of it is donated by the big companies, and it still doesn't have automatic or any sort of standards since anyone can put it together differently and sell it to you.

      Linux is just not interesting. Nothing in Linux is at all new or different. All the big unix features it's gettin
  • All high and mighty (Score:4, Interesting)

    by n3bulous (72591) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:28PM (#7524665)
    "They took systems designed for isolated desktop systems and put them on the Net without thinking about evildoers" - BJ

    I haven't really followed Joy's career and what he's created, but if you look at everything on the net, TCP/IP, SMTP, et. al., they were initially dependent on unfounded trust. Once the masses got ahold of it, the evildoers expoited that trust.

    For years, Sun shipped systems that were completely insecure right out of the box (blank root password, every inetd service enabled, etc...) It wasn't until the mid-90s that Sun started to do anything about it.

    Granted, MS should have known better seeing as they were so late to the party, but Linux systems were no different until enough bitching occurred to make someone change the defaults.

    What was that about not knowing your history?

    • plus the article says "Introduced by Bill Joy and a team of Sun engineers in 1995, Java was hailed for its ability to run software applications on any platform." This urban myth has got to stop. Bill Joy did not create Java. James Gosling created Java.
  • by thelenm (213782) <mthelen@@@gmail...com> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:30PM (#7524686) Homepage Journal
    Bill Joy on Linux, Mac OS X, and George W. Bush. Yeesh, I didn't expect so much of it to be a political rant. Then again, it's Bill Joy, maybe I should have. :-)
    • Yeesh, I didn't expect so much of it to be a political rant. Then again, it's Bill Joy, maybe I should have. :-)

      Sometimes very smart people that are very good in one sphere of knowledge make the mistake of thinking that their expertise extends to ALL spheres of knowledge. So you see actors & musicians, and in this case computer programmers, that think they have brilliant political insights. Bill Joy is entitled to his opinion and is entitled to voice it in any forum he cares to - but I don't see any
  • Yeah, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by anothy (83176) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:31PM (#7524691) Homepage
    Well, Bill, you may be right, but just keep in mind that re-implementing what ken and dennis designed before you probably didn't impress them so much, either.
    seriously, he's spot on here. there's lots of good things about linux, but few of them are technical. OS X is doing real new stuff.
    • Re:Yeah, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nathanh (1214) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:17PM (#7525804) Homepage
      OS X is doing real new stuff.

      I'd honestly like to know what this "real new stuff" in MacOSX is.

      The kernel is BSD. That's the 1979 technology that Bill Joy was so quick to dismiss.

      The display system is Display PDF. That's not exactly a gigantic leap from Display Postscript in the late 1980s.

      The desktop interface is traditional Mac (the menubar at the top) from 1984 with the addition of a panel at the bottom. The panel concept is mid 1980s.

      MacOSX is fundamentally minor tweaks on proven technology and proven interface design, using a proven operating system that's older than the Mac itself. I don't see why anybody thinks MacOSX is cutting edge.

      That said, I think MacOSX is a sexy interface, the PowerBooks are great value for money, and the entire package is extremely slick. But I'm always baffled when people say shiny buttons demonstrate technological leadership. It's just shiny buttons! The technology in MacOSX is really ancient.

      • Re:Yeah, but... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Graff (532189) on Friday November 21, 2003 @01:27AM (#7526494)
        MacOSX is fundamentally minor tweaks on proven technology and proven interface design, using a proven operating system that's older than the Mac itself. I don't see why anybody thinks MacOSX is cutting edge.

        Mac OS X is cutting edge for the simple fact that it is the first OS to combine all of these proven technologies (and many more) into a package that just works and is slick to boot. Individually these technologies are nothing new but combined they represent the cutting edge of OS design.

        One nitpick: the kernel is Mach (well, Mach-based), the BSD tools are layered on top of that (along with GNU, NextStep, and much more)
        • Mac OS X is cutting edge for the simple fact that it is the first OS to combine all of these proven technologies (and many more) into a package that just works and is slick to boot.

          Actually SunOS with the SunView windowing system predated Mac OS X while providing all the features the previous poster described. Mac OS X itself is of course little more than NeXTSTEP with a facelift to take advantage of more powerful hardware. That's why GNUStep still generates some interest - it's no longer seeking to clo

      • It's just shiny buttons!

        Ya, but they're realllly pretty!!

      • It's cutting edge because it's the only system of it's kind. There is no other system that is all at once so powerful and so easy, so new and yet so old
      • You don't really know much about OS X.
        First, it's a mach kernel that can act like BSD.
        Big difference.
        And, it's not really the UNIX part that's so interesting.
        It's nice to have as a foundation.

        The beauty of OSX is its completely object-oriented layers above UNIX.
        Written in Objective-C, a decent mixture between plain C and smalltalk, it lets you write VERY dynamic code.

        You have services (one program can offer its capabilities to other programs). Say, one program can open and read PNG files. Sudenly a
  • by nthomas (10354) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:40PM (#7524747)
    Q: And yet you've been famously cool about Linux.
    A: Re-implementing what I designed in 1979 is not interesting to me personally.

    [...]

    Q: All right, you win. What are you doing for fun these days?
    A: I'm figuring out a meditation wall for my apartment in New York. Eight feet high by 12 feet wide, with an array of overlapping rear projectors, each with a tiny Linux box and connected by gigabit Ethernet.

    Fascinating.

    Linux is 1979 technology and yet runs the projectors for his meditation wall -- built by a Walt Disney Imagineer and the inventor of massively parallel supercomputing.

    I should like to ask Mr. Joy why these projectors are not running Mac OS X or even Solaris. Perhaps he owes a greater debt to those kids 20 years his junior than he imagines?

    Thomas

    • Guys at that level probably consider the choice of *nix an implementation issue. =)

      He may be cool on linux, but he didn't trash it per se, he just said it wasn't interesting to him. Not that I feel an overwhelming urge to defend this guy... but if I had been hacking this stuff out at CSRG 20 years ago I'd probably pass on heavy linux involvement too...
    • He doesn't find Linux interesting. Why should he? It's basically a UNIX-alike and he's been working on them for ages.

      What he evidently does find interesting is that you can now buy cheap and very small PC hardware and that that opens up all sorts of possibilities. Yeah, so he's using Linux - so what? it's probably the best choice for OS in this situation. That doesn't suddenly make it fascinating.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 20, 2003 @08:03PM (#7524871)
    Of course he's totally right.
    Why should he be totally into Linux given his background. And why shouldn't he enjoy OS X on this droolproof hardware?

    Give the man a good gui or go whine about something else.

    I think Linux *could* one day make a comprehensive home user system - if that were a goal in itself - but I'm pretty sure most linux contributors are not the ones you should ask about the hi/gui guidelines. They don't care.

    And as long as that's the situation, it's totally understandable someone prefers OS X for the everyday stuff and Linux for doing rocksolid stupid stuff like meditation walls - as long as he doesn't have to set it up himself.

    I can dig linux for servers, since you expect the thing to not give you a head-ache *once you set it up*, but to do this constant maintenance on your main machine without the benefits a windows or os x machine gives you, ffff that takes guts and balls, not for me...
  • by vivekb (111127) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @09:02PM (#7525144)
    Who's Bill Joy?
  • by peaceful_bill (661382) on Friday November 21, 2003 @08:15AM (#7527421) Homepage
    I'm an elementary school teacher, and run an OS X lab with 30 flat panel iMacs and a nice G4 server. We also have a bevy of eMacs and older iMacs in the classroom.

    We use the Apple lease program, which let's us (a very small school district in Massachusetts) buy new technology every 3 years.

    The thing of it is, last night I bought 3 decent machines from Tiger Direct, and a switch for about $700.00 I'll install RH linux on them, and use them for all sorts of stuff (web server, DNS, DHCP, SQUID, etc...). I currently use an old linux box for SQUID in my lab. problems with it == none !! Now that 10.3 is using LDAP to authenticate, I might fiddle with that in our lab.

    As a public institution, I feel we have a fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers (really) and Linux has a place in our schools.

    Apple has made Unix available to the masses, but the cost of entry is something to consider. *sigh*

    I used to fret about Linux VS OS X and now I say how do they best work together.

    oh, and by the way, if anyone has any suggestions for me, listen to this:

    98% of my students have computers with internet access at home. Out of those 98%, 95% have windows machines. I have fought like hell to keep Macs in our school, but the onslaught of windows feels almost inevitable (my strategy so far, is to buy as much OS X software as I can, so replacing it with wondows stuff would be prohibitive). What is an effective way to promote the use of elseOS, when "Everyone else is using Windows" ?
    • What is an effective way to promote the use of elseOS, when "Everyone else is using Windows" ?

      I've always preferred shamelessly mocking them every time a headline-grabbing virus or worm or spyware makes the news. "Gee, your network got taken down by SoBig? Too bad; my computer's been running for eight months straight, no firewall, no antivirus stuff, and I've never had any problems..."

  • I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 21, 2003 @12:16PM (#7529473)
    After "cutting my teeth" with Linux for the last 8 years (from kernel 1.2 & first slackware), I finally got tired of the administration. I learned most of what I wanted to know about unix, and now I just want to use it. OSX to me is the dream system I've been waiting for since I went from Amiga to Unix.

    Unfortunately I'm not the ambitious 20-something I was when I started with unix. I don't want to recompile my kernel every week any more. All the linux I run now is imbedded (net integrator box and dreambox satellite recievers), exactly because I want the power without the maintainence. I think OSX is going to become the burnout hacker's choice of desktop OS exactly for that reason. All the power, none of the fuss. The point is that it's a finished OS. My G5 gives me an experience superior to any desktop OS with superior power than the Sun, AIX, and OSF workstations of just a few years ago. And a full unix implementation to boot! I couldn't be more happy.

    Granted there a few non-unix annoyances, but for the most part, it is what I waited and worked 8 years for linux to become, today. It amazes me how fast they threw it together and how well it came out. It is definately the best example of a successful non-open-source project coming together I have seen in a long time.
  • Bill Joy's problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theolein (316044) on Friday November 21, 2003 @01:55PM (#7530554) Journal
    While it certainly is interesting discussing the merits of *BSD, Linux and OSX, I don't think that that is what Bill Joy's problem is. While he has definitely been an important visionary in the world of computing, he seems for all the world to be one of those philosophical types who lose the connection to the real world. His big worries about machines running out of control in the future, while perhaps pertinent didn't seem to help Sun's bottom line and I remember an interview with Scott McNealy saying that he would have made some Sun people leave much earlier if he could go back in time. I wonder if he was referring to Bill Joy here?

    His comment on Linux is simply demeaning to all the hundreds of thousands of developers who develop for it (and I use Mac OSX!). Linux has become more important than Solaris, HP-UX and AIX, like it or not, Mr Joy, and those (IBM) who saw this coming are now reaping the benefits and those who didn't (Sun) are now struggling to catch up. Mac OS X is hugely successful, precisely because it appeals to all the people that want the OS to just work, but that in no way means that Linux or the BSDs are worse. They are very good at what they do.

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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