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Google Gets Serious About Open Source Mac Projects

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the much-more-productive-than-freecell dept.

Google 193

mjasay sends us a link to a CNet story, which begins: "In the '20 percent time' that Google employees have to work on projects of personal interest, it turns out that an increasing number are spending time writing open-source projects for their Macs. Google has long had a fondness for the Mac, with upwards of 6,000 of its 20,000 current employees opting to use the Mac over Windows. It is in the 20 percent employee development time, however, where this statistic becomes interesting. At Google, development time translates into products. The more Mac-friendly employees, the more Mac-related development. The more Mac-related development, the more Google-sponsored Mac-based open-source code. As Google's Mac Developer Playground demonstrates, some of this code is quite interesting."

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I really like Google apps except for $RANDOM (0)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#23693891)

And Google is really evil, really .. :)

Re:I really like Google apps except for $RANDOM (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23693919)

Christ, I love Greek! Women just don't seem to understand that a man can find just as much pleasure in the warm confines of a well- muscled ass as they can in the satin embrace of a well-wetted cunt. Maybe we men have conditioned them too well to ignoring one hole for the other: nonetheless, every man I've talked to about it loves Greek and every woman who I've talked to about it has been less than enthusiastic. So imagine my surprise last weekend when Kathleen treated me to the joys of anal sex in what must be the first time in five or six years.

The night started our strangely. Kathleen had just finished re- arranging her large library and was exhausted. As suits my biological clock, I was just coming awake at 10 PM when she was turning in. She invited me to bed and I politely declined: I was horny as usual and told her I'd keep her awake. After a couple of more requests from her, I stripped and crawled in beside her. Kathleen loves to snuggle and wasted no time in curling her small body up next to mine. I turned and kissed her. She was oddly responsive for her tired state, and teased me with a hint of tongue in her kisses. I reached down to feel her muff and found it just beginning to rev as her right hand slipped down her belly to her clit.

I took up what has become my customary position between her legs - kneeling and using my cock as a sex toy to tickle her lower labia and the entrance to her cunt. But this time I let my aim wander lower to the wonderful curve where ass, crotch, and leg meet. I rubbed my cock against this soft crescent and expanded the stroke to brush against the entrance to her ass. I noticed that every time that my prick touched her rosebud, her strokes on her clit quickened. It wasn't long before I was pressing the tip of my cock against her asshole.

Surprise! My cock slipped easily into her ass until the entire head was buried inside, and just as I was about to pull out and apoligize, she handed me a bottle of sex lubricant and said "What the fuck? Why not?". I pulled back and poured the lubricant on my hard cock and noticed her pussy was swollen and very wet. I worked my cock back into its previous nest. It was so easy. I could feel her ass muscles relaxing and opening for me. I eased ever so slowly deeper. Such heaven! Like a warm, wet hand gripping all around my prick - so much tighter than pussy, and delightful in an entirely different way. I could feel her hips grind against me as I worked the last of my seven-plus inches into her back door. Realizing where I was and how long it had been since I'd known this pleasure, I had to fight to pull the reigns in on my orgasm.

It seemed like forever - my slow rocking pulling my cock almost full-length out of her ass before easing it back in until my balls rested against her firm buns. Her right hand furiously massaged her clit and her left hand played at the entrance of her cunt, pressing on the full length of her labia. And all the while my cock was enveloped in a firm net of gripping muscles that wrestled to bring the cum from me. "It's so weird," she said as she searched for the grip on her own orgasm. Suddenly, it was upon her. I felt her ass open up like a mouth that was just to blow up a ballon. "Are you close?" she hissed. "No," I grunted. She was close, tho'. Too close to stop. I felt her stiffen and lurch under me. "Uuhhhh! Come on you bastard! Fill my ass!" she yelled as she dug her nails into my back. Amazing what a little dirty talk will do - from that special nowhere where good men hide their orgasms until their lovers are ready, my load bolted from my crotch to my brain and back to my flushed balls. I gripped the pillow with my teeth and jerked my neck back and forth and tried not to deafen Kathleen when my cum blasted out of my cock like water from a firehose. The rush of jism racing up my tube seemed to last for stroke after stroke until sweaty Kathleen gasped, grunted, and pushed me from on top of her. Since I have a little anal experience myself, I knew the sudden discomfort of having something in your ass after you've orgasmed. I considerately slipped out of her despite not having finished my own orgasm to my complete satisfaction.

I kissed her and thanked her for her special gift, but she pushed me away. "Go wash off and fuck my pussy," she said " I feel like something's undone." So after a quick and thorough shower, I returned to the futon where her dripping, swollen twat waited for my not-quite-recovered cock.

And that's another story...

Re:I really like Google apps except for $RANDOM (1)

AngryLlama (611814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694931)

This is the most interesting post I've ever read on slashdot. Modpoints anyone??

Re:I really like Google apps except for $RANDOM (1, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694017)

Google can get very evil unless you don't trust them based on their motto "Do no evil".

Google Desktop search is an example how to spare thousands of engineer hours needlessly just to duplicate spotlight and make those "maccies" extremely paranoid.
http://daringfireball.net/2007/04/google_desktop_installer [daringfireball.net]

John Gruber isn't a tinfoil hat and I don't know if Google fixed those horrible dangerous method of installing. Rule number 1 on OS X: You never, ever write to /System

Google should ask their Apple buddies one, simple question: "Why do you code spotlight in a way that it never, ever connects to internet". It is still same on Leopard, Spotlight connects _only_ to XServe on local network if it is configured to do so. It is also the framework which Apple uses every kind of counter measure for security whether they are ready for third party or not.

Re:I really like Google apps except for $RANDOM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694537)

Wow, that really is evil. Makes that whole holocaust thing seem like fluffy kittens in comparison.

Open source on non open OS? (5, Insightful)

kipman725 (1248126) | more than 6 years ago | (#23693907)

To me open source on a non opensource OS (apple has a patchey history with opening bits of OS) has always seemed a little contridictory and defeating the purpose of running a free or opensource system.

Re:Open source on non open OS? (4, Insightful)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23693937)

Why? Surely if its open source anyone can take it, compile it, and use it on whatever they want. How much propriety software lets you do that? By limiting open source software to only play nice with other open source software (OS, whatever), you become a little bit like Microsoft.

Mac developers don't do cross platform. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23693991)

Not true for "open source" OS X software. Developers on this platform are generally opposed to cross platform application development and Apple works hard to ensure that applications written to OS X will not easily be ported to other platforms.

If you disagree, can you name a single significant open source desktop application that originated on the Mac and is now cross platform (supporting Windows, Mac and Linux at least)?

This is why I consider the Mac OSS community to be a bunch of leeches. They've ported most open source unix applications to OS X but to date have given nothing useful back. The attitude seems to be that its fine for them to use stuff from BSD or Linux, but if you want to run their software, you should just buy a Mac. And that makes them a lot more like Microsoft than the person who asked the original question.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694155)


Not desktop apps, but Apple has a put good effort into OSS server and network apps.

http://www.macosforge.org/

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1, Interesting)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694313)

Not desktop apps, but Apple has a put good effort into OSS server and network apps.

http://www.macosforge.org/ [macosforge.org]
Yeah, OSS server and network apps ported just so they'll run on OS X, which seems to be in line with what the AC you replied to was getting at.

It seems to me there's a non-trivial effort required to make a lot of OSS work on a Mac, as witnessed by the need for some Mac developer to custom-build every OSS project under the sun and post the MacThis, MacThat, MacTheOther installers on obscure web pages. The "configure;make;make install" dance never seemed to "just work" for me.

Queue "you're doing it wrong" responses in 5,4,3...

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695259)

The "configure;make;make install" dance never seemed to "just work" for me.
Well of course it doesn't work!
You left the "shuffle;hop;turn" out of your dance

The full dance goes like this:
configure;make;shuffle;hop;turn;make install

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (5, Informative)

blacklint (985235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695711)

Did you actually look at that link? Darwin Streaming Server and CalendarServer are Apple written server applications that can be run on other operating systems, not the other way around. I've personally run Darwin Streaming Server, the open sourced version of QuickTime Streaming Server, on a Debian box.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695801)

It seems to me there's a non-trivial effort required to make a lot of OSS work on a Mac, as witnessed by the need for some Mac developer to custom-build every OSS project under the sun and post the MacThis, MacThat, MacTheOther installers on obscure web pages.
I think that phenomenon is often attributable to simpleton developers' desire to repackage OSS programs in a shiny shell that they can re-sell to point-and-click Mac noobs for a few bucks.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (5, Informative)

GalionTheElf (515869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694181)

If you disagree, can you name a single significant open source desktop application that originated on the Mac and is now cross platform (supporting Windows, Mac and Linux at least)?
Handbrake. [handbrake.fr]

Please note though that I'm not particularly up on the politics here, but handbrake is a brilliant, once mac-only, video conversion tool.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694311)

But it would be nothing without all development of the libraries it uses(ffmpeg, x264, xvid, lame, etc) etc that was definitely not started as mac only.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (4, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695065)

by that definition mac didnt start on mac.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694529)

Wow! A video conversion utility! Built up primarily on open source components that originated elsewhere, nonetheless! Oooh, and look, the Linux version is command-line-only, and all the best features are, not surprisingly, supported only on the Mac version.

NEXT!

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694233)

handbrake?

Though I guess it doesn't count since it started on BeOS I think...

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (5, Informative)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694287)

Transmission.

http://www.transmissionbt.com/ [transmissionbt.com]

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694709)

Wow, a BITTORRENT client! Yeah that's really on the same level as OpenOffice, Eclipse, Apache, etc.

NEXT!

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694359)

#include
main()
{
        printf("Hello World");

}
-
Hrm. Seems to work just fine on my Mac and my Debian Box. I guess I foiled apple again.

Or if you mean Apple has their own language, Cocoa, which isn't ported to XP or Linux. Funny thing is, you're not forced to use it.

Since we're on the topic of cross plat form stuff, it's not OSS, but it was one of the best selling games ever: Myst.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (4, Informative)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694619)

Cocoa is not a language, just as Win32, GTK and QT are not languages.

... and irony foiled you (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694915)

#include <preview.h>

FTFY. HAND.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695473)

Or if you mean Apple has their own language, Cocoa, which isn't ported to XP or Linux. Funny thing is, you're not forced to use it.

I believe you meant Objective-C, and that is cross platform. In fact Apple uses gcc to compile all their Objective-C applications. The only thing that is platform specific is Cocoa. Apple originally had a cross-platform library for the system called "Yellow Box", though for one reason or another it was dropped. More information can be found here:

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/4B800F78-0F75-455A-9681-F186A4365805.html [roughlydrafted.com]

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694369)

And i nearly forgot: launchd [wikipedia.org] .

"The launchd daemon is essentially a replacement for init, rc, the init.d and rc.d scripts, SystemStarter (Mac OS X), inetd and xinetd, atd, crond and watchdogd."

Yeah, it's open source and even written by Apple themselves.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695853)

Does anything other than Mac OS use launchd?

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (5, Insightful)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694629)

This is why I consider the Mac OSS community to be a bunch of leeches. They've ported most open source unix applications to OS X but to date have given nothing useful back.

I think you misunderstand how it works. The original author rarely ports it to a platform he doesn't use. He makes the source available, and someone who is willing and able to make it work on another platform can do that. You even said it yourself - "They've ported." If few Mac open source projects have been ported to a particular platform, blame the users of that platform, not the people who don't use it.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695357)

Sure, but:

He makes the source available

I think the point is that this is a crucial part of the step. So if it's true that Mac open source software hasn't got ported to other platforms, then it must be that Mac developers tend not to release their software as open source - or the software that does get released as open source isn't good or unique or interesting enough to be worth porting. This is presumably what is meant by "have given nothing useful back".

If few Mac open source projects have been ported to a particular platform, blame the users of that platform, not the people who don't use it.

Yeah it could be that there's some really really good Mac-only open source software that doesn't have equivalent on other platforms, and hasn't been ported, because developers of other platforms are just lazy. Can you give me an example where this is the case?

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (2, Informative)

slarrg (931336) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695161)

Ruby on Rails

Yes, there are plenty (2, Interesting)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695175)

Excel and Photoshop come to mind first... but there are numerous others as well....

Re:Yes, there are plenty (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695379)

Excel and Photoshop are open source?

Re:Yes, there are plenty (2, Informative)

profplump (309017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695837)

No, but they started on Mac, you know, the environment that is supposedly intentionally hard to port from, and were then ported to other environments. Moreover they eventually spawn clones like OpenOffice, some of which are open source. I realize that clones aren't strictly ports, but it's still software that originated on a Mac and is now in wide use on a variety of platforms.

You don't have to like Apple, or use a Mac. But it's ridiculous to claim that Apple intentionally tries to make porting difficult. They may not be interested in making porting easy (though I'm not sure that's an entirely firm point in the first place) but you're assigning intent and malice to a situation that can be adequately described by simple apathy.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695329)

Apple works hard to ensure that applications written to OS X will not easily be ported to other platforms.

Just like KDE works hard to ensure that applications written for KDE aren't easily ported to other APIs? And GNOME works hard to ensure that applications written for GTK aren't easily ported to other APIs? And X.org works hard to ensure that applications written for xlib aren't easily ported to other APIs? And Be works hard to ensure that applications written for belib aren't easily ported to other APIs? And Microsoft works hard to ensure that applications written for Win32 aren't easily ported to other APIs? And Sun works hard to ensure that applications written for Swing aren't easily ported to other APIs? And Open Group works hard to ensure that applications written for Motif aren't easily ported to other APIs? And QNX works hard to ensure that applications written for Photon aren't easily ported to other APIs? And Donald Knuth works hard to ensure that documents written for TeX aren't easily ported to other markup languages? And Intel works hard to ensure that x86 assembly code isn't easily ported to other architectures? And Toyota works hard to ensure that gasoline-powered internal combustion engines can't easily run on hydrogen?

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695827)

Fuck me.

Replying to undo unintentional "redundant" mod, I was trying to mod you up. Stupid web 2.0.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1)

blacklint (985235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695749)

WebKit. Not Apple-originated, as it was based on KHTML, but I'd say it's a pretty darn good example of Apple giving something useful back to the open source community.

Re:Mac developers don't do cross platform. (1)

aGuyNamedJoe (317081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695825)

How about Squeak?

Of course, if you're already convinced that no good OSS comes from companies that develop proprietary software, it's a waste of time to go on.

Moderation Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694815)

Hmmm, modding fail. Looks like the apple haters mod down as hard as the apple fanboys.

Re:Open source on non open OS? (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23693955)

To me open source on a non opensource OS (apple has a patchey history with opening bits of OS) has always seemed a little contridictory and defeating the purpose of running a free or opensource system.

That's just plain silly. You don't have to have the source code for every tiny little bit on the computer for source code to be useful. Really, how many people need to dink with the kernel, be it Windows, OS X or Linux?

Sharing code is useful at the application level. You should re examine your zealotry, son. It's gonna cause you some grief. Mark my words ... You'll grow a beard, be shunned at parties. You will want to put posters of RMS on your wall. Your mother will disown you.

Re:Open source on non open OS? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694045)

You should have waited for the "how evil is Apple to hide /bin from Finder and how it proves OS X is not open" comment like people doubleclick ls command via GUI on other OS'es which shows it. :)

One should ask those 20.000 guys/gals who are advanced to work on number 1 technology company why they have chosen OS X rather than some other OS like Linux.

Re:Open source on non open OS? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695403)

One should ask those 20.000 guys/gals who are advanced to work on number 1 technology company why they have chosen OS X rather than some other OS like Linux.

Actually, most of them are using Windows.

Is this proof that Windows is the best, then?

Re:Open source on non open OS? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694051)

I think your misunderstanding the commenter. It's a shame that people are doing OSS work on proprietary OSs because it gets tied into non-free libraries and then becomes useless.
Can you really call

void main() {
ProprietaryFunction();
}

an open source program? And even if it can, is it useful with out the proprietary part?

Re:Open source on non open OS? (5, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694211)

I don't know. Is Firefox on MSWindows useless? At some point they'll have to call a proprietary library.

The nice thing is that they can put wrappers around the proprietary function call bits and potentially make the software run on multiple OSs. (As Firefox does.)

Re:Open source on non open OS? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694429)

I've used Mozilla since the first naked Gecko control which had an url bar and, er, that was it - and yes I ran it on NT4. Back then I thought it would be great, it would demonstrate how great Open Source software could be and lead to more use of other open source. Now I think it's a terrible thing, because it enables people to carry on using their non-Free OS... like methadone for junkies, if you like, it's harm reduction which perversely enables the addict to carry on using "just a little bit, once a month or so". Bah, humbug, get off my lawn etc

Re:Open source on non open OS? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694607)

Wow. Switch to decaf. :-)

If it wasn't for firefox, I would never have switched from WinXP to Ubuntu.

If there are no similar apps between free OSs and proprietary ones, how would you expect anyone to switch?

Re:Open source on non open OS? (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694405)

Really, how many people need to dink with the kernel, be it Windows, OS X or Linux?

Well, it's a fair number, but it's not necessarily the number of people, but the _right_ people we need to be dinking around with the kernel. Unfortunately, with proprietary operating systems, it seems the right people are not necessarily doing that.

I don't personally dink around that much in the kernel (altho I've bypassed a bug or two in drivers), but I certainly want the genius with too much free time and the same hardware that I have who can fix the bugs to have access to the source. I dont want to hack my own paravirtualising hypervisor, but I'm very pleased to use xen technology, which would have been very difficult to implement without open source.

As a user of programs and operating systems I usually dont need the source. But I do need many improvements made by people with similar interests to me; interests that may overlap very much less with the strategic thinking of a single monolithic corporation.

Sharing code is useful at the application level.

Free software is useful at any level you want to have improved. Which is pretty much all of them. Personally I dont have the patience for proprietary products anymore; I find most tend to have issues that would never survive a few iterations in an opensource product. With free software products I know that if it annoys me enough it'll annoy someone else enough to fix it.

Now go away. I have a beard to tend to.

Re:Open source on non open OS? (5, Insightful)

Eighty7 (1130057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694695)

That's just plain silly. You don't have to have the source code for every tiny little bit on the computer for source code to be useful. Really, how many people need to dink with the kernel, be it Windows, OS X or Linux?
You really think it's just the kernel? Jobs (goes for ballmer too) has complete control over his platform. Are you going to make all your users pay for 10.5? If he stops supporting Carbon, what can you do?

My biggest gripe is with repositories. It would be absolutely trivial for MS to set up a repository & kill off 90% of the malware. Apple supposedly cares for its users - an add-remove button like ubuntu's would go a long way towards providing quality applications. I'm sure it's possible to add a repository afterwards, but it's nowhere as easy (popular) as ubuntu's default. When you find yourself having to explain to yet another person that legal, free, world class software actually exists -- remember that you're doing it because you're on someone else's platform & they want to make it difficult because they're in the business of selling proprietary software.

Re:Open source on non open OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694001)

It's better than closed source software on a proprietary OS. Most people don't use an open source OS anyway - at least this way, they can still get some of the benefits of using open source software.

And, unless the software is really Mac-specific, it can move with users over to a free OS (or any other OS, for that matter). One less thing to keep them tied to a specific OS, especially if they use the software instead of a proprietary one.

Some of it, like MacFUSE, is actually a port of stuff that originated on Linux anyway.

The point is (2, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694065)

Share the code that will hurt your worst opponent most! Pull the rug under him! :D

Re:Open source on non open OS? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694337)

There is one purpose of running a free or open source system?

I generally use open source and free software because it fills a need I have and doesn't cost any money. Is that why you use it?

Re:Open source on non open OS? (2, Insightful)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695087)

Operating systems seem to come with culture. Linux comes with "free" culture, and if one uses Linux (forgive me, RMS), one tends to adapt the culture and consider free soft natural state of things.

On MacOS, however, the culture goes like "you pay for everything". Apps are crippled and if you need something good - you pay. In this environment you consider being paid for software natural state of things.

Note, I have never in my life used MacOS. What I have just said is more like theoretical observation.

On windows front this issue is very unclear. People expect everything for free [articles.tlug.jp] , but it should have a price tag, or it is shit.
I have no idea what developers think there. Do they?

Re:Open source on non open OS? (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695817)

On MacOS, however, the culture goes like "you pay for everything". Apps are crippled and if you need something good - you pay. In this environment you consider being paid for software natural state of things. Note, I have never in my life used MacOS. What I have just said is more like theoretical observation.

From my perspective (I use OS X, Linux, and Windows desktops daily) the freeware community for OS X is just as diverse as on other OS's. I just did a search for freeware titles on my favorite OS X application tracking site. It came up with 7800 links to free software applications for download on OS X. This does not include CLI applications, where there are plenty more. Some of that software is very high quality. In comparison, it came up with 7900 links to payware.

Re:Open source on non open OS? (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695283)

Agreed, and why don't we see anything in the article about Google employees spending time on open source projects for other platforms? That might be an interesting story, far more so than what platform they happen to write for, but it seems to be yet another case of giving a free advertisement just for Apple.

Of course, I'd expect MacWorld to focus on the Apple products, but this has misled CNET into thinking that Google has a special focus on the Mac, just because it can list a handful of pet open source projects that Google developers work on in their 20% time.

The headline should be "Google gets serious about Open Source", not "Google gets serious about the Mac".

Developers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23693909)

Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers!

Seriously though, developers = applications. And more Mac developers means less Windows developers.

Only 2 operating systems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23693925)

"Google has long had a fondness for the Mac, with upwards of 6,000 of its 20,000 current employees opting to use the Mac over Windows."

So you can only use these 2 operating systems @ google? I was expecting a bit more accuracy from the article...

Re:Only 2 operating systems? (2, Funny)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694009)

"Google has long had a fondness for the Mac, with upwards of 6,000 of its 20,000 current employees opting to use the Mac over Windows." So you can only use these 2 operating systems @ google? I was expecting a bit more accuracy from the article...
Yeah, obviously they meant to say "... opting to use the Mac over Windows and Linux." - Happy now?

Re:Only 2 operating systems? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694477)

Ahem, GNU/Linux you insensitive clod!

Re:Only 2 operating systems? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694467)

I was expecting a bit more accuracy from the article...
When did you acquire this taste for luxuries?

Long fondness? (0, Redundant)

Capitalist Piggy (1298699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23693969)

Google has long had a fondness for the Mac


What? Wait, 2 years? Come on now.

Here is another proof that CNET doesn't know Mac (5, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23693979)

When you write a story about open source and Google on Mac, you don't miss QuickSilver.app which is a record breaking download which turned to open source and Alcor, the developer is a Google employee.

See the numbers just at its versiontracker page
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/22549 [versiontracker.com]

Also here is its source along with various Alcor programs:
http://code.google.com/p/blacktree-alchemy/ [google.com]

There is no chance you miss a 200.000 downloaded (just a single site!), used by newbie to advanced developer profile utility. Unless you have never used Mac regularly and sit there and write a story about Google and Mac code of course. Another thing to include in that story is the fiasco of Google Desktop search which seriously made everyone paranoid with its method of install, method of running and the idea of shipping that Windows wonder to an OS which invented dynamic/extended search in its core.

Re:Here is another proof that CNET doesn't know Ma (1)

namgge (777284) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694099)

There is no chance you miss a 200.000 downloaded (just a single site!),

200,000 is the total of all downloads of all versions. The idea of VersionTracker is that it pushes new versions out to existing users; it is more relevant to look at the per version downloads (ca 14,000 for the latest version).

Namgge

Re:Here is another proof that CNET doesn't know Ma (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694145)

Quicksilver is one of the first applications which easily updated itself from the beginning, without any hassle. If we had Blacktree numbers, it would turn out to be even more amazing.

The 200.000 downloads are coming from mostly people heard Quicksilver from a friend and used VT to download it and people who are Versiontracker Pro service users which auto updates via VT pro application.

google turns gay on us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694055)

Can someone please tag this as "google comes out of the closet"?

mac fanboys fanning the flames of proprietariness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694077)

Steve Jobs and all the other corrupters of the free market should be in jail.

Sadly, greedy and selfish people run the roost, so, of course, there is no justice.

Why Mac, though ? (-1, Troll)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694201)

Closed source, more expensive (than Windows and open-source operating systems) and more vendor lock-in.

It might make a decent desktop system but it's one of the most closed and expensive systems you can use. I don't really see the appeal to Google.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (4, Interesting)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694245)

The appeal, I think, is that Mac provides a pretty unique development environment. Not *my* favorite, mind you (I do prefer using a terminal to XCode, so emacs and Linux are my thing), but I definitely see the appeal of the Objective C thing.

Only, I wish those same people putting all that work into OS X applications would instead redirect their efforts to improving GNUStep, making Linux a place that can have the same set of appeals. Right now it's pretty ugly, but it has so much potential.. it seems to only lack developers. I'd love to see it go somewhere.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694345)

(I do prefer using a terminal to XCode, so emacs and Linux are my thing), but I definitely see the appeal of the Objective C thing.
There's no "magic sauce" in Xcode. An .app bundle is just a Mach-O executable with some additional bundled resources - a make file can create one just as well as Xcode can. You can even use GNUStep's make files to build apps that use Apple's libobjc and link to Apple's Cocoa frameworks.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695181)

(I do prefer using a terminal to XCode, so emacs and Linux are my thing)
... because Macs don't have a terminal and emacs, right?

Oh wait. They have a terminal, emacs, gcc, perl, shell, python, ruby, and a bunch of command line development tools. So that can't be the reason why linux is your thing, can it?

Re:Why Mac, though ? (3, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695733)

Only, I wish those same people putting all that work into OS X applications would instead redirect their efforts to improving GNUStep, making Linux a place that can have the same set of appeals.

Most people work to solve a problem, either their own, personal itch, or what their employer needs done. Those that care about the benefits of GNUStep have mostly moved to the Mac for the desktop. The rest don't know or care about those benefits. Many angrily defend Linux claiming it is better the way it is now than being more "like OS X" which they believe is obviously inferior (although many have no real experience to make this determination). Others understand the benefits of GNUStep for the desktop, but already use OS X for the desktop and really want Linux to be the perfect Server OS for them, and actively oppose any compromise that might add "bloat" without benefitting Linux as a Server. Finally, there are those that would like Linux to be an ideal desktop OS and understand how GNUStep can help, but pragmatically believe compatibility with other Linux distros is more important than the benefits of GNUStep and at the same time believe it is too hard to get all the major distros to buy in to a better way all at once.

I'd love to see GNUStep match and exceed OS X's implementation through integration with package managers and extending packages for that purpose. Sadly I don't think it will happen. Really Linux needs a hardware OEM to champion it on their hardware and work towards making it an ideal desktop, including feature parity with OS X (and interoperability where possible). Basically what would be needed is an Apple like company that had one executive who could make hard decisions and break compatibility with other Linux distros. They could undercut Apple on price by leveraging all the shared work from other Linux developers. Alas, it is just a pipe dream for now.

Here's why (1, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694251)

The appeal is the quality of the user interface and developer community as opposed to both of those on Linux.

Superior interface, mature developers vs Whatever bad interface you want to use, we got 10 of them and childish political programmers who think what software license one uses is the civil rights battle of our time.

Oh and users. As in Macs have more non-programmer users than Linux does.

When you look at it that way its not much of a contest.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (2, Insightful)

Capitalist Piggy (1298699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694299)

I do. Though it's karma suicide, as my last post got modded "redundant", although nobody else mentioned it, within 30 seconds of clicking submit. You can't bring up facts about /.'s golden children without some neck-beard in his mother's basement trying to shut you down.

You can, pretty much, take Google and insert $SEXY_COMPANY_HERE and expect Google to be best buddies with them when it comes to what's relayed to the public. This helps form advertising partnerships, makes investors balls swell, etc.

The more I've been reading about what Google employees do, the more it becomes apparent that most must be driving new Beetles, wearing "Can you hear me now?"-guy glasses, latte sipping, looking serious while browsing myspace at the coffee shop, goatee donning weeners.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (1)

J'ai Friedpork (1293672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694335)

goatee donning weeners
Is it bad that I thought you'd misspelled "goatse" at first?

Re:Why Mac, though ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694591)

So you believe this based on "reading about what Google employees do"? I take it you believe everything you read, then?

I mean, these are the people who wrote a ton of code that pretty much changed the game, and have one of the most stringent coding environments I've ever seen. And you think they're all a bunch of time-wasting hipsters concerned about what's "cool"?

No wonder you get modded down. Not only do you have no idea about technology, but you are profoundly stupid.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695835)

Those who can't comprehend implied sarcasm don't rank very high on the intelligence meter, as well.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (1)

J'ai Friedpork (1293672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694309)

You're not considering the possibility that they might not want the same thing from their computer as you do. Just because I don't need anything bigger or better than a used Pontiac doesn't mean other people might not want a brand new Hummer.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (-1, Troll)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694327)

t might make a decent desktop system but it's one of the most closed and expensive systems you can use.
Maybe this is the reason? Like "Look, I can afford a mac, and it looks shiny and I'm all cool and hip". (I can almost hear the scream of my burning karma for this).

Re:Why Mac, though ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694383)

Software-wise, Mac OS X is no more expensive than Windows. Hardware-wise, it might be, but only because Apple don't make the low-end systems that form the majority of PC manufacturer's sales.

When I bought my v2 Macbook, it actually cost slightly less than an equivalently specced Windows laptop would have.

It could just be that I don't know where to find non open source Mac apps, but nearly every Mac app I've seen that's not a high-end commercial app is open source, a commodity app with plenty of alternatives on other platforms, is a GUI around a cross-platform library, or solves a problem that only exists on a Mac. Sometimes all four.

The availability of open source apps on Mac OS X has actually prevented me from installing Linux on this Mac, since everything I'd be using on Linux is available on Mac OS X. Except Amarok.

There's absolutely nothing forcing me to stay with Mac OS X, and I could easily switch to Linux and lose nothing.

Except the wireless doesn't work, and the trackpad is nearly unusable...

Re:Why Mac, though ? (0, Flamebait)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694569)

Hardware-wise, it might be, but only because Apple don't make the low-end systems that form the majority of PC manufacturer's sales.
Yes they do. They just price them out of the low-end market.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (5, Insightful)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694499)

Because it's a damn good and user-friendly operating system, with a large user base and a vibrant developer community and thousands of professional and home user applications. That's why.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (2, Insightful)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694573)

I don't really see the appeal to Google.

It has nothing to do with appeal to Google...

  1. 6000 of Google's employees choose Mac (over Windows) at the office
  2. Developers tend to spend their 20% paid free time working on projects related to their OS of choice
  3. There is no 3.

At Google, people get paid to work on whatever they want (some of the time), and those developers (not Google as an entity) choose to create open source Mac software.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (1)

whackco (599646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695043)

3. Profit!!!

Re:Why Mac, though ? (3, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694637)

Because a lot of Google people love Unix, and the Mac is the best desktop Unix environment. That's why.

And do you think Google are so penny-pinchingly cheap that the massive boost in developer productivity they get from using Macs isn't worth the small extra cost over a system running Windows or Linux? Give me a break. What are they spending, maybe $50 000 extra total for the Macs? Google earns that in probably around 5 seconds.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (3, Insightful)

harryman100 (631145) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694969)

Because a lot of Google people love Unix, and the Mac is the best desktop Unix environment. That's why.
I'm not sure it's OSX on desktop which is the primary appeal. I own a powerbook because when I bought it, it was the best unix laptop available. On the desktop I still think a more conventional distro of linux is better (but that's my personal opinion).

Desktop OS that can't run Photoshop? (2, Insightful)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695219)

or does not have any RAW conversion software for any major digital SLR camera manufacturers?

Thanks but no thanks. With Mac OS X I get the best of both worlds (terminal, UNIX tools, VIM, gcc) but also Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and Nikon Capture, and all my Epson printers work with no driver installations in Leopard.
 

That isn't just a bit off topic.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695873)

Photoshop isn't a need for the average desktop user. Manipulating RAW certainly isn't either!

However, Photoshop works on wine & Linux has plenty of tools to do RAW conversion for many popular cameras. See rawtools, for example.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695051)

Don't forget all the productivity saved on not playing games on the Mac.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (1)

hanwen (8589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695355)

I think the reason that there are lots of macs in Google is that many use the laptops, and the company just caters for the employee's preferences. It's a pity, because the thinkpads are better built and more easily serviced. Despite the relatively good support for linux laptops at Google, using them remains cumbersome:

- wireless crapping out at random times

- suspend/hibernate woes

- poor battery life

I probably would use Mac too if it weren't for the absence of the nipple-trackpoint and the user interface that drives me crazy.

Re:Why Mac, though ? (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695643)

I think the reason that there are lots of macs in Google is that many use the laptops, and the company just caters for the employee's preferences.

It sounds like a reasonable policy to me. It's the same one we had at my last employer. Users choose what works best for them. Since several of those people now work at Google, I imagine they feel right at home.

It's a pity, because the thinkpads are better built and more easily serviced.

Actually, according to Consumer Reports Thinkpads have a higher failure rate than MacBooks or MacBook pros, by a decent margin. At that last employer those were our two pre-approved vendors and our data showed the same thing. As for ease of service, who services their own machines? We put in RAM and the like, which is plenty easy on Apple systems. Anything else, we copied the data to a spare machine (if possible) and shipped the broken one back to the vendor. On site repairs may make sense for servers, but not for laptops. It just isn't worth the employee down time. A couple of spare laptops are a cheap way to keep people working.

Despite the relatively good support for linux laptops at Google, using them remains cumbersome...

I find using them anywhere as a primary desktop is cumbersome. It's come a long way, but there is still a lot of tinkering and hands on work that needs to be done to get them running with whatever infrastructure and keep them that way. I use one daily, but I don't find it to be as painless and enjoyable as OS X for most tasks (although for some tasks it is quite superior).

I'd note most all of the problems you list are probably the result of having a distro not tailored to your hardware. That will hopefully be less of a problem in future as laptop makers customize Linux for their machine and keep it supported.

I probably would use Mac too if it weren't for the absence of the nipple-trackpoint and the user interface that drives me crazy.

Yeah, we all become accustomed to interfaces and the like. I've used ThinPads and they are fairly reliable (number 3 or 4 right now?) but I've never been fond of the nipple-pointer thingy. Over the last couple of years I've noticed that OS X has incorporated pretty much all the old UNIX style interface features I missed, but the big Linux distros are still lacking in reciprocation. Ubuntu still does not ship with an expose clone by default or with two-finger trackpad clicking and scrolling. From what I've seen this has facilitated a large exodus of laptop users away from Linux and to OS X for their primary OS. Where I worked last they went from about 5% to about 70% in the last 4 years, mostly converting Linux people (and a few BSD users). It worries me because a lot of those people are now developing applications and the like to solve problems on OS X and there are even fewer people doing so for Linux on the desktop.

So where is Picasa for the Mac? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694397)

If Google is so big on the Mac, where is the Mac version of Picasa? It's been rumored for months. iPhoto's interface is poor by comparison.

GCal Sync (3, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694425)

Give me a damn google calendar sync. The free one (gcaldaemon) broke under Leopard and hasn't been updated. There are a few but the one I looked at sent the data to their servers and then used that to sync.

Re:GCal Sync (2)

eggstone (957547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695421)

Good point. I wish Google offers a free calendar syncing app between iCal and google calendar. The current solutions are so expensive.

Re:GCal Sync (1)

forand (530402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695501)

I just wish they would use standard WebCAL which anyone can use.

Re:GCal Sync (2, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695575)

I just wish they would use standard WebCAL which anyone can use

Just to be pedantic, the protocol specification is caldav, and yes I wish this too. I actually looked into what it would take to do this in Java, though the biggest hurdle is trying to understand the basic WebDAV architecture, and the lack of time to be able to truly commit. If there is anyone out the who has started such a project, or has a good understanding of webDAV, I would certainly consider getting back into this.

Re:GCal Sync (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695559)

iCal does it itself now, but only if you've plugged an iPod touch or iPhone into your computer, for some reason.

Google developers aren't allowed to use Linux? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694623)

Google has long had a fondness for the Mac, with upwards of 6,000 of its 20,000 current employees opting to use the Mac over Windows.
So the choice is between Mac and Windows? What happened to Goobuntu? I thought most Google employees were on Linux desktops.

Mac computers at Google (2, Funny)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694737)

If google are going to start using Macs throughout their company I might start using Live.com







Only joking!

Incorrect summary (4, Informative)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695231)

>with upwards of 6,000 of its 20,000 current
>employees opting to use the Mac over Windows.

Actually, Google developers have *Linux* boxes by default, so many of these people are opting for Mac over *Linux*.

Currently, there are way more development tools available for the mac than Linux. Things like textmate, araxis merge, DTrace, etc. Thus a lot of people, inside google and out, use mac workstations to develop software that gets deployed to linux servers.

Re:Incorrect summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695499)

Incorrect summary and incorrect correction. I work at google and we get to choose twice: on the desktop and on the laptop. Most developers choose a linux desktop and mac laptop. A few choose a windows laptop, but end up installing linux on it as well.

Also, nothing in the company is 'by default'. If it involves how you work, you get asked how you want to do it. If it's not something completely insane, it's usually approved, since forcing you to go work in a way that you're not used to causes loss of productivity until you get used to the new way.

Yawn. (-1, Troll)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695235)

In about 5 - 10 years apple will have 90% of the operating system market and will be up the same shit creek M$ is now and all the smug fanboys will have to find some other OS to chase. These things have their cycles.

First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695713)

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