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Compare and Contrast: Linux and Apple

Hemos posted about 15 years ago | from the cha-cha-cha-changes dept.

Apple 205

egwene wrote to us with the latest Salon Linux piece regarding Apple and Linux and the passing of the advocacy torch. The article gets into some of the...intense feelings our compatriots have for their operating system.

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Re:Ease of use or efficiency? (1)

DanaL (66515) | about 15 years ago | (#1654150)

A question for you (and this is absolutely not a flame)...do you think Macs are so efficient because you 'have been using them your whole life', or by design?

Using Linux or Windows, I still do a lot of stuff from the command line simply because I am a much faster typist that I am with a mouse. It's probably an illness, but I like the script files much more than searching through menus and hitting
check boxes.

Dana

I disagree.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654151)

"Unix was very important for computing, and so was Apple's GUI."

Still are. No need for the past tense, here.

"But in the same way that the Windows GUI is not innovative but rather based on Apple's, isn't Linux based on Unix?"

A couple of key points need to be asserted here.. 1) Ambiguous usage of the term "based on" can get one into a lot of semantic trouble.. 2) Yeah, the Windows GUI is a MacOS GUI clone AFAIK, but there's a problem.. it was reinvented.. quite poorly..

To elaborate on point 1: NetBSD is "based on" BSD, which is "based on" Unix. The Windows GUI is a clone of the MacOS GUI, and GNU/Linux is a Unix clone. They are clones and not "based on" because they are not derived from the original source code. They are different implementations that attempt to achieve the same goals as what they are "cloning".

"Windows market share dwarfs that of the MacOS and it's quite possible that Linux will dwarf the market share of Unix, but Linux will never be innovative in the revolutionary sense that Unix was."

The idea behind GNU/Linux is /quite/ innovative for this day and age. Your comment basically implies to me that you don't believe GNU/Linux will be any significant change from Unix. I would like to differ. Most operating systems I know of were either created by a company, or derived from one that was. GNU/Linux is neither. And it's turning the software community on its head. Not in the way Java did, either. Java had hype, but no punch. GNU/Linux is a serious sock to your jaw, and doesn't even have a focused marketing campaign.. yet it has caught fire and now everyone's eyes are on it as it edges closer and closer to being friendly enough to Joe Public that he will want to install it on his desktop.

Besides, GNU/Linux only truly aimed to be compatible with Unix. POSIX helps us to play nice with each other. Now the software being written for GNU/Linux is taking off in every direction imaginable. Soon the differences between Unix and GNU/Linux will dwarf the similarities for many. Most of its base components that were designed as free alternatives to the more traditional ones are already a bit more powerful. GZIP, anyone? Besides, most clones are poor reinventions of the wheel. And stay that way. This one evolves. And never sat still for anyone or anything trying to force it to play the "poor cousin" to anything else, least of all Unix. Personally, I can't wait until Berlin is ready for some serious action.

Usability Myth (2)

mattdm (1931) | about 15 years ago | (#1654152)

There's a widespread myth that Linux/Unix is hard to use, and conversely that the Macintosh is incredibly user friendly.

In fact, to some people, those statements might seem self-evident. But they miss an important point -- it's the learning curve.

Linux/Unix has a steep learning curve; the MacOS has almost none. But once you've mastered the paradigm of each, you'll find that both are extremely simple to use. And the added flexibilty of Unix allows you to more easily do things that you can't even begin to do on a more closed platform.

Linux isn't hard to use; it just takes more effort to learn. For me, that effort is worth it. For my grandmother (as the cliche goes), it's probably not. But any efforts to "fix" Linux that take away power just to shorten the learning curve are making a mistake.

--

salon mistake (1)

Kevin T. (25654) | about 15 years ago | (#1654163)

To pick a nit...

I refuse to trust anyone's opinions on Apple vs. Linux vs. anything if they can't figure out the difference between OS X, OS X Server, and Darwin (page three of the article, first paragraph). Why are so many journalists just sloppy? Perhaps because they don't care....

grep (1)

Des Herriott (6508) | about 15 years ago | (#1654164)

Slightly offtopic, but...

every geek remembers grep means get regular expression

Actually, it's Global Regular Expression Print. From the ed command g/re/p.

Macs still coddle and annoy the user (3)

Wee (17189) | about 15 years ago | (#1654165)

I think the author had some good points, but he missed a big one: the MacOS still coddles the user in a way that is every bit as bad as any Microsoft OS. MacOS and Windows share the same attitude toward the user in that they claim know what you want so you don't need to worry about the details. It's a very good reason to not use either OS, and why they are roughly equally bad.

There's just not much real configurability with either OS. And at times, it can be downright insulting. "File extensions? You don't need to bother with those, because you'll only be dealing with other Macs and they'll know what file you're talking about." "Long file names? Sure, Windows has them -- Windows is really 32-bit!" It's ultimately a decision between Sherlock and the paper clip. Either OS lets anybody's mother -- no offense, Mom -- start using the computer as soon as it powers on. And that may be fine for some people. But not for me. I don't need to be insulted by my OS, and I like a learning experience.

I want an OS that is stable, powerful and configurable (free is good too). I want an OS that lets me tune it and tweak it to just where I want it for just the reasons I want. I want an OS that makes zero attempts at thinking for me. An OS that gives me plenty of tools -- that gives me a fishing pole instead of a fish, so to speak. And an OS that does all that and still lets you peek under the hood at your heart's content is icing on the cake.

For me, that's Linux. And it's why I've been moving to Linux as my desktop OS for the past couple years ("Linux: It's not just for servers anymore."). Linux is not insulting. Linux doesn't coddle me, or pretend to know what I want. It doesn't try to be everything to everyone, or try to be insultingly cute in the name of "useability" (has anyone got MS Bob to run on NT Server yet?). Sure, FreeBSD fits the bill too; hell, so does OpenDOS for that matter. And if you want to go that direction, more power to you.

No matter which way you go, you'll start "thinking different" (adverb intentionally ommitted), because you'll actually have to start thinking once you start using. In contrast to the Mac, in which case no thinking -- different or otherwise -- is required at all.

-B

Re:It's like comparing Apples and, umm, apples (3)

jht (5006) | about 15 years ago | (#1654166)

Naw, it's not flamebait as far as I'm concerned - I mainly agree with you. Just keep in mind that there is a big difference between "buzz" between those who have the Geek Nature, and the rest of the world (affectionately known as the "room-temperature" crowd).

The average non-geek heard about Macs in the '80s as The Cool Thing. That doesn't mean they bought them, mind you, it just means that they were prominent in the culture. Linux occupies that niche in the general culture today. That doesn't necessarily have any bearing on whether Linux will thrive or not, but it does help visibility among the Suits (which, after many years in the biz, I, too, now am). I've been using Linux for one thing or another for about five years, but now that it's on the cultural radar screen, justifying it's use on my network is much easier.

As far as the core geek community goes, you're completely right. Macs were never truly "cool" - all the "in-the-know" crowd waited eagerly for Amiga or hacked up their Apple II (or anything other than a DOS system). These people have been all over Linux for years, though. That said, a truly heavyweight core of geeks do use Macs, but not as enthusiasts - they just use them as real simple tools to get their net activity and home-based work done. Why? Because it's real easy to turn on a Mac and just Get Stuff Done, without brains required. And for all the people who hack at work and like to hack at home, there's probably an equivalent number of people who want to leave their brains at the office.

To the truly aware, Linux isn't "hot" or buzz-worthy - Linux just Is.

- -Josh Turiel

Hmm.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654167)

Rather doubtful. Changing the world is a silly notion at best. The most you can hope for is changing your own little part of it, or making your own contribution to making it a better place. It's the sum of all of these little contributions from each individual that shapes the future of our world. Everything about each individual shapes this future. Each in their own, very small way, but since we have so many very small contributions to the world, unwitting or not (you simply can't help but affect your surroundings.. even with inaction), the world is constantly evolving. As do all things. And of course the world is more than just the sum of its parts. ;)

By the way, if everyone contented themselves with whatever, and didn't care about changing the world for the better, the world would change. It would grow steadily worse. Without people to care about the world, the people in it, and how everything affects everything else, just where would we be? Someone has to take on some responsibility. Especially in an age where apathy is a more and more acceptable alternative to the average person every day..

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (1)

statichead (66370) | about 15 years ago | (#1654168)

"How do you ping something from a mac? erm. there's a COMMERCIAL PACKAGE.."
snip
A freeware product called WhatRoute is an excellent GUI tool for pings traces and other cool stuff on the mac

"The mostly monochrome desktop is far from "elegant" and the interface is too damn illogical."

As far as elegant goes, so what, it works well, is consistant and works more smoothly than anything out there. Illogical I must argue, controls are in the control panels folder ,Hmmm, one place on the machine to change settings, oh and how novel lets name them according to what they do.

Personally I would rather walk someone though changing IP settings on a mac than anything out there.

BTW feel free to change grep to any thing you want, but I am perfectly happy typing grep and will continue to do so even if the name gets changed.

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (5)

Arkham (10779) | about 15 years ago | (#1654169)

1) If a mac isn't doing what you expect then it gives you NO debugging information to "figure out what's wrong with it" - trust me.. I work on a help desk. How do you ping something from a mac? erm. there's a COMMERCIAL PACKAGE that can do it.. sheesh. So if it says "can't connect to mail host smtp.foo.com" I have no idea if it's a DNS problem or a TCP problem or an IP problem, and I'm trying to work this out through some 'kwit down the phone who bought a mac fooled into thinking it would be easy to use.


Well, there are several dozen freeware and shareware tools to do this as well. I personally use IPNetMonitor and WhatRoute. With MacOS X, there will be a BSD layer underneath that you can force your users to use if you didn't give them the tools they needed to start with. I've been using Macs for 11 years, and I have two friends who do Mac consulting for a living. They don't seem to have these problems. Seems to me the failing is not with Apple, but with your techs or your company.


The mostly monochrome desktop is far from "elegant" and the interface is too damn illogical


You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but most people would disagree with you. Believe it or not, Enlightenment with an undulating background and neon translucent windows is not what most people would consider an intuitive interface. The Mac GUI follows a simple set of rules that is consisitent between applications and the Finder. Windows hasn't even gotten this one down yet, let alone Linux.



how much you configure FVWM to do what you want (you mean you can actually define your OWN button menus? wow!).



That's just it -- the average user doesn't want to reconfigure their menus. They don't want the menus to vary from computer to computer doing the same tasks either. They want all the things that they need access to already be there for them in a logical fashion.


Sounds to me like the article was written by a mac advocate trying to get linux users to use macs.


As a Mac advocate (and a Linux advocate too), I have to disagree. If anything, this article was balanced, leaning towards Linux. Then again, I'm an advocate, not a zealot.


If Apple shipped a complete development environment with their OS and stopped sueing people I might consider it.


Well for one thing, the average user doesn't care about devlopment tools. It's just a bunch of useless, scary stuff that they will not be able to use. It does not belong in the distribution of a consumer OS.


Also, with Apple's server OS, MacOS X Server, Apple does ship a complete set of GNU compilers, linkers, etc. They also include the soure code for the Darwin kernel if you want to look at it.


Finally, as to Apple suing people, what does that have to do with you? They are just protecting their hard work and technology. Whether you agree with their legal proceedings should not be relevant to your thoughts on the relative merits of the OS. This is just some Apple-bashing you threw in at the end, but it exposes your true character and opinion better than the rest of your message.

Obj-C to Java (1)

artemis67 (93453) | about 15 years ago | (#1654170)

BSD is what NeXT used, and since there is really no need to change that part of the OS (As opposed to integrating backwards compatibilty, and the dubious shift from an Object C API to a Java one), they stuck with it.

Last I heard, Apple was sticking with Objective C. When it came down to compiling apps, even a Java-based version of SimpleText was unacceptably slow.

I believe Apple is integrating both languages now.

Re:How could you survive on GPL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654171)

The GPL does not restrict software running on top of or parallel to the GPLed software. There are commercial X servers. Even if Apple had to modify the kernel, releasing the code for the modified kernel would not require releasing any client code for the UI. The greatest burden would be providing access to the source code--one more CD to include with the machine. The real problem with GPL is attitude. BSD/X style licensing is nearly public domain--which businesses have accepted and used for many years. GPL is probably unfamiliar and scary to most business-types. (Yet legacy is probably much of the reason.)

Linux has Tux, Apple has Jobbs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654172)

The most notable difference between the linux movement in general and the company known as Apple computer is that Apple is controlled by one (slightly egomeniacal) individual while linux is relatively unconstrained by anyone.

Apple spends millions of dollars that they could be using to develop a better product on advertising. Those ads are not cheap. Apple is a product of marketing, hype, and billboards, while linux is the result of a lot of people's time, hard work, and personal investment.

The linux mascot, Tux, is about as close to a loudmouth C.E.O. as linux gets. If somebody donated a few million dollars to linux-oriented (OSS) projects, I don't think too much of it would be spent on advertising. In fact, I don't think any of it would.

The most remarkable thing about the success of linux is that until very recently it went essentially unadvertised. Now, with more and more companies getting involved, more and more people will have encountered the linux meme, and more and more people will have an opinion about linux.

I like the gui design of MacOS, but I refuse to use an unstable system. It all boils down to trust -- can I trust this system to 'behave' predictably?

As humans become increasingly dependent upon computers in their daily lives, OS stability, reliability, flexibility, and customizability will become ever more important. People will look for the same qualities in an OS that they look for in a friend. Between you and me, I don't want to spend too much time around someone who, despite being "insanely great" some of the time, has frequent and unexpected breakdowns, often at the worst possible moment.

*n*x users have had it right all along... it is important to name your computer.

Selling or Changing? (1)

Wiggins (3161) | about 15 years ago | (#1654175)

Seems like there are an awful lot of people trying to change the world, or thinking they can. Maybe if we had less people trying to change the world, and just selling plastic, or doing whatever it is they do best, then the world would change it's dang self!

It's like comparing Apples and, umm, apples (3)

jht (5006) | about 15 years ago | (#1654178)

Linux/Open Source advocacy and Apple advocacy are really two different animals. Right now, Linux has the "buzz" that Apple had in the years immediately following Macintosh, but the industry has matured to the point where Apple is part of the Establishment, albeit an interesting part.

The Linux community of today has more in common with the hardcore computing enthusiasts of days past (the folks who soldered their own mainboards) than they do with the Apple crowd - though, of course, there are obvious overlaps (the anybody-but-Microsoft people, for instance, often have a foot in both camps). What's interesting is what I've noticed among several of the uber-hacker old-timers that I've had the opportunity to meet and converse with over the years: people, there's a lot of Net.gods who fit this:

At work, they hack Unix, or Linux, or BSD, and produce Open Source code. At home, a lot of them have Macs.

But there's no urgent need for people to be Mac advocates anymore - Apple is safe and sound and inhabiting a moderate-sized, highly profitable niche in the market. Linux, though, needs their support.

Not one of my finest posts (for which I apologise), but I just figured I'd toss it out there.

- -Josh Turiel

Confused (4)

Hermetic (85784) | about 15 years ago | (#1654180)

I have always been confused by the zealots of our geeky little world...
How can you get that worked up just because someone says that they like to use a Mac? Or Windows? One the one hand you disdain someone that can use an "inferior" program(or OS, whatever, really), and on the other hand expect those products to improve to to suit your own needs and wants.

My dad uses AOL. I consider it a personal failure on my part. As much as AOL sucks, according to all of us, it does what he wants it to. It doesn't have the power of sendmail. It isn't open source. But it works.

Any moron can learn HTML. So why are there products like MS Frontpage? That mangle the code into something almost unrecognizable? Because it is easy. Our whole society is based on easy. TV, movies, fast food, and even software. Apple succeeds in the face of obsolecsence because it is easy to use. Windows exists because it's users don't have to know anything to type up a letter and print it out.

Linux is great, Linux is good, but it is a niche product (for now) that needs the dreaded "user friendliness" before it will ever become ubiquitous.

Apple & Linux, 2 completely different views (2)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | about 15 years ago | (#1654182)

Well, this is a little off topic. But no two movements/companies typify the split that I see all the time in computing. Ease of Use V. Power.

Apple is ALL about ease of use/learning (the two aren't always the same). Linux is ALL about power. Microsoft, after having begun in the power camp, is now focusing more on ease of use.

Which is more important? Well, that's for the market to decide. And the market has. Ease of use is more important. Why is would M$, the marketing genuises, focus on it. The interesting thing about Linux is that it isn't, up until now at least, been market driven, because it's not sold. Unix isn't really either, because even commercial *nix's aren't sold on the mass market.

Lesson for linux-heads: Want market share of the desktop ("world domination")? Do more ease-of-use stuff. The interesting challenge for linux: Keep the command-line power for those who want it, but a consumer user should NEVER have to see it. Period. End of conversation. My brothers and sisters aren't screwing with a CLI.

Mac/Windows - Unix/Linux (3)

Philageros (57698) | about 15 years ago | (#1654184)

Unix was very important for computing, and so was Apple's GUI. But in the same way that the Windows GUI is not innovative but rather based on Apple's, isn't Linux based on Unix? Windows market share dwarfs that of the MacOS and it's quite possible that Linux will dwarf the market share of Unix, but Linux will never be innovative in the revolutionary sense that Unix was.

freebsd vs. linux on macs (1)

thal (33211) | about 15 years ago | (#1654186)

the article mentions that freebsd is linux's "rival" and that some linux users would be angered that apple chose freebsd instead of linux. i don't think a reasonable linux zealot would really think that. i would much rather see any type of unix-like, open source OS than the dreadful regular macOS, in which the GUI is so painstakingly integrated into the OS that it drives me absolutely nuts. even moreso than windows95.

freebsd is a rival of linux, perhaps, but it's a friendly rivalry or at least it should be.

also, it was interesting to see good ol' rob referenced in the article. he's becoming quite the open-source geek celebrity.

Why BSD in Mac OS X, you ask? (4)

Zigg (64962) | about 15 years ago | (#1654188)

Part of that article struck me -- the apparent disdain of the Linux community for Apple's choice of BSD to base Mac OS X on. But having been a past and present Linux user professionally, and an exclusive FreeBSD user personally, I think I can see where Apple is looking.

Any professional OS that touts ease of configurability must have a consistent interface to everything underneath. The more I delve into Linux, the more I get confused by the different ways everything has to be done. I think this is a symptom of the "hack it till it just works" mentality.

I don't exclusively use FreeBSD because of its stability and security (although that was certainly the case when I switched a few years ago; Linux boxes were giving me and others unexplainable random problems left and right that an installation of FreeBSD remedied handily.) I continue to use FreeBSD today because things are done right and consistently. That might mean waiting a little longer for equivalent functionality, but I can trust said functionality.

The Linux systems I use seem to be able to do more, but I can't always find the correct way to do it. Perhaps that's more due to a lack of documentation, but when I do find the right way, it seems to be a hack that really doesn't fit into any consistent way of doing things. For example, getting my ATAPI CD-RW drive to work meant inserting a LILO flag. It seems to me that functionality should have been found elsewhere, perhaps in a kernel config file or by unloading one module and loading another. FreeBSD doesn't yet have IDE-SCSI support, but I bet when they do, it will be able to be enabled without rebooting and should also be easy to set up.

All in all, I can see the building of an organized, easily-setup, easily-administrated OS a lot more clearly on top of a BSD kernel. The tests of time have showed BSD to do well in those areas. I think Linux will get there, maybe on the next iteration of the kernel. 2.2 unloaded a lot of nasty old baggage that was around in 2.0, I have faith that 2.4 will be even better.

Of course, the rest of the story probably involves things like the GPL. Apple and other large companies who derive a huge bottom line from software licenses, I think, will continue to shy away from truly free licenses for some time. I think that is truly a shame for the forces of free software.

P.S. I have tried to be constructive here instead of being flamebait. I would appreciate replies that are in the same manner.

Why Apple chose BSD (2)

Gryphon (28880) | about 15 years ago | (#1654190)

The Salon article makes it out to sound as if Apple might somehow be hoping it's choice of BSD would split the open-source development community, BSD vs. Linux.

Well, the general fact is that the hard-core BSD developers probably don't work on the Linux kernel, and vice versa (in effect, there is already a split).

So... I would suggest that Apple's choice of BSD came down to licensing, pure and simple. The BSD license is more "friendly" to use with proprietary software, ie. the Apple GUI.

However, licensing theories aside, any thoughts on this question: if Apple was choosing the *nix core for Mac OS X today, would it still be BSD, or would it be Linux, taking into account Linux's current popularity?

Re:How could you survive on GPL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654191)

The GPL does not restrict software running on top of or parallel to the GPLed software. There are commercial X servers. Even if Apple had to modify the kernel, releasing the code for the modified kernel would not require releasing any client code for the UI. The greatest burden would be providing access to the source code--one more CD to include with the machine.

The real problem with GPL is attitude. BSD/X style licensing is nearly public domain--which businesses have accepted and used for many years. GPL is probably unfamiliar and scary to most business-types.

(Yet legacy is probably much of the reason.)

The Mac in (anecdotal) Historical perspective (1)

RNG (35225) | about 15 years ago | (#1654192)

I bought my first Mac (SE) in 1987, when I started university. It had 1MB Ram (later upgraded to 4MB) , 2 floopy drives and (later) an external SCSI hard disk. There was no real multitasking yet but it worked well running 1 program at a time. During my 4 years in university, the Macs freshmen typically bought got progressiveley nicer, had color monitors and some basic (cooperative) multitasking. Mind you, they still crashed quite often, but were nice machines.

3 years ago I was in SanFrancisco and met up with some old friends from college. One of them had a new PowerPC mac with a nice 17 (or 19) inch monitor. Simply for old times sake, I asked him, 'show me some cool stuff on your Mac. I'd like to see what these machines can do'. So he fired up a new/cool game and the machine hung. We rebooted, tried another game and the machine crashed. We rebooted again, tried another (non-game) application only to have it hang during the application loading/startup. By that time I had been running Linux for a few years and certainly wasn't impressed by his crash-prone Mac with all it's pretty icons. I have never looked at a Mac again (here in Europe they're almost non-existant) and certainly don't miss them.

The point: I basically consider Macs the ultimate point-and-click box. This is fine when you're just trying to write a letter, but to me it's really annoying. I don't want to be shielded from the computer, I want to have full access to everything, rather than being relegated to clicking on 'OK' when something dies. The fact that the new IMacs are considered a major leap/success for Apple says enough. Why the pretty colors on the box matter is beyond me, but their success proves that Apple is right about the demand for such machines. It's just that by doing so they bascially have painted themselves in the opposite corner that Linux geeks inhabit; a corner I was in more than 10 years ago and don't care to return to ... of course, there is the possibiity that Darwin will be the ultimate power OS with a nice presentation layer, but knowing Apple's history, I don't buy that for one second. Apple could have been Microsoft if they had opened up their products. They missed that chance and I don't see them developing anything of great relevance anymore ... those who come too late are punished by life

Re:BSD choice is legacy from NeXT (1)

scumdamn (82357) | about 15 years ago | (#1654193)

Also, the BSD license gives Apple more control over when or if they release their source code. If it was the GPL they'd have to release whatevere they changed. Personally, that's one of the Good Things about having so many different licenses. If Apple is more comfortable having that control, good. At least they've released much of their source code.

Zealot #87987 Present and Accounted For.. (3)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654194)

"How can you get that worked up just because someone says that they like to use a Mac? Or Windows?"

Personally, I could care less what anyone uses on their desktop. It's when people involve themselves in a holy war and introduce their slanted views as reasons why, say, Windows is "technically superior" to GNU/Linux that makes me whip out the beating stick (I'd say clue-by-four, but you know, most of those nuts couldn't get a clue if it were a sledgehammer caving in their skull). ;)

"Any moron can learn HTML."

Yes and no.. Sure, anyone can learn HTML.. sort of. I've yet to see /any/ Web site that structures HTML as well as I do (and no, I'm not being egotistical.. it's ridiculously easy to make perfectly compliant, legible HTML source.. the point is, few bother to either a) learn how or b) use what they learned effectively). Most "Web designers" think if you throw up a few Active Server Pages, Java applets, and JavaScript crap, you're "studly". I think it's pathetic. Keep it nice, keep it clean. I have, however, seen a few HTML compliant sites that were better than your average corporate or "home page" site (yeah, I lump those together because they usually suck just as bad as the other).

"Apple succeeds in the face of obsolecsence because it is easy to use. Windows exists because it's users don't have to know anything to type up a letter and print it out."

As someone pointed out in a previous discussion, these GUIs aren't precisely "intuitive". Sure, they may be a little easier for Joe Public to grasp than other interfaces, but you might be surprised at how many people can't even figure out how to use Windows. At all. Thus do I disagree. You have to know something about it to use it. It's just that many people have been conditioned by it and so /see/ it as being "intuitive".. I wasn't born knowing how to use Windows, I learned it. Of course, some people grasp these things easier than others.. But learn it they still have to do. ;)

Re:Why Apple chose BSD (1)

artemis67 (93453) | about 15 years ago | (#1654195)

However, licensing theories aside, any thoughts on this question: if Apple was choosing the *nix core for Mac OS X today, would it still be BSD, or would it be Linux, taking into account Linux's current popularity? I'm not a *nix person, but I will venture a guess anyway. :) I'd say that the BSD code is more mature than Linux. For example, as I understand, Linux doesn't work well in multiprocessor systems.

that article was beautiful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654196)

but I fear IPO's and everything else will somehow strip the spirit from linux... I don't know if it is possible but seeing the changes I never believed possible in linux the past few years makes me fear it.

..? (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654197)

"I love my Macs, but I can easily say that Macs will always be a niche product, and so will Linux."

I rather doubt GNU/Linux will be relagated to a "niche market". Considering the development model and its growing support, there's nothing it could not theoretically accomplish. However, it's becoming less of a "theory" every day.. What will actually happen is anybody's guess, but I seriously doubt GNU/Linux will incur the intense beating Java did after the hype settled down. ;)

Re:Obj-C to Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654198)

Last I heard, Apple was sticking with Objective C. When it came down to compiling apps, even a Java-based version of SimpleText was unacceptably slow.

I believe Apple is integrating both languages now.

That would clearly be the way to go. Java has some neat new stuff (well according to my boss anyways :-) and in a few years, it might even have decent performance.

But, we have so much C stuff (and Objective C is so cool) that if they don't go with Objective C, then they'll just be shooting them selves in the foot (again --- Linux here we come).

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (2)

dadams (9665) | about 15 years ago | (#1654199)

If Apple shipped a complete development environment with their OS and stopped sueing people I might consider it.
Why ship a development environment with a consumer OS? When you buy a play station, to they send you everything you need to write games?
Anyway, Macintosh Programming Workshop (MPW) is Apple's FREE Programming environment. You can download it from their website, along with hundreds of other useful tools, code snippets, SDKs, and useful stuff. Plus you get MrC, one of the best PPC compilers for PowerPCs.

But all we are saying.. is.. give peace a chance.. (1)

CoffeeNowDammit (5514) | about 15 years ago | (#1654200)

Hey all --

I think the one point to bear in mind here is that Apple evangelists and Linux mavens are not necessarily diametrically opposed (and in fact have a common competitor on which to focus).

So.. now that Apple has demonstrated that they're open to the idea of open source (to some extent at least).. do you think we could.. um.. encourage them?

A saying about honey, vinegar and flies comes to mind...
-----

Re:Apple & Linux, 2 completely different views (1)

mpe (36238) | about 15 years ago | (#1654211)


I think one of the major problems with tossing around the phrase "easy-to-use" is that no-one ever really defines who is supposed to find it easier.

Or for that matter defining it in objective terms.

And let's not forget that the user generally learns about the system as they go. So, what the user once considered a difficult task s/he may come to view as simple, if only through rote repetition. Does the system get out of their way once they've learned these tasks? Or does it force them to continue to use the "easy-to-use" wizards and whatnot?

The issue has then moved in to the issue of "user friendlyness". Which is often even more poory defined.
Creating a system which only serves novices is one of the most common problems, however.

helpdesk staff and sysads -- skill deficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654212)

sigh. The simple fact is that the tools exist to perform the vast majority of the admin tasks you need. You're just too lazy and ignorant to bother learning what they are. You've rec'd a free education today about WhatRoute. Hope you put it to use. Macs, like them or not, are here to stay. Their presence is only going to increase drastically in the near future. For instance: I'm a software developer. Our firm used to have maybe 5 macs total, and easily over two hundred NT and Solaris boxes. In the path of expansion, we merged w/ a major design firm. Now, our poor IS dept has to support over 60 macs on the network. The thing is, those guys at that firm were getting along fine before we absorbed them. Their macs almost never had any problems, they didn't know or care how the network operated, it just worked. They got their email. Everything was happy. We merge, and begin to migrate them, and royally screw them up... Why did our merger go so poorly? Was it because the macs suck? No, its because our sysads and helpdesk know jack shit about macs. I've been called off project several times to operate as a mac guru for our hapless helpdesk. Its very frustrating. Its not hard, guys. Macs are pathetically easy to master and maintain. Get w/ the program.

BSD and Apple (2)

petergun (13023) | about 15 years ago | (#1654213)

Wow, I can't believe this is an issue. Are Linux users really out to stifle other OSs?

Mac OS X is a grandson of NeXTstep, a BSD derivative OS. Under NeXTstep, we (users/developers) were actually pushing NeXT to stay on top of the changes being wrought by BSD 4.4 Lite, to allow the source code and libraries to be free of restrictions and to benefit of improvements.

So what is wrong with them continuing this trend of working closely with BSD?

Years ago, I bought a NeXT Colorstation to benefit from an improved Mac like GUI interface, a BSD based Unix with a GNU C compiler, an Object Development system that still impresses me, a Display Postscript environment "because it made sense". And the sum of all parts outweighed the individual pieces.

Now, those days are gone, but Mac OS X announces itself as a great "user Experience." I still own and use my NeXT and would pay $$$ to simply update the hardware under it to something current. Barring that, an iBook running OS X may just suite me fine.

My dual-Celeron Linux server, my Cobalt Qube and any other Linux boxes simply never matched the consistency of that old BSD Unix based NeXT. I think that is also the perception of the engineers at Apple (Nue NeXT).

Not much of a challenge.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654214)

"The interesting challenge for linux: Keep the command-line power for those who want it, but a consumer user should NEVER have to see it."

For one, there already is a lot of drive that has been pushed behind the "user-friendly desktop environment with pretty graphical interfaces and all the other things Joe Public has come to know and love, even point and click!" category. Joe Public will probably never try to custom install an OS on his own. He doesn't even have to do that with Windows. Whenever you buy a Windows computer, it's already pretty much set up and ready to go (well, except for those stupid "registration" things I've been seeing a lot of.. damn those are annoying), and they usually include a little disc that allows you to reinstall.. a real no-brainer reinstall. This would hardly be difficult to do for GNU/Linux. Preconfiguration is Joe Public's best friend. Once the GUI apps become more user-friendly, and the computer companies stop thinking that GNU/Linux is just a "server OS", then this "challenge" will have been accomplished. After all, it's not like you're condemned to spend your entire life in X. You can go to the command-line if you want to. Joe Public probably won't want to. Just like Joe Public doesn't switch out of the Windows GUI and play around in DOS, even though he could. Ha!

Linux users wins when people buy iMacs (3)

semprebon (61779) | about 15 years ago | (#1654215)

Any reduction in MS market share helps Linux, even if it goes to Apple, Palm, etc

Because porting to additional platforms is much easier after porting to the second, the essential choice for vendors will be between supporting just MicroSoft or supporting multiple platforms. Thus, any reduction in MicroSoft's market share will make it more likely that vendors will support Linux. Linux wins when more people buy iMacs. All users wins when there is greater choice in the OS market.

Not only that, but a greater number of economically viable platforms will drive more companies to open source. Why? Because most companies can't afford to produce and support binary distributions for a wide range of platforms. While they could contract out such support, moving to Open Source will allow user of even obscure platforms to become customers.

Re:Why Apple chose BSD - NeXT used it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654216)

Also, teh real reason that Apple bought NeXT was to get Steve Jobs back. As part of the package NeXT's BSD *nix came along for the ride. So, rather then re-invent the wheel. They kept all of the cool NeXT stuff (it really was very cool) and are trying to make it into Mac OS X Client & Server.

too serious... (1)

Haven (34895) | about 15 years ago | (#1654217)


I think people are taking themselves too seriously. No matter how many IMacs are sold, or how many times Linux is downloaded, or how opensource MacOSX is, it won't change the world. Its not like the world is plagued (though some will argue) by the fact that people have to pay $100+ dollars to have a copy of Windows installed on their home PC. Society won't change for the better because everyone runs Linux. Kids won't stop shooting each other, smoking pot, or driving drunk because Apple gained a higher market share, or because Linux now has %78 of the server market (this is in the future). They are preferences that people have. You shouldn't do something because it will bring down the evil of the world (Microsoft). You should do something because it is your personal preference.



It's like apples(Microsoft Windows) and oranges(*BSD,MACOS*,Linux,Beos...). Lets say %90 of fruit baskets are shipped with apples. Since there are so many being shipped and people are demanding constant upgrades, the apples nutritional value is spreading thin. Some of the fruit baskets even have apples with bruises in them. Then one day someone stands up and says "Look people eat oranges! They are better and have more nutritional value! And they aren't all bruised up!". That person and all of his orange eating followers start fighting against the apple eaters. They consider themselves radicals who believe they are changing the world. The hoopla ends and the people who liked apples stayed with apples and the people liked oranges better ate oranges. Nothing changed except peoples personal preference. Their fruit baskets came with oranges instead of apples.



I could see linux changing the world if Microsoft acutally caused the world strife other than a money. For example, if Hospitals stopped running because NT bluescreened, or FedeX went bankrupt because NTFS fscked up and lost all the tax records and orders. This doesn't happen. When this is all over in 5 years or so, people will run what they want. Its not a "real" revolution. "Real" revolutions happened in 1776.



Let me make one last thing clear. Don't flame me for not being a radical. I run Linux because it is my personal preference. I dual boot with windows because I like games. I don't run linux to topple over the heiarchy of evil that is microsoft. I just like it. Please if you have any comments reply to this. I would like some feedback. Even if it is "Hey screw you buddy!".

Re:Why BSD in Mac OS X, you ask? (3)

bmetzler (12546) | about 15 years ago | (#1654218)

Of course, the rest of the story probably involves things like the GPL. Apple and other large companies who derive a huge bottom line from software licenses, I think, will continue to shy away from truly free licenses for some time. I think that is truly a shame for the forces of free software.

Actually, the GPL is not a truly free license. A truely free license lets you do anything you want with the source code. You can keep it free, make it non-free, not use it, use it, let others use freely it, or restrict it. The GPL is restrictive, just like a closed source license is. However, while a closed source license prevents you from doing whatever you want with the code, the GPL prevents you from restricting others from doing what they want with the code. They are both restrictive, but they restrict different usage. One is good, the other bad.

I certainly agree with restricting peoples ability to turn my code into non-free code. And a lot of companies that release free software like the GPL too. It prevents others from taking their code and closing it and competing against them. However, companies like Apple who want more "control" over their software like the BSD license because it is truely free. The code that they are sharing won't cripple they product if others "steal" it. And they don't need to give up code they don't want too.

No flames here. But the BSD is truely free. I just like the GPL better :)

-Brent
--

More cut and paste action.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654219)

"I think one of the major problems with tossing around the phrase "easy-to-use" is that no-one ever really defines who is supposed to find it easier."

Too true.

"Ultimately, if the "ease-of-use" factor strays too far below the user's skill/knowledge level, s/he's going to find the OS getting in their way with too many wizards and "are you sure?" dialogs. If "ease-of-use" was keyed to a more advanced user, the user's going to be intimidated by the system, and may never use it to the fullest."

I disagree. Having a GUI and a CLI on the same OS is hardly any kind of innovation. And it allows for precisely the paradoxical thing trying to be accomplished.

"Does the system get out of their way once they've learned these tasks? Or does it force them to continue to use the "easy-to-use" wizards and whatnot?"

Even in Windows you could switch over to DOS and avoid all that if you knew the system well. :) However, I would like to make a point that while the GNU/Linux overall GUI should make things simpler, it should /never/ be dumbed down to the level of Windows. That's just more annoying than.. useful.

"The real problem here is that there is no such thing as one-size-fits all. Personally, I think that is misguided and silly to try to do it. Look @ Windows. It tries to be all things to all people, and as a result, isn't. Is that what we want Linux to aspire to? I don't think so..."

As you pointed out earlier, there's no way for a computer to be immediately usable by someone with no aptitude for computing at all (and no experience). However, you can certainly design a system that allows for advanced users to "get at the computer" (unlike MacOS), yet appeal to those who do not wish to use the more advanced capabilities of their system (like [insert favorite "suck" OS with a pretty GUI here]). Hell, even advanced users find X to be useful as well as entertaining. ;)

Besides, when you come right down to it, Windows isn't really a good example for much of anything except what a really good marketing campaign will do for sales. There's certainly no true comparison between GNU/Linux and Windows. GNU/Linux is on a much higher level..

Re:Apple & Linux, 2 completely different views (1)

armen (4048) | about 15 years ago | (#1654220)

My love of the Mac has nothing to do with ease of use. I have been using Linux at home and at work for several years, and I desperately want to replace my home machine with a Mac. Why? Because I miss QuickTime, Shockwave, Kensington Turbo Mouse drivers, at least two browsers from which to choose, professional multimedia creation software, and, more than anything else, that warm, fuzzy feeling I get just moving a cursor around. The feel is so very, very different. No amount of tweaking X or GTK or E has even come close. I love getting in front of my friends' Macs and just clicking on stuff. I know many of you have no idea what I'm talking about, and don't really care. That's all right. I think most Mac users understand.

How about NetBSD != FreeBSD.. ;) (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654231)

I believe the poster to whom you are replying to mentioned that /FreeBSD/ doesn't run on PPC. Not exactly the same thing as NetBSD. A la:

"As far as I know, FreeBSD doesn't yet run on PowerPC (a port is underway perhaps?)."

AFAIK: Unix is simply Unix. Classic. BSD is yet another fork in Unix development. A derivative. NetBSD is a derivative of BSD. FreeBSD and OpenBSD forked off from NetBSD. Thus are there three major flavors of BSD that are "free". Only only is called FreeBSD, however. ;)

Re:Why BSD in Mac OS X, you ask? (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | about 15 years ago | (#1654232)

AAAARGH!!!! Not again...

I think _everybody_ on this form _understands_ that the GPL means "free" as in: nobody is supposed to make the software it is applied to "non-free", whereas the BSD license means that you can do any damn thing you feel like to the license.

We _UNDERSTAND_ already - STOP FLOGGING THE HORSE!

Paranoia (2)

Watts Martin (3616) | about 15 years ago | (#1654233)

You write:

"The Salon article makes it out to sound as if Apple might somehow be hoping its choice of BSD would split the open source community."

The Salon article actually says:

"The circumstantial evidence available, however, suggests that Apple's embrace of BSD is part of a natural evolutionary process for Apple, and has little to do with a nefarious plot to undermine Linux."

Reality check, please.

Re: no Mac software? utter BS (1)

frankie (91710) | about 15 years ago | (#1654234)

How do you ping something from a mac? erm. there's a COMMERCIAL PACKAGE that can do it.. sheesh.

First off, how many ordinary end users ever need PING? Definitely less than 5%, possibly less than 1%. I use it, but I'm a web geek & spam hunter.

Second, you don't know Mac. Among many other freeware options, WhatRoute [ihug.co.nz] does Ping, Query, Whois, Finger & Trace.

Sounds to me like the article was written by a mac advocate trying to get linux users to use macs.

Umm...no. The quote you grabbed in order to make that bogus assertion was an interview snip from 'Clif Marsiglio, a musician and self-described "pseudo-geek" who uses both platforms', not from the article's author. Why are you trying to twist words? Sounds to me like you're an irrational Mac hater.

The point of Linux is that you can customize everything, but at the expense of convenience. The point of MacOS is almost the opposite. The comparison isn't even close to apples & oranges, it really is more like apples & penguins.

Umm.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654235)

"How would you ensure profitability by just building the hardware?"

That's paramount to asking how Dell makes money even though they don't build Windows or Red Hat. Besides, you don't exactly see people buying MacOS. They buy the computer. AFAIK, you are only allowed to put MacOS on a Mac anyway (not that it would be useful/desirable to stick it on a non-Mac in the first place). Thus they aren't really selling the software, they are selling the hardware. How do they make a profit? By not spending money building the software and just make the hardware. Same sales, less money to put up to get them. Perhaps even more sales.

"Obviously, the goals of free software are going to clash head-on with you if you try to make your hardware work "best" with the software that you're developing in the open."

Just build good hardware. Don't try to give yourself an "edge" a la Wintel. It's what we all want, anyway. Good hardware.

Whee.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654236)

"I'm not a *nix person, but I will venture a guess anyway. :) I'd say that the BSD code is more mature than Linux. For example, as I understand, Linux doesn't work well in multiprocessor systems."

BSD and its derivatives are direct descendants of the original Unix. Thus they use a lot of tried and true code. However, they also suffer from a lot of really horribly archaic code. The Linux kernel advances a little slower than it could because Torvalds is seriously anal, and doesn't allow for any kind of kludge. In the end, this is going to pay off.. big time. Elegance is not to be underestimated, even if it takes a little time.

What.. the.. @#$%!? (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654237)

" "I see Linux as irrelevant from my perspective as an advocate for everyday computer users," says Joe Ragosta, maintainer of the Complete Macintosh Page. "It's a great geek OS for people who want to be cooler than everyone else ... As such, there's no way it can compete for the average user. Heck, I've dealt with enough average users who can't figure out where the 'start' menu is, much less how to install and manage a Linux system. While the newer versions are better in this regard, they're nowhere close to the ease of use of the Mac, or even Windows." "

This guy is a complete and utter tool (you saw it here first, Kish's first use of "format tags" on Slashdot). Who here actually uses GNU/Linux to be "cool"? And what makes this luser think that GNU/Linux isn't going to swiftly evolve into something for your average hacker /and/ Joe Public? And who else is getting sick of the "easy to use" card? I personally find GNU/Linux a /lot/ easier to use than either Windows or MacOS.. No OS is intuitive, and thus, "easy to use".. Some are simply easier for certain people to learn than others.

Re:Macs still coddle and annoy the user (2)

Oniros (53181) | about 15 years ago | (#1654238)

"Either OS lets anybody's mother -- no offense, Mom -- start using the computer as soon as it powers on. And that may be fine for some people. But not for me. I don't need to be insulted by my OS, and I like a learning experience."

"No matter which way you go, you'll start "thinking different" (adverb intentionally ommitted), because you'll actually have to start thinking once you start using. In contrast to the Mac, in which case no thinking -- different or otherwise -- is required at all. "

You know, most people like it that way, not having to think to use the computer, i.e. low learning curve. I don't see how that make MacOS bad.

Not everyone is inclined to spend a lot of time to learn how to get their computer to work.

Sure, we are. We love to tinker, fiddle, tweak, hack, etc. But we are not exactly the average computer user either.

So because MacOS doesn't do what YOU want doesn't mean it's bad. It just mean you should use something else; which you do.

That's why having a choice is important. The more choice, the better. One size doesn't fit all.

Re:Why BSD in Mac OS X, you ask? (1)

Oniros (53181) | about 15 years ago | (#1654239)

Another reason they used BSD: NeXT was using BSD (with a mach kernel) and MacOS X is based on that.

Re:helpdesk staff and sysads -- skill deficiency (1)

remymartin (12145) | about 15 years ago | (#1654240)

redd,

you have to know where to look.

A little utility that helps out with error codes and gives some possible solutions.

You should also try the Apple tech exchange on their website or other mailing lists devoted to MacOS.

Just like Linux, the answers don't always come from a voice on the phone. The first step is always Sherlock. Look for "Apple Error Codes" and see what if gives you...

remy

http://www.mklinux.org

Re:Why BSD in Mac OS X, you ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654242)

I'm not sure there is such a thing as a truly free license. Licenses are meant to restrict; that is their purpose.

Truly free software is placed under public domain (all copyrights & licenses forfeited).

It's all about Quicktime (2)

undo (3635) | about 15 years ago | (#1654243)

For the last time, the open source relese of darwin has little or nothing to do with a desire to proliferate or pose os x server against linix or any other server os really. It is about quicktime. now we all love our respective os's and what not and can go on forever flaming one another abotu our personal prefs and so forth, but the fact is we are all doing it through a website where what os you run don't matter a bit. in the end, if you take a properly internet-centric veiw of all this you can see what all the big ceo's have been saying for years, it's about whose standards are on the web. apple will be a reletivly large niche player for the forseeable future, i work at an ad agency in the creative dept. and i can tell you that these macs aint goin no where in this industry, as in publishing, or anything else where seemless creativity is the goal. apple knows this, it can grow it's consumer base to a cewrtain extent (imacs, etc.) but jobs knows in the end it is quicktime that will make or break apples long term success. so shut up about apple encrouching on linux or the authenticity of thir open source gestures and hurry up and port quicktime streaming server to linux!!

Re:Important article (1)

The Happy Blues Man (35927) | about 15 years ago | (#1654261)

I had to read this post a few times to figure out exactly why it annoyed me. What exactly do you mean by "I now get..." (emphasis mine)? Is it that you don't understand how people can use a mouse? You don't see how people can get things done without a CLI? You were completely oblivious to the workings of a GUI? I don't mean this as a flame or anything, I an frankly baffled by your statement.

I'm also a little offended that you give the impression that Mac users are this unvocal, caged minority that you have to "show their point of view" or no one will understand them. Of course, if you wanted to know why a Mac user uses the MacOS, it would be easy to ask one.

Hell, I'll tell you right now why I use MacOS. Firstly, it lets me get things done. Anything I want to do, I can do the way I want to. Second, if there is something I can't do, I will write a program that will let me. Third, I like the way it lookos and feels. I don't like Win9x's taskbar. I don't like that each window has its own menubar, I don't like most of the X Servers, I do like the way the MacOS fits together. I like Apple's hardware too. It also fits together extremely well. I've taken my Mac apart a few time (in fact, I'm using it now in a mostly-apart state) and I repeatedly tell my friends that I think Apple's engineers are great.

Oh, and as for the people who don't like Apple because they make their own hardware and it's more expensive... you get what you pay for. I like having quality parts. Sure, I could buy a Celeron system for pocket change, but then I wouldn't have an Apple, would I?

Well, now I've gone off the original point of the reply, but I hope this has enlightened you a little bit.

The Happy Blues Man

Re:Umm.. (1)

Zigg (64962) | about 15 years ago | (#1654262)

No, it's not a comparable situation. If Apple were to GPL Mac OS X, they would still be the principal developers for, at the very least, quite some time (look at how Mozilla started) and would probably not make money from it. OTOH, Dell is not a principal developer of either RH or Windows.

Re:Whee.. (1)

sinator (7980) | about 15 years ago | (#1654263)

... Yes and no.

You have to remember that Mac OS X is based off of a lot of NeXTstep code, and also a lot of NetBSD code (or possibly FreeBSD code, I'm not sure). Part of the reason why Rhapsody was so long in the developing was because a lot of BSD 4.3 code was being migrated to 4.4-Lite code. Don't believe me? Look at the source to Darwin. Looks suspiciously like NetBSD.

4.4-Lite code is really not that archaic, seeing as it has expunged all the offending SysV/ATT USL code.

Re:helpdesk staff and sysads -- skill deficiency (1)

redd (17486) | about 15 years ago | (#1654264)

Thanks for the "WhatRoute" info.. I'll try to get punters to install it next time they can't connect to the internet.

MacOS X does look interesting, but frankly I'm happy to struggle on with Linux, BSD, BeOS, even my old Amiga (and yes, I know the Amiga was just as bad for this, it's just the machine I grew up on. things changed). You're right, most users don't want a development environment, but what harm can bundling it on the CD do for those that DO?

Here's a real life example I went through:

(Mac error message) "Netscape has unexpectedly exit due to network error 2".

[two days of browsing newsgroups later..]

(translation) : "netscape has run out of memory, because virtual memory wasn't switched on".

well gee. that was helpful. I'm not sure whether that message came from netscape or opentransport, but it doesn't say alot, does it?

Re:Why BSD in Mac OS X, you ask? (2)

bmetzler (12546) | about 15 years ago | (#1654265)

We _UNDERSTAND_ already - STOP FLOGGING THE HORSE!

Someones always got to do their part to point out that both licenses aren't mutually exclusive. The BSD and GPL license' are both 'good'. But they both fit different areas.


--

Dum de dum.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654266)

Unix, BSD, subsequent derivatives.. Their implementations (each one considered individually) would of course be rather consistent due to their heritage, and the fact that relatively small groups work on the OS proper. Thus, being consistent is relatively easy.

"The more I delve into Linux, the more I get confused by the different ways everything has to be done. I think this is a symptom of the "hack it till it just works" mentality."

Are you referring to the kernel proper? If so, I'm sure a lot of people would like to point out how incredibly anal Torvalds really is, and just how elegant anything suggested for inclusion in the kernel really has to be in order to "make the grade". ;)

At any rate, the "hack till it just works" seems to be an increasingly common misconception typically associated with GNU/Linux and its various advocates. Perhaps some day people will think of some more devious FUD to cater to the masses with.

Re:Paranoia (1)

Gryphon (28880) | about 15 years ago | (#1654268)

The Salon article says:

"The circumstantial evidence available, however, suggests that Apple's embrace of BSD is part of a natural evolutionary process for Apple, and has little to do with a nefarious plot to undermine Linux."

Exactly. Circumstantial evidence is just that, circumstantial... not a given. The Salon article also says:

"For years, they noted, Apple had actively supported the development of mkLinux, a version of Linux that would run on PowerPCs. But now, with the announcement of Darwin, Apple appeared to be abandoning Linux. Could this be because the company saw the fast-growing operating system as a threat to its own future profits? The first iteration of Darwin released to the public, Mac OS X Server, appeared to be aimed directly at Linux's main stronghold -- the computer server market."

But I digress, even after just posting that quote. My point is, it's fuzzy, not black (Apple is trying to kill Linux) or white (Apple is not trying to kill Linux). It's probably somewhere in between -- Apple is benefitting from the BSD code where they can. They may not intend to support BSD at the expense of Linux, but if Linux is undermined, then, oh well... maybe people will buy more OS X licenses.

It's only a matter of time until Linux has a GUI that may be even better than the Mac. The Linux kernel is rock solid. That's got to worry
Apple, especially the PowerPC Linux ports.

Re:Ease of use or efficiency? (1)

meepzorb (61992) | about 15 years ago | (#1654270)

A question for you (and this is absolutely not a flame)...do you think Macs are so efficient because you 'have been using them your whole life', or by design?

That's an interesting question. Probably a little of both. There must be more to my perceived efficiency of the Mac than mere familiarity, because I've been forced to use Windows 95/98/NT at work for almost three years now and have not "gotten used to it" yet.

Re:It's like comparing Apples and, umm, apples (1)

Otter (3800) | about 15 years ago | (#1654271)

Linux/Open Source advocacy and Apple advocacy are really two different animals.

For another thing, they arise out of different motivations. Mac addicts are (were?) long-time users faced with the threat of having their favorite OS taken away from them at work, or of having it disappear entirely from the workplace. To me, that justified some of the hysteria and excess of EvangeListas and the like.

Linux advocacy is different in that it's a platform on the way up, and that most of the maniacs have jumped aboard in the last year or two.

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (1)

sinator (7980) | about 15 years ago | (#1654274)

/* 1) If a mac isn't doing what you expect then it gives you NO debugging information to "figure out what's wrong with it" - trust me.. I work on a help desk. How do you ping something from a mac? erm. there's a COMMERCIAL PACKAGE that can do it.. sheesh. So if it says "can't connect to mail host smtp.foo.com" I have no idea if it's a DNS problem or a TCP problem or an IP problem, and I'm trying to work this out through some 'kwit down the phone who bought a mac fooled into thinking it would be easy to use. */

Irrelevant. Mac OS X will have standard UNIX internet tools a la NeXTstep (which, imo, is one of the best designed OS's but not the best marketed).

Also, Windows NT and 2000 have the 'nslookup' command. Windows 9x doesn't. Obnoxious, isn't it? Wonderful Windows UNIX-alikes like 'ping, tracert, ftp' and you still have to get NT to get 'nslookup' and Services for Unix or the Resource Kit to get 'grep' and other "POSIX tools" (bleh.)

You have to pay for a command line telnet client and disk usage/process monitor/compression and extraction/etc command line utils for NT. (nominal price, but still you have to PAY)

So Mac OS X is currently ahead of Windows 9x and will be equal than or greater to NT/2000 with respect to command line networking utils, and will always be ahead of the NT lineage with respect to command line tools in general.

Re:Mac/Windows - Unix/Linux (0)

pen (7191) | about 15 years ago | (#1654281)

Linux was created as a free alternative to Unix, for those who don't want to shell out a few thousand bucks to use it on their box at home.

--

Re:Well said. (1)

webslacker (15723) | about 15 years ago | (#1654282)

I think the article even realizes that it's just stirring up unnecessary controversy by aligning everything into a Mac vs. Linux topic. Macs and Linux have their own places in the computer world, and can easily coexist as far as I can tell. I love my Macs, but I can easily say that Macs will always be a niche product, and so will Linux. You know what? There's nothing wrong with that. Different people have different computing needs, and for that reason I think having the variety of BeOS, Linux, Windows and Macs is a good thing. Is Linux the Next Big Thing? Fine, no jealousy here. I'm sure there will always be another Next Big Thing down the line, and that's actually a good sign because it keeps the rest of the industry on its toes. The introduction of the Mac impacted the rest of the computing world in a positive way, and I'm sure Linux will have a positive influence on Macs and Windows too.

How could you survive on GPL? (1)

Zigg (64962) | about 15 years ago | (#1654283)

As I mentioned in a previous article, I do think that licensing probably did indeed have something to do with it. Certainly the GPL is unfriendly to people who depend on sales of licenses for their bottom line.

How would you ensure profitability by just building the hardware? Obviously, the goals of free software are going to clash head-on with you if you try to make your hardware work "best" with the software that you're developing in the open.

This is a genuine question and I'm wondering what the answer is, it's not rhetorical flamebait :-)

Terminology (off-topic) (1)

waynem77 (83902) | about 15 years ago | (#1654284)

What I find most interesting in this article is that Leonard used the terms "free software" and "open source" interchangeably. "Open source" is everywhere now, but I've never heard any member of the media say "free software" before. (At least, not in the RMS sense.)

Ease of use or efficiency? (4)

snicker (7648) | about 15 years ago | (#1654286)

The Mac OS has always been for me a tool of maximum efficiency - it's about as clean and fast a GUI as one could hope for, mostly thanks to its carefully thought out placement of icons, menus, buttons and so forth. Linux - tho' I've not been working on it for too long - is efficient as any unixesque system through the CLI (and I'm sure enjoying Enlightenment!)

I've been working on macs almost my whole life, and love them. But because the sort of work I do has been changing, I've found a text-based interface more efficient. My mac advocacy hasn't slackened though!

I thought the Salon article made a good point, though - that (and I am paraphrasing cruelly to make my point) people become advocates of the system they find the most efficient. Personally I wish that Alias | Wavefront [sgi.com] would write a window manager - Maya is simply the best ``OS'' [sgi.com] I've ever used. Irix is fun, too.
*N

FreeBSD != BSD (1)

logicTrAp (2864) | about 15 years ago | (#1654288)

The "BSD" the article is referring to is the BSD layer on top of Mach, NOT any of the current "free" BSD derivitives. As far as I know, FreeBSD doesn't yet run on PowerPC (a port is underway perhaps?).

sacred mystical computers? utter BS (3)

redd (17486) | about 15 years ago | (#1654290)

I don't think the writer understands at all why we use Linux/UNIX..

"The design and elegance of the Mac operating system can affordany moron to get work done in an efficient way and, if necessary, figure
out what's wrong with it. This is contrary to all that the average Linux geek wants ... The geeks look at a computer as a sacred mystical
tool, and use allegorical and mythical terms to describe it ..."

1) If a mac isn't doing what you expect then it gives you NO debugging information to "figure out what's wrong with it" - trust me.. I work on a help desk. How do you ping something from a mac? erm. there's a COMMERCIAL PACKAGE that can do it.. sheesh. So if it says "can't connect to mail host smtp.foo.com" I have no idea if it's a DNS problem or a TCP problem or an IP problem, and I'm trying to work this out through some 'kwit down the phone who bought a mac fooled into thinking it would be easy to use. The mostly monochrome desktop is far from "elegant" and the interface is too damn illogical.

2) The mythical terms stuff is garbage. As a die-hard GNU advocate I'd still be the first person happy to rename 'grep' as 'regexp-filter' or even 'search'.

I was originally drawn to unix 5 years ago just by seeing a solaris box and how much you configure FVWM to do what you want (you mean you can actually define your OWN button menus? wow!). I have stayed with linux after seeing the power of opensource and its mass ability to protect good technology from being beaten by FUD.

Sounds to me like the article was written by a mac advocate trying to get linux users to use macs.

If Apple shipped a complete development environment with their OS and stopped sueing people I might consider it.

Re:Confused (0)

pen (7191) | about 15 years ago | (#1654291)

I've used AOL a bit, as an experiment (after I switched to an ISP after using AOL without knowing that it sucks). It is terrible. The interface is virtually keyboard-inaccessible, and the client managed to eat about 80% of my PII/233 CPU.

OTOH, I have read alt.aol-sucks, and I've seen some guy argue with froth on his lips that regular ISPs are the "inferior" ways to connect to the Internet, and that AOL is "the Internet and so much more."

Who do I believe?

AOL is a techie's nightmare. It also has pretty pictures and is easy to use. The passwords are case-insensitive, to save the tech support's sanity. (In fact, the passwords are 6-8 chars alpha-numeric (everything else is ignored)).

Why do they have so many users? They mail out insane amounts of disks (I have about 60 now, literally), and they make true on the "so easy to use, no wonder it's #1" promise. Naturally, it doesn't hold true for everyone, but it's true for the majority.

When AOL 4.0 was being developed, I talked to a beta tester, and he said that "the interface is terrible. It looks like it was made for kindergarten kids." Maybe that's exactly the way it was intended. :)

Uh oh, I've made a long off-topic post. D'oh!

--

Best of both worlds? (2)

G27 Radio (78394) | about 15 years ago | (#1654293)

I don't understand why so many writers seem to think that the power of Linux and "ease of use" are mutually exclusive things? I guess it's because most of them new to the Linux bandwagon. There are a lot of projects that have been, and will continue to improve the ease of use of Linux for newbies.

Notice I said for newbies. For those who have bothered to learn how to use the keyboard as their primary input device, Unix shells are much easier to use than GUI interfaces for all but the most simple operations.

A pretty GUI interface simply does not define ease of use for everyone. I'm hoping that during the next year the "ease of use" arguement is going to become a non issue. By that point Linux should at least be caught up to Windows in the "ease of use for newbies" category. The idea that Linux may one day also be touted as "easier to configure and install than Windows" may be here sooner than you think.

numb

Apple and RSM/FSF Past (1)

GeoffS (96232) | about 15 years ago | (#1654295)

This is an interesting discusion for me because it wasn't too terribly long ago that RSM was actively not supporting Apple because of their "closed" mentality. For a long time there was no "blessed" version of 'gcc' for the Mac.

Enough with the semantic nonsense.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654301)

BSD- or X-style licenses are simply one step away from being public domain. Saying the GPL isn't free, no matter what else you say, is ludicrous. If the GPL were "free" in the way BSD fanatics think of the term, no one would give a damn about "free software" (or "open source" or whatever other even more ambiguous term you want to use instead of the correct one..).

Free software is all about making it free for everyone, and making damn sure that it stays that way.. Because if you don't have the sledgehammer ready in case someone tries to take that free software and make it proprietary, someone is going to do just that. Every time. That's why *BSD isn't nearly as popular. The GPL is certainly less restrictive than most any other license. The BSD license is pretty much pointless. It might as well not even be a license.

I'm not sure what you were aiming to accomplish by reiterating something all of us /should/ know, though you seemed to do a remarkable job of clouding the issue with some very odd semantic takes on things.

No kidding.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654302)

"Wow, I can't believe this is an issue. Are Linux users really out to stifle other OSs?"

There are fanatics who use utter deception, outright lies, and other misconceptions on /both/ sides of the *BSD vs. GNU/Linux fence. Personally, I despise them all. I'm all for choice. If you don't like the GPL, fine. Don't use it. If you don't like other licenses, fine, don't use them. If you don't like such and such OS, fine. Don't use it already! Just don't lie about any of the above just to "get more mindshare" as one FreeBSD drone who is a little too able to impress his opinions on the public once told me was ok. Just let the truth be known and let everyone decide for themselves. The free software movement isn't about coddling people, ok? It's about choice. Let's keep it that way.

Re:too serious... (1)

jamesbrown1000 (39200) | about 15 years ago | (#1654303)

this is one of the best arguments i've ever seen made about OS's. in the end, it's just your preference. i use macs because they're easier to use. i don't mind the flat learning curve; i do very much mind the steep one linux has presented me. at the end of the day, i can get more of my work done on a mac. so that's what i use.

if you use windows, *nix or a tandy T-1000, as long as your platform is the best for you to get your job done, good for you. use it, be proud and don't insult other people because they think different(ly) than you do.

Re:Ease of use or efficiency? (1)

meepzorb (61992) | about 15 years ago | (#1654304)

A question for you (and this is absolutely not a flame)...do you think Macs are so efficient because you 'have been using them your whole life', or by design?

That's an interesting question. Probably a little of both. There must be more to my perceived efficiency of the Mac than mere familiarity, because I've been forced to use Windows 95/98/NT at work for almost three years now and have not "gotten used to it" yet. Windows is NOT that easy to use, despite the FUD. Unlike the Mac, I just feel Windows getting in my way, rather than helping me. It just does not feel put together right.

Using Linux or Windows, I still do a lot of stuff from the command line simply because I am a much faster typist that I am with a mouse. It's probably an illness, but I like the script files much more than searching through menus and hitting check boxes.

I actually agree with you about the command line, and I am one of those Mac users who hopes that the upcoming Mac OS X, when released, will still allow users access to the BSD command line. Some tasks, like the renaming of multiple files at once, i/o redirection, pipes etc can really only be done well from a command line.

For now, there is always MacPerl.

The interesting thing is that you can see that the two OSes seem to be converging: Linux is moving towards the best-of-both ideal by trying to develop easy-to-use GUIs such as GNOME or KDE... and the Mac is moving towards the very same ideal by replacing its OS core with a unix variant on top of a mach kernel.

One way or the other, I'm pretty sure that I will FINALLY have the OS I've been dreaming about within 2-3 years.

:Michael

It's not about changing the world.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1654305)

..at least not on the scale you wrote about. ;) It's simply about choice. Some people seem to think it's just a popularity contest still, however.. It's just about providing an alternative in case someone wants it. It's not supposed to be about forcing that alternative down someone's throat.

Re:Macs still coddle and annoy the user (2)

Guy Incognito (75973) | about 15 years ago | (#1654306)

There's an interesting implied comment here, which goes along the lines of "if no CLI interface exists for a system, then users don't have any power over it". This is due in part by the fact that the Windows and GNU/Linux graphical interfaces do, in fact, provide a limited view of the system and the way it operates. Most win32 and linux hackers root around in the registry and text files (respectively) to get the functionality that they want.

Part of what made the Mac so revolutionary was the fact that the designers decreed that the only way to interact with the system will be through the GUI. The designers knew that there would be no way to fall back on text configuration files if times got tough, so they were forced to implement GUI interfaces to almost every system function.

As a result, they managed to duplicate large portions of the functionality afforded by Linux's configuration files in the GUI. /etc/rc has equivalents in the Mac's extensions manager. chmod, in apple's "sharing" window. If the file extensions bug you, try ResEdit. If you feel compelled to build shell scripts, use MPW or AppleScript. Granted, some of these are a bit obscure, but they're certainly available. In fact, I think AppleScript, and it's ability to script lots of different Mac applications, is a place where MacOS has a fairly good lead in terms of flexibilty and power.

As in almost any OS, the amount of flexibility that you get from it depends in large part on the amount of time that you're willing to commit to learning how it works.

Re:apple's marketing blitz (1)

remymartin (12145) | about 15 years ago | (#1654308)

Get over with it and deal.

Apple's core markets are publishing and education. They have always been a favortie of artists and intellectuals. Both started using macintoshes becuase it didn't require them to learn a computer to be creative. Artists and intellectuals have always been some of the biggest rebels in history. Think Different embraces that idea, so what?

A lot of people are rebels by using a Macintosh computer. Why? because they don't want to sacrifice their computing experience in order to get work done. I suppose that you think that using Linux makes you a bigger rebel? Is it because Linux users like to think they actually know what is goin on inside the computer and that knowledge makes them superior?

I think it is really funny when the comments of Linux users towards Apple sound like the comments of Windows users towards Apple. It continues to preplex me why people who hate Apple so much let it invade their minds and their thoughts to such an extent.

remy

http://www.mklinux.org

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (1)

undo (3635) | about 15 years ago | (#1654310)



"/* 1) If a mac isn't doing what you expect then it gives you NO debugging information to "figure out what's wrong with it" - trust me.. I work on a help desk. How do you ping something from a mac? erm. there's a COMMERCIAL PACKAGE that can do it.. sheesh. So if it says "can't connect to mail host smtp.foo.com" I have no idea if it's a DNS problem or a TCP problem or an IP problem, and I'm trying to work this out through some 'kwit down the phone who bought a mac fooled into thinking it would be easy to use. */ "

this is BS, straight up. your right, you cant tell if it is dns tcp or ip, but they are all in the same godamn control panel so it doesn't matter anyway... geez. at least all the possible problems are in one place that is really easy to use and find.....
as for the lack of network tools, Mac TCP Watcher is shareware (like 20 bucks) and it gives you ping, trace route, dns checking, and udp and tcp checking, plus it trax the number of open connection you have had, packet failures and so forth. sorry, no command line.....

Re:The Mac in (anecdotal) Historical perspective (1)

Ian Betteridge (1396) | about 15 years ago | (#1654311)

But surely, in a market where there are more non-technical users than ever, "the ultimate point-and-click box" is of the greatest relevance?

long-term difference between apple and linux (1)

unc_onnected (6084) | about 15 years ago | (#1654313)

is that linux has a future. in case anyone hasnt noticed, the trend *is* towards "ubiquitous computing". desktop computers are going to be increasingly overtaken by simpler more specialized devices. of course, we're always going to have people using pc's for games and word-processing, i think.

but the real expanding market is in embedded devices, with the solid constant of server machines on the side. where is apple in this market?

nowhere.

apple's os is not reliable enough for server or embedded applications. its too big and too focused on the gui to be portable enough for embedded systems. i guess i should wait to see if apple's big leap into servers works or not, but it is their only hope for further success. and if they do, theyre gonna jump into a crowded market- and how can they compete with the most stable, efficient, secure, well-known server OS's on earth? (im actually talking about *BSD, especially FreeBSD and OpenBSD in addition to Linux) How can Apple's ridiculous prices compete with...free? is ease of use worth it in servers? especially when server people (at least i hope competent ones do) know unix anyway?

this makes more sense especially in that a lot of servers (*please* dont flame here- we all know its true) dont necessarily need the latest and greatest processing power. i mean, if you can run a simple webserver on a 486 or pentium, the market for huge servers gets smaller. but even in the high-end, apple has a good chance of getting nailed by ibm's attempts to open up powerPC architecture- because those guys are definitely going to be running linux or BSD, and slashing prices for very similar hardware to Apple's offerings. Even if Apple's entry into servers is everything theyve hoped for and more, theyre still screwed. the server market isnt big enough to support them, especially since they have a NEW UNTESTED product. itll be a while before they see a decent return.

linux's hope in the consumer market- to me- seems limited to web/set-top boxes. i know this wont make me real popular to say it, but linux is too damn complicated to set up or install anything. even with rpms if something goes wrong- youre screwed. but if it comes *pre-installed*- with ALL programs you might use set up correctly- linux will kick anyone's ass. this works especially well in limited/webTV-type applications, far better than windows because windows, well, crashes.

but more importantly apple definitely cant win there- they dont have economies of scale sufficient to compete with someone trying to give their work away in order to dominate (m-soft) or a completely free open system .

when cost becomes a factor, apple goes right out the window. they dont sell enough boxes, and they spend too much on marketing. in the long-term, this will prevent them from taking advantage of the next revolution- computing power so cheap and accessible you wont be able to walk around without using it.



unc_

Re:Why Apple chose BSD (1)

heh2k (84254) | about 15 years ago | (#1654321)

The less restrictive BSD license may have looked nicer to apple execs than the GPL, but i don't think that's what made up their mind. Apple bought NeXT which used a Mach 2.5 kernel that has a BSD API and BSD-like drivers. That's why they're using it. And it's not BSD, it's Mach with a BSD API (2.5) or a BSD server process (3.0).

Re:Why BSD in Mac OS X, you ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654322)

I agree with you. I use OpenBSD and Debian GNU/Linux in a dual boot. I barely ever boot to linux because I feel more comfortable in BSD. It's more stable and more standardized.

I have great hope in Linux. I'm not part of the Linux vs. BSD debate. I think they should both be consistently and constantly developed.

I think it's a great shame that O'Reilly does not produce any of their BSD programming or system books anymore after just 1 edition of each.

Long live GNU and BSD licenses and software as each are correct in their own way.

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (1)

cluke (30394) | about 15 years ago | (#1654323)

As a die-hard GNU advocate I'd still be the first person happy to rename 'grep' as 'regexp-filter' or even 'search'.

And you'd probably think that stuff like renaming shell commands, and making stuff like switches less obtuse would be a great leap forward in usuability, right?

Maybe so, but you've got to understand that 95% of the computer using public does not want to use a CLI *at all*!

I think Linux and Macs are pretty much diametrically opposed, as far as OS philosophy goes. This means that there should be no reason they cannot co-exist - one will not threaten the other niches.

Re:Apple & Linux, 2 completely different views (3)

kennylives (27274) | about 15 years ago | (#1654324)

Lesson for linux-heads: Want market share of the desktop ("world domination")? Do more ease-of-use stuff.

I think one of the major problems with tossing around the phrase "easy-to-use" is that no-one ever really defines who is supposed to find it easier.

Is it the complete neophyte who knows nothing about computers at all? If so, no mainstream OS qualifies. Is it the casual user? Is it the "power" user? Or is it the totally geeked-out hacker type?

Ultimately, if the "ease-of-use" factor strays too far below the user's skill/knowledge level, s/he's going to find the OS getting in their way with too many wizards and "are you sure?" dialogs. If "ease-of-use" was keyed to a more advanced user, the user's going to be intimidated by the system, and may never use it to the fullest.

And let's not forget that the user generally learns about the system as they go. So, what the user once considered a difficult task s/he may come to view as simple, if only through rote repetition. Does the system get out of their way once they've learned these tasks? Or does it force them to continue to use the "easy-to-use" wizards and whatnot?

The real problem here is that there is no such thing as one-size-fits all. Personally, I think that is misguided and silly to try to do it. Look @ Windows. It tries to be all things to all people, and as a result, isn't. Is that what we want Linux to aspire to? I don't think so...

Re:It's like comparing Apples and, umm, apples (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654325)

I hope this wont be considered flamebait...
Apple never had that 'buzz'. Or more accurately, hasn't had it since the apple II.
Back in the eighties, the mac was considered a yuppie toy. It was too expensive, and it was probably the least hacker friendly machine available. Backfiring marketing strategies permanently associated the name apple with art and (non CS) education.
The 'buzz' was around commodore and atari (and Acorn in Britain). Later the anonymous IBM clone replaced those, but luckily around that time Linux was born, so hackers on a buzz never had to face coming down ;-)
To me, Apple's complaining about MS stealing their look and feel never made sense. Mac OS wasn't even available for the PC, and afaik all pointyclick GUI's look and feel a lot like that. Apple were too complacent about being right and visionary, that they neglected to stay visionary. At the time, Apple's turnover dwarfed that of MS (wouldn't be surprised if it still does), so them losing out can't be tributed exclusively to MS bullying them into a niche market.
Ofcourse, Apple advocates putting posts on usenet or slashdot that claim that there would not have been a Y2K problem if only people had bought macs rather than Windows PC's don't help, but I suppose there are idiots like that among Windows or Linux users too. They're just not as vocal.

Important article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654326)

Not that this article is all that great, but the type of journalism it represents is. I think it is helpful to show the Mac users' point of view. I used to not understand how the Mac users' could use the GUI-based operating system. I now get how and why they use Mac vs. other OSs'.

Re:FreeBSD != BSD (1)

heh2k (84254) | about 15 years ago | (#1654327)

That's true, but in Mach 2.5, at least, i believe the BSD API is an intergral(sp) component; not run as a server process like in Mach 3.0 (that is, 2.5 less of a microkernel than 3.0 is). Mach drivers (3.0, at least) are very BSD and, iirc, one or more of mklinux's drivers was actually taken straight from FreeBSD.

integrating the CLI (1)

Yarn (75) | about 15 years ago | (#1654328)

I think that gnome's mini-commander is an excellent way of integrating the CLI to a GUI. You can just use it to enter URLs etc, or you can run a complex shell command and have the output appear in a window.

I dont know if KDE has something similar, but it should ;)

It's about the fun. (5)

meepzorb (61992) | about 15 years ago | (#1654329)

Professionally, I am primarily a UNIX and VxWorks developer (I have a Linux box on my desk which I use for prototyping) and sysadmin who has used far too many flavors of unix to remain normal. I've also done quite a bit of Macintosh programming.

At home, I have both an iMac and a linux laptop to play with. Guess which one is used more? The iMac. And no I am not dumbing down off-hours... I do most of my home coding projects on the Mac these days. The Mac is just more fun to use, and when it's MY OWN time, the fun is really all that matters.

Is Linux "fun to use"? Yes. As a challenging and powerful environment to keep one's unix chops up to snuff. It's also the most pleasant of all the unices I've seen or used over the years.

Is the Macintosh "fun to use"? Also yes. As a tool that hardly ever gets between me and whatever it is I am trying to do.

I guess what I am trying to say is that linux is fun in the sense that, say, Rubik's Cube or a challenging puzzle is fun. My Mac is fun in the sense that my guitars are fun. There is plenty of room in my life for both.

I have as much "unix cred" as almost anyone, and I still have nothing but respect for the general design of the MacOS. It bothers me when (as happens all too often) I hear perfectly competent and intelligent linux advocates flaming MacOS by reflex.

I'm not really sure why it has to be one or the other. Why not both?

:Michael

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (1)

clifyt (11768) | about 15 years ago | (#1654330)

Well considering those statements were attributed to me, I should say you don't know what the hell you are talking 'bout. Friggin geeks, for the most part, simply like like linux because it makes ya stand out about the rest of the croud and makes ya look special. I use it because I need file servers and webservers and don't feel like paying the damn bills for another NT box nor do I wanna give up my kick ass Compaq 486 server with all its hardware advantage when I know my boss is going to say "Why can't we use a Deskpro for the Server instead of the Proliant 1600 ya keep asking for??? Mine works just fine and was alot cheaper than that 486." The sad part is the 1600 is at the bottom of my list. The linux box works fine even though it is a 486...

I still can't imaging why anyone would want one of these for there desktop though.

As for the Mac...1) There are several free TCP utilities. The common person doesn't need ping, nor would they be able to understand the crap. Most users simply type in the parameters as directed by the instructions and go at it. If it doesn't work, they do it again...usually its a user error.

1a) The monochrome desktop??? what MacSE have you been using??? Elegant? Unlike this NT box I'm on now, the UI is light years ahead of anything else in the game. The only things that are not elegant are things like windowshade (which is technically not a default standard) where ya can click the top of the menubar to hide the majority of the window.

2) Rename grep to regexp-filter??? Are you nuts? every geek remembers grep means get regular expression, but if you said those words to a macoid, they won't know what you are talking about. Neither would a Wintel biggot for that matter. Search, I will give ya, but it would have to be far easier to use than it is now...

Lastly, Apple is sueing the dumbasses that think they can get away with using apple as their marketting department as well as their research and design wing.

blah

clif

Re:FreeBSD != BSD (1)

Arkham (10779) | about 15 years ago | (#1654348)

No, but NetBSD does run on the PowerPC. See http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/macppc/ [netbsd.org] for the information about it. Here is an excerpt:

NetBSD/macppc is a new NetBSD port, only recently imported into the source tree. It supports Apple Power Macintosh computers with PowerPC processors and Open Firmware. For older (680x0-based) Macintosh computers, see NetBSD/mac68k. There is also an experimental NetBSD/bebox port for Be, Inc's PowerPC-based BeBox.

Supported System Models

  • Apple Power Macintosh 7300/7600
  • Apple Power Macintosh 8500/8600
  • Apple Power Macintosh 9500/9600
  • Apple Power Macintosh G3 MT266/DT233
  • Apple PowerBook 2400c/180
  • Apple PowerBook 3400
  • Apple iMac (all flavors) and Blue G3
  • Apple PowerBook G3/400
  • UMAX Apus2000
  • PowerComputing PowerWave 604/120
  • Motorola StarMax 3000/240
  • Apple Power Macintosh 7500 (With G3 upgrade such as w/XLR8)

BeOs already does (2)

BugMaster ChuckyD (18439) | about 15 years ago | (#1654349)

Keep the command-line power for those who want it, but a consumer user should NEVER have to see it. Period

BeOS already does this. The GUI is very slick too. The multitasking is better than ANY other OS ive ever used (lots of threads and fine grained scheduling)

BeOS is nowhere close to linux or *nix as a server for one thing it doesn't (yet) have multiuser support, but it rocks as a desktop OS.
For this reason amongst others you and many other Slashdotters might not want to actually use BeOS, but if you want to see what your goal of a "user friendly linux" might look like take a look at BeOS!

my antiapple rant (sorry I know you didn't ask !) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654350)

How would you ensure profitability by just building the hardware?

Oh, they'll make their money! :-) Apple is currently the only vendor of Apple hardware, so if people want Macs, Apple can charge whatever they want. And mac people will pay it--we already know they don't really think price is an issue (given that they continue to buy Apple)

Apple has a total monopoly on Macs--even better than Microsoft's since they only control the software. But since the computing world at large doesn't really care about this fact, nobody brings an antitrust lawsuit. Whenever apple comes up with a cool idea (like colored plastic), we know that a PC maker will have the equivalent on the shelves about a week later for much, much cheaper.

Sorry, I guess this was a minor point and I shouldn't get excited. I don't really care either way if Apple uses BSD or Linux for the Mac OS. It makes perfect sense why they used the BSD license: it lets them keep their (tightly!) integrated GUI proprietary, and that's a good decision for them. After all, if Mac OS was ported to x86, why would anyone continue to buy Apple's overpriced hardware? Let them sink. Thanks for "inventing" color, Apple! New slogan: "Apple. Insanely great ideas, done way too expensively."

Re:sacred mystical computers? utter BS (1)

logicTrAp (2864) | about 15 years ago | (#1654351)

> Friggin geeks, for the most part, simply like
> like linux because it makes ya stand out about
> the rest of the croud and makes ya look special.
Sure, maybe some do. Just like there are people who use the Macintosh because it's "not windows" and makes them feel like they're part of the "counter-culture." Just like BeOS. Just like OS/2. Hell, you even get people bragging about running NT because they're *not* running the latest OS du jour. Summary - every OS has people running it because it makes them feel special. But saying "most Linux users only use it because they want to be different" is grossly unfair.

apple's marketing blitz (1)

cthonious (5222) | about 15 years ago | (#1654352)

I understand why people use and need Macintosh computers. They're easy to use, etc.

That said, what annoys me is Apple's ridiculous "think different" advertisements. There is nothing more establishment than Apple, they're a corporation just like any other, out to make money - nothing more. The idea that one is some sort of "rebel" by using an Apple computer is just ludicrous, it's like the Saturn of the computer world. Just part of the ongoing media blitz to commodify dissent, realized in GAP, Saturn and Apple computer ads. In this sense Apple is even more disgusting than Microsoft to me, because there is little more intellectually obscene than turning dissent into a product. This crap really is the crowning jewel of the baby boomer marketeer.

Of course all this seems absurd to anyone that uses a Free OS.

Linux and Apple maturity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1654353)

I think that you hit it right on the nose when you talked about maturity. Besides the maturity of the industry, there is also the maturity levels of the respective groups. (Before anyone screams, I use both and am equally facile with piping an ls to grep as I am with Sherlock or whatever GUI tool). From my experience, there are as many clueless Linux fanatics as there are Mac ones. For example, at a Linux user group meeting about 8 months ago, someone insisted that my company used Linux print servers. This someone didn't work at my company but I couldn't convince him that he was incorrect and that our print servers were NT and HP JetDirect based. Mac users, if only because most Macs are too damned expensive, tend to be older and have more financial resources. And many are just as clueless. Yet, I use both machines because they are perfect solutions for what I do. Namely, graphics editing, browsing the web, and lots of C/C++ programming. For my needs Windows has been completely irrelevant, though I do enjoy Fallout 2. KL

BSD choice is legacy from NeXT (2)

Walker (96239) | about 15 years ago | (#1654354)

Apple's choice of BSD for Mac OS X is entirely a a matter of legacy code. Mac OS X is meant to integrate the technology they acquired from the NeXT buyout into the Mac OS.

This is not an easy task, and they are trying to do this is fast as they can. BSD is what NeXT used, and since there is really no need to change that part of the OS (As opposed to integrating backwards compatibilty, and the dubious shift from an Object C API to a Java one), they stuck with it.

NeXT's choice of BSD is again a matter of legacy. When the Mach micorkernel was developed at CMU, they put BSD on top of it to show it off. It worked so well, no one felt the need to do anything else with Mach. NeXT used it as is, because it was the fastest way to get a shipping product.
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