[linux-elitists] Why haven't you switched to MacOS X yet?

Michael Bacarella mbac@netgraft.com
Wed Jan 8 19:40:30 PST 2003

> > It is proprietary software that picked and choosed open source
> > components because even Apple wasn't stupid enough to try to spend the
> > thousands of man years duplicating what they could get for free today.


> After Apple Computer's purchase of NeXT[2], Apple reissued most
> proprietary NeXTStep code under ASPL[3] as Apple Darwin, excepting the
> display engine, graphical shell, administrative and UI graphical
> widgets, multimedia apps, a print engine, and some other such things.
> It made a minor change from Display PostScript to Display PDF to
> eliminate large patent-royalties obligations to Adobe.  In the process
> of updating NeXTStep (redubbed "Macintosh OS X"), it contributed -- and
> continues to contribute -- large amounts of code to upstream BSD and
> other maintainers under the upstream open-source licences.  (Of late,
> this has included significant improvements to gcc.)

Wow, that explains why MacOS X reminded me so much of NeXT.
I really thought their relationship was simply ideological and
not a direct lineage.

So where does FreeBSD come in? I thought they had taken some verson
of FreeBSD, appropriated userland, and literally ported the entire kernel
to work against some unholy Mach/PPC setup.  Polish off with
proprietary display system, UI, libraries, and serve.

> > Them keeping it open source is a convenient marketing tool to appeal
> > to geeks, the company has no real interest in open source.

> If a company issues excellent code under a suitable licence for all the
> wrong reasons, good!  Excellent!  If they have terrific motives but
> don't issue useful, OSD-licence-covered code, screw 'em and their little
> dog Winer, too.

Maybe I'm getting my timelines mixed up here.  Isn't it the
case that Apple assists the mkLinux project for awhile, gets
Linus to come down for a meeting, Jobs and Tevanian can't convince
him to join forces, mkLinux support is dropped soon after, and
they begin courting the FreeBSD crowd instead?

We all know that Apple is just like a typical company, but even
so that kind of behavior leaves me with an unsavory opinon.  That
is if you turn a blind eye to all of their look and feel lawsuits
for a second.

> The point is that, if you care about candy-coated software goodies 
> and don't mind being locked into proprietary code and specialised
> hardware, then OS X might look pretty attractive.  Otherwise, it's 
> just yet another propietary *ix running only on weird-ass hardware, 
> and can't merit consideration instead of {Free|Net|Open}BSD or Linux on
> account of a fundamental obstacle that won't be going away.
> Point that out, and when the twits try to change topics and attack X11,
> talk about how BSD & Linux suck, or wave their proprietary candy and
> Apple Marketing babble at you, you just calmly point out that they've
> blatantly and completely ignored the point under discussion.

Very good advice.  Thanks!

Michael Bacarella  | Netgraft Corp
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