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Weblog:   Open Source vs. Mac vs. Windows
Subject:   Thanks ! :-)
Date:   2004-02-22 14:13:23
From:   F.J.
Response to: Thanks ! :-)

Hi again !


While it is difficult for me to provide you with pages of statistics on the TalkBacks, may I suggest that you have a look at some excellent MacDevCenter and O'Reilly Network articles about switching ? Many authors have expressed their point of view on the question -- on both sides -- and their articles are a good source for links and information on the question. This is of course not the only source of information and you could look at the recent surveys conducted about the OS landscape -- in terms of users, market share, mind share, etc...


I focused on the Mac world for two main reasons. First of all, I am a Mac user and know the Mac world in more detail than the Windows world. Then, Apple has recently worked very closely with the Open Source community when developing Mac OS X, probably more than Microsoft when developing Windows. I am sure there are many interesting articles to write on the relationship between operating systems in general and the Open Source world and I always read such pieces with the greatest interest. This was not my point here, though.


I am afraid that your reaction is mainly based on an unfortunate misapprehension of the goal of this page. As I stated in one of my previous blogs ( The power of the Mac community ), we Mac users are always glad to discuss computing issues with other OS users. I am in now way trying to start an "operating system war" that wouldn't lead to any positive results.


What I am trying to say about mixing proprietary and commercial solutions is pretty simple. Would you work with the proprietary format X, that is only read by application X, you are locked into a solution. When I use Keynote, the resulting file can be read by other applications. When I use iTunes to create an AAC file, I am not dependent from the application I use and remain free to switch if I wanted to since many applications can read the standard AAC format -- even when the applications in themselves are not open source.


I do not think that Apple is helping the Open Source community "because the license requires them to". Indeed, although some licenses may require commercial users to give back the code they may have written, this not always the case -- far from it. Furthermore, in most cases, Apple works closely with the development teams and this serves as the basis for a true cooperation -- much more than a law-induced exchange of code.


I cannot comment on Adobe's policy and will let them reply. About Apple, I can only invite you to have a closer look at the Apple Developer Connection site where you will find more links to answer your questions. Would you not trust the ADC -- for any reason --, you can always browse the Open Source sites by yourself -- FreeBSD, KDE, Apache...


I think that the Open Source community can benefit from any help -- as we all can. Kernel and servers are not to be neglected, even if there is a new focus on desktop applications.


I do not believe either that the Open Source community should stop developing an Open Source desktop -- as I already state in my blog : the creation of new projects always benefits everyone. I am simply saying that, nowadays, Mac OS X is my platform of choice as well as the platform of choice of many -- former or not -- UNIX, Windows and Linux users. Again, I do not think that this will "hurt Apple" either : every solution has its strengths and its place in the computing world.


F.J.

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  • Thanks ! :-)
    2004-02-23 01:39:57  musnat [View]

    The latest surveys I have seen show that Apple's market share is shrinking. (OsNews). Articles are full of ranting, you can't base your arguments on articles. Everybody is making something up, in fact just press someone to back up his/her claims, you will quickly see that he/she has to cut it out somewhere, because the person has no idea exactly where a "fact" as she/he strongly believes in come from, as I did in this case.

    If you don't know anything about windows, then why do you comment about the windows world. You say you only know macs, but you are claiming that users are trying to escape from Microsoft. It is not me that claims that you can't comment on windows, it is your own comments that say this. You suggest that you can't comment on windows, but you do comment on windows, you just don't comment fairly and honestly about it.

    " The power of the Mac community ), we Mac users are always glad to discuss computing issues with other OS users"
    What is this, a new race? A superior one? You buy a mac and you suddenly switch to this superior race? I found that quite embarassing and disgusting quite frankly. If you employ a person, you look if the person is also a mac user? If not, you don't like him? If you position yourself as part of a cult or a race and see other people as inferior, then I don't know what to say about it other than the fact that it is totally wrong to do so, especially morally.

    "Would you work with the proprietary format X, that is only read by application X,"
    What is the point of saying that to me? Did I say something against that? Of course you are locked in if you buy proprietary format X. You are also locked in when you buy hardware which is only supported by Apple. This is something I totally agree, open format is always good.

    "Apple works closely with the development teams and this serves as the basis for a true cooperation -- much more than a law-induced exchange of code"
    If you didn't notice this, I didn't dispute the cooperation. If Apple is willing to employ full time developers, then why shouldn't KDE team cooperate with them to incorporate the improvements. But that doesn't change the fact that Apple is not helping open source community, they are fullfilling their obligations. Being cooperative is only to be expected, ohterwise you would discourage open source developers from working on the project you just decided to use in your commercial products. That's a no brainer move. But again, Apple didn't contribute anything to video editing, sound editing, photo editing open source projects.

    "Would you not trust the ADC -- for any reason --, you can always browse the Open Source sites by yourself -- FreeBSD, KDE, Apache..."
    I don't know the point you are trying to make here. I have seen all the sites, even downloaded darwin streaming server from ADC for a test. What are you trying to say, I have no clue. Apple is open sourcing some underlying os components, one server software everybody knows that. There is not much interesting things there. Most of them are boring for open source projects, everybody knows how to build servers, operating systems now. We have code for that, what we don't have is user space programs.

    Certainly, many people go with diffent platforms. For example most of the people prefer Windows XP, like me. But being honest in your arguments has nothing to do with the platform choice. If you say only Apple has the right to stay proprietary, then I would dispute it as I did. Anyway, my last comment, thanks for the discussion.

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