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  How Does Open Source Software Stack Up on the Mac?
Subject:   Why reinvent the wheel?
Date:   2006-07-25 18:04:22
From:   dogzilla
What I don't understand is...if the overwhleming majority of us are already using the excellent apps that come with a Mac to do these jobs, why mess with generally inferior OSS apps to do the same? What I would find really interesting is some information on OSS apps that do something unique for which we *don't* already have an Apple or commercial app that does the job better. I'm sure there are many OSS tools that fit this description. (eg: Platypus - http://www.sveinbjorn.org/platypus)
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  • Matthew Russell photo Why reinvent the wheel?
    2006-07-25 18:56:36  Matthew Russell | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Well, personally, I don't totally agree with your assumptions. Namely, that *most* of the apps that come with a Mac are *excellent* and that OSS is generally *inferior*. But even if that were the case, what about cases in point like Firefox and Adium? Firefox has no doubt Kept MS and Apple on their toes by innovating and raising the bar in ways that may not have otherwise been done.

    If I were a betting man (and I am sometimes), I'd bet that iChat will soon have tabbed chats, give you chat history, and possibly even start to weave in other accounts from Yahoo, etc. If I'm not mistaken, gaim was among the first to introduce these features and they really caught on. Why hasn't Apple released an update that takes care of these features? In my mind, no chat client could be *excellent* without them.

    So the point is that if a vendor has the market locked in there's *generally* much less of an incentive to innovate, be creative, and keep growing the application in exciting ways. This concept is analagous to free market economics. More choice == more power for the consumer.

    But I do agree that another survey on creative software (OSS or not) would be very interesting.