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  How Does Open Source Software Stack Up on the Mac?
Subject:   Why reinvent the wheel?
Date:   2006-07-25 18:56:36
From:   ptwobrussell
Response to: Why reinvent the wheel?

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.

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  • Why reinvent the wheel?
    2006-07-25 22:38:29  dogzilla [View]

    Well, I agree with you on Firefox. However, I can't agree where any of the other categories covered in this article are concerned. I just don't think any of the other chat clients are as unobtrusive and feature-rich as iChat (ex: my mother uses iChat to videoconf with my kids. No OSS client could do that, imho). While I agree that some OSS apps have (in the grand scheme of things) really minor features that I'd like, there just isn't anything out there that compares to iTunes/ITMS, iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, and iDVD. Maybe the most compelling measure of these apps is that - even with the tiny amount of free time I have - I've used all of these apps for multiple projects (usually a birthday or christmas gift of some kind).

    As for tabbed chats: I use Chax (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/20056). So should Apple incorporate these into iChat thereby "stealing" the idea and "crushing another small developer" as they were accused of doing with widgets?