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Desktop *nix Users Find No Solution in OS X

Tim O'Reilly, founder of the popular books with animals on the cover, recently wrote an article on people switching to Mac OS X. He provides some anecdotal evidence -- which, to his credit, he cites as such -- about the makeup of users adopting the new OS, and attempts to make the case that Mac OS X is Unix on the desktop, achieving what Linux and numerous other Unix vendors have failed to do. But O'Reilly's claim that Apple has achieved a desktop flavor of Unix in OS X (and should focus some marketing effort on converting Unix/Linux users) dances around a number of issues, not the smallest of which is one extremely important fact: Mac OS X is not Unix.

Let me repeat that: OS X is not Unix.

Consider the following: all of Apple.com's marketing pages on the subject of their darling new operating system are extremely careful to note that OS X is "UNIX-based". While the foundation of the operating system is Darwin, a BSD-based kernel, the core of the operating system is NeXT; just ask all the hardcore Unix users who have tried to change their OS X settings using configuration files in /etc, only to find all their changes ignored. Apple's Unix-like operating system uses NetInfo, for a configuration datastore, something more akin to the Windows registry we all know and hate.

Consider, too, that any Unix users poking around an OS X box will be surprised to find a "Unix" with no gcc. Or gdb. Original versions didn't even have bash. And Unix's beloved fortune, who dutifully greets us upon login, is missing. That's because all of those utilities that arguably make a "Unix system" a Unix system don't come by default with OS X; users who care about these tools will need to find the Developer's Tools CD, which Apple is nice enough to ship with OS X, but which is not part of the operating system distribution. At least "Terminal.app", featuring "vt100/vt220 emulation on par with xterm", is there.

Speaking of xterm, where is X? You know, that often-maligned client/server hardware-independent platform MIT came up with to provide GUI services for *nix while Steve was still getting his Xerox knockoff right so Bill had something to steal? You won't find it in OS X by default. "Display PDF" provides the pretty pictures for OS X users to drool over, but if you need to run that X application, you have to find yourself an X server for Mac OS X, which Apple doesn't even want to acknowledge exists (but thanks to the XDarwin project, OS X users have something to run Unix programs on their "Unix" boxes).

I could go on with stories about Unix users who expected OS X to live up to the marketing hype (my favorite being that you have to "enable" the root user before you can login as root... "Unix" indeed) and were unpleasantly surprised.

To be clear: It's not that being a Unix-based operating system is bad. In fact, most OS X users will point out that my operating system of choice, Linux, isn't really Unix either, and they're right. But while the kernel is merely Unix-like, show me a Linux distribution that doesn't ship gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities (even fortune) that make Unix Unix.

Further, show me a Linux distribution that ignores /etc and stores its configuration data in a binary registry. Linux may not be Unix, but it is so rooted in a Unix heritage that it is in a position to offer its users a "Unix" desktop environment. Contrast this to OS X, which, for all of its praises, can never provide a "desktop environment for Unix". You can't give your users something you don't have.

Another weakness inherent in O'Reilly's argument that OS X is the future of desktop Unix reveals itself in his painstaking coverage of those who switched to OS X. If we were to believe his analysis, the KDE devs might as well all go get "real" jobs, since users are moving "in droves" to OS X for their desktop experience. A closer look at their stories betrays their motives, which reveal that they weren't using Linux for the right reasons and never really "grokked" the platform.

Putting aside those who upgraded from < OS X and those who migrated from Windows (we all know why they switched), the complaints of those who moved to OS X from Unix/Linux seem to fall into two categories: "User experience" on the Linux desktop isn't "there" and application support isn't always available for Unix/Linux.

Let's look at applications first. We all buy computers to get work done, and applications are the vehicle for accomplishing this. The two most popular applications you hear Mac OS X users raving about "just working" on their Macintosh come from the same company that Apple tried to go head to head with... and, like so many others, failed miserably. Unlike those now non-existent companies, Apple realized it before Microsoft cut off their air supply and went crying back to the monopolist like a dog with its tail between its legs to get Office.X and Internet Explorer ported so OS X didn't go the way of OS/2.

There is a special irony in the fact that these OS X users would support and, in some cases, highly praise a vendor they supposedly dislike so much for everything from technical to philosophical reasons. It suggests that OS X users switching from Unix on the desktop should never have switched to Unix on their desktops in the first place; you don't exactly switch to Linux for application support. Would they blame Wolfgang Puck for his sub-par cooking skills if they went to his restaurant looking for a gourmet Chinese dinner? The same invalid blame is placed when they fault Linux for their disappointment in what they perceive as a sub-par desktop experience when they were expecting clones of their Windows or OS 9 experiences.

The second category lies in the nebulous "user experience" realm. O'Reilly's testimonials include phrases like "[OS X] just works" or "Computing is fun again" or "[OS X] doesn't suck". Looking past loaded words, they don't mean anything. My Linux box, with its AfterStep desktop "just works". I've only recently begun to appreciate how fun and cool my Linux workstation is when I'm running gaim and Mozilla off my desktop at home, bounced through Solaris and HP-UX servers to a lab on campus. iTunes isn't "fun". That's fun, and it "just works".

A few of O'Reilly's testimonies do give some concrete examples of user problems they had: "I refuse to spend weekends and late nights fiddling, Linux-hacker-style, with the scripts and codes and config files...". This sentiment reinforces that these users shouldn't have been using Linux in the first place. Like most long time-Linux users, I know the pain of spending what seems like endless "cycles" trying to figure something out. But unlike other operating systems, once I hack those "scripts and codes and config files", it all "just works", and it continues to "just work" until I introduce a new variable into the equation. This is different from other desktop operating systems, OS X included, under which an application modifying something somewhere in some binary NetInfo registry could break something else. In other words, all that fiddling time may be annoying, but it is not for naught. Linux is very much a "configure once, run forever" operating system.

One of the "switchers" O'Reilly profiles likens the Linux desktop to a "typical British sports car from the 70s: Lots of engine, but it has a lousy paint job. The car 'mostly' runs, but the electrical system is erratic", while OS X is a "Mazda Miata: Stylish [and] sexy...". But Linux was never meant to be a sports car; I like to think of my Linux desktop more as an expandable VW bus towing a boat behind it and an SUV behind that. You don't really have the urge to "lick" it, but it does make you say "Damn... that's pretty cool", and you still have room for twenty more people and another car behind the SUV. See how far you get in your Miata when you try to stuff five people in it and attach a boat.

The final clue that O'Reilly's users shouldn't have been using Linux for their desktops is not what they said, but what they didn't say. Not one ex-Linux OS X user mentioned anything about freedom. I'm not referring to some Stallmanesque argument about whether the "GNU" goes before, after, or behind the "Linux", but rather my ability to look at the source code and find out exactly what it's doing if I need to, from the kernel on up. (Before OS X users mention the "Open Source" Darwin kernel, show me the source to Display PDF.) I can verify that applications aren't sending information off to Apple (or Microsoft). I can work and play on my Linux desktop without ever fearing that Linus will send me a cease and desist order for making my desktop look a certain way or telling the truth. And because my platform isn't controlled by a public corporation, I know that Linus won't slip some nefarious clause into a EULA because a majority of stockholders thinks it will maximize their profits. OS X users make a huge deal out of their beautiful, lickable desktop "just working", but the cost of this "convenience" is their freedom, both in terms of liberty and technical flexibility. For many Linux users, that's too high a price.

A "desktop environment" is many different things to different users of different platforms. It is unfair and invalid for current OS X users to fault the Linux desktop for shortcomings they perceived as they mistook a 747 for a (admittedly stylish, but smaller) Leer jet. The development of a "desktop environment" on Linux, in the form of KDE, Gnome, and -- in the tradition of Open Source -- software we haven't heard of yet, will continue and is of value to those who are using the Linux platform for the right reasons in the first place.

O'Reilly is wrong about Apple's possible markets. Apple may have a market in desktop users who want some of the stability and flexibility a Unix-based operating system affords them. They may even have a market in Unix users who want a desktop-focused platform for their home or desk at work, but they will never find one in Unix/Linux users who want a desktop environment.

Thanks Tim, but we already have a number of pretty damn good ones.

RSS Recent comments

14 Sep 2002 01:14 mystran

About configuring
I liked the article, and especially liked the classic "configure once, run forever" mentioned. But I think something could be done to that on a fresh GNU system. Defaults. Many otherwise good programs mandate you to configure them. In some cases (say a MTA) it's ok. But most of the time it should be possible to use the system without touching the config. Once you want to change certain feature it should still be possible, but there should be defaults to everything.

I'm personally running GNU(/Linux) at the present. At home I've been doing it for seven years now. Almost exclusively.

Unix ? I hate Unix ? There are about million of reasons why I don't like Unix. But it happens that a GNU system based on the concept of Unix has all those feature that I absolutely need. And it happens to be the only one (ok ok there's BSD too, yeah). Those things are reliability (nothing changes unless I change it), stability (it just doesn't crash without a reason), freedom (the very act of knowing that you can change anything if you need to, and that you can share anything if you want to), security (that I know what happens and who uses my system, and what they can do).

If I got a non-Unix OS that provided me with these, I could switch at once if it provided more of "I'd like to have" features.
One is that I'd love to never need to do any config. Another would be to have an intuitive, modular user interface (switch theme once for all apps would be nice, switch from text to GUI and back on the fly would be nicer). There are others more technical once. In fact I've started to develop my own OS. First target release few years from now if I need to do it all by my self. But it's not going to be Unix. Unix in itself has no (positive) value to me. It's going to be free, secure, reliable and hopefully stable. In that order.

14 Sep 2002 01:21 hecubus

just a picky side note.
Why does fortune make Unix &quot;Unix&quot;? Also some other notes, Linux doesn't include gcc either...it just happens to be packaged by the companies/people distributing a Linux operating system...I could make a distribution that doesn't have gcc, gdb, or &lt;god forbid&gt; fortune installed.

Like I said, these are picky issues, but it goes to show that anyone can poke small holes in peoples opinions. I think Mac has done a great job in showing what is possible with a Unix-based kernel...sure it may not be exactly what you expected or wanted, but it definitely is an achievement. Oh well, this is my drunk 2 cents.

14 Sep 2002 02:15 pridkett

It seems you're confused
It seems to me like you've confused Unix and GNU system. I can speak for my Solaris box, which most certainly is Unix, didn't come with GCC, GDB, Fortune. Does this mean that Solaris 9 isn't Unix? Doubtful.

Your comment on X, may be a bit of a valid one, but again is a bit misguided. X doesn't make an OS Unix. I have no X on my OpenBSD box. Yet it can easily be said that OpenBSD is Unix, or close enough. I have hardware that X doesn't even run on that is still Unix. MacOSX can at least run X on all its hardware.

I'm also a bit dismayed about your &quot;Just works&quot; comment. True my Linux box also &quot;just works&quot;, now at least. After I spent days reading docs, configuring it, downloading packages, compiling, reading more, recompiling, reconfiguring. All this and my scanner still only works under VMWare and that will never change because I have better things to do than hack a scanner driver.

So what is meant by &quot;just works&quot;? Just works means plugging in a USB digital camera and being able to immediatley download photos off it. Just works means having an airport card figure out it's network settings with editing some obscure files. Editing video and creating a DVD under Linux? Not going to happen without some major work.

As a final thing, your comment about people who don't want to be fiddling with the config files should not be running Linux, I wonder what the people at Ximian, Mandrake and probably even RedHat would say about that? (Yes, I'm aware Debian and Gentoo and Slack probably agree with you). Desktop does not mean developer. Desktop users don't want to worry about that stuff because they don't have the access rights to modify that stuff. They work in environments where their home directories are NFSed so it makes not difference what machine they are on. Developers have root access.

The truth of the matter is that Unix has more to do with what you can't see than what you can see. It has more to do with what's under the hood and how processes are created, managed, and destroyed and how files are manipulated, how IPC works than what software it comes with. This is the core of why Stallman is so insistent on calling Linux GNULinux because what most people call Linux wouldn't be there without GNU Software.

I'd hate to say it, but Tim O'Reilly's remarks were right on target. Some things may be a bit different than you're used to, but try going from an Linux box to an HPUX box, and you'll have an even harder time. Apple has created on hell of a desktop OS with OSX. It hasn't unseated Linux as my desktop OS yet, but certainly has as my laptop OS, for when I need to get stuff done and can't worry about remembering in what file I have the configuration for my wireless card.

14 Sep 2002 02:32 CherniyVolk

I don't even have time for this.
This is garbage.. I refuse to think that J. Paul Reed is the
idiot he has potrayed himself to be in this blatant piece of anti-Apple propaganda... so he must be a sell-out to some other company; who might that be I wonder!

Nothing he has said in this post is relevant to his topic.
He wants the source code to Aqua? Why? Apple has to
do SOMETHING to show a difference to justify cost. The
base of the OS is OpenSource. I run Netscape and CodeWeaver software with NVidia drivers for QuakeIII and
Unreal Tournament. I don't have the source to none of those. Mozilla source doesn't count.

I have been a UNIX and Linux user for years on end. When
I saw MacOS X, I saw the power of visiting freshmeat.net
everyday AND with full commercial support for all the cool
applications out there such as PhotoShop, and lets not forget games. If THAT isn't enough to convert a Linux user
to MacOS X, then the so called Linux user is a fool without a cause. Especially if he tries to petition companies to port
some software over to the OpenSource arena. Saying MacOSX is less than it appears to be just because Aqua isn't OpenSource is bullshit. Along with the rest of Mr. Reed's post which was probably influence with a nice check
from Microsoft. He's a bastard.

14 Sep 2002 02:49 floop

silly
This article is pretty silly.

14 Sep 2002 03:03 jerwin

GNU's not Unix
gdb, bash and gcc are not unix tools. The FSF is quite clear on that point: GNU's not Unix. However, BSD is Unix. MacOSX incorporates a great deal of NetBSD and FreeBSD.

Most ports of GNU software are trivial-- the configure program discovers that MacOSX is a species of BSD, and compilation is relatively straightforward-- just use make (or gnumake, if you've aliased make to badmake).

I would agree that MacOSX is not free--but freedom is not what makes a OS Unix. It's what makes a OS &quot;Not UNIX.&quot;

Other things:
Why must the author log in as root immediately-- &quot;sudo su&quot; does much the same thing.

There is no particular guarantee that an /etc file will produce the same behaviour on a variety of Unix/GNU/other Posix OS's, so it's hard to imagine why a user would begin immediately to hack these files without discovering how netinfo.app and niutil work.

14 Sep 2002 03:05 UnixDork

wtf?
&quot;They may even have a market in Unix users who want a desktop-focused platform for their home or desk at work, but they will never find one in Unix/Linux users who want a desktop environment. &quot;

What? They have a market for desktop unix users, but not for desktop unix users? I guess I'm missing the difference between a &quot;desktop-focused platform&quot; and a &quot;desktop environment&quot; but so be it. Maybe years of using CDE is what messed me up. OS X is different that unix. Solaris is different than linux. Does that mean they're all bad, or that they're all not leet enough for you? OS X is different in that NetInfo is used as a substitute for some of what would be in /etc. NetInfo on my machine doesn't contain any application configuration like the Windows registry. I've only touched it once, to put in some host entries, like I would in /etc/hosts on a unix system. If I uninstall an application, and want to clean the &quot;registry&quot; of it's configuration, I delete a preference file that's stored in my home directory. It's a text file, like on a unix system. /usr/bin on my Mac has 553 binaries in it, on my Sun, the count is 584. I guess that means that Mac OS X isn't &quot;real&quot; or something, I don't know. All I know is that when I write a perl script or a shell script on my Sun, I have to change some paths if they're hard coded when I move it over to the Mac. I had to do that with linux, too. If that is just too much to bear, you're going to have a hard time when you get out of school and have to work on a commercial unix. If you're already doing it, then what's the problem? Linux zealotry is just as bad as Windows zealotry, when it comes to
getting the job done. As for the open source argument, the open source community needs to put up or shut up, but more on that later.

I've used unix and linux for years, I have a Sun box in my bedroom. Up until recently I was a professional unix system admin, on &quot;real&quot; hardware, the kind you can climb inside. Yes, I know how to use vi, but I prefer vim. I write Perl and bash. I can make a cron entry without a gui. I *like* the command line. I've re-written the Solaris lp system, because it's junk on 2.5.1. Blah blah, you get the point. My Mac with OS X mounts my home directory off the the Sun box, shared with NFS. If that's not &quot;unixy enough&quot; for you, then that's just too bad. I'm a unix user. I'm a real unix user, not another linux geek that just wants the kewlest theme for enlightenment on his pc. So much for &quot;never find one in Unix/Linux users who want a desktop environment&quot; That's exactly why I bought a Mac. CDE is slow and just plain sucks. Gnome blew past usability straight into bloat long ago. KDE is a knock off, of what I don't know, it changes too often. The only window manager I like any more is fluxbox, but that's just me. I think you're missing the point if you think that people who don't *want* to spend all their time messing with linux are also *unable* to mess with it enough to make that stable desktop that does all they want it to. I can, I have, and I'm tired of it. I don't want to spend 8-10 hours a day maintaining unix and then come home and do it all night. I especially don't want to spend that time making a gui work, when the command line is the reason I use it all to begin with.

I gleefully bashed Macs for years, too. Then I bought one when I heard about OS X. It does just work, and that's another reason why I bought it. It isn't open source, and that's just too bad. If this sort of usability was available with an open source OS or desktop, or whatever, then I'd use that. But it isn't. I was a linux cheerleader for many years, and even got linux servers put into production at a company that was terrified of it. They are still using linux today, and will likely use it more in the future. I doubt they'll ever use it for a desktop, unless it's just as a thin client. They'll never use it for a desktop because their users are typical lusers, and would never learn how to use it. That's the way life is, some people aren't enthusiastic about computers. There's a lot of those people that will still buy a computer, though, so they can &quot;get on that internet thing&quot;. Those are the people that linux isn't relevant to, because it's too complex for people who aren't willing to learn how to use it properly. They probably never will learn, either. I don't care if they don't, that doesn't keep me from using what I want.

If traditional unix was going to be a desktop platform for the masses, it would have been by now. It's out there, for free (as in beer and speech, or any combination of) for all sorts of hardware, in many flavors, and it's not taking over. People use it for a desktop (I have) but those people aren't typical computer users.

The whining in the linux community about how OS X &quot;isn't real unix&quot; is just that, whining. If more open source developers would concentrate on making something like OS X, then people would use it. But most open source developers are scratching their own itch, and that's not the itch they have. Other itches resulted in projects like Apache and Perl. So obviously, the open source development model works, and it works well. It just doesn't work for the mass market. That's why freshmeat is packed full of apps that most people don't want. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't have been written, just that some people have different needs than others. Maybe you should contribute and write an alternative to Display Postscript. It's an Adobe product, not an Apple product. If you meant that Display Postscript should never have been created because it's closed source, then I guess your problem is evangelizing, not development.

Whining like yours isn't helping the open source community, or linux. It comes across as sour grapes because people didn't choose linux. It also makes you look like a poser that wants to spew about how his OS choice is leeter than yours. Leetness doesn't figure into my OS choice, sorry, I'm more concerned with results. Make linux relevant to desktop users, and they will use it. I'd prefer you didn't, I don't think there's anything wrong with linux now. So, maybe you shouldn't fault OS X, because there's a lot of people out there &quot;using it for the right reason in the first place&quot;, whatever that means. Silly examples about Miatas and Leer jets aren't helping anyone, either, if you don't have any facts to make your point, whatever it is. I think your point is that Mac OS X is just a pretty toy OS. If that's true, it's hilarious because that's just how a lot of unix old timers still view linux. So, welcome to the club, maybe some day we both can get a &quot;real&quot; OS.

14 Sep 2002 03:25 pnklife

very true.
hmm... getting paid?.... call me pnkass but i don't think he said anything about &quot; microsoft is better then apple&quot; or &quot;supporting any platform other then free OS stuff&quot;.....
and i was really suprised by mr. so called Chernievolk's comment saying &quot; If THAT isn't enough to convert a Linux user
to MacOS X, then the so called Linux user is a fool without a cause.&quot; ....hmmm..??????????

so your calling all the rest of the linux/unix/whateverfreeOSusers a fool for not switching? buddy... your eyes, ears,head,soul,brain,body,and,common sense needs a major bugfix by a nearest hospital....while your there ..convince the doctors to switch to ur beloved apple...u never know... it might work out... since the linux/unix/freeOsusers are not stupid when they started there jjourney into *nix environment... but a doctor will be a better supporter...why?.... he has no idea what u would be talkin abt anyways...

comments?questions?hatredmails? plzzzzz...... mail moi... waiting for your say....

14 Sep 2002 04:10 Hakumage

not Unix ???

not a good review, i think

first, GNU Tools (like gcc, gdb ...) are on the Developpers Tools CD which is given with every MacOS X, so you have your gcc. don't scream !
don't know for fortune but i must be preatty easy to compile.

MacOS X.2 integrates bash, pam, xinetd, and others, if you pay attention on Apple technotes.

So if MacOS X is not Unix, i don't think there is many unix is the world as many commercial unix don't have gcc or bash ...
Apple doesnt include some unix tools like Xdarwin, but let the community work on it and get like Linux (there are some tools we don't find on any distributions ...)

About User Experience, i think you don't understand it, i know all three desktop and i can say KDE/Gnome/... are behind windows or MacOS X. functionnalities are pretty the same, but it is not so comfortable (pretty subjective but ...) and more the problem is XFree86 is just too slow (may be better with Framebuffer, but there is stull much dev)

That's right in general All Unix just works, but on Mac, there is no harware problem which are common on x86.
I know a computer wich reboot alone evry minutes on windows, about hour on Linux, and that is not OS fault but hardware ...
Hard to find this case of problem on Mac Hardware.

About freedom, You have Darwin or best GNU-Darwin which provide much the same than GNU/Linux so don't argue with false statements.
Aqua and other proprietary Apple tech would never be Free Software, except if there is a way for Apple to earn more than it would loss.

Oh, one more thing, if you feel bad about netinfo, i remind you than os X.2 can use LDAP, /etc files, kerberos, or even Active Directory for Auth. it's only some conf to do (but you didn't explore really, did you ?)
there is a review about it and some security on SANS (on X.1.4)

and don't think i am a tedious macmaniac, i currently use Linux, OpenBSD and Windows, so know the best and the worst.

14 Sep 2002 04:16 mystran

Reasons
I already commented but I'd like to say another thing:

What are the reasons you use computers in the first place ?

I can see two. To get something done and to have fun. Separating these two is good.

When you want to get something done (for reasons unrelated to computers) you really only care how you can do it easily. You don't care if you're doing it on a Unix desktop or Windows box, or even some public vt100 terminal. Only thing you care is to get that thing done.

Then there's this fun part. For me this fun part is making my computing experience better. That's the time I can spend hours tweaking some part of my GUI or writing that ultimate script that will save me the 2 secs everytime I use it instead of doing it manually. But it's still the fun part even if it makes the "get something done" part a little easier in the future.

Get these two separated and you'll see why OSX is good for MANY people. Even for people who wanted a GNU or BSD or DGUX system too.

14 Sep 2002 04:39 gordonjcp

To continue the analogy...
I like my "typical British sportscar" (www.scimweb.com/se5/in...). OK, it does have problems, but I don't mind spending the time to sort them out. It gives me a better understanding of what makes it all go in the first place. Plus, because it's simple enough to take to bits, and the workshop manual is readily available, I can fit other parts, or even make up completely new things to add to it, with a bit of effort in my workshop at home.

I couldn't hack a Mazda Miata anything like as easily, and I'd like to see the Miata that, like the article says, can take four people and tow a horsebox.

14 Sep 2002 04:53 asdfnz

I would also like to point out..
I would also like to point out that the default install's of most linux distro's dont include gcc(I have no idea about fortune).

14 Sep 2002 06:26 EvilIdler

Re: I would also like to point out..

> I would also like to point out that the
> default install's of most linux distro's
> dont include gcc(I have no idea about
> fortune).

Not installed by default, but at least it's there on
the install CD. Fortune too, thank goodness :)

14 Sep 2002 06:32 magneticmonopole

A Clever Plan
The article is so clueless that it could only have been planted here for one purpose. To get me to create an account just to say how clueless it is.

Is the author really this stupid? Or did he just close his eyes and poke around for a few minutes. I figured High School, not College. Your parents are wasting their money.

Everything you complain about is either minor, or is easily installed. X, gcc, every utility you could name is available for OS/X. That's because it is a Unix variant (BSD, which many of us liked better for years before the descendants of System 5 became the standard through Linux), and as Unix as you can get.

Get a clue.

What the hell is this nonsense doing on FreshMeat? This is a software site. Is it now for articles that couldn't get on SlashDot in a million years?

14 Sep 2002 06:47 rtfmok

hey news for you
AIX, HPUX, IRIX, Solaris, none ship with GNU tools.
that comparison of netinfo with the windows registry is far fetched. I do agree that overriding cli edited files with netinfo is ass backwards.
the analogies you wrote gave me a half chuckle you went and head dove completely off the tangent.
"Original versions didn't even have bash."
oh no!! oh my god what are you going to do now??
gees, have you ever Admin or done any kind of programming on a non-linux distro?

14 Sep 2002 06:50 wahay

I can't believe someone spent their time to write this.
I can't believe someone spent their time to write this. I'm not going to rebut it. Other people have been doing that. Quite well, in fact.

I just have to wonder what kind of person is so in need of something to do with their urge for self-expression that they have to apple-bash in such a boring, sensless, and pointless fashion.

Sometimes I wonder if people with deep grudges against apple are just unfortunate little boys who's parents never had the money to buy them one. Sorry you had to use a vic-20, little boy, I had a real computer.

If this were anything other than a bash-fest, it would welcome new unix users to the fold, rather than ranting against the slight differences. Let's get TOGETHER folks, else we're just a bunch of morons flaming eachother in message boards.

Wait. What am I doing here?

Poof.

14 Sep 2002 06:57 preed

Re: I don't even have time for this.

> This is garbage.. I refuse to think
> that J. Paul Reed is the
> idiot he has potrayed himself to be in
> this blatant piece of anti-Apple
> propaganda...

You sound like a typical Mac user... because I don't agree with everything Apple has ever done or ever said, it's suddenly "anti-Apple propaganda."

> He wants the source code to Aqua? Why?

If you don't know, then you don't "get" open source; keep using OS X, and be happy.

> If THAT isn't enough to convert a Linux user
> to MacOS X, then the so called Linux
> user is a fool without a cause.

You've just called a lot of Linux users fools; do you feel 100% justified in saying that?

> Along with the
> rest of Mr. Reed's post which was
> probably influence with a nice check
> from Microsoft.

I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy; if you don't believe me, check Google for some NCLUG and SVLUG posts I've made in the past.

14 Sep 2002 07:06 binaryape

Netinfo
I think that Netinfo has more in common with LDAP than the Windows Registry. In fact, Apple seem to be emphasising using Netinfo as a gateway to LDAP with Jaguar. I use LDAP with my Linix, FreeBSD and Solaris boxes instead of NIS or /etc files for exactly the same data that Netinfo supplies on a Mac OS X box. It doesn't make them any less &quot;UNIX&quot;.

Mac OS X is quite different to typical UNIX in many ways, but not too different.

14 Sep 2002 07:08 preed

Re: Reasons

> Get these two separated and you'll see
> why OSX is good for MANY people.

This was exactly the point of the article, which it is clear a whole host of people missed (and called me all sorts of fun names in the process).

I never said OS X was a "bad" operating system; in fact, if I didn't already have a laptop, and I had money to shell out for an iBook, I might consider doing so.

The point is this: there is a significant difference between a desktop operating system that is "Unix-based,", and Unix that has a "desktop environment" running on top of it. OS X is the former and Unix/Linux is the latter.

Making the claim that projects like KDE and Gnome can just quit (which is more or less what O'Reilly was trying to intimate) because OS X has acheived the latter is incorrect based upon the facts at hand. Case in point: my reason for claiming which software wasn't included in OS X by default was to point out that OS X is a desktop operating system, not a Unix operating system with a desktop environment.

If you didn't read O'Reilly's article (which I suspect a lot of people didn't), then you wouldn't get this... but that's what I was saying.

And if people had read the entire article and thought before blindly claiming that I was a Mac basher (my first experience with computers was Apple Basic and Mac OS 6), they may have realized this.

14 Sep 2002 07:26 dglee

Re: I can't believe someone spent their time to write this.
[SNIP]

> Let's get TOGETHER folks, else we're just a
> bunch of morons flaming eachother in
> message boards.
>
> Wait. What am I doing here?
>
> Poof.
>

Dear Poof,

The only moron I've seen here so far is you. What are you doing on freshmeat at all? Do you think clues will just rub off on you? Don't count on it.

My opinion of Apple lovers has always been that they are a bunch effete, developmentally arrested liberals with a vastly undeserved superiority complex. Thanks for validating my opinion.

P.S. You probably think Java is a system language, don't you.

14 Sep 2002 08:13 Mondragon

MacOS X *is* unix...
First of all, what makes something Unix is whether it contains code from one of the original two codebases, which MacOS X does. By *your* ridiculous qualification of what a *UNIX* is, most of the unices available are not 'unix'. Even Solaris does not ship with a compiler, so that's hardly a prerequisite. Just because your precious linux ships with a compiler and 'fortune', hardly means that that should be the litmus test for whether something is truly *unix*.

I can't believe I'm even bothering to comment on an article from someone who clearly has no clue what they're talking about.

14 Sep 2002 08:24 evilcartman

Re: I would also like to point out..

> I would also like to point out that the
> default install's of most linux distro's
> dont include gcc(I have no idea about
> fortune).

not my distro which is Slackware

14 Sep 2002 08:44 opless

Eh ?
MacOS not UNIX ?

As many posters have pointed out, MacOS is more UNIX than
Linux. It's quite obvious that this guy uses RedHat or
other Linux Distro, and is throwing toys out of his pram
because it hasn't got all the GNU tools that he wants.

Let me repeat: Mac OS X is NOT LINUX

Consider too, IRIX, HP/UX, Solaris, AIX, and DGUX that
DO NOT SHIP with a C compiler. No, really they don't.
In fact, most commercial UNIX machines do. They might
provide a supplimental CD for GNU tools (IRIX), or
even supply a website for you to download off (Sun,
HP/UX). So why complain about getting a developers
CD ? Ludicrous.

As for fortune, *sigh* yes, nice app I admit
but it is a very trivial one. Would you complain if
a alternative (MS)DOs clone came without EDLIN ?
PC DOS 6 didn't, how does that make PCDOS less
DOS compatable ? Answer - It doesn't.

Speaking of X, you won't find it installed on many
many production UNIX machines out there. Reason?
Because UNIX is pitched at the Server market. Sure
High-end workstations do run UNIX too, but I'm
fairly sure X wasn't included in the original UNIX.
In fact I suggest the author go read about the
history of UNIX next time he considers writing about
a subject he clearly knows nothing about. I'll even
provide a link here: www.tuhs.org/

You are complaining of not being able to log in as
&quot;root&quot; are you? One common way of stopping cracking
attempts was to rename the root account, and also
prevent root logins from anything but the console.
Hint: look at /etc/securetty . It is even recommended
to deny root logons over ssh, and X, even ftping as
root is denied as default on many, many ftp servers.
Thats no big deal when you can use &quot;su&quot; and &quot;sudo&quot;,
etc. Personally I think anyone who is unpleasantly
suprised that they can't log in as &quot;root&quot;, desperatly
needs a course on UNIX security concepts. Perhaps you
need to think long and hard about your research choices
if you think opening root logons is a good thing. Or
are you confusing DRM with &quot;security&quot; ? Enquiring
minds want to know.

Linux, or as RMS refers to it: &quot;GNU/Linux&quot; is NOT A
UNIX. I'll say it again, in case you missed it.

LINUX IS NOT UNIX.

Go look on the kernelbook site if you don't belive:

kernelbook.sourceforge...

(pdf to Chapter in question)

kernelbook.sourceforge...

Again, if you researched your article properly you
would know this.

I'll not show you a LINUX that doesn't store it's
config in /etc, but look at AIX, a real UNIX by
IBM, that forces you to really get a training
course on AIX before fiddling with it. AIX is
probably the only UNIX (Apart from OSX) I know
that doesn't go by the &quot;usual&quot; conventions of
UNIX, and stores it's configuration details in
a &quot;non-standard&quot; format. You can't edit binary
files by hand - you must use supplied utilities.
Look at windows, it moved away from win.ini to
the registry - There are both good things and
bad things to say about this. Don't knock
something for being different - it just might
be innovative!

I'll skip over &quot;O'Reilly's Argument&quot; as polls
are not ever to be trusted. Also M$ own a
portion of Apple, so I'd rather not go there
either. But just to say, if Apple didn't have
Office and IE, there would be no Apple, or
rather Apple will be much much smaller than
it is today.

I'll also ignore your lame attempt at bouncing
an AfterStep desktop so you can work on
your home machine at calpoly. However, I find
it ironic you're using the X rippoff of
NextStep User Interface, whos Operating System
you slate in your article is based closely on.
OS/X is fairly much NeXT brought upto date,
and yes, I know thats an overgeneralization.

&quot;Lots of engine, but it has a lousy paint job.&quot;
A very accurate description of X in general.
The Linux desktop is cluttered with KDE and
Gnome, to name the most well known. Arguing
with someone elses stated opinions is useless
as it degenerates into personal abuse eventually.

You want Apple to open source Display PDF ? Why?
Because they open source the Kernel?

Maybe they will in 10 years or so, just like Motif
did. Nothing stopping you writing a work alike.
As did LessTif, and Afterstep. (etc etc etc)
Maybe you'd like to pay Adobe to open source
Acrobat etc ? Try very hard not to write like a
student that has little or no commercial
experiance, the next time you write.

I still really don't know what you were trying to
achive in your article.

Perhaps tell us that OSX wasn't LINUX?
* Yes, Thanks we could tell by the name.

Linux was ready for the desktop?
* Sorry It isn't. It's getting very close, but not just yet.

Apple want to steal unix users?
* I know people that have bought OS/X just because of there is
a *REAL* UNIX under the hood.

Anyway, before I start going offtopic I shall leave
you with these thoughts.

You use the right tool for the right job.
Sometimes the right tool is clearly defined.
Sometimes the right tool is a personal preference.
Never critize someones preference as you will
undoubtably upset them, and others who agree with
them.

Anyhow all that said, you show real balls for
getting an article posted on here, and I applaud
that. Next time research more :-)

14 Sep 2002 09:12 al3x23

I still feel comfortable having bought an iBook yesterday
I don't even need to begin to tackle some of the poor logic in this article, or the semantics of &quot;what makes a *nix.&quot; How about this: different people want different things out of their computing platform? Or maybe: choice is a Good Thing?

I sympathize with O'Reily because I feel like I've &quot;done my time&quot; in Linux. I'm getting an iBook, but I'm still the secretary of my university's Linux User Group becase I still feel that Linux has its place as an educational, embedded, and server platform. But I've done my time fighting with awkward configurations and a generally poor desktop experience. You won't find a bigger Open Source/Free Software advocate than me, but I can live with some of Apple's decisions. So they keep their Quartz display technology under wraps? They're opening their ZeroConf Rendezvous software to the world. The core of OS X is free and open. And in all honesty, most of the successful Open Source companies have to charge for something. I think Apple has been good about opening the most critical technologies, and holding on to what can make them profitable.

But here's the great thing: you have a choice. There's no need to rant because someone is suggesting that maybe experienced *nix users could/should spend a day without editing init scripts or whathaveyou. You can use your *nix of choice, and other people can use theirs.

This article is like that rabid music fan arguing why one band is simply _better_ than another; I think it's pretty clear that desktop environments, even whole operating systems, are a matter of taste, just like music. So when someone has a different preference, don't belittle them; celebrate the fact that they have a choice.

14 Sep 2002 09:17 magneticmonopole

Re: Reasons

>
> The point is this: there is a
> significant difference between a desktop
> operating system that is "Unix-based,",
> and Unix that has a "desktop
> environment" running on top of it. OS X
> is the former and Unix/Linux is the
> latter.
>

See, this is exactly why your article is clueless, rather than just incorrect. There is indeed a significant different between a Unix+Desktop system and a "Unix-like" system (like Coherent, cygwin, OS/9, and many others). BUT YOU DON"T REALIZE THAT OS/X isn't like those, it's real BSD Unix. You might not like the default environment, though that seems to be mostly out of ignorance or lazyness (yeah, it's a pain to install the developer CD separately, but hardly an issue - I guess you didn't know that even Solaris doesn't come with some sets of tools out of the box or that Linux distros can be very different than the excellent Red Hat package) but it is real Unix, there is no question of that.

Many of us have hated X for years, and finally getting a good desktop for Unix is a great thing. It's also nice that it fully supports X and legacy X applications, and has a lot of great tools for quickly designing windowing applications with easy hooks back into real Unix.

Freshmeat has no business publishing this kind of clueless article with a name-dropping misleading headline.

14 Sep 2002 10:57 UnixDork

right...
&gt;Get these two separated and you'll see why OSX is good
&gt;for MANY people.

&gt;This was exactly the point of the article, which it is clear a
&gt;whole host of people missed (and called me all sorts of fun
&gt;names in the process).

If that was your point, you should have stated it. If I need to make assumptions and read Tim's article to understand your point, then you're a poor writer. Especially since your point can be summed up with such a simple statement. If one sentence would have made all the difference, why didn't you include it in your article?

Sorry, I don't buy it. You're just back pedaling because it's painfully obvious that you don't know what unix is.

Linux isn't unix.
X Windows isn't unix.
fortune isn't unix.
gcc isn't unix.
bash isn't unix.
edlin isn't unix.
Tim O'Reilly isn't unix.

I have read your article, about 5 times now. And it still doesn't make any sense. You could have saved yourself a lot of time by just writing, &quot;OS X sucks, linux rocks.&quot;.

14 Sep 2002 11:15 Gillion

Freedom to choose
I live in Jamaica, and my first computer was a rebuilt Intel 386SX (16MHz) with a 16 colour video card and 16 Meg of 30 pin SIMMS RAM. I had built my computer to do one thing and one thing only...
PROGRAM FOR MY ROBOTICS EXPERIMENTS

I had Windows 95 installed on it (320 Meg hard drive), because I heard rave reviews about it, and it was supposedly better than Windows 3.1. This was September of 1995 and it was supposedly a revolution in software and operating systems design. It was supposedly the best at whatever it does. Then came the time to PROGRAM and after many months of trying, I just could not get the WORK DONE. Not for lack of skill, but for want of the necessary commercial software to program for my experiments.

I needed more functionality in my TOOLS which, unfortunately, was Visual Basic 4.0 at the time. I couldn't get anything else on my meager pocket and Visual Basic came with a book I had bought, but it was crippleware. Even some of the OCX's I had downloaded (9600 bps modem) to interface with my projects were also crippleware. I got fed up, every turn I took, MONEY was the thorn in myside. I am poor and US dollars were not growing on trees for me.

I had the choice of becoming a raving pirate or switching to a little "obscure" OS called GNU/Linux.
I was peeked, because it was ALL FOR FREE. The person that recommended it, swore by it and I took his words like gospel because he was a mentor to me.

So I switched to Linux in 1996(slackware). Now I was really shocked, all these tools to PROGRAM, I COULD NOW GET THE JOB DONE, and I didn't have to pay ONE RED CENT. Hell the GPL was very enticing because as I had experienced hardships I would gladly contribute my code to any other poor programmer.
SO I got busy, and coded like mad and it ALL, JUST, WORKED. But I yearned for a GUI, because I liked the Windows 95 gui.

Even though I hated the overall system for crashing 100 times in 2 weeks (I counted) I liked the gui, it somehow, felt nice (this is what I now hear being touted as user experience) and working in emacs, really got to me after many moons of memorizing key combos. So I decided, I should install the XFree86 gui, and I did, and I was horrified. XFree86 ver 3.0 sucked royally. It was UGLY, but I tried to use it, beggars can't be choosers. I spent many school nights configuring fvwm2 scripts to setup my menus. I had to take the time to configure fetchmail and sendmail and write a ppp script to connect to my University server and I had to hand edit XF86Config. I wanted to play my reggae CD's while I was coding and that was another battle to get oss built into kernel 2.0.30 to run my sound card.... and I realised I was I spending a lot of time writing scripts and configuring things. It was as if GASP, my robotics projects got placed on hold.

I realised the original aim was being consumed with something else; setting up an environment the way I wanted it. Eventually I left emacs (hate it) and I finally got ppp to work and downloaded Netscape from my University server. But after all that effort... I had few working experimental programs. Who's fault is that ? Mine ?, Maybe, but Windows sucked, the commercial software i needed was too expensive and Linux NEEDED work before I could USE IT THE WAY I WANTED.

Now OSX is out and around and it looks EXCELLENT. BUT at one point I hated MAC's simply because I couldn't afford it at the time and the goodly teenagers in online chat rooms made no bones about my poor mans computer "a PISS CEE". "Buy a mac !!" was their answer to my every problem. Remember all I wanted was to program my robots... these guys couldn't tell me how to do so, but they told me to buy a frelling mac any chance they got. Of course I became resentful. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

I DESPISED anything apple because my experience of the users, was horrifying. (I gloated when the newton died) These guys were the equivalent of petty digital bourgeois. Pretty soon I learnt that apple was in dire straits and was dying and I WAS HAPPY. Death to the petty bourgeois. I loved my "cheap" hardware that was affordable to me.
So what if I am poor and live in a third world nation, even if I could afford a Mac, it was NOT supported in Jamaica at the time. I needed SOLUTIONS; NOW and with support. Not some petty zealot solution that is unworkable in my environment.

Eventually I finally got exposed to a Mac (my accountant friend had it). It was slow and could not do things quickly in the background, I then learnt that Mac OS was co-operative as opposed to pre-emptive. It could not multitask properly. These petty bourgeois were using a gui version of DOS as far as I was concerned. Just like Windows users. Where was the elite difference ?.

Naturally there were also the windows lusers that got on my back about using "upstart Linux". I can't afford to use windows and its tools and it crashes too often and thats unacceptable. But apparently they didn't hear this. All I got was "WE have a gui" What good is a gui, if it is a gui to a slapshod system that is unstable and eats my work for fun?. I need reliability and Linux gives me this. My statement fell on deaf ears... all I got was "Yeah but Linux is old technology." So if it is old and WORKS is that a problem ? or do you think new and volatile is better." Yeah but we have more 'appz' ." Which you all steal because you can't buy them anyway. "Yeah but everybody uses them, were normal... not fringe like you Linux guys" Since when do nerds and geeks care about NORMALCY ?. I digress

Anyway, I began to use this mac trying hard to find the superiority that the bourgeois spewed. Why did they feel so good, and I realised it was the interface and the experience. It was so simple to use, and the hardware never gave problems, it all just worked, better than Windows in my view, but slowly and clumsily. Then I tried to program for it. Not only was getting hardware info on a MAC like pulling teeth but the tools I wanted, were RARE and VERY EXPENSIVE. Overall the experience was better on a mac than a Widows box , in comparison windows felt CLUNKY and i feared its instability.

Eventually I learnt that most of these mac and windows zealots I met online were mere teenage idiots. These guys, most of them hid behind a computer screen and they fought wars online as a social outlet. They had no life. They were average computer users posing as "leet". Most have never done anything interesting with their computers except "d/l pr0n" and flame. Their sole existence was INSIDE THE MATRIX. They couldn't handle the real world. I pittied them. but again I digress

My eventual conclusion was "There is hardly any difference between the Windows 95 OS and Mac OS 7.0" To me they were all the same thing. An interface to getting things done with a computer. They provided minimum fuss and minimum under the hood tweaking. The MAC was better at it. And at that point, if you remember my initial objectives in using a computer, I realised that if MAC ever got a true multitasking environment, if hardware became cheaper, and if hardware interface projects was less effort than it is for PC, then I would save and buy one, simply because I could have more FOCUS on my ROBOTS. But MAC platforms (even today) can't provide me with that SOLUTION. I would still have to fork out more money (even now as I am working) that I cannot afford.

As an aside I also noticed that all things good and competitive in the computer world was being killed by Microsoft, who at the time I cared nothing about, except that they wanted lots of money for their software. All I CARED ABOUT was coding for my experiments. But that lead into a whole differnet arena. At the end of the day, I learnt that so many geeks and nerds take this computer thing too far. Dudes, it makes no sense. Some of you need to lart yourselves.

Now my skill level with a computer is excellent simply because I used Linux. Most people do not want that. At first I didn't want that, but I chose to learn things i didn't intend to learn so I could get what I wanted to do done, and oddly enough I am grateful for it. The overall experience is enlightening. I have pushed the limits of my homebuilt projects and my Computer well beyond what they were supposed to do, and Linux provided this avenue. But Joe average does not want that, and you CANNOT curse him for it.

How many of you want to learn to bake pastry, knit or gourmet cooking ?. How many of you will learn how to wash a babies clothing properly ?. How many of you want to learn how to PROPERLY change brake shoes or the inner tube of you car ? How many of you would want to sit and learn "Japanese" and the over 300 Kanji alphabet so you can effectively converse with a cute "Japanese" girl ? It looks simple doesn't it ? The last one I am sure got many hands, but the point is made, it has to interest you for you to LEARN IT, and the more interested you are the quicker and better you learn. I digress

Anywho MAC OS X rocks. I still cannot afford it with its requisite platform. If OSX ran on x86, I probably would switch. Windows XP is sweet but I don't like being spied on nor do I like being EASILY cracked. I especially do not like buying virus software and paying for "updates". And the programming tools cost more than before. So what I am left with... Linux. It does what I want, but if you could not guess from before I am not the average computer user. After years of under the hood tweaking and fiddling with config scripts and bash scripts, my knowledge of the overall system is almost "kung fu like". There is very little I cannot accomplish on a linux box, but average users, my friends who are doctors or accountants cannot do what I would take for granted (witting up a script for cdrecord). So Linux is not for them. And I sure as hell know Linux is NOT for a lot of posers who whine about OS-X not being true Unix. You just like the brag factor among your idiot peers. It is because of lusers like you why hackers have a bad reputation, for you its all about show.
"I can do this. Can you ?"

Ignorance breeds fear and contempt in so many different ways. So get a clue, a computer is not a BATTLE GROUND FOR HOLY WARS. It is not yet an addition to your brain. It is not religion, it is just a tool. For the majority of people in the world if something just works... then they are happy. For some of us knowing HOW it works and how much further we can take it is an addition to the happiness. But for those of you who complain about how something works... the solution is simple.... MAKE YOUR OWN. That why I love and use Linux, I can make my own or modify programs if I NEED to.

So to end the war online that I see getting more ridiculous every day, why don't most of you just code, and shut up. Make KDE and GNOME really something to be comparable to OS-X Aqua. Give Linux users a better user experience. Give Doctors and Kindergarten Teachers a reason to CONSIDER using Linux. Just because people in general cannot use Linux in its current state now and so they opt for Mac OS-X (like Ellen on the commercial) DOES NOT make them INFERIOR. Computers are tools and for most people how a tool works is IRRELEVANT, it is how it does the job, with ease, with comfort and with minimum cost both mentally, physically and financially.

14 Sep 2002 11:15 bmb

Huh?!
This article makes no sense.

He confused all the different technologies and a number of other things. I mean when did &quot;Unix&quot; come to mean a system with X, Linux, and gcc (oh yeah fortune too). Why fill up the hard disk with gcc and all the development tools when someone who needs them can just install them. Just a silly article that sounds more like a school yard fight then anything else.

I have a Sharp Zaurus, it uses a Linux kernal. It didn't come with a bash shell pre-installed, is it not Linux now? Just silly logic...

I'm typing this on Linux now, I use Linux/KDE as my primary OS and desktop. I still find this article absurd, and I don't even have a Mac.

14 Sep 2002 11:26 defile

Commentary on user response

I was pleased to find this article on freshmeat. As a somewhat hardcore Linux user, I've been pestered by MacOS X converts, who, thrilled with their new find, can't imagine why I want to stick to Linux. They reason that MacOS X is just like Linux but with a better GUI and more shrinkwrapped applications. That's fine and good, but that's not particularly what I care about, leaving me no reason to switch to what remains a closed source system.

What has been difficult is explaining exactly why something like Linux is important for me to keep, and that we'd rather pass on the OS X. The article sums it up quite well, and is a great resource to hand around. That is the point.

Also, it seems that the author is getting a lot of heat for claiming that it's not UNIX because idiots have taken to arguing semantics. It's very clear that when he means UNIX he means the "free software movement". Not so much the FSF, simply the idea of open source software development. Like what produced the BSD line. Oh, and there's also some commercial offerings based in whole or in part or not at all on this code that is called UNIX, which none of us care about.

14 Sep 2002 12:07 cce

Re: Reasons

This was exactly the point of the article, which it is clear a whole host of people missed (and called me all sorts of fun names in the process).

I will not call you any names.

The point is this: there is a significant difference between a desktop operating system that is "Unix-based," and Unix that has a "desktop environment" running on top of it. OS X is the former and Unix/Linux is the latter.

First of all: Linux is not Unix, nor is OS X. OS X is "Unix-based" (admittedly I'm using Apple's marketing term, but it's true) and Linux could be called "Unix-like." But the fact remains, OS X has BSD code inside and is in many ways more a "Unix" than Linux. So I'm not sure where this "significant difference" lies -- if Aqua and GNOME/KDE/whatever are both "desktop environments," then wouldn't both OS X and Linux qualify as "the latter" above?

Case in point: my reason for claiming which software wasn't included in OS X by default was to point out that OS X is a desktop operating system, not a Unix operating system with a desktop environment.

But included software is hardly a judge of what is and isn't a "desktop OS." Many production UNIX98-certified systems do not come shipped with a compiler (and if they do, surely not GNU's gcc and gdb, if the vendor has its own compiler), or the "fortune" program. Many Linux distributions I've seen do not include gcc in the default install.

Also, this overlooks the fact that Apple sells its "OS X Server" product which will run all your Unix daemons for you -- with Apple's "desktop environment" on top.

And if people had read the entire article and thought before blindly claiming that I was a Mac basher (my first experience with computers was Apple Basic and Mac OS 6), they may have realized this.

I don't own a Mac, and haven't ever advocated using one (in fact, my current job is working on Linux); it's just that your claims seem inconsistent with facts, and instead betray a bias on your part. This bias is easily perceptable from your relentless attack on all ways that OS X is not like your Linux distribution (no gcc, fortune, X, /etc files, etc) and is probably why people see you as a "Mac basher."

A good example from your article:

But while the kernel is merely Unix-like, show me a Linux distribution that doesn't ship gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities (even fortune) that make Unix Unix.

I think other commenters here have explained why this sentence is so misguided (quickly: Linux isn't Unix; many Unices ship without gcc, gdb, X or fortune; Linux is itself only Unix-like; OS X's BSD kernel is more Unix-like than Linux's; your Linux distro doesn't define what "makes Unix Unix"). But in case you're wondering, this is why people think you are misrepresenting facts, either intentially (from bias) or unintentially (from ignorance).

14 Sep 2002 12:22 cce

Re: Commentary on user response

Also, it seems that the author is getting a lot of heat for claiming that it's not UNIX because idiots have taken to arguing semantics. It's very clear that when he means UNIX he means the "free software movement". Not so much the FSF, simply the idea of open source software development. Like what produced the BSD line.

You have to be kidding me. Has Linux become so popular that people think UNIX means "the free software movement?" Do you know what GNU stands for?

Oh, and there's also some commercial offerings based in whole or in part or not at all on this code that is called UNIX, which none of us care about.

But ... but ... WHAT?? Look, reading this sentence over and over again just makes me more frustrated, so please read the excellent link someone posted below (kernelbook.sourceforge..., there's even a quote from Maddog Hall so the most rabid Linux evangelists will trust it). Suffice to say that you've got it a little mixed up.

14 Sep 2002 14:08 etonis

Re: Huh?!
Um, my Sharp Zaurus came with bash preinstalled. Did you get a preview version?

14 Sep 2002 14:36 wainstead

It does so have cc and gdb
Like any Linux distro, you have to choose to install the developer tools. I've used Red Hat for seven years and have always done a custom install to get every last developer goodie installed.

OS X comes with a Developer's CD with all the dev tools; cc is really a version of gcc ((2.95.2 on my system) and gdb is the one and only. Apple's &quot;Project Builder&quot; IDE uses gcc and gdb for compiling/debugging.

My most recent version of Red Hat does not install 'fortune' by default. I don't even think it comes on the disks.

14 Sep 2002 14:40 randombit

So many things wrong with this article
Such as GCC actually being shipped with MacOS X (given that it's used to compile most of MacOS X).

But really, my main problem is that by your definition, not only is MacOS X not Unix, neither is Version 7. And if Version 7 is not Unix, then what the hell is? (Rhetorical question; answer: nothing).

14 Sep 2002 14:41 somniare

fortune
I notice that the author of this piece is responding _only_ to those who have been trollish, rather than those who raise good points. This is interesting. I suspect the topic and material were picked so as to provide for those comments, thus allowing some that the author could respond to without having to actually defend his position.

A bit of research (simply looking at the jargon file) reveals that 'fortune' originates from WAITS, an OS related to TOPS-10. I should hardly think that this means that the presence of 'fortune' can be taken as evidence to whether a system is UNIX or not.

My debian system does not have fortune installed on it, and I never did anything in particular to keep it from being installed.

14 Sep 2002 14:42 defile

Re: Commentary on user response

>
> Also, it seems that the author is
> getting a lot of heat for claiming that
> it's not UNIX because idiots have taken
> to arguing semantics. It's very clear
> that when he means UNIX he means the
> "free software movement". Not so much
> the FSF, simply the idea of open source
> software development. Like what produced
> the BSD line.
>
>
> You have to be kidding me. Has Linux
> become so popular that people think UNIX
> means "the free software movement?" Do
> you know what GNU stands for?
>
>
> Oh, and there's also some commercial
> offerings based in whole or in part or
> not at all on this code that is called
> UNIX, which none of us care about.
>
>
> But ... but ... WHAT?? Look, reading
> this sentence over and over again just
> makes me more frustrated, so please read
> the excellent link someone posted below
> (kernelbook.sourceforge...,
> there's even a quote from Maddog Hall so
> the most rabid Linux evangelists will
> trust it). Suffice to say that you've
> got it a little mixed up.
>

When some people think of UNIX, they think of a culture of hackers that developed cool software and published the source.

Surely, as people of reason and logic you can accept such a form of the word and there's no explanation for this reaction. Unless you're all trolls.

14 Sep 2002 15:32 kme

OSX will fail
OSX is just Apple's attempt to hold onto its tiny and slipping market share and it will fail. The business logic just does'nt exist for apple and thus Apple lives at pleasure of Microsoft. Once MS puts its anti trust woes behind it, it will have no reason to keep Apple around and it will pull support for MS applications on ANY Apple OS. That will relegate Apple to complete irrelevancy and users will see Apple for what it really is - nothing but a pretty shell.

Why should Linux users and why should enterprises switch to OSX? The only place you can get it is Apple. They already have that with MS and with many more applications and better backend integration and long term assurances of vendor survival. Why switch from that to a small shaky vendor, led by a temperamental prima donna who could pick up and go next month? After all they would still be as locked in as they are now with MS.

If there is anything the rise of open source and free software signifies - it is the end of single vendor lock in. Businesses clearly want freedom and so do users. OSX for all its &quot; Unixality&quot; does not give them that. OSX is a proprietary Apple OS! No matter what anybody says. If you want the total package you have to go to Apple ONLY. Thats what the enterprise user sees.

What about the non enterprise user? Take me for example. I started with Redhat 5.2. It was'nt as pretty as Windows 98 but I wanted freedom and control. I did not have as many applications on it as I would have liked but I got by. Now why would I move to OSX just because its pretty and just works? I now have Redhat 7.3 and it just works. Sure I've spent lots of time configuring it, but once done it just works. Moreover, I tinker with my system not because its not working but because I keep adding stuff to it. Thats the beauty of free software. I see something I like I get it and integrate it into my setup. I stick it in the menus I make space for it where I want it on my panels I aliase some commands for it. In short I tinker and fiddle. But thats because I have so much choice and such a wide range of possibilities and such a narrowly customized setup. Even OSX could not give me the same without much tinkering and fiddling, and they wouldn't want to because they want to control my computing experience, channel it so that I keep ending up back with them. So I'm fidldling with my laptop now. Thats because I'm setting up Apache with PHP SSL etc and Postnuke on it so I can practice web development on it. I could do the same on OSX, but I'd still have to fiddle to get it just right and I'd be tied in to one company Apple. Well my laptop has Redhat 7.3 on it, once I get things going there I'll do the same on my 4yr olds Debian woody computer. I've got Tiny Linux on an old 486 laptop my brother in law gave me. Maybe I'll fiddle with that too. Heck I've got the freedom to do all that. And my computers still just work. I do all my work (office and home) on my Linux systems. I'm a Linux user. So what does OSX offer me to get me to switch? Pretty graphics and a few nifty apps. Sorry I want the total package - freedom and all and I'll take a few rough edges with it.

OSX may get a few windows users but not too many MS will kill them off before they can do any damage. They won't get much from Linux since Linux users want more than OSX can give. They want freedom

14 Sep 2002 15:46 zedshaw

Understanding before criticism: fink and Zoularis
I am an avid Linux and *BSD user who develops some open source software and I just bought an iBook which I love. Like every tool, you have to know how to use it. Most of the "missing" software the author complains about it easily installed via the wonderful Fink (fink.sourceforge.net) project. Fink gives you an apt-get system, precompiled packages, the ability to compile from source, and has a large number of Unix packages. I'm currently drawing diagrams for a project in X11 using Gimp, Dia, and XFig.

If you are a BSD Unix freak (unlike the fake Linux version of Unix that doesn't even require you to specify the directory when using find :-) then you might like the Zoularis (www.netbsd.org/zoularis/) project. Zoularis has quite a few packages available and works like the NetBSD pkgsrc (which is like FreeBSD and OpenBSD ports collection).

Finally, you can just download the developer tools from Apple. The developer tools not only come with all the GCC stuff, but it also comes with Project Builder and other nice tools. The free developer tools from Apple are better than most of the stuff you'd pay for from other companies.

Personally, I could care less if OS X is officially Unix. Linux isn't really Unix either, according to their own admissions. Unix is notorious for being inconsistent and poorly designed for usability. Guys like me and the author like Unix, but most people want a consistent easy to use system. Having to edit anything in /etc is not easy to use, but for some reason, Unix people believe that anyone can do it. Just because some can do it doesn't mean that they should have to do it.

Anyway, try out Fink and Zoularis and see if that makes it Unixish enough for you. Hell, I'm even running all my stuff on a separate X11 screen in WindowMaker. It's like I'm using my Linux box.

14 Sep 2002 16:03 Hakumage

Re: OSX will fail

> Once MS puts its anti trust woes behind it, it
> will have no reason to keep Apple around
> and it will pull support for MS
> applications on ANY Apple OS. That will
> relegate Apple to complete irrelevancy
> and users will see Apple for what it
> really is - nothing but a pretty shell.
>

Apple doesn't need Ms now, Apple is not in the bad position it was and alternatives are legion (like OpenOffice). Don't think Apple like a puppet!
All other systems have no support for Ms Office and for many of them, they live quiet good.

> Why should Linux users and why should
> enterprises switch to OSX?

i think you don't see why OS X is different from Unix.

there are people who search direct and best productivity without having hours to configure your app, searching howto or web for the information needed: in term of video, creativity, press, ...

Enterprise don't see any differences of resellers when they see productivity or so why there is still some Mainframe, SGI, and others in so many firms.

You also don't see that on software side, even in opensource, there is not true interoperabilty on vertical sectors: for example medical patient folder, comptability, finance, ...
It's better in 3D, 2D or Office, but there has always been many formats in these fields.

> If there is anything the rise of open
> source and free software signifies - it
> is the end of single vendor lock in.
> Businesses clearly want freedom and so
> do users.

And what is GNU/Darwin which stands as *BSD in front of Linux, seems to you ...
APSL has been recognized as free for FSF

> What about the non enterprise user?

Common family users have no interest in the underground of bash, /etc/passwd or others, they want something which "just works" out of the box and which they could modify easily.
some Desktop Environment on Linux try to make it, but it's not so natural: using Linux without going under has no interest, i think and not so many users are ready to do it.

these nifty Apps are what permits MacOS X user to do in 5 sec what you do in hours ...

> OSX may get a few windows users but not
> too many MS will kill them off before
> they can do any damage. They won't get
> much from Linux since Linux users want
> more than OSX can give. They want
> freedom

it depends a lot ....
You have freedom for lower level like kernel, daemons, ...
It may not be useful to have all control...

did you truly modify much code in your systems ? are you a good hacker ?
or do you ask for freedom just because it seems to be good ?

14 Sep 2002 16:06 wynndata

Netinfo
The author lost me very early on in the article.
He shows the typical Linux know it all attitude
even though it is obvious that he is several clues
short of a full clue bag. Next time I suggest
that he do proper research if he wants to be taken
seriously.

Netinfo is much more like NIS than anything else.
It can really be thought of as heirarchial NIS
system. I have had a love/hate relationship with
it since Nextstep 1.0. I love it's ease of use,
just do an niload of your flat file, or do an
nidump to produce a flat file for editing. I hate
it's security problems that are similar to the
security problems in NIS.

It is folks like this that make it hard for anyone
in the Linux camp to be taken seriously by folks
that have been working with Unix for more than
20 years.

14 Sep 2002 17:03 kme

Re: OSX will fail

>

> Apple doesn't need Ms now, Apple is not
> in the bad position it was and
> alternatives are legion (like
> OpenOffice). Don't think Apple like a
> puppet!

Actually Apple does need MS. Apple faces the same problems for wide spread adoption as Linux - Windows/Office compatibility. Thats not obvious now because MS is supporting Apple. If they stopped, that would be painfully obvious. If Apple has the same issues interfacing with MS as Linux then the raison d'etre for Apple becomes very thin. What are you left with? A pretty interface. I don't think many enterprise users will go for that. Then there is the hardware issue. Where are you going to get your hardware .. um.. Apple. Well, just brilliant, now you have a possibliy windows compatible system with hardware from the same vendor. And you were complaining about MS? At least with them you could go to Dell, or HP/C or Gateway or IBM. Apple has an MS imposed glass ceiling and OSX does not break them out of it.

Linux on the other hand has the ability to do an end run around that barrier. Thats why the commercial interest is in Linux not OSX.

> All other systems have no support for Ms
> Office and for many of them, they live
> quiet good.

Yes, but Apple has to be profitable to survive. It can't just live "quite good" it has to make money. Unlike some of those other systems which can even survive as non profits!

> i think you don't see why OS X is
> different from Unix.
>
> there are people who search direct and
> best productivity without having hours
> to configure your app, searching howto
> or web for the information needed: in
> term of video, creativity, press, ...

Sow hy switch to OSX stay with Windows ! All of the above you get with Windows!! why switch indeed?!!

> Enterprise don't see any differences of
> resellers when they see productivity or
> so why there is still some Mainframe,
> SGI, and others in so many firms.

Too true! so why go with Apple when you already have a tool that does the job - Windows? After all in the Windows vs Linux setup you can switch because of lower costs and multiple vendors, so you can compete support and the product itself. You don't get that in the OSX vs Windows setup. So why look at OSX? The match up will always be Linux vs Windows`.

> You also don't see that on software
> side, even in opensource, there is not
> true interoperabilty on vertical
> sectors: for example medical patient
> folder, comptability, finance, ...
> It's better in 3D, 2D or Office, but
> there has always been many formats in
> these fields.

This still does not present any more opportunity for OSX than existed with the previous Apple OSes. They will still sell to their old customers. Few new ones.

> And what is GNU/Darwin which stands as
> *BSD in front of Linux, seems to you
> ...
> APSL has been recognized as free for
> FSF

So what! Darwin IS NOT OSX!! Again Darwin IS NOT OSX!! and the fortunes of the two are NOT the same. Selling Darwin is not Apple's business, Selling OSX is. Apple will live or die on OSX not Darwin. Why should I get Darwin and run something else on it if my objective is to have things just work? I'll still have to fiddle and tinker and do all the stuff I do with Linux or FreeBSD. As a busness why would I get Darwin instead of OSX? I might as well get Linux if 'll go that route. Darwin may be free but the entire package is what counts. The system is only as free as its least free component and that is Apples GUI layer.

> Common family users have no interest in
> the underground of bash, /etc/passwd or
> others, they want something which "just
> works" out of the box and which they
> could modify easily.
> some Desktop Environment on Linux try to
> make it, but it's not so natural: using
> Linux without going under has no
> interest, i think and not so many users
> are ready to do it.
>
> these nifty Apps are what permits MacOS
> X user to do in 5 sec what you do in
> hours ...

I'm not sure what Apple users do in 5 seconds that takes me hours. My observation of them tells me that these "common family users", basically surf the web, write documents, play music, edit photos and do some simple spreadsheet stuff. None of which they can do any faster than I can on my Linux system. In fact I have noticed a disturbingly high level of confusion and ineptitude amongs many users of Windows and macs, I often have to help out work mates with problems on those systems. May be they stick to the simple stuff thats why they don't tinker as much. They use a stock system with little customization and only the programs that came with it. Well they are missing out.

> it depends a lot ....
> You have freedom for lower level like
> kernel, daemons, ...
> It may not be useful to have all
> control...
>
> did you truly modify much code in your
> systems ? are you a good hacker ?
> or do you ask for freedom just because
> it seems to be good ?
>
>

No I'm not a hacker and I don't modify the code (well except changing strings in Perl programs of PHP programs). But I benefit from other people doing so and from the multitude of dual free programs available. So what if you can get alot or even most of that in darwin (its not as much anyway), I already have it in Linux its not a reason to switch. After all the stuff that just working in OSX is the stock stuff. Under linux I can get the most obscure program I can find that does something I want, compile from source and run it and once I configure the stock stuff it just works. My Open Office just works, so does Gimp, Galeon, Evolution Xmms, XCDRoast, Gftp,Bluefish, Audacity, Nautilus, MultiGnome Terminal, LinNeighborhood, and GQ view. Thats my stock stuff. I had to install and configure some of it, but it just works. The rest I just play with, Apache, R, Videolan, Postnuke, MySQL etc I tinker a lot with them. I learn and its fun.

Bottom line. OSX stacks up poorly against XP. What does it have that XP does not? for those who don't care about the freedom dimension and just want it to work.

OSX also stacks up poorly against Linux because Linux users want more than a pretty face and just works. They like to tinker and they like to tinker and they like their freedom. A proprietary system controlled by a single vendor can never give them that.

I'm sorry for Apple but its too late to save themselves from the yawning chasm of bottomless irrelevancy.

14 Sep 2002 17:39 mannu

NetInfo
Just to remark that NetInfo is not like Windows registry but it was a feature bring up by NeXTstep !!

Almost all the beginning is from NeXT...

14 Sep 2002 17:43 preed

Re: fortune

> I notice that the author of this piece
> is responding _only_ to those who have
> been trollish, rather than those who
> raise good points. This is interesting.

Which points have been raised that you'd like me to respond to?

Just because I picked a few posts to respond to last night doesn't mean I can't (or won't) respond to some of the others I've read here; honestly, I've been busy defending myself on some LUG lists... but hey... at least people are reading it, and that's the point of any editorial.

The discussion has been valuable.

14 Sep 2002 18:06 preed

Re: Reasons

> There is indeed a significant different
> between a Unix+Desktop system and a
> "Unix-like" system (like Coherent,
> cygwin, OS/9, and many others). BUT YOU
> DON"T REALIZE THAT OS/X isn't like
> those, it's real BSD Unix.

Its kernel is "real BSD Unix"-based; remember, even Apple doesn't claim that OS X is Unix. How can you say that when the vendor doesn't even try to pass it off as "Unix"?

From my experiences, and the experiences of friends who've tried to move from *nix to OS X, that "real BSD Unix" is quite hidden and burried... as it should be for a desktop-focused operating system. But that's why OS X, out of the box, is, IMO, not Unix.

> You might not like the default environment, though
> that seems to be mostly out of ignorance
> or lazyness (yeah, it's a pain to
> install the developer CD separately, but
> hardly an issue - I guess you didn't
> know that even Solaris doesn't come with
> some sets of tools out of the box or
> that Linux distros can be very different
> than the excellent Red Hat package) but
> it is real Unix, there is no question of
> that.

Everyone's getting hung up on the tools I decided to pick; it is clear that a compiler does not a Unix system make. But I've been saying this in responses, and I wish I had put it in the editorial: to make OS X even begin to behave like Unix, you have to "weaponize" it with the Developer's CD (and OS X: The Hidden Manual probably helps, too).

The fact that you have to do this proves that Apple's focus is not concerned with grabbing (or supporting) the Unix developer and workstation market, which was O'Reilly's argument.

Having said that, just because you're a Unix hacker doesn't mean that you wouldn't want a desktop operating system; as I've said before, if I didn't have a laptop, I'd be looking at an iBook.

This article is not about bashing Apple. At all.

It is about clarifying some of the hype Apple's supporters (who often epitomize zealotry) and Apple's marketing department are making about their desktop, Unix-based OS.

> It's also nice that it fully supports X and legacy X
> applications,

No, XDarwin, which Apple seemingly doesn't want acknowledge exists, fully supports X. OS X, out of the box, doesn't know anything about port 6000.

> Freshmeat has no business publishing
> this kind of clueless article with a
> name-dropping misleading headline.

I can assure you, you wouldn't have liked my original title. ;-)

14 Sep 2002 18:49 Hakumage

Re: OSX will fail

>
> % Apple doesn't need Ms now, Apple is
> not in the bad position it was and
> % alternatives are legion (like OpenOffice).
> % Don't think Apple like a puppet!
> Actually Apple does need MS.
> If Apple has the same issues interfacing with MS as Linux then the
> raison d'etre for Apple becomes very thin. What are you left with? A pretty
> interface. I don't think many enterprise users will go for that. Then there is
> the hardware issue. Where are you going to get your hardware .. um.. Apple.
> Well, just brilliant, now you have a possibliy windows compatible system with
> hardware from the same vendor. And you were complaining about MS? At least with
> them you could go to Dell, or HP/C or Gateway or IBM. Apple has an MS imposed
> glass ceiling and OSX does not break them out of it.
>
> Linux on the other hand has the ability to do an end run around that barrier.
> Thats why the commercial interest is in Linux not OSX.

So why Hollywood seems to prefer Final Cut Pro/Mac than Adobe Premiere/Win or any Linux Solutions ?
True there are also linux clusters for calculus but that is something you can do on ANY unix, if you have the software (MPI and PVM exist nearly for any OS)

About Office, the compatibility was needed because there was no other way to get it before. true it's also one Apple switch reason but as i said which is needed more is interoperability and now you can achieve with OpenOffice
The problem was the same for Linux where there was never some Ms Office, but now with a visible OpenOffice which stands on nearly all platforms, IT Department may have a better choice for Office Software...

>
> % All other systems have no support for Ms
> % Office and for many of them, they live
> % quiet good.
>
> Yes, but Apple has to be profitable to
> survive. It can't just live "quite good"
> it has to make money. Unlike some of
> those other systems which can even
> survive as non profits!
>

I don't remember Solaris or AIX have Office.
yes, Apple is neither Sun, nor IBM, but i think they have some time before closing (some billions bank credits, little compare to Ms but sufficient)

>
> % i think you don't see why OS X is different from Unix.
> %
> % there are people who search direct and
> % best productivity without having hours
> % to configure your app, searching howto
> % or web for the information needed: in
> % term of video, creativity, press, ...
>
> Sow hy switch to OSX stay with Windows !
> All of the above you get with Windows!!
> why switch indeed?!!
>

because MacOS X stands higher than windows, true UNIX based, and Mac easyness.
but i think you don't believe me, do you ?

> % Enterprise don't see any differences of
> % resellers when they see productivity or
> % so why there is still some Mainframe,
> % SGI, and others in so many firms.
>
> Too true! so why go with Apple when you
> already have a tool that does the job -
> Windows? After all in the Windows vs
> Linux setup you can switch because of
> lower costs and multiple vendors, so you
> can compete support and the product
> itself. You don't get that in the OSX vs
> Windows setup. So why look at OSX? The
> match up will always be Linux vs
> Windows`.

Get some consultant stuff and you see that TCO on Mac is lower than windows.
don't speak about Linux (searchwindowsmanageabi...)

>
> % You also don't see that on software
> % side, even in opensource, there is not
> % true interoperabilty on vertical
> % sectors: for example medical patient
> % folder, comptability, finance, ...
> % It's better in 3D, 2D or Office, but
> % there has always been many formats in
> % these fields.
>
> This still does not present any more
> opportunity for OSX than existed with
> the previous Apple OSes. They will still
> sell to their old customers. Few new
> ones.

harder, but not impossible, depend of user community which is strong (considering what it went through)

>
> % And what is GNU/Darwin which stands
> as
> % *BSD in front of Linux, seems to you ...
> % APSL has been recognized as free for
> % FSF
>
> So what! Darwin IS NOT OSX!!

right but you have the warranty that MacOS X base will exist for long and you can modify it.

A kernel comparison would be much long but Apple technotes may show you some diff with others kernel.

>
> I'm not sure what Apple users do in 5
> seconds that takes me hours. My
> observation of them tells me that these
> "common family users", basically surf
> the web, write documents, play music,
> edit photos and do some simple
> spreadsheet stuff. None of which they
> can do any faster than I can on my Linux
> system. In fact I have noticed a
> disturbingly high level of confusion and
> ineptitude amongs many users of Windows
> and macs, I often have to help out work
> mates with problems on those systems.
> May be they stick to the simple stuff
> thats why they don't tinker as much.
> They use a stock system with little
> customization and only the programs that
> came with it. Well they are missing
> out.

sorry but i have not seen many direct use of camera or video camera on Linux (or windows)
there is much time where there is some kernel module or userland program to compile or install.

depends on what you do, writing or playing mp3 is fast & easy on every platform (except if you ask user to compile his soft), connecting the world more difficult (take a look to iSync which synchronizes your phone, Palm, IPod and Mac data in one button ...)

In general MacOS X is as customisable as windows, if not more.

>
> % it depends a lot ....
> % You have freedom for lower level like
> % kernel, daemons, ...
> % It may not be useful to have all
> % control...
> %
> % did you truly modify much code in your
> % systems ? are you a good hacker ?
> % or do you ask for freedom just because
> % it seems to be good ?
> %
> No I'm not a hacker and I don't modify
> the code (well except changing strings
> in Perl programs of PHP programs). But I
> benefit from other people doing so and
> from the multitude of dual free
> programs available. So what if you can
> get alot or even most of that in darwin
> (its not as much anyway), I already have
> it in Linux its not a reason to switch.
> After all the stuff that just working in
> OSX is the stock stuff. Under linux I
> can get the most obscure program I can
> find that does something I want, compile
> from source and run it and once I
> configure the stock stuff it just works.
> My Open Office just works, so does Gimp,
> Galeon, Evolution Xmms, XCDRoast,
> Gftp,Bluefish, Audacity, Nautilus,
> MultiGnome Terminal, LinNeighborhood,
> and GQ view. Thats my stock stuff. I had
> to install and configure some of it, but
> it just works. The rest I just play
> with, Apache, R, Videolan, Postnuke,
> MySQL etc I tinker a lot with them. I
> learn and its fun.
>
>
> Bottom line. OSX stacks up poorly
> against XP. What does it have that XP
> does not? for those who don't care about
> the freedom dimension and just want it
> to work.
>

don't think so. but it will always be partial for anyone, some tech hints: UNIX base, IPv6 (not option), True RFC compliant IPSec (see freeswan doc for compliant info, or win one), easy integration with LDAP, Kerberos, Rendezvous, ...

MacOS X is more open than Win or compare to Ms tech: kernel, Rendezvous, MPEG-4 support, ...

> OSX also stacks up poorly against Linux
> because Linux users want more than a
> pretty face and just works. They like to
> tinker and they like to tinker and they
> like their freedom. A proprietary system
> controlled by a single vendor can never
> give them that.

Right, i don't think as tim O'Reilly, core Linux users will switch. it's only for people who try Linux because someone say them but they are not enjoying it, because it's not their way of life. Not everyone is ready to use linux full time, take a look at some README, INSTALL, compile, ask mail list or news for help, etc...

>
> I'm sorry for Apple but its too late to
> save themselves from the yawning chasm
> of bottomless irrelevancy.

Apple Expo, France was one of the biggest ever seen and it is one of the biggest European show.

wait and see ...

14 Sep 2002 18:51 toddhisattva

Re: I don't even have time for this.

>
> I dislike Microsoft as much as the next
> guy; if you don't believe me, check
> Google for some NCLUG and SVLUG posts
> I've made in the past.
>
>

Why should we expect you to get anything right there?

14 Sep 2002 19:05 jmirles

Re: I don't even have time for this.

>
> % This is garbage.. I refuse to think
> % that J. Paul Reed is the
> % idiot he has potrayed himself to be
> in
> % this blatant piece of anti-Apple
> % propaganda...
>
>

---------------------------------snip------------------------------------
Read the article and understand what you are said. While I don't agree with everything you said, I do see your points.
Frankly, I don't use a MAC because I don't want to be tied into one vendor. I just upgrade my PC. in fact, I more than double its CPU power. I swapped out the motherboard, RAM, CPU and video card for under 500 bucks. The video card was the most expensive piece in the upgrade. How much would it cost a MAC user to double their CPU power and RAM? Plenty more than 500 bucks! I could have save money by going to a lesser video card, but what the heck, I wanted POWER!

Bottomline, while I understood the article, I do not feel that the reason Apple will fail is not because of it is UNIX-based or not, but because of the limited expansion possibilities in the software and hardware.

14 Sep 2002 19:11 toddhisattva

Re: Commentary on user response

> The article
> sums it up quite well, and is a great
> resource to hand around.

But it's WRONG! Corrections by the kilobyte have been posted by dozens of readers. Check its claims yourself -- don't just believe something because it sounds good to you. I've been using Unix professionally since before there was a Macintosh, and Mac OS X is indeed as much a Unix as any I've run on PDP-11/33, SGI Indigo, HP Snake, Sun Pizza Box, RS/6000, and so many more. Been a Unix-head since SVR5.

14 Sep 2002 19:26 bmb

Re: Huh?!

> Um, my Sharp Zaurus came with bash
> preinstalled. Did you get a preview
> version?
>

No, not a preview but an early ROM version. I had to install the shell from the CD as well as the File Manager. No fortune program was found on the CD. (oh no)

14 Sep 2002 19:53 Ilan

Re: I don't even have time for this.

>
>
> % He wants the source code to Aqua?
> Why?
>
>
> If you don't know, then you don't "get"
> open source; keep using OS X, and be
> happy.

I understand the importance of having the source code for something so I can modify it to meet my needs.

However, as long as the open source community doesn't "get" the concept of user interface usability, they really can't be trusted with something like the source code for Apple's GUI layer. If they were allowed to have the code, they would turn Apple's UI into some completely unusable piece of trash that deprives end-users of a valuable freedom: the freedom to get work done with a minimum of fuss. In other words, they would turn Apple's GUI layer into something resembling the mess that is GNOME and KDE.

It's really a lot like Star Trek's Prime Directive. Until a civilization has reached a state of evolution where they are intelligent and moral enough to not misuse and abuse a piece of advanced technology, it is critical to keep that piece of technology out of their hands. When the open source community has evolved to the point where they no longer have religious problems with spaces in filenames, when they can understand why "System Preferences" is preferable to "etc", when they can use the word "folder" instead of "directory", when they stop expressing derision and hostility towards usability professionals, and when they leave their command-line anti-newbie rtfm baggage out of the GUI design, then and only then should they be given the source code to Apples GUI layer.

14 Sep 2002 20:17 beeko

Hm... time for Unix Troll Checklist
Pedantic? Check.
Elitist? Check.
Attempts to rally the troops against MS? Check.
Repeated use of arguements/examples long after the impact of their effect is lost? ... Lesee, mentions the NetInfo business about 3 times. Check.
Purports to know what &quot;real&quot; fun is? Check.

Yep, this qualifies as a Unix Troll to me.

I've been tempted to use OS X sometimes, but haven't ever really felt the NEED. Still though, in an attempt to create a &quot;Unix-based&quot; (sigh, whatever) OS, concentrating on stability, functionality, and usability, it looks like Apple's done a pretty good job. As an OS for day to day tasks and casual use like email, Web, chat, music etc etc (i.e. 90% of what the people who SAY they need GCC are really doing on their computer) it seems like its really doing a good job. And while, yes, out of the box, it sounds like its not wonky enough to start doing all the little geeky things that make Unix fun to the .1% of us that actually think a Perl book and some unknown module makes for a good Friday night, there does seem to be enough out there to start doing it. Franky, I remember the case when it took a good 6 hours of downloading, installing, and compiling to get a decent toolset under Solaris 2.5, but noones going to dispute that ITS Unix (or at least, noone without an axe to grind)...

Ultimately, the point (which was rather pointedly missed) that O'Reilly was making was that OS X finally provides some of the benefits of Unix to mass use. If we appreciate Unix, we should believe that its benefits should be in some ways sharable, and that this does not necessarily mean teaching every man, woman, child, and dog in the world how to program Unix Sockets or trap signals with a Perl script. We should hope that the past 20-30 years of development have produced something that the populace in general can appreciate and use without developing a set of arcane information that is of little use to them in their day-to-day life. Sure, that's been the case on the server side, with the design and nature of Unix being a strong reason why the internet works, but the arguement has been made that it would never trickle down to the desktop, and frankly, it hasn't for the most part. But it seems that OS X may be making some headway there. Sure, its not 100% certified-by-the-blood-of-Ritchie Unix, but its certainly helping to bring some of the benefits to the &quot;uncloistered laity&quot;.

14 Sep 2002 20:20 pbaker

Desktop Linux User Finds Total Solution in OS X
Mr. Reed you clearly do not have a very clear understanding of what UNIX actually is. Mac OS X is in fact a genuine descendant of the original UNIX code. This makes it for more of a &quot;UNIX&quot; than GNU/Linux. Remember GNU Not Unix.

One of the main reasons you bring up is that NetInfo overrides /etc. You mean like NIS does? And in fact there is even more to it than that, and this makes OS X very very UNIX. That being that OS X has run levels. And when you run at level 1 (single user mode) all configuration is in fact done from reading /etc as the NetInfo daemon isn't running. When you go to a multiuser runlevel, then the NetInfo daemon is loaded to handle configuration. The reason for this is that it makes remote administration easier because you don't have to ssh into a desktop user's box and run vi to start editing text files. You can just run the NetInfo utility and have it connect to that users box and do your config in a nice easy GUI. Or you can just go ahead and configure the user's box to use the NetInfo Daemon on your OSX Server (or any LDAP) server to take care of the configuration. Very nice!

One of your other complaints is that X isn't included by default and that &quot;Apple doesn't even acknowledge it's existence&quot;. Well if you don't like Aqua or Quartz or DisplayPDF or any of the amazing GUI innovations that Next/Apple have come up with, you don't have to use them. At the login, just provide &gt;console for the username. This kills the Window and UI servers and dumps you down to a console with a familiar text &quot;login:&quot; prompt. From there you can login as usual and start at your nice csh or bash prompt. You can then run startx (if you have installed XFree86, which YES Apple acknowledges it's existence. I know this because I installed it using the official XDarwin.sit package I downloaded from Apple's website.) and there you find the very UNIX like twm running. Or maybe you configured your .xinitrc to start up Gnome instead. Or maybe KDE. Did you know both environments have been ported to OS X? Pretty damn impressive for something that according to you is not UNIX.

Of course this brings up the question of...Why the hell would you want to?

Before I bought my TiBook in December (my first mac ever) I worked about 80% on a Debian Potato + Ximian desktop and the other 20% on Windows 2000. Now I work entirely on my TiBook running OS X. It's just awesome. Mail.app is by far the best email program I've ever used anywhere (and it only got better with Jaguar). iMovie rocks. Importing video from my digital Sony camcorder couldn't be easier. I wouldn't even know where to begin to try and do that on Linux or Windows. iTunes is the best MP3 player hands down (oh and did you know you can use LAME to do the encoding?) and I liked it so much I bought an iPod, which isn't just an mp3 player, but quite a decent and FAST firewire drive.) I love that when I plug in my digital camera through USB, that iPhoto just pops up and starts downloading the pictures. 3 more clicks and they are published to my .Mac webpage.

How about Third-Party apps? BBEdit is awesome. Chimera is bloody fast and anything it can't handle there is Mozilla. Photoshop! Dreamweaver! How about games? Warcraft III need I say more?

By now you might be saying how does any of that qualify me as being able to say how useful Mac OS X is for people that have been depending on Linux for their desktop in order to do hardcore development. Well, I am a sysadmin and developer for a 14 server debian linux cluster. I do all the development on my TiBook. Apache, Perl, PHP, CVS, gcc, C, Object C, C++, Java, it's all there out of the box once you install the Developer Tools CD. (how does the fact that gcc is installed from a second cd instead of the first mean it's not included &quot;as part of the distribution.&quot; Debian ships on like 7 CDs. Does that mean anything not included on the first CD (like for instance XFree86) isn't part of the Debian distribution?) I only use my Linux desktop computer do the final compile of programs into .debs before they are installed onto our servers. That's it!

Now lets throw in some wizbang features that no other OS has that I'm aware of. How's the bluetooth support in Linux or any other OS? Are you surprised to find out that I'm posting this while connected to the Internet through GPRS using my Ericsson T68 transmitting to it via my D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter. Do that on Linux. How about syncing my addressbook and calendar (iCal rules) with that on my phone over bluetooth? Yes it can be done easy enough even though iSync isn't out yet. Jonas Salling has made wonderful utility that does just that to tide us over until Apple delivers. All this bluetooth stuff can also be accomplished over infrared if I prefer. I have the option.

Well I think that is probably enough for now. Any questions?

14 Sep 2002 20:46 cesaracardoso

Somebody should have slapped Tim O'Reilly long ago...
...because I see now no difference between his MacOS X fanboy position and all Slashdot trolls.

14 Sep 2002 20:49 kme

Re: OSX will fail

> So why Hollywood seems to prefer Final
> Cut Pro/Mac than Adobe Premiere/Win or
> any Linux Solutions ?
> True there are also linux clusters for
> calculus but that is something you can
> do on ANY unix, if you have the software
> (MPI and PVM exist nearly for any OS)

Granted Linux has been weak on Multimedia and Graphics stuff. But its getting better. And while the studios could use any Unix for the cluster stuff, they dumped Unix and picked Linux. This says alot. Even SGI has seen the writing on the wall for IRIX. Some of those studios are even switching to Linux on their develop desktops. I'm not sure but I read something on the Lord of the Rings guys in NZ using Linux work stations :-)

> About Office, the compatibility was
> needed because there was no other way to
> get it before. true it's also one Apple
> switch reason but as i said which is
> needed more is interoperability and now
> you can achieve with OpenOffice.

True but Open Office also runs on Linux and Windows So you don't even need MS Office for interoperability. So why pick OSX? I gues what I don't see is the compelling reason to switch to mac from windows.

The mac interface has always been better than windows according to popular conception. Yet people have not switched. The fact that OSX is still better than windows (and I believe it is) is still the same as before. Still no reason to switch. The reasons people did not switch before still remain. Now if Apple switched to Intel that would be another story. But that would kill their hardware business.

> I don't remember Solaris or AIX have
> Office.

But Solaris is not a desktop system. If it were not for servers where would Solaris be? Even Sun is not pushing it on the desktop. They are coming out with Linux instead. Solaris is completely dead on the desktop except for some very specialized uses and Linux will soon kill that off. Lets not even look at AIX on the desktop.

> yes, Apple is neither Sun, nor IBM, but
> i think they have some time before
> closing (some billions bank credits,
> little compare to Ms but sufficient)
>

Yes Apple probably is not going anywhere any time soon. But t thats the problem, they will just tread water, with no upside potential and plenty of downside. There will be little new adoption and potential for many defections. Thats my prediction. Check this out this time next year. Apple will ether have maintained its market share or lost some. Linux will have gained share. I predict!!

> Sow hy switch to OSX stay with Windows
> !
> % All of the above you get with
> Windows!!
> % why switch indeed?!!
> %
>
>
> because MacOS X stands higher than
> windows, true UNIX based, and Mac
> easyness.
> but i think you don't believe me, do you
> ?

I believe you OSX is beter than windows but so was MacOS 8 & 9. People still did not switch. The problem for Apple is that its advantages are not compelling enough to over come its disadvantages. And its still hard to use if you are not familiar with it. A friend recently let me have their iBook with OSX on it for a day. I thought it looked good but was clunky and hard to use. Thats probably because it was unfamiliar, but still why would I switch to it? When I first switched to Linux I was fed up with windows and I had never heard of Linux before. I only had a vague notion of Free Software, but still I never thought of switching to macs, which I was very familiar with. Most people will I think take the same stance even with OSX.

>
> Get some consultant stuff and you see
> that TCO on Mac is lower than windows.
> don't speak about Linux
> (searchwindowsmanageabi...)

That may be true, but why go with a single vendor anyway on the basis of current TCO? Remember TCO is still a projection. Once Apple has you whats to prevent them from jacking up the cost on you? At least with Linux I can trust TCO calculations better, because I can compete much of the stuff in there e.g support, certainly hardware and even the software itself since switching distributions is much easier than switching OSes

> sorry but i have not seen many direct
> use of camera or video camera on Linux
> (or windows)
> there is much time where there is some
> kernel module or userland program to
> compile or install.

That is true but at least Linux is getting better in those regards. Those advantages of OSX and Windows are getting less compelling evryday and not more so. Even Wine is useful in that regard. I'm running my kids software under wine in Debian. Most of it doesn't work true, but She has good Debian stuff that she likes and enough of her favorites work to keep her happy for now. The thing is I'm sure the pile of stuff that does'nt work will get smaller and smaller as time passes. That enables me to stay with Linux rather than switch. Especially since I have other powerful reasons to stick with it (freedom)

> depends on what you do, writing or
> playing mp3 is fast & easy on every
> platform (except if you ask user to
> compile his soft), connecting the world
> more difficult (take a look to iSync
> which synchronizes your phone, Palm,
> IPod and Mac data in one button ...)
>
> In general MacOS X is as customisable as
> windows, if not more.

True, but thats not enough. The past has proved that.

> don't think so. but it will always be
> partial for anyone, some tech hints:
> UNIX base, IPv6 (not option), True RFC
> compliant IPSec (see freeswan doc for
> compliant info, or win one), easy
> integration with LDAP, Kerberos,
> Rendezvous, ...
>
> MacOS X is more open than Win or compare
> to Ms tech: kernel, Rendezvous, MPEG-4
> support, ...

Again I agree, but it doe not matter. Like you say in prior post ordinary users don't really care about those. They wont switch because of them.

> %
> % I'm sorry for Apple but its too late
> to
> % save themselves from the yawning
> chasm
> % of bottomless irrelevancy.
>
>
> Apple Expo, France was one of the
> biggest ever seen and it is one of the
> biggest European show.
>
> wait and see ...
>

If Apple is to be the Unix desktop of the future, its real fight is against windows (ironically enough). And it ca'nt win there. OSX changes nothing. Its better than windows but that has not gotten it anywhere in the past. It will not now. Apple is quite killable by MS unlike Linux. At the same time Apple will still be squeezed by Linux and Windows in the market place.

Linux too must fight MS to be the Unix desktop of the future. But Linux has some key advantages. It makes both technical and business sense for enterprises. As it keeps getting better it will become more compelling on those counts. It runs on multiple hardware, it comes from multiple vendors, its supported by multiple businesses and it increasingly gets the job done. Thats good business sense. You are right that interoperability is what matters. But Linux gains as much from that as Apple.

I'll repeat my prediction Apple will either maintain desktop market share over the next year or lose it. Linux will gain substantially. And I 'm talking worldwide. Most of those countries considering Linux for the desktop, probably won't even look at OSX.

14 Sep 2002 21:07 smchris

Re: Freedom to choose

In an ideal world, I think we would have a fun face-to-face discussion of computer history over a couple beers. I assure you living in Jamaica wasn't an essential qualification to finding a Mac (or Apple) expensive. I wrote my first assembly routine for a ZX81 when I filled 16K and had to store a logical array in bits. :) -- Literally the first purchase I made with a credit card because I couldn't handle the up-front "expense" of a ZX81.

Harsh truth. The phrase I've always used for the Mac Fanatic is "yuppie twit". Five reasons:

1. Experience. I've worked in an educational environment where we always used PCs but the visiting instructors "needed" Macs because they were "creative talent". Of course, they brought virus-riddled floppies with them and within a couple days, _we_ were supposed to fix the Macs _for_ them even though we told them we never used them and had rented the machines especially for them.

2. If there is anything more irritating than Bill Gates talking about the "freedom to innovate" (as if Microsoft ever innovated ANYTHING except Microsoft Bob and Clippy), it is the Mac Fanatic claiming Apple innovated EVERYTHING.

True, Apple adopted some very good innovations:

a. Postscript allowed them to _own_ desktop publishing. The GUI? Forget it! I'm serious. Forget it!! Ventura publisher for the PC had a GUI. Like all pre-Windows DOS GUI PC programs of the time, the company that created the program included the video, mouse and printer drivers. And Ventura Publisher was big time with its own magazine. But Postscript was invaluable. The ability to see what the printed page would look like in 300 dpi before sending the file to the commercial publisher? Unbeatable! Seriously, PC app producers didn't begin to catch on to the crucial importance of Postscript drivers and printing Postscript to file until about 1988 and, by then, it was too late.

b. Desktop SCSI. Maybe not the biggest thing with today's CPU speeds, DMA, ATA100 and on-board cache, but it was cool then.

c. Currently, Firewire. Anyone prefer USB 2?

BUT:

3. Like you, when I learned the Mac OS had cooperative multitasking until about (what?) '97 and Windows 95 was, at its foundation, the more advanced OS, I was ROTFL. Especially since I was dual-booting NT and OS/2 at the time. Explained why, when I applied for a help desk job around then and they noted my relative lack of Mac experience, one interviewer said, "You know, Macs crash a lot more than the advertising would lead you to believe." Also, the monitors were typically small and I remember a book explaining why the Mac resolution was rather poor. And I _really_ like TWO mouse buttons. All that _and_ an opportunity to pay Apple prices and service charges!

4. I would _want_ PCs to be expensive? The way a lot of people got PCs was building them with hand-me-downs and cheap boards out of Borneo. That's freedom to take a chance even if the hardware sometimes ran the risk of crashing more often than the matched and standardized components in a Mac. The original Mac "1984" ad was almost literally Orwellian propaganda ("Freedom is slavery") because it was the closed and dictatorial Apple system wagging a finger at the mongrel and chaotic PC industry that was nonetheless free to innovate.

5. The color-scheme and designer-box years have totally turned me off. I remember some worthless protoplasm of a TV fashion critic explaining once how we had thankfully "EVOLVED" beyond last year's fashion. PLEEAASSEE!! I get that same creepy and clammy feeling of a wasp walking on the back of my neck when Apple talks about how crucial fashion has become to the PC industry. If I _really_ feel the overwhelming need for a "blueberry" case, I'll make a trip to the auto parts store for some spray paint and gloss, thank you. Or buy a designer case? Apple has quit suing them now?

So a lot of karma Apple and the Mac users I have known need to live down before I will get excited about OS X.

There's a sixth reason that you allude to several times too, but is difficult to say simply. Basically, it is the two-pronged aspect of computer usage. If you need to write a memo, do a spreadsheet, visit a web site, then StarOffice, Office, WordPerfect Suite, WHATEVER work fine, right? And that's because SIMPLE WORK USES SIMPLE TOOLS. And that is where linux is rising. Why pay Microsoft Office prices to do the SIMPLE when Open Office is available? [Note: yes, I'm using "simple" in a psychological, human factors sense. I'm hardly implying that Open Office is a one-day, knock-off project.] You mention programming robotics. Well, obviously now a person has to understand programming and computer science and IT IS NO LONGER SIMPLE. Complex, creative computer work requires complex tools and a comprehensive understanding of whatever computer platform one is using -- AND ALWAYS WILL.

The point is that discussion of how "simple" a Mac makes work has an idiotic element to it because one is almost invariably discussing how much "simpl_er_" one is making the _already_ SIMPLE. Even that isn't black and white -- as an author like Neal Stephenson whom I understand writes his novels in emacs would probably be happy to argue. "Simple" can be in the eye of the particular user.

Now linux has come to the point of offering the SIMPLE nearly as well as it has always offered the COMPLEX and it does so OPENLY and FREELY. Not that profound, really, but a fantastic formula for an excellent environment. Apple? Man, I don't know. You might think oddly from my rant, I actually wish them well because I think diversity has intrinsic value. But now that I'm settling into what a couple recent surveys have said is the #2 OS world-wide, why would anyone want to invest effort in adopting a proprietary OS with limited software choices that is now #3?

14 Sep 2002 21:51 budnca

Mac OS X is Unix
The question and debate about whether Mac OS X is truly Unix or not was debated online a long time ago on slashdot.com and osopinion.com. The reason for the debate was the fact that the name Unix belongs to the Open Group (www.unix-systems.org/). Here's the url to the concluding article on osopinion concluding that OS X was Unix-like though not true Unix and therefore not recognized by the Open Group: www.osopinion.com/perl.... It should be noted that a footnote at the very bottom of the article contains a link to the Open Group web site. After hearing about the question of Apple's OS X position in relation to other unices, the Open Group updated their web site to include Apple as a company supporting the unified Unix specification:
www.unix-systems.org/w....
So, as far as the Open Group is concerned, OS X is as Unix as any other flavor out there. Just because OS X is different in its installation than the type of Unix you use does not make it not Unix. What Unix is is determined by the body that controls the use of the name Unix, which is the Open Group.

15 Sep 2002 00:27 genesishep

Re: Eh ?
"I'll skip over "O'Reilly's

Argument" as polls are not

ever to be trusted. Also M$ own

a portion of Apple, so I'd rather not go

there either. But just to say, if Apple didn't

have Office and IE, there would be no Apple,

or rather Apple will be much much smaller

than it is today."

I don't really disagree with any of your post except the quote above. This little inaccuracy just bugs the hell out of me and mostly it's because of that movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley" which ends by saying that Microsoft owns part of Apple. Several years ago M$ purchased 150Million dollars worth of NON VOTING Apple stock. Equivalent to less than %5 of the company then. M$ sold off the stock once Apple started making money shortly afterwards (Making a nice profit I might add). In closing, M$ owns no part of Apple...the 5 year technology agreement is nearly expired and at NO TIME did M$ own any voting stock nor did they have the ability to make any/voice any suggestions or demands to Apple during the time they did own the shares.

15 Sep 2002 00:32 genesishep

Re: I can't believe someone spent their time to write this.

>
> Dear Poof,
>
> The only moron I've seen here so far is
> you. What are you doing on freshmeat at
> all? Do you think clues will just rub
> off on you? Don't count on it.
>
> My opinion of Apple lovers has always
> been that they are a bunch effete,
> developmentally arrested liberals with a
> vastly undeserved superiority complex.
> Thanks for validating my opinion.
>
> P.S. You probably think Java is a system
> language, don't you.
>

Odd how his comment paints no better picture of him

15 Sep 2002 01:42 genesishep

Re: Mac OS X is Unix

> The question and debate about whether
> Mac OS X is truly Unix or not was
> debated online a long time ago on
> slashdot.com and osopinion.com. The
> reason for the debate was the fact that
> the name Unix belongs to the Open Group
> (www.unix-systems.org/). Here's
> the url to the concluding article on
> osopinion concluding that OS X was
> Unix-like though not true Unix and
> therefore not recognized by the Open
> Group:
> www.osopinion.com/perl....
> It should be noted that a footnote at
> the very bottom of the article contains
> a link to the Open Group web site. After
> hearing about the question of Apple's OS
> X position in relation to other unices,
> the Open Group updated their web site to
> include Apple as a company supporting
> the unified Unix specification:
> www.unix-systems.org/w....
> So, as far as the Open Group is
> concerned, OS X is as Unix as any other
> flavor out there. Just because OS X is
> different in its installation than the
> type of Unix you use does not make it
> not Unix. What Unix is is determined by
> the body that controls the use of the
> name Unix, which is the Open Group.

THANK YOU I have been looking for this snippet of information for nearly 2 weeks now and couldn't remember where I had read it. I went to the Open Group website at one point but somehow I missed it.

15 Sep 2002 02:33 fafhrdgm

*sigh*
Like many people commenting on this article, I signed up for an account just to do so. I am a GNU/Linux user. I am a Macintosh user. Funny enough, I use GNU/Linux on my macintosh powerbook.

My journey with OS X was a pleasant one, although recently it ended sadly. It seems HFS+ can only survive so many system crashes, and since it seems all of the really handy network connectivity apps froze my system constantly, I found myself in the same boat as I did with NT3.51 and it's supposedly journaled filesystem -- an unbootanble system. Granted, HFS+ isn't journaled, but Apple also claims OS X doesn't crash that much. ;-) It seems I was the only mac user I know that Jaguar brought more trouble too, rather than good, but I digress.

The author of the article clearly is either trying to get someone's goat (like the OS X community) or simply doesn't actually understand what constities a UNIX system. As far as official-ness goes, certification (read: giving money) to the Open Group is the only way I know to officially call a UNIX system a UNIX system. So in that way, neither OS X or GNU/Linux is UNIX. (Heck, even NT has a POSIX layer.)

The flat files stored in /etc are not necessarily the &quot;right&quot; way if storing config data as well. After programming the Linux and Solaris daemons for a product for a company I worked at recently, I would have saved days (DAYS!!!!) not having to create a modular and generic enough config file parser that could tackle any of the formats found in /etc. Granted, when administrating, flat config files are great, IMHO. Readable, easy, fast. Programmatically, they are awful compared to a sytem call which works on a key-value pair.

The author's posts defending his article also confuse me. He really, really believes he isn't a troll. I have my gripes about OS X, and I believe that Linux on my powerbook is INSANELY more responsively than OS X, but wow -- reread your article a couple of times there, guy. Can't you see how it seems to most everyone that you are just trying to piss people off with your nonsensical words?

GNU/Linux is great, but it isn't &quot;the one true way.&quot; I like it, you like it, OS X users may or may not like it, but they prefer their UNIX-like OS.

15 Sep 2002 04:10 draos

Is OS X Unix?
Many points in the article are valid, but the case of 'OS X not being Unix' is weak. For example:

JPR: &quot;Further, show me a Linux distribution that ignores /etc and stores its configuration data in a binary registry. &quot;

AIX

JPR: &quot;...gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities (even fortune) that make Unix Unix&quot;

Commercial Unix vendors continuously change they policies of &quot;bundling&quot; (or not) development tools and such. When I worked with Solaris and AIX cc was an at-cost option. When I worked with (late and lamented) Interactive even TCP/IP was at-cost option!

So, is OS X Unix? It is. Is it viable drop-in replacement for Linux, Solaris, AIX workstation? I'll agree with JPR: probably not.

Bonzi

15 Sep 2002 05:26 OreoCookie

Personal Preference
Although not being technically correct I consider both, Linux and MacOS X a Unix system.

At least, it doesn't make any difference at all from my point of view whether I work with Linux, Tru64 or MacOS X.

I have an iBook running X, my computer at work is an AlphaStation running Tru64 and I have also access to various Linux workstations.

I am not limited with my OS X computer in any way, on the contrary.

As a long time computer user, I am probably influenced most by my first one -- an Amiga 500. I have seen that you don't have to configure easy stuff in the shell.

Why do I have to edit text files when I want to configure my printer. With OS X I plug it in and print.
You will probably argue that Linux isn't the ‘right thing for me' then.

I don't care. The point is that I want to get my jobs done. I have to edit numerous text files for my numerical calculations. I have to write my own shell scripts, too. I write and test them on my iBook and use them on the AlphaStation.

Do I care about the tools you mentioned? Nope, I have installed the Developer Tools as well as fink. I don't think it is that difficult for a computer savvy to figure out to install Developer Tools on a separate CD. That you can also download for free.

As far as I am concerned, I have everything *I* need: TeX, GnuPlot, Octave, vim, etc.

The only thing I don't have is an f95 compiler that I'd need to run my simulations at home.
Last time I checked, there is no f95 compiler available *for free* for Linux (we had to pay big bucks for ours).

After all, OS X gets my job done, I got ‘Unix' (as explained above). So why don't you spare us all with your polemics and tell the truth.

OS X is not a big iron ‘Unix' (yet) or a solution to everything/everyone. Neither is Linux.

But certainly for some, [put in your OS of preference] is the better choice. For me, it happens to be OS X. Move on.

15 Sep 2002 05:31 mmuman

what about...

If you're looking for a UNIX for your Desktop, what about BeOS ?

Ok, no troll, BeOS is NOT Unix, but seeing how you depict Unix here (bash, fortune, gcc, ...), BeOS has it all. So it looks like BeOs is more Unixish than OSx X is :P

Let's look at what BeOS offers:

- it's not multiuser (actually the kernel is, but the GUI support isn't here, for now), but neither was windows 98 or MacOS 9, and it will change anyway,

- it has a /etc, though most apps use ~/config/settings and binary files, but not in a huge bloated registry, you still can read the files with proper tools.

- it has better than MsOffice (Gobe Productive, and a port of OpenOffice.org has begun, check BeUnited (beunited.org/) ),

- it's being rewritten from scratch as FreeSoftware (MIT license), at OpenBeOS (openbeos.org/),

- it "just works", no need to take 3 hours to compile mplayer, I watch Divx on my K6-2 350, play mp3s, burn CDs, code, ... everything,

- and last but not least, it has XEmacs (clapcrest.free.fr/revo...) :P (vi is here too),

really, even if Palm abandonned it, it's more developping than it never was. Look forward to hear from it soon !

shot 1 (clapcrest.free.fr/revo...),
shot 2 (clapcrest.free.fr/revo...),
shot 3 (clapcrest.free.fr/revo...).

15 Sep 2002 07:41 JimPolaski

Re: Reasons, I don't think so Paul..
"From my experiences, and the experiences of friends who've tried to move from *nix to OS X, that "real BSD Unix" is quite hidden and burried... as it should be for a desktop-focused operating system. But that's why OS X, out of the box, is, IMO, not Unix".

is what you said. IMHO, you're the post calling the kettle black. Nothing mroe than your own form of being an elitist! You choose semantics and rhetoric to say Mac OS X is not Unix, if only because it does not *present* itself as Unix does, with the tools you are familiar with.

That is in keeping with what the Mac has always been, "The computer for the rest of us"!

You're what manhy call a "pocket protector." You're very happy taking Linux, which it not in its present sat a desktop product and tweaking, tinkering, compiling, configuring(much like DOS, I might add) to make it work as a desktop. The Mac just works.

While all your Linux chanting is great in the server segment, it fails elsewhere because to function as a desktop, a useable, cost effective desktop will rasie TCO to mroe than unacceptable levels. And TCO can eat an IS department. But then why wouldn't you want Linux? It, like Windows keeps the IS guys in jobs and that is , for most IS guys the name of the game. keep the budget up and the job safe. BTW, go find us one TCO study that shows Linux as a desktop or Windows as a desktop as having lower TCO than Macs.

Keep your Linux for your servers running Apache( did anyone tell you Mac OS X comes with Apache, btw?), but many, many users who are not into programming just don't want to venture into open source, compiling, searching, tweaking...it't too damn time consuming so I can't get any actual WORK done.

I want stuff to just work, I don't want to have to seek solutions in the open source world, chase someone to ficx what I need fixed since I'm not a programmer and don't ahve the time to be one either. By your definition, anyone owning an automobile, is goofy since they aren't engineers, mechanics and do all their own repairs.

You've done little more than disguise the old saw that "If it ain't hard, it isn't good"

Cmon, Paul, think clearly!

And for those who think Apple needs M$ to survive, perhaps think again. OmniWeb/moxzilla/Chimera give the Mac OS wonderful browsers. As for Office, M$ has made a wonderful Mac native product and it's even better by many opinions than its Windows version.

It's also bloatwear and overpriced. Who wants to buy a package that is half the cost of the hardware? And you think Macs are overpriced? Please.

Go check out "ThinkFree office" which for $69 provides all the office features perhaps 98% of the users out there need. More than ever, Apple is becoming less dependent on M$.

15 Sep 2002 10:38 SpikeyAustin

Bunch of silly complaints...
This article is so absurd, I hardly know where to begin. I don't give a damn about your opinion that at installation time OS X doesn't exactly fit your needs. OS X, like other Unixes, or Linux, is sufficiently malleable that you can have it behave (for the most part) as you would expect.

The only thing that Netinfo shares with the registry is that it stores the data in some binary format. However, it is not the every application's back yard for whatever trash they want to write... Netinfo is strictly for network and user configuration... applications have their own separate per-user preference files, device drivers have their own scheme, etc. And if you want OS X to participate in a Unix network sharing accounts through NFS mounts and NIS, it can.

The idea of having to put the development system in the installation CD's is pointless. It is very easy to install it after the fact, it is in fact freely available to anyone who has OS X, but most of Apple's clientele would not need to install it, and thus would only add to an already fairly long installation period.

Not having root enabled by default was an explicit decision by Apple done for security purposes. Earlier versions of OS-X, particularly the prereleases of 10.0, did have a root account enabled by default. If you want it bad enough, you CAN enable it. Sudo is sufficient enough for the rest of us that care.

Once again, X Windows is available (thanks to open-source efforts). We don't need Apple working on that UI, since it will be impossible to make it completely integrated with Apple's look and feel and set it up such that newbies could work with it without messing with complex configuration, which is after all Apple's main drive. It is only important to people that come from a UNIX with X Windows background, and considering most of them are power users that understand its peculiarities, it is sufficient that it is available, and that you can install any window manager or whatever on top of it. In fact you can shut down the default Aqua GUI and start with a full screen X session.

Now, I used to work with Linux, before the current OS X operating systems, but I got tired of having to learn so much just to configure one simple subsystem, just to set it up that first time. The fact that Apple takes care of those details for me means that I don't have to waste time in it. And that time spent in initial configuration is much, much bigger than you let on.

Complaining that Microsoft ported their Word application to OS X is a non-issue. The entire point of having that support is that Word, Excel and PowerPoint are pretty much standard in many businesses, including the one that I work for. Having access to those applications made the difference on whether or not I could use OS X at work.

I am sorry you feel so threatened by the acceptance OS X has been seeing with people who used to work with Linux. In my opinion, as powerful and useful Linux is, there is a real need for systems that are basically plug-and-play Unixes, for people like me that want to start doing productive work immediately. Before OS X was a reality, I used Linux because I really had no choice... I did not want to suffer under an infuriating and incompatible environment such as Microsoft Windows, so I had to tolerate the hand holding Linux needs in the beginning of its life. Now that I don't I happily switched to OS X. And OS X is as powerful as even you need it. Just like Linux, if you want to wrest control from the likes of Netinfo, you will have to do some digging to do it.

15 Sep 2002 11:45 mholve

I like my "Unix" just fine...
Mac OS X might be &quot;Unix-based&quot; but I still like it better than X11 and the &quot;Linux way.&quot; Each have their place, but sorry - my desktop is a Mac. After using Linux for the last decade and finding that it was going nowhere as a desktop OS, I made the &quot;switch&quot; last year - and haven't looked back.

Sure, my servers still run Solaris and Linux and always will... But on the desktop? Linux lost.

15 Sep 2002 12:30 Avatar woods

OS X is a far better Unix than any Linux!!!!!
"no gcc or gdb"!?!?!?!? "didn't even have bash"!?!?!?!

Those utilities DO NOT make a "Unix system" a Unix System!

And who wants X11 when you can have something that's at least a few decades newer and arguably a lot better?

I'm afraid Mr. Reed you've come off sounding extremely naive and narrow-minded.

I hate to repeat what others have said perhaps far more eloquently than I'm doing, but OS X really is a far better Unix implementation than any Linux has ever managed to be.

15 Sep 2002 21:53 JeffGagne

Missing the pont...
It's (un)thinking like this that hurts Linux. Lets not forget,
the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

16 Sep 2002 01:56 miranda

Hmmm... lowdown
Well, here it is. And her we are. It seems as though a
lot of people were, to put it lightly, unsettled by this
article. I can understand why. I can also understand
Paul's stance, albeit in my own way. Regarding the
former, I see that there is DEFINITELY a need to be
able to install an operating system on a machine and,
without much fuss, jump immediately into burning CDs,
writing articles, editing images, instant messaging,
scanning photos, watching T.V. (if you have video-input
hardware), etc. Under OSX, I can do this. Under Linux,
I am BOTH (a.) required to fuss around with things and
waste time, and (b.) lured by my own tempation to
twiddle and turn lots of knobs in order to get
everything &quot;just right&quot; and secure (like I would with a
server). I think the latter is primarily the result of habit
--- when I configure even a Linux desktop machine, I go
through a lot, though not all, of the same steps that I
would were the machine intended to be a server. That
being said, I do feel the need to separate the two
worlds --- desktop machine and
{hack,development,server} machine. I don't know
what Paul's expectations are with respect to desktop
machines --- is it possible that he expects both
&quot;worlds&quot; to live on the same machine? If so, I don't
think it's an unreasonable expectation. But why, then,
the battle with the O'Reilly article? It's possible that he
feels threatened by the possibility that many may
migrate to a platform whose qualities, as brought forth
in the O'Reilly article, Paul feels do not deserve much
merit. As I said in the beginning of this comment, I can
understand this, as I am currently experiencing an
aspect of this. I'm currently delegated to managing a
group of servers, all of which happen to be Linux boxes
--- all but one, which is an OSX Server machine.
Because of the role that this machine needs to play,
and because of my need to be able to administer this
server in a way that is most confluent with my &quot;flow&quot; ---
that being a flow which I've adopted from administering
many Linux machines --- I have felt degrees of
frustration. As a result, I've found myself in a similar
stance, attitude-wise, with Paul: my frustrations have
grown beyond the machines themselves and have
managed to extend outward toward the owner of said
servers --- that is, I've let my anger build up so much,
at times, that my words have come out rather sharp at
said owner whenever the topic of OSes arises.

So, like I said, I can see both sides of it. I actually
happen to use a Mac as my desktop machine, while the
other machines sitting beside it all run Linux. When I
want to hack or code, I login to one my my Linux
servers --- easy as that. I get to have the best of both
worlds.

Michael

16 Sep 2002 02:16 Ershler

A do it all laptop
I really have nothing against Linux. It's just that there is virtually nothing you can actually on Linux that you can't do on OS X.

Now let's see, I can get everything I'll ever need for hardcore *nix either from the OS X distribution or from fink. Fink is built on top of the Debian Package manager.

OS X is a main branch of the XFree86 project. I can run X11 by itself and the machine looks just like a Linux box. I can run X11 in rooted mode and toggle back and forth between X11 and the Aqua interface in a few hundred milliseconds. I can also run X11 rootless and interleave X11 windows and Aqua windows as I please. While I'm doing that I can be editing video with sophisticated software like Final Cut Pro or if I just want to whip something out quickly I can use iMovie (so can my grandmother). iTunes keeps all my mp3's in order and accessible or synced with my iPod. I love digital photography. I've got thousands of images organized and easy to browse. This is all made possible from iPhoto. Gimp ain't bad, but I doubt you'll find anybody who earns their living as a digital photographer that doesn't use Photoshop. If I need a &quot;FULLY compatible MS Word&quot; processor I've got it. When I'd rather &quot;keep my hands and soul clean&quot; I've got options. Likewise as a medical researcher, lately many of the conferences I attend won't even let the presenters use slides anymore. You must have a PowerPoint compatible file.

The new Quartz Extreme compositing engine is the most advanced screen management system available on any mainstream computer. It handles PDF and OpenGL together seamlessly and hands most of the heavy lifting off to the graphics chip for processing leaving the processor free for other tasks.

If I walk into a *nix installation and want to &quot;join the crowd&quot; I can fit right in. I've got ssh, NFS, NIS, LDAP, ipSEC, PPTP and just about any other bit of alphabet soup you care to name. As of OS X 10.2, the whole printing system is sitting on CUPS. For the uninitiated, CUPS stands for Common UNIX Printing System. I can (heaven forbid) even make connections (client or server) with Windows networks. I've got Apache for web serving and sendmail for mail duties although if I ever really need mail facilities I'd rip out sendmail and replace it with PostFix. I can communicate with 802.11 wireless networks and can talk to Bluetooth devices. I can browse for network devices and functionality on an IP network with Rendezvous (an open standard).

When I need to work, I've got all the tools I could possibly need. When I want to play or &quot;prove my manhood&quot; by getting down and dirty with *nix I can do it. Or I can do it both at the same time.

All of this functionality is on a laptop about an inch thick. Can you show me any Linux based laptop that can manage all these jobs? Linux is fine but for a universal, portable, do anything, connect to anything or anywhere system OS X sure floats my boat.

16 Sep 2002 08:02 opless

Re: Eh ?

> "I'll skip over "O'Reilly's
> Argument" as polls are not
> ever to be trusted. Also M$ own
> a portion of Apple, so I'd rather not go
> there either. But just to say, if Apple
> didn't have Office and IE, there would be no
> Apple, or rather Apple will be much much
> smaller than it is today."
>
> I don't really disagree with any of your
> post except the quote above. This
> little inaccuracy just bugs the hell out
> of me and mostly it's because of that
> movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley" which
> ends by saying that Microsoft owns part
> of Apple. Several years ago M$
> purchased 150Million dollars worth of
> NON VOTING Apple stock. Equivalent to
> less than %5 of the company then. M$
> sold off the stock once Apple started
> making money shortly afterwards (Making
> a nice profit I might add). In closing,
> M$ owns no part of Apple...the 5 year
> technology agreement is nearly expired
> and at NO TIME did M$ own any voting
> stock nor did they have the ability to
> make any/voice any suggestions or
> demands to Apple during the time they
> did own the shares.

I never said that M$ owned any voting stock,
but still they did at one point own *some*.
I hadn't realised they had sold *all* of their
stock either. Point taken though :-)

BTW I hated that film too.

16 Sep 2002 10:53 wfolta

Please take CLUE-101
First you morph &quot;UNIX-based&quot; into &quot;UNIX-like&quot; without so much as a single sentence of justification.

Then you say that OSX ain't UNIX because gcc isn't pre-installed for you. Aw, poor baby. If running an installer on a bundled CD is too hard for you, I'd say your knowledge of UNIX is limited to what you've read about it.

You say that because MacOS X uses Netinfo, it ain't UNIX. Um, if your technical skillz matched your writing fervor, you'd be able to use text files for many if not all Netinfo databases. Lord help you if someone accidentally loaded mysql on your system. (N.B.: it ain't stored in ASCII.)

So lay off the Linux fanaticism. You can do anything with MacOS X that you can do with Linux. Maybe a little more work to get it installed, but a real UNIX hacker has no problem with that.

On the other hand, MacOS X has a user interface that makes your beloved X interfaces look like what they are: GUI's designed by programmers with Art 101 and Gimp.

16 Sep 2002 12:16 pelorus

Resubmit!
Pretty disappointing article. I would have expected more from a Computing Senior. If I were grading this I'd give it an &quot;R&quot; for &quot;Resubmit&quot;.

First you should tell us what a UNIX is. A UNIX is not X11 - don't you have GNU/Linux boxes without X11? Do they respond on port 6000 if XFree86 is not installed? A quick grep of Mac OS X's /etc/services file brings out the following:

#x11 6000-6063/tcp X Window System
#x11 6000-6063/udp X Window System

so Mac OS X knows about X11 certainly.

A UNIX doesn't need to contain any GNU code (because GNU's Not Unix) and fortune...is just a toy. Now, perhaps those were badly chosen examples but it would better to resubmit with some better chosen ones.

According to the Open Group. UNIX is &quot;specification, product, trademark and technology.&quot; You'll also notice that GNU/Linux distributions meet those criteria as much as Mac OS X so whether OSX is a &quot;better&quot; UNIX than GNU/Linux is not the argument. When submitting an essay, always check whether you are actually answering the question. Your &quot;defenses&quot; of GNU/linux appear as just that - defensive. You've got to ask yourself why?

The best argument you provided was the one about NetInfo and pro-flat files and &quot;/etc&quot;. Please research WHY the configuration files are in /etc and also provide a reason why NIS/yp networks and others with a distributed logon system might not be UNIX. The problem here is that you tell us that flat files == UNIX when this simply isn't the case. There's an inference that NetInfo is bad but no evidence to support it.

Finally, a personal comment on the theme. People who use GNU/Linux should not be rounding on those who are using other UNIX-based or UNIX-like systems. Whether or not it will consign Apple to it's apparently deserved oblivion is not for mere speculation but rather a proper subject to be examined and if Mac OS X does indeed fail, then what does that say about UNIX-like systems. How does it benefit the GNU/Linux users? I personally believe that 5 million users of Mac OS X are a benefit to the &quot;unix&quot; community as some of them will bring knowledge and experience that could be valuable. For those of you who develop software for a living, this provides an easy way to get software ported to 5 million more desktops rather than the pain of porting from GNU/Linux to Windows.

My personal view is that if I can migrate people off the administrative nightmare that is Windows, any target will do - even those non-standard UNIX &quot;flavours&quot; like GNU/Linux and Mac OS X.

16 Sep 2002 14:00 dbrutus

Re: Reasons
% The point is this: there is a
> significant difference between a desktop
> operating system that is "Unix-based,",
> and Unix that has a "desktop
> environment" running on top of it. OS X
> is the former and Unix/Linux is the
> latter.

I think you miss the point. An OS does not depend on its category based on a few user modifiable switches. Windows, no matter how many registry entries you change will never be a UNIX (though it can be made to run UNIX programs). Mac OS X, by flipping off the Aqua environment, and setting it to start up into console mode or X-Windows, certainly looks and acts like most UNIX variants available to the common man. Thus, it is a UNIX.

The problem isn't that you can't get a loosely integrated desktop environment, you can, and any mac sysadmin who knows OS X (including me) would be happy to show you how for a fee. The problem is that nobody has been able to accomplish a tightly integrated user interface that is suitable for non-technical people to romp around. That's the technical challenge that Apple took up.

Apple's done it and shipped that configuration as default. And as I said before, flipping a few config bits to turn on one server and not another does not shift an OS either into or out of the UNIX camp.

For some people, a compiler and all the other developer tools are overkill. They don't install the tools. Developers install the developer tools. Gee, what a hassle. You might have to spend a minute before you go out for lunch. Oooh!

Can I open the terminal and type in ps -a, top, or kill -9 without the dev tools? These seem like UNIX behaviors to me and I recall that Terminal.app isn't a dev tool only program.

Defending bad arguments just makes you look worse, cut your losses and move on.

16 Sep 2002 14:21 5tonsflax

Re: hey news for you

> I do agree that overriding cli edited files
> with netinfo is ass backwards.

Little known fact: starting with Jaguar, the
files in /etc are consulted before NetInfo.

16 Sep 2002 14:42 5tonsflax

Re: Reasons

> Its kernel is "real BSD Unix"-based;
> remember, even Apple doesn't claim that
> OS X is Unix. How can you say that when
> the vendor doesn't even try to pass it
> off as "Unix"?

4.4BSD's vendor didn't call it "Unix" either.

> From my experiences, and the experiences
> of friends who've tried to move from
> *nix to OS X, that "real BSD Unix" is
> quite hidden and burried...

I was running unix programs within five
minutes of logging in for the first time.
It's not hard, you just launch Terminal
and there you are.

> OS X, out of the
> box, is, IMO, not Unix.

I've seen a lot of arguments about what is and
isn't unix, but this is the first time I've seen
anyone argue that something could be unix in one
configuration but not-unix in another.

> Everyone's getting hung up on the tools
> I decided to pick; it is clear that a
> compiler does not a Unix system make.

No, but "make" does compile a Unix system. :-)

> The fact that you have to do this proves
> that Apple's focus is not concerned with
> grabbing (or supporting) the Unix
> developer and workstation market, which
> was O'Reilly's argument.

So a company that ships a top-notch development
suite along with its operating system can't be
considered developer-friendly because it takes
an extra step to install that suite?

That's not very convincing.

> It is about clarifying some of the hype
> Apple's supporters (who often epitomize
> zealotry) and Apple's marketing
> department are making about their
> desktop, Unix-based OS.

When you set out to "clarify", it's best to have
your facts straight. The latest release of Mac
OS X looks up information in /etc before it looks
in NetInfo. Other factual errors and omissions
in your essay have been demonstrated by others;
I won't duplicate their work.

> OS X, out of the box,
> doesn't know anything about port 6000.

Neither does SunOS 5, nor many other fine Unix
operating systems.

16 Sep 2002 14:45 5tonsflax

News Flash
Mac OS X is not Linux. News at 11.

16 Sep 2002 16:16 usotsuki

Re: Resubmit!
My definition of UNIX is that it is derived from the System V codebase. If it ain't SVRx, it ain't UNIX, but it might fall under the category of "*x".

16 Sep 2002 17:06 TheWerewolf

Uhm... You *do* know that gcc actually DOES ship with X, don't you?
When I read that gcc didn't ship with X, I have to admit I was a little confused because I've used it on X.

Philosophers will argue ad nauseum as to whether or not something is true. Scientists will just test and know if it's true. Personally, I'd rather be a scientist than a philosopher.

Anyway, Jaguar comes on three CDs - two for the system install and core apps and the third is the developers CD (and if for some reason, you didn't get that CD - you can DL it from Apple for free) and that includes all the GNU tools you like along with Application Builder, which is a very advanced GUI based development system on par with any commercial development tool.

As for bash - it may not have shipped in 10.0, but it's definitely there in 10.2 - I just tried it. My X install is pristeen - just the core install and the dev CD that Apple provides.

I'm sort of amazed someone can write an entire article slamming a product for missing features which aren't actually missing.

Fortune is definitely not there, but as many people here have noted: so what?

Oh, and while we're at it - Apple received certification for Darwin/OSX as a Unix from the owners of the spec and trademark. So, like it or not, MacOS X is Unix - it's just one of the far, far too many flavours of Unix.

I've used and developed on Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, Xenix, Linux, FreeBSD and Unixes all the way back to 1973. Let me make this very, very clear:

MacOS X is simply THE BEST implementation of Unix done so far from the perspective of user experience and ease of use.

Other Unixes may be more robust, more powerful (although how, I'm not sure), but MacOS X is the first Unix which the average person can actually install and use without having to understand anything about what's under the hood (well, mostly).

Finally, I know it's vogue to bash Microsoft, especially in the freesoft crowd, but I use WinXP along side MacOS 9 and MacOS X, and to be honest X doesn't offer much incentive to switch from XP. In fact, as a person who's been a Mac user since 1986 and a Mac developer since 1989, I'm finding it easier to make the switch from 9 to XP than from 9 to X.

Something we have to get past is the confusion between 'all that's needed to make a developer happy' and 'all that's needed to make a retail customer happy'. Businesses live on stability and no matter how you do it - an Office clone, or worse an entirely different app which only has file compatibility, isn't going to be any threat at all to Office. StarOffice isn't doing it. None of them will.

Why? Because for most people, buying Microsoft products means it's safe. Even if it doesn't work, it's safe. Even if it's not safe, it's safe. We used to say 'No one ever got fired for buying IBM' because IBM's products were the standard. Today, Microsoft's products are the standard. With Microsoft, even if you don't like being there, at least you know where you stand.

Oh, and one other note - take an NT class Windows (like WinXP) and buy a copy of Windows Services for Unix and install it - and guess what - Windows becomes POSIX compliant - gcc compiler and bash shell and everything. Most Unix apps will compile in that environment and run fine. Not free - but it's only US$99.

Sorry guys, this article is a non-issue. The last Apple WWDC (World Wide Developer's Conference) was entertaining for all the Linux and BSD geeks running around all excited about MacOS X. From my own experience, X is definitely getting Unix-heads attention and interest.

16 Sep 2002 18:40 macline

Mac OS X is not Unix
Maybe you should have a look at what the OpenGroup (owners of the Unix brand) have to say about Linux:

www.unix-systems.org/w...

&lt;What about Linux?

Developed by Linus Torvalds, Linux is a product that mimics the form and function of a UNIX system, but is not derived from licensed source code. Rather, it was developed independently; by a group of developers in an informal alliance on the net. A major benefit is that the source code is freely available (under the GNU copyleft), enabling the technically astute to alter and amend the system; it also means that there are many, freely available, utilities and specialist drivers available on the net.

Recent versions of Glibc include much functionality from the Single UNIX Specification, Version 2 (for UNIX 98).&gt;

Also, again from the OpenGroup site:

www.unix-systems.org/w...

&lt;The System Interfaces and Headers (XSH)

The Commands and Utilities (XCU) specification describes all of the utilities required in the environment. Some of these utilities &quot;do not need to be present&quot;, being contained in ``packages'' that need not be implemented.

* DEVELOPMENT utilities are those required in a software development environment.
* FORTRAN utilities are required in a FORTRAN-77 development environment, and essentially consists of the compiler, fort77.
* A number of utilities are considered to be &quot;possibly insupportable&quot;, and need not be implemented. These include such commands as lpstat and uulog.&gt;

As an aside, the Netinfo system is more akin to NIS (yp) than the Windows Registry. All the manipulations to the Netinfo database can also be done via the command line by using niutil, niload, nidump, nigrep, nifind, etc. The default lookup mechanism can also be changed as to allow for the /etc flat files to be used before/instead of Netinfo.

GCC, bash and fortune do not a Unix system make. ;-0

I left University back in 1985 and since then have been working with one or another Unix flavour. At the moment I look after systems across 16 European countries, Unix and Unix based/like, from the confort of a PowerBook Titanium and Mac OS X.

We have HP-UX as a SAP platform; AIX for other, in house developed, applications; Solaris based firewalls, as well as Linux as the preferred platform for our proxy servers. Basicaly, we choose the best platform for the job at hand.

Is Mac OS X Unix? I don't really care. What I care about is that it makes my day to day activities more pleasurable, whilst still allowing me to perform admin tasks eficiently.

Perhaps it would be good if you could get your facts right before presenting them. Even though everybody is entitled to his/her on ideas, once they become the basis of a public discussion of sorts, they should stick as close as possible to
reason.

Having said all that, life is far to short to waist time discussing operating systems... Better go and enjoy a beer (not free though!) while I can.

Have a good one!

16 Sep 2002 19:03 pelorus

Re: Resubmit!
Good for you. I see UNIX as being a nice little trademark. SVRx vs BSD-style is just a different polarisation.

16 Sep 2002 19:10 JayBee

Umm, in 10.2 you can use /etc/... very well
As I discovered just recently, NetInfo's default lookup path now includes the /etc files.

They're not first choice by default but that's easy to change and well-documented w/ manpages.

Jens

16 Sep 2002 22:39 jagger2097

Re: Huh?!

>
> I have a Sharp Zaurus, it uses a Linux
> kernal. It didn't come with a bash
> shell pre-installed, is it not Linux
> now? Just silly logic...
>
> I'm typing this on Linux now, I use
> Linux/KDE as my primary OS and desktop.
> I still find this article absurd, and I
> don't even have a Mac.
>
>

Your OS isn't "linux" your kernel is "linux". Your OS is RedHat or Mandrake or Debian hell even GNU/Linux is more approriate.

17 Sep 2002 00:23 mj6798

Can't we all just be friends?
OS X is a pretty and easy to use desktop OS, and its support of lots of UNIX tools is great. But Apple would be foolish to target open source users. Apple clearly can't go it alone, otherwise OS X wouldn't incorporate so much open source software--they need a vibrant open source community.

Apple also doesn't have the goods. People use open source software because openness is important to them. No matter what the technical merits of systems like Cocoa may be, the closed source portions of OS X are, well, closed. They don't even conform to open standards.

Throwing out the challenge to Linux developers &quot;you can't make a desktop as nice as this&quot; is also quite dangerous--Apple may find out quickly that they are very wrong. The only reason Apple hasn't been seriously targeted for open source cloning is because, so far, they have neither been a threat to Linux nor a big factor in the market. And the open source community has a lot more resources and people than Apple.

Apple should focus on recruiting current Windows users--that's where their market is, that's where their expertise is, and they have more than enough technical work on their plate. Apple: don't get sidetracked or foolish.

17 Sep 2002 00:40 mj6798

Re: I don't even have time for this.

> Apple has to
> do SOMETHING to show a difference to justify cost

That's a poor reason to come out with a proprietary window system.

Aqua is a short-term advantage. In the long term, it will cost Apple enormous amounts of unnecessary development resources, it makes their platform unattractive for many applications, and they will keep losing native developers.

Apple would be well advised to look for revenue elsewhere. They make nice hardware and they can offer on-line services. Betting their future on Aqua as a distinguishing feature from open source is foolish.

17 Sep 2002 04:21 mj6798

Re: A do it all laptop

> can run X11 in rooted mode and toggle
> back and forth between X11 and the Aqua
> interface in a few hundred milliseconds.
> I can also run X11 rootless and
> interleave X11 windows and Aqua windows
> as I please.

Yes, we can run it. But it's a low-quality implementation of X11, and it's hard to ship products based on it because the recipients have to install and configure it. This is an intentional strategy--they want to make using X11 a nuisance, and, of course, they blame X11 for being inconvenient.

Apple has pipe dreams of people converting vast amounts of code to Cocoa. It's not going to happen. If they want to play seriously in the UNIX workstation market, they need to improve their X11 support.

17 Sep 2002 04:23 wfzelle

Semantics

When some people think of UNIX, they think of a culture of hackers that developed cool software and published the source. Surely, as people of reason and logic you can accept such a form of the word and there's no explanation for this reaction. Unless you're all trolls.

Most people believe UNIX to be either a kind of OS or a trademark owned by you know who. The writer of the article seems to use the first interpretation (see his arguments on what a UNIX OS should have/do). People are attacking him because of those arguments, not because he likes the Freedom of Linux. You defend an interpretation of the article that no sane man would agree with. What does his criticism of NetInfo have to do with open source? What does a non-default install of gcc have to do with a lack of freedom? How does the possibility to run proprietary software made by a certain company reduce my freedom? I could go on and on. Since you try to defend the article with a nonsensical argument, I can see why you might be called a troll. Your posts have nothing to do with the question of whether OS X is less of a UNIX than Linux, the point most people were actually trying to discuss (and one which the author actually cared to repeat twice, to avoid any misunderstandings). He also noted that Unix is Unix because it ships with a set of utilities ("[...] show me a Linux distribution that doesn't ship gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities (even fortune) that make Unix Unix."). The notion of a culture of hackers is conspicuously absent.

PS. Since you don't seem to understand the article, the only plausible way to convince you is to argue semantics. The only alternative is to debate while talking about different things. Do you consider that constructive?

17 Sep 2002 04:27 mj6798

Re: OS X is a far better Unix than any Linux!!!!!

> And who wants X11 when you can have
> something that's at least a few decades
> newer and arguably a lot better?

Cocoa is basically the same age as X11: their development started in the mid 1980's. Cocoa is also rather dated: Objective-C has little future and it is inferior in most ways to Java and C#. Mark my words: Cocoa will be a major headache for Apple in years to come. X11 is much simpler and much more language neutral and will outlast Apple's GUIs by a long time, and people are already adding the eye candy that OS X is popularizing. In a year, you won't be able to tell the difference as a user.

17 Sep 2002 04:31 mj6798

Re: Bunch of silly complaints...

> it will be impossible to make [X11] completely integrated
> with Apple's look and feel and set it up such that newbies
> could work with it without messing with complex
> configuration, which is after all Apple's main drive.

That's nonsense. Apple could support X11 as another "API" alongside Carbon and Cocoa, completely transparently to users. Apple could have the easiest to use, prettiest X11 on the planet. The reason they don't is purely for strategic reasons.

17 Sep 2002 05:26 wfzelle

Respect?

You sound like a typical Mac user...because I don't agree with everything Apple has ever done or ever said, it's suddenly "anti-Apple propaganda."

I've seen many, many reasonable responses from Mac-users to your article. You, however, take one rotten apple and declare him to be 'a typical Mac user'. I'll be sure to tell the writer of the next 'BSD is dying'-troll that comes along that he sounds like a typical Linux user. After all, what is this world coming to if we cannot generalize and insult a group of fellow human beings?

And yes, I would appreciate apologies to all those Mac users who aren't idiots. You know, the ones that responded to your article with sound arguments, but haven't gotten a response.

17 Sep 2002 22:11 atarola

Re: Huh?!
RedHat an os? My guess is that less than 5% of the code on their CD's were writen by them. That is why they are known as a "Distro".

18 Sep 2002 00:18 TomCondon

Re: OS X is a far better Unix than any Linux!!!!!
Mike, you should spend a little time to educate yourself.

1.) Cocoa is essentially an application framework (actually
a set of related frameworks. Comparing it to X11 is silly.

2.) The windowing system of OS X is a layer underneath
Cocoa. In fact, you need not write a line of Objective-C or
use Cocoa to make native OS X apps. You can use Carbon
and straight C... or C++...

3.) Stating that Aqua (the UI) is somehow tied exclusively
to Cocoa is just plain ignorant.

Take some time to educate yourself before you shoot off
your mouth.

Thank you.

>
> % And who wants X11 when you can have
> % something that's at least a few
> decades
> % newer and arguably a lot better?
>
>
> Cocoa is basically the same age as X11:
> their development started in the mid
> 1980's. Cocoa is also rather dated:
> Objective-C has little future and it is
> inferior in most ways to Java and C#.
> Mark my words: Cocoa will be a major
> headache for Apple in years to come.
> X11 is much simpler and much more
> language neutral and will outlast
> Apple's GUIs by a long time, and people
> are already adding the eye candy that OS
> X is popularizing. In a year, you won't
> be able to tell the difference as a
> user.

18 Sep 2002 21:37 rlk

Re: Resubmit!

> My definition of UNIX is that it is
> derived from the System V codebase. If
> it ain't SVRx, it ain't UNIX, but it
> might fall under the category of "*x".

Hmm. So Version 7 isn't UNIX?

20 Sep 2002 09:20 lepus

Why Linux?
Well, frankly said, I do not really understand the fanaticism surrounding Linux. GNU is a cool
operating system, and a viable UNIX solution, but it has many weak points. One of them is
the Linux kernel.
What we WOULD need is modern, scalable software technology. What we HAVE is something
huge and monstrous thawed from a prehistorical slab of ice, and then decorated with bells
and whistles beyond recognition. Has anybody wondered why hardware comes with factory
drivers for Windows and MacOS, sometimes even for various *NIX flavors, but almost NEVER
for Linux? Do they know that Linux DOESN'T HAVE a unified interface for binary, user-space
drivers? It's not like the hardware manufacturers stroke some infernal deal with BSA to rid
the earth of Open Source... They simply don't want to give their technology out, and as
things stand now, they don't have the RIGHT by LAW to supply closed source drivers for
Linux - if we step beyond the all too obvious technical problems with this.
Also, have a look at WHAT exactly runs in kernel space? Well, more than half of it could as
well run in user space, providing more stability and scalability. Linux was already an outdated
example of proto-unices when it was a mere idea in the head of Linus. Now it's a dinosaur,
trampling great projects like HURD under its feet. &quot;Everybody uses Linux, why work on
anything else?&quot;
Sure, it has nuclear breath and can wreck Tokyo in less than an hour... But what if I want it
to fly? :D

I believe what the UNIX community and the platform itself needs is a new breed of unices,
based on new ideas but maintaining compatibility to old technologies. Things like TRUE i18n
with universal use of Unicode with conversion routines for backward compatibility,
microkernel architectures, a modern device namespace with compatibility fixes, a unified
hardware device driver interface put down in a core standard for POSIX systems, and so on.
MacOS/X is a great new step in this direction. I will be cheering for it, even from the back of
my Linux system. Probably this new wave will reach the Open Source community too, and
hopefully it won't turn its back...

20 Sep 2002 12:36 jm2222

what defines UNIX?
At the end of the day, utilities like GCC, GDB, fortune and X do not define what a UNIX system is - despite that they may come bundled with most UNIXes, so to speak.

GNU do not define UNIX. And neither does your poor and clearly stupid fanaticism for Linux and it's reliance upon Stallman's software (please find me modern Linux-based software that can be easily compiled using a compiler other than gcc).

The only thing, in my mind and I'm sure in the minds of many others, that defines what is a good, compliant UNIX system... is the POSIX standard. After all, MINIX doesn't come with gcc, gdb or X (maybe fortune) - does that mean it's not MINIX? Idiot.

OS X, as far as I know, is POSIX-compliant. That makes you wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. I dread to think what you teach at your university.

23 Sep 2002 09:31 chmod666

Re: Why Linux?
You're talking out of your ass. I have never seen a piece of hardware that comes with drivers for commercieal Unixes. Take NVidia, for example, do you see drivers for SCO, Irix, or any other obscure platforms? No. Even some $7 Taiwanese ethernet card I bought the other day had drivers for Linux.

> Well, frankly said, I do not really
> understand the fanaticism surrounding
> Linux. GNU is a cool
> operating system, and a viable UNIX
> solution, but it has many weak points.
> One of them is
> the Linux kernel.
> What we WOULD need is modern, scalable
> software technology. What we HAVE is
> something
> huge and monstrous thawed from a
> prehistorical slab of ice, and then
> decorated with bells
> and whistles beyond recognition. Has
> anybody wondered why hardware comes with
> factory
> drivers for Windows and MacOS, sometimes
> even for various *NIX flavors, but
> almost NEVER
> for Linux? Do they know that Linux
> DOESN'T HAVE a unified interface for
> binary, user-space
> drivers? It's not like the hardware
> manufacturers stroke some infernal deal
> with BSA to rid
> the earth of Open Source... They simply
> don't want to give their technology out,
> and as
> things stand now, they don't have the
> RIGHT by LAW to supply closed source
> drivers for
> Linux - if we step beyond the all too
> obvious technical problems with this.
> Also, have a look at WHAT exactly runs
> in kernel space? Well, more than half of
> it could as
> well run in user space, providing more
> stability and scalability. Linux was
> already an outdated
> example of proto-unices when it was a
> mere idea in the head of Linus. Now it's
> a dinosaur,
> trampling great projects like HURD under
> its feet. &quot;Everybody uses Linux,
> why work on
> anything else?&quot;
> Sure, it has nuclear breath and can
> wreck Tokyo in less than an hour... But
> what if I want it
> to fly? :D
>
> I believe what the UNIX community and
> the platform itself needs is a new breed
> of unices,
> based on new ideas but maintaining
> compatibility to old technologies.
> Things like TRUE i18n
> with universal use of Unicode with
> conversion routines for backward
> compatibility,
> microkernel architectures, a modern
> device namespace with compatibility
> fixes, a unified
> hardware device driver interface put
> down in a core standard for POSIX
> systems, and so on.
> MacOS/X is a great new step in this
> direction. I will be cheering for it,
> even from the back of
> my Linux system. Probably this new wave
> will reach the Open Source community
> too, and
> hopefully it won't turn its back...
>

25 Sep 2002 03:30 mpconnick

Re: Reasons

>
>
>
> Its kernel is "real BSD Unix"-based;
> remember, even Apple doesn't claim that
> OS X is Unix. How can you say that when
> the vendor doesn't even try to pass it
> off as "Unix"?

Here's just one excerpt from Apple's main Mac OS X page:

"Referred to by its code name, Jaguar, Mac OS X is a
different breed of operating system. Jaguar combines the
rock-solid reliability of UNIX with the ease of use of
Macintosh...And whether you're a Mac user who's
upgrading, a Windows user who's looking at switching to
the Mac or a Unix user who loves the idea of using key
applications like Microsoft Office on top of a state-of-the-
art BSD UNIX implementation, this is the OS for you."

I think that makes it pretty clear that Apple does indeed
claim OS X to be a UNIX.

You might also check this link out:

www.unix-systems.org/w...
single_unix_specification.html#platform

Note Apple is listed as a vendor supporting the Single UNIX
specification.

> From my experiences, and the experiences
> of friends who've tried to move from
> *nix to OS X, that "real BSD Unix" is
> quite hidden and burried... as it should
> be for a desktop-focused operating
> system. But that's why OS X, out of the
> box, is, IMO, not Unix.
>

Buried, hmmm...let's see...

/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app

And you're off to do whatever UNIX things you might
want to at a terminal prompt...yep, buried.

> Everyone's getting hung up on the tools
> I decided to pick; it is clear that a
> compiler does not a Unix system make.
> But I've been saying this in responses,
> and I wish I had put it in the
> editorial: to make OS X even begin to
> behave like Unix, you have to
> "weaponize" it with the Developer's CD
> (and OS X: The Hidden Manual probably
> helps, too).

How many Linux distributions contain everything on a
single CD these days? Is it so hard to accept CDs have a
finite capacity and they choose to partition them in a way
that makes sense? That is, OS CD, Apps/Options CD, and
Development Tools CD?

> No, XDarwin, which Apple seemingly
> doesn't want acknowledge exists, fully
> supports X.

X for OS X:

www.apple.com/download...
unix_open_source/xfree86.html

Note the URL very carefully. Maybe you won't be satisfied
unless you see the word XDarwin...then check here:

developer.apple.com/da...

26 Sep 2002 09:48 galtsavenger

Touchy bunch aren't we?
I like Linux.
I like OS X.

Why can't we all just get along and squash the big
baddies? Those of us who want to lick the screen and
have applications called iSomething can stick to OSX,
and those of us that want to play with the kernel, hug
the kernel and LOVE the kernel can stay with Linux.

See how easy that is? Who cares what is Unix what is
not. Someone else said it further up - use the best tool
for the job. Your average user will not be able to set
up linux and be able to d'ld digital photos and edit DV
movies right away. Your average techie will not be
happy with trying to install OSX developer tools from a
CD.

We can all play together in a fun filled &quot;unix-BASED&quot;
world with stateful packet inspection, little prompts
with cute characters, ssh and vnc viewers for all.

Quit yer b*tchin' - ALL of ya

28 Sep 2002 15:21 OreoCookie

Re: Can't we all just be friends?

> OS X is a pretty and easy to use desktop
> OS, and its support of lots of UNIX
> tools is great. But Apple would be
> foolish to target open source users.
> Apple clearly can't go it alone,
> otherwise OS X wouldn't incorporate so
> much open source software--they need a
> vibrant open source community.
>
> Apple also doesn't have the goods.
> People use open source software because
> openness is important to them. No
> matter what the technical merits of
> systems like Cocoa may be, the closed
> source portions of OS X are, well,
> closed. They don't even conform to open
> standards.
>
> Throwing out the challenge to Linux
> developers &quot;you can't make a
> desktop as nice as this&quot; is also
> quite dangerous--Apple may find out
> quickly that they are very wrong. The
> only reason Apple hasn't been seriously
> targeted for open source cloning is
> because, so far, they have neither been
> a threat to Linux nor a big factor in
> the market. And the open source
> community has a lot more resources and
> people than Apple.
>
> Apple should focus on recruiting current
> Windows users--that's where their market
> is, that's where their expertise is, and
> they have more than enough technical
> work on their plate. Apple: don't get
> sidetracked or foolish.

They are already eating away some market share from Linux users. As stated numerous times, they are quite happy with the stuff OS X offers and don't need the Linux specifics.

01 Oct 2002 08:54 ninthwave

Re: Why Linux?
Well of course nVidia wouldn't write drivers for Unix. Unix is viewed as a server environment and most workstations that run graphically intesive applications have proprietary video cards. SGI for example. But hardware that would be seen going into a Unix system does have unix drives take scsi controlles. My cheap Intio scsi card came with windows, dos and unix drivers. The state of scsi support in Linux needs some help.

www.linuxplanet.com/li...

Not one OS system really offers a balance of User Interface and Open Configuration.

POSIX compliance is a start but I believe with the original poster, a rethink of the current Kernel model and some change in design is needed. Just a clean up of the directory structure and layout would be a big leap forward.

I prefer FreeBsd as a server, I prefer Linux as a desktop system. I truly want to afford DEC Alpha true 64 platform but again it is all personal tast plus what you are use to using.

But if this Open Community is to move forward some standardisation and some consideration for the non tech heads needs to be designed into the current operating systems.

01 Oct 2002 17:49 cchiu

Re: what defines UNIX?
I second that. What a stupid argument!

09 Oct 2002 20:29 ray1083

GCC and GDB came with my OSX
My copy of OSX came with GCC and GDB. It even came with Project Builder and Interface Builder and a bunch of other applications to assist developers in making OSX applications. OSX will never surpass Linux in popularity but it is a viable alternative.

My Linux box plays nicely with OSX laptop. I use OSX but I will never give up on Linux.

13 Oct 2002 04:20 beren

Fortune Cookies
The wheels completely fell off your tirade when you
stated that to be a UNIX an OS needed 'fortune' - up
until then I had been reading with the same boredom I
used to read Windowz vs whatever arguements.

I have rarely ever used a proper UNIX, having only
toyed with Solaris. However, I have RedHat servers
and Mac OS X clients. These UNIX-based OSs (none of
them running fortune) do everything I need.

This last week RedHat 8 Pro arrived. I like it. I note that
'fortune' doesn't load automatically, Bluecurve looks
more like Aqua than most GUIs, and maybe a
realisation that for UNIX-based OSs to make their way
onto more desktops the user interface needs to be
MUCH better.

Incidentally, according to Apple, OS X is now the most
widely used UNIX-based OS in the world, having added
some 4,000,000 seats in months. And that, my friends
has to be a supremely good thing for *ALL* UNIX-
based OSs, OpenSource and all things good. And that
is something to smile about!

B-)

14 Oct 2002 23:21 sighup9

OS X
Unix or Unix-like it is fine by me. After 14 years of Windows, 10 years of Solaris, and 8 years of Linux staring back at my face; it's a heck of an improvement for a desktop OS. In fact, OS X 10.2 was good enough for me to go out and purchase an Apple computer for the 1st time and get me banging away on it.

Apple is moving away from the NetInfo idea according to the rumor mill. For a 2.0 release on and OS, they have done a tremendous job!

I do not mind typing 'sudo su -' to get to a # prompt.

Thanks to Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation. Without them, OS X, Linux and lots more would never have happened.

15 Oct 2002 13:13 weiqi

Re: Uhm... You *do* know that gcc actually DOES ship with X, don't you?
Using "X" to refer to Mac OS X can be confusing to readers who may think you are refering to "X" as in X11 or X Window System.

> When I read that gcc didn't ship with X,
> I have to admit I was a little confused
> because I've used it on X.

15 Oct 2002 16:19 googleman

Re: Fortune Cookies

> The wheels completely fell off your
> tirade when you
> stated that to be a UNIX an OS needed
> 'fortune' - up
> until then I had been reading with the
> same boredom I
> used to read Windowz vs whatever
> arguements.
>
> I have rarely ever used a proper UNIX,
> having only
> toyed with Solaris. However, I have
> RedHat servers
> and Mac OS X clients. These UNIX-based
> OSs (none of
> them running fortune) do everything I
> need.
>
> This last week RedHat 8 Pro arrived. I
> like it. I note that
> 'fortune' doesn't load automatically,
> Bluecurve looks
> more like Aqua than most GUIs, and maybe
> a
> realisation that for UNIX-based OSs to
> make their way
> onto more desktops the user interface
> needs to be
> MUCH better.
>
> Incidentally, according to Apple, OS X
> is now the most
> widely used UNIX-based OS in the world,
> having added
> some 4,000,000 seats in months. And
> that, my friends
> has to be a supremely good thing for
> *ALL* UNIX-
> based OSs, OpenSource and all things
> good. And that
> is something to smile about!
>
> B-)

RedHat does too auto-install fortune, you dingbat. it jus
doesn't when you install a server. Try clicking the
desktop install and it will install.

15 Oct 2002 16:23 googleman

Re: Touchy bunch aren't we?
We're "b*tchin" about O'Reilly's stupid remark that
Apple should target Unix and Linux users in their ad
market, so on and so forth. We're not complaining
about MacOS X, just Tim O'Reilly. Oh yes, and the stupid
people that complain about Linux after switching to OS
X

15 Oct 2002 21:44 doveclaw

One note, that I think should be cleared up..
In regards to..
&quot; But while the kernel is merely Unix-like, show me a Linux distribution that doesn't ship gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities (even fortune) that make Unix Unix.&quot;

Since when does any of that make a Unix Unix? Last I checked SunOS/Solaris (and I personally own three different versions) DEFINATELY does not come with gcc or gdb and doesn't &quot;really&quot; come with cc.. there is a cc command, but it'll basically tell you it hasn't been installed (a c/c++ compiler does not come with the OS). Most Unixes do not come with a compiler! Most Unixes either do not come with X or it is an optional and seperate install (once again, SunOS would be a good example). To say that a REAL unix would ship with GNU's programs is even more wrong. You've obviously spent most of your time with Linux if these are your expectations. Further-more.. are you saying that a Linux distribution or install without any of these programs are somehow less Unix? The only real way I believe one could decide on whether a OS was &quot;Unix&quot; would be to compare certain kernal workings or maybe the file system layout.. things which have been standardised if only fractionally.
I believe you said yourself that Apple only claims its Unix-based.. so this shouldn't really be an issue.. being based on something and &quot;being&quot; something are two entirely different things.

17 Oct 2002 08:34 ajmacleod

Re: One note, that I think should be cleared up..

> In regards to..

> Since when does any of that make a
> Unix Unix? Last I checked SunOS/Solaris
> (and I personally own three different
> versions) DEFINATELY does not come with
> gcc or gdb and doesn't
> &quot;really&quot; come with cc.. there
> is a cc command, but it'll basically
> tell you it hasn't been installed (a
> c/c++ compiler does not come with the
> OS). Most Unixes do not come with a
> compiler! Most Unixes either do not come
> with X or it is an optional and seperate
> install (once again, SunOS would be a
> good example). To say that a REAL unix
> would ship with GNU's programs is even
> more wrong.

Erm... exactly which versions of Solaris do you have? Certainly I've found 7,8 and therefore presumably 9 to install X as part of a default install - perhaps it's possible to do a minimal install, but that's not default IIRC...

As to GCC and the rest of the GNU tools (shutils, etc), Sun DO supply these as an extra CD download (certainly for Solaris 8), as life with their provided utilities is painful, and they know it - otherwise, they wouldn't go to the trouble of packaging up the GNU tools!

AJM

17 Oct 2002 16:41 doveclaw

Re: One note, that I think should be cleared up..
Maybe you should read the message again. I never said anything about Solaris in that sentence.. but was talking about SunOS. SunOS (I have versions 2.5 and 2.6) comes with an optional/second CD install of X.Your comments are meaningless.. every OS has any of these or similar utilities somewhere.. were talking off the standard dist cd's. The fact is, most unix systems can - and usually have in the past, lived without these utilities. Solaris 7, 8, and 9 do not come with GNU utilities.. as you said yourself.

>
> % In regards to..
>
> % Since when does any of that make a
> % Unix Unix? Last I checked
> SunOS/Solaris
> % (and I personally own three different
> % versions) DEFINATELY does not come
> with
> % gcc or gdb and doesn't
> % &quot;really&quot; come with cc..
> there
> % is a cc command, but it'll basically
> % tell you it hasn't been installed (a
> % c/c++ compiler does not come with the
> % OS). Most Unixes do not come with a
> % compiler! Most Unixes either do not
> come
> % with X or it is an optional and
> seperate
> % install (once again, SunOS would be a
>
> % good example). To say that a REAL
> unix
> % would ship with GNU's programs is
> even
> % more wrong.
>
>
> Erm... exactly which versions of Solaris
> do you have? Certainly I've found 7,8
> and therefore presumably 9 to install X
> as part of a default install - perhaps
> it's possible to do a minimal install,
> but that's not default IIRC...
>
> As to GCC and the rest of the GNU tools
> (shutils, etc), Sun DO supply these as
> an extra CD download (certainly for
> Solaris 8), as life with their provided
> utilities is painful, and they know it -
> otherwise, they wouldn't go to the
> trouble of packaging up the GNU tools!
>
> AJM

17 Oct 2002 17:53 sirgrog

Re: Please take CLUE-101
Well put.

Apple put two and two together and made four.

Unix(like/flavor/base/whatever) + great GUI = best OS to date. Period.

19 Oct 2002 06:43 didiken

MacOS UNIX How-To
I think this kid does raise a good point... don't seem to
have any good HOW-TO to teach unix folks converting to
OS X. versiontracker.com has many freewares but not
really unix oriented. Should have a detailed respository for
tips for installing netatalk.... XDarwin or more exotic stuff
like FreeTDS

Just in case we got a kid next time bashing MacOS is not
UNIX

20 Oct 2002 20:20 omniplex

Re: Mac OS X is Unix

>
> % The question and debate about whether
> % Mac OS X is truly Unix or not was
> % debated online a long time ago on
> % slashdot.com and osopinion.com. The
> % reason for the debate was the fact
> that
> % the name Unix belongs to the Open
> Group
> % (www.unix-systems.org/).
> Here's
> % the url to the concluding article on
> % osopinion concluding that OS X was
> % Unix-like though not true Unix and
> % therefore not recognized by the Open
> % Group:
> %
> www.osopinion.com/perl....
> % It should be noted that a footnote at
> % the very bottom of the article
> contains
> % a link to the Open Group web site.
> After
> % hearing about the question of Apple's
> OS
> % X position in relation to other
> unices,
> % the Open Group updated their web site
> to
> % include Apple as a company supporting
> % the unified Unix specification:
> %
> www.unix-systems.org/w....
> % So, as far as the Open Group is
> % concerned, OS X is as Unix as any
> other
> % flavor out there. Just because OS X
> is
> % different in its installation than
> the
> % type of Unix you use does not make it
> % not Unix. What Unix is is determined
> by
> % the body that controls the use of the
> % name Unix, which is the Open Group.
>
>
>
> THANK YOU I have been looking for this
> snippet of information for nearly 2
> weeks now and couldn't remember where I
> had read it. I went to the Open Group
> website at one point but somehow I
> missed it.
>

I looked through the website, looked through it before regarding Apple, and there is not much else mentioned about Apple, including the Registered Product section, and, I think you missed the footnote which states "Footnote 1: This is a list of vendors who have expressed support for the specification and does not constitute any endorsement by The Open Group of the company or their products. "

20 Oct 2002 20:23 omniplex

Re: Mac OS X is Unix
Sorry for the double post, anyway, I ment that it doesn't list OS X as a registered product. Is there another link you have?
Either way, it doesn't matter as long as OS X does what whoever is using it wants. I also didn't get from the article that OS X was a bad thing, more like that maybe some of the users that switched to OS X should not have necessarily used Linux/Windows, etc. Either way, it's all a matter of opinion, use what you like and what you enjoy is my opinion.

27 Oct 2002 11:44 mmondor

Re: Why Linux?

> Well, frankly said, I do not really

> understand the fanaticism surrounding

> Linux. GNU is a cool

> operating system, and a viable UNIX

> solution, but it has many weak points.

> One of them is

> the Linux kernel.
> [ and glibc ]
> What we WOULD need is modern, scalable

> software technology. What we HAVE is

> something

> [...]

> Linux - if we step beyond the all too

> obvious technical problems with this.

> Also, have a look at WHAT exactly runs

> in kernel space? Well, more than half of

> it could as

> well run in user space, providing more

> stability and scalability. Linux was

> already an outdated

> example of proto-unices when it was a

> mere idea in the head of Linus. Now it's

> [...]
> I believe what the UNIX community and

> the platform itself needs is a new breed

> of unices,

> based on new ideas but maintaining

> compatibility to old technologies.

> [...]
>

I fully agree, although currently my favorite OS is NetBSD, new things will eventually evolve from old and new concepts. QNX is another cool example of a POSIX IPC-based realtime microkernel, which unfortunately does not have I license I particularly like. But it borrowed old ideas, and brought in new ones, assembled them, to produce a cool system (which of course still needs some work).

This may not belong in this thread, but KDE imho is unfortunately a badly designed system from the ground up (internals), and I'm personally happy to not be obliged to work with GUIs much, but that's me. I was quite surprised when I noticed that kdeinit was preventing 512M of ram from being used for other applications, and starting something like openoffice would take far more time than for instance, under icewm, where most of RAM is available to load large applications in a few seconds without swapping. It also runs way too many processes for the functionality it provides.

This said, in the GUI area as well can be innovations. A thing which can slow this progress is the need for solid working systems, (NetBSD in my case) which we naturally stick to, it "just works". But research is important too, which eventually leads to other "working" systems, which may suit better future needs as well.

Matt

31 Oct 2002 22:51 benatong

Re: One note, that I think should be cleared up..

>
> % In regards to..
>
> % Since when does any of that make a
> % Unix Unix? Last I checked
> SunOS/Solaris
> % (and I personally own three different
> % versions) DEFINATELY does not come
> with
> % gcc or gdb and doesn't
> % &quot;really&quot; come with cc..
> there
> % is a cc command, but it'll basically
> % tell you it hasn't been installed (a
> % c/c++ compiler does not come with the
> % OS). Most Unixes do not come with a
> % compiler! Most Unixes either do not
> come
> % with X or it is an optional and
> seperate
> % install (once again, SunOS would be a
>
> % good example). To say that a REAL
> unix
> % would ship with GNU's programs is
> even
> % more wrong.
>
>
> Erm... exactly which versions of Solaris
> do you have? Certainly I've found 7,8
> and therefore presumably 9 to install X
> as part of a default install - perhaps
> it's possible to do a minimal install,
> but that's not default IIRC...
>
> As to GCC and the rest of the GNU tools
> (shutils, etc), Sun DO supply these as
> an extra CD download (certainly for
> Solaris 8), as life with their provided
> utilities is painful, and they know it -
> otherwise, they wouldn't go to the
> trouble of packaging up the GNU tools!
>
> AJM

Just looked in my Jaguar CD set.. Yep, there it is, the little grey CD labeled "Developer Tools"

By "doesn't come with gcc" you must mean that if the user chooses to not install them they aren't there... Just like Linux.

If you want to see developer tools done right, get a good OS X developer to demo Interface Builder/ Project Builder.

You will start to hate the GUI tools for Linux.

As for all of the other stuff that comes with your idea of UNIX.. Just get fink from source forge. The Linux stuff comes over quite nicely.

Parting Shot: You compare netinfo with windows registery.. I'll grant it but I have two words for you to ponder. "RPM HELL" You know what I mean, and it is every bit as bad as DLL HELL in the windows world. Only Debian has a foot to stand on with apt-get.

BTW: I run Linux for my servers and OS X for my desktop. Been using UNIX in some form since AT&T on a (3B1?) Whatever that integrated systems was..

No desire to go back to Linux for a desktop.
No desire to develope GUI software for Linux. It just requires too much effort for too little gain compared to OS X.

03 Nov 2002 03:36 cxel91a

My 2c
I'm not going to discuss the trivial differences
between OS X and Linux. The responses I've seen thus far have placed Apple into the *nix world. Now, only if OS X was portable to PCs. I would consider it, but for now I have no need for a new computer.

Linux livez

05 Nov 2002 19:19 brouits

bad arguments
I just personnaly disapprouve this comparaison, since the arguments are useless to me. e.g:
X windowing system is not Unix. So, comparing osX to Linux through the windowing system gives you a bad point. Also, bash and emacs are not in Unix (but vi and sh shall), etc...
Also, you say that gcc/gdb etc.. are not part of osX, i reply that they are not much part of Linux user-oriented distributions. Even not on DMZ unices.
About the shell, even Solaris does not have bash &quot;by defaut&quot;. And telling &quot;by default&quot; Unix is to me a little hazardous...

Anyway.. i had pleasure to read it. :)

09 Nov 2002 10:58 hansvb

What is the difference between Linux and Windows? Answering this tells you what OSX is
I will keep this short since this comparisment tends to...

I think the principle difference between Windows and Linux is that Linux is designed with technical motives. Windows has been designed on comercial motives. One has a solid basis, the other has a glossy cover. Just follow the money stream and then tell me what OSX is and if you like it.

I think Linux and Windows-XP are extreme opposites in this respect.

Linux devellopers, please don't start copying the behavoure of Windows i don't need Linux in bullshit-mode, I don't want shiny buttons. I just want to get the job done without the need for sunglasses :o)

12 Nov 2002 03:10 bootswork

Re: what defines UNIX?

> The only thing, in my mind and I'm sure
> in the minds of many others, that
> defines what is a good, compliant UNIX
> system... is the POSIX standard. After
> all, MINIX doesn't come with gcc, gdb or
> X (maybe fortune) - does that mean it's
> not MINIX? Idiot.

Minix is not POSIX-compliant. Windows 2000 is.

POSIX compliance, though useful to some people, is a poor measure of whether a system is really Unixy.

If you'd seen some of the braindamage in the standard where obvious typos have become enshrined as law then you wouldn't be so keen on it either.

14 Nov 2002 01:00 titanium

Linux without gcc, gdb, X and fortune?
"Linux, isn't really Unix either, and they're right. But while the kernel is merely Unix-like, show me a Linux distribution that doesn't ship gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities (even fortune) that make Unix Unix."

Linux without gcc, gdb, X and fortune? Try loaf.

www.ecks.org/projects/...

30 Nov 2002 22:16 clmxyz

Re: Desktop Linux User Finds Total Solution in OS X

> Now lets throw in some wizbang features
> that no other OS has that I'm aware of.
> How's the bluetooth support in Linux or
> any other OS? Are you surprised to find
> out that I'm posting this while
> connected to the Internet through GPRS
> using my Ericsson T68 transmitting to it
> via my D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter. Do
> that on Linux.

You'll find that the Bluetooth support on Linux
(using the BlueZ stack (included in recent
kernels)) is quite up to the task of connecting
to the 'net over GPRS. All it takes is a couple
of simple commands and setting up a PPP options
and chat script file. No harder than setting
up a regular dial-up connection, really.

02 Dec 2002 08:59 katorga

I like it
I use an Apple OS X laptop as my mobile unix solution. OS X is not traditional unix, but I find dealing with its oddities no different than dealing with the differences between Solaris, HPUX, AIX and Linux.

The machine I got came with OS X and the developer's CD, so gcc gdb etc were included. I downloaded XFree and a window manager. So far all of tools I normally use on my other unix platforms are available in either package format or compile under OSX. Its been a pretty painless move.

The benefit is that I have a high quality laptop with a decent unix-like OS that runs all my unix tools that ALSO provides access to MS Office (grr, I need it for work), and allows me to run all of the entertainment apps that make travelling a little easier.

All in all a nice package.

02 Dec 2002 16:45 magicduck

Moved to Mac OS X... Why ?
I was a lover of Linux since it's old days (0.96.x kernel versions), I used and was pleased to do day to day admin and coding.
But kernels 2.4 was going out and my pleasure was less and less interressing : unstability, crashs, etc....
So I get a new platform for my servers : FreeBSD... It is really good... I think one of the more complete one.... but was rely on PC (yeah I know there is Linux on sparc, alpha, etc... as well as FreeBSD on alpha)... But PC are really bullshit unstable and really brain damaged hardware.

What is the result ? Crashs all the time, incompatibilities, locks, freezes and so on. I use mainly computer for developping software, but I cannot afford &quot;fighthing&quot; with hardware all the time.

Even if Un*x like systems like Linux or *BSD are good they still rely on x86 hardware that are still too mutch young and silly.

Mac OS X give me a clean and stable way to have :
- well looking hardware
- *SILENT* hardware
- stable hardware

When you get a iBook or a Powerbook machine that can get in &quot;powersave&quot; mode in 1 seconds and be up and ready to work in less than 2 seconds on x86 on &lt;whatever&gt; OS then, maybe I will swap for this OS.

By the way, OS X allows me to use those nasty things like all people use in work environment (even if I hate those beasts) : MS Office and so on.

Yeah there is good &quot;alternatives&quot; but in Real Work(tm) this cannot be used.

10 Dec 2002 20:54 laika

Re: One note, that I think should be cleared up..

>
> %
> % % In regards to..
> %
> % % Since when does any of that make
> a
> % % Unix Unix? Last I checked
> % SunOS/Solaris
> % % (and I personally own three
> different
> % % versions) DEFINATELY does not come
> % with
> % % gcc or gdb and doesn't
> % % &quot;really&quot; come with cc..
> % there
> % % is a cc command, but it'll
> basically
> % % tell you it hasn't been installed
> (a
> % % c/c++ compiler does not come with
> the
> % % OS). Most Unixes do not come with a
> % % compiler! Most Unixes either do not
> % come
> % % with X or it is an optional and
> % seperate
> % % install (once again, SunOS would be
> a
> %
> % % good example). To say that a REAL
> % unix
> % % would ship with GNU's programs is
> % even
> % % more wrong.
> %
> %
> % Erm... exactly which versions of
> Solaris
> % do you have? Certainly I've found
> 7,8
> % and therefore presumably 9 to install
> X
> % as part of a default install -
> perhaps
> % it's possible to do a minimal
> install,
> % but that's not default IIRC...
> %
> % As to GCC and the rest of the GNU
> tools
> % (shutils, etc), Sun DO supply these
> as
> % an extra CD download (certainly for
> % Solaris 8), as life with their
> provided
> % utilities is painful, and they know it
> -
> % otherwise, they wouldn't go to the
> % trouble of packaging up the GNU
> tools!
> %
> % AJM
>
>
>
> Just looked in my Jaguar CD set.. Yep,
> there it is, the little grey CD labeled
> "Developer Tools"
>
> By "doesn't come with gcc" you must mean
> that if the user chooses to not install
> them they aren't there... Just like
> Linux.
>
> If you want to see developer tools done
> right, get a good OS X developer to demo
> Interface Builder/ Project Builder.
>
> You will start to hate the GUI tools for
> Linux.
>
> As for all of the other stuff that comes
> with your idea of UNIX.. Just get fink
> from source forge. The Linux stuff
> comes over quite nicely.
>
> Parting Shot: You compare netinfo with
> windows registery.. I'll grant it but I
> have two words for you to ponder. "RPM
> HELL" You know what I mean, and it is
> every bit as bad as DLL HELL in the
> windows world. Only Debian has a foot
> to stand on with apt-get.
>
> BTW: I run Linux for my servers and OS X
> for my desktop. Been using UNIX in some
> form since AT&T on a (3B1?) Whatever
> that integrated systems was..
>
> No desire to go back to Linux for a
> desktop.
> No desire to develope GUI software for
> Linux. It just requires too much effort
> for too little gain compared to OS X.
>
>

Gentoo emerge trumps 'em all. RPM (Retarded Program Manager) truly is the bane of a civilized society. Arrrrgghhh... run away, run away! But you are correct. It simply is painfull to watch groups like Ximian and K bang out decent desktops with such paultry GUI toolage. I liken it to building the pyramids. You really can produce some incredibly precise shapes pounding away with a small stone by why in the world would you do that today? I think Ximian and K should have put a lot more effort into the tools and things would be in a much better state today. I honestly gave Glade a chance and I simply find it lacking in every repect when compared to any commercial tool available in today's market. Perhaps it's that there is so much invested in the X "middle-ware" toolkits that this just isn't feasable. Either way, that's the tact MS and Apple use to lure developers. They produce good tools. Terrible workshop, but quite nice tools.

-woof!

13 Dec 2002 06:19 gnixon

Re: MacOS UNIX How-To

> I think this kid does raise a good
> point... don't seem to
> have any good HOW-TO to teach unix folks
> converting to
> OS X.

It might not be free, but O'Reilly has a Mac OS X for unix geeks book, not that any self respecting unix geek would need it, it's all in the manpages anyway.

> versiontracker.com has many
> freewares but not
> really unix oriented.

Freshmeat (www.freshmeat.net) if you need unix apps, stepwise (www.stepwise.com) if you're interested in the NeXT / Objective C side of things. Versiontracker (www.versiontracker.com) caters for people arrriving from mac/windows.

> Should have a
> detailed respository for
> tips for installing netatalk.... XDarwin
> or more exotic stuff
> like FreeTDS

netatalk? This is apple, that stuff's built in, and way more reliable than netatalk. As for the other things, just try following their instructions. XDarwin is a point and click installer, most anything else can be installed with ./configure; make; make install (you did find the developer tools? they're the ones on cd, or look in Applications/Utilities/Installers)

> Just in case we got a kid next time
> bashing MacOS is not
> UNIX

Mac OS X is a novell approach to UNIX on the desktop, it's still maturing, but right now, it does at least 99% of what most people want, whether they're alpha geeks, or pensioners sending email to their grandchildren. Can linux / Solaris / AIX / Windows or any other platform make similar claims?

16 Dec 2002 16:08 alanmusician

Main Point
I think his main point is that OS X isn't going to offer anything to experienced linux users, in opposition to what O'Reilly implies. I agree with this: most of us have spent time streamlining and configuring linux to work exactly how we like to compute. The reasons O'Reilly cited were obviously coming from people who don't use Linux for it's two major advantages: customization ability, and freedom.

The author here isn't saying that OS X isn't a decent operating system. Perhaps it will even become the next mainstream one, and in fact, I hope it does, but will it pull experienced linux users away from their free software boxes? There's no mainstream reason for that to happen.

Think of it this way: something like 35% of x86 users are *nix users. A much larger percentage are windows users. Considering the shoddiness and cost of windows, it's no wonder people have been trying out linux more than ever. The problem with these people is they want a desktop and system just like the one they "grew up" on. When it doesn't turn out that way (usually after trying Mandrake or some other mainstream dist, none of which, IMHO, are good out-of-the-box systems), they ignorantly critisize linux in general. Those are the kind of user that O'Reilly mostly quoted in his article. Now the thing is, these people make up a majority of of PC users. So is linux best for a majority of PC users? No, I'd have to say it's not. Is OS X? Quite likely.

Not counting OS X, we have 3 major contenders for users' prefered environment: Windows, Linux and previous MacOSs. I believe that for Windows and previous Mac users, the switch would be a no-brainer. Does this make OS X the best operating system for most users? One look at the percentages confirms that. However, linux users have always been the users that had different needs then the mainstream computer user, and always will, I believe. This brings us down to the main point of all this: Mac OS X is not a linux competitor.

I say kudos to OS X, and that I think it's a wonderful idea, and also that the linux community will support it if they know what's good for them, but am I going to switch to it, or would even if it was free? No, for me it would be forfeiting what I consider a perfect operating environment, which I have constructed to fit my needs, and in return, getting something made for mainstream users. I think most experienced linux users share my sentiment that such a switch would be not only pointless, but counter-productive.

--Alan

20 Dec 2002 18:40 michaeljbergin

gnu/unix??
i read this article about a month ago and it actually really irritated me. not necessarily because i just switched from linux to a mac, well, actually i really just added a mac to my collection, but something about it bothered me. i even spoke to a few people about it one of which is hands down the most knowledgable computer geek i know. the main thing that irritated me about the article is that it didn't even mention the operating system!! the entire basis of the article was founded on external applications. on top of that it's gnu software!!!! there was no mention of that little thing called a kernel, no mention of any subsystems and the configuration facilities, what does that have to do with anything?!?!? if wrote a clone of the windows registery and threw it on your linux box would it then be windows or at least cease to exist as a *nix?
after a long time of thinking about it and talking with people about it became very apparent that even people that pride themselves on being unix junkies can't sufficiently explain exactly what makes a unix operating system a unix operating system. if you take two unix guys junkies that don't know eachother, put them in different rooms and ask them what makes an operating system a unix operating system you'll get very different answers. try to take the common denominator from their responses and after you go through a few more people that becomes thinner and thinner until it vanishes into thin air.
my question basically is what makes an operating system a unix operating system? the kernel? is the mach microkernel a unix kernel? if so the windows operating system has been using a mach based kernel since windows 2000 came out. would that make it a unix based operating system?
my point? the unix operating system has had a monumental impact on the computing world and on the design and implementation of every operating system i've even seen. it has enompassed so much of the computing world that it's difficult to even distinguish between what is unix and what is unix because almost every os vendor has borrowed, or tried to borrow, so much of the unix operating system.
my last question to the author is, so what if os x isn't unix? the linux operating system is also unix-based, as you pretty much said yourself. go out and pick up a mac, if you can't get just about any of the applications you would run on a unix box to run on your os x box then you probably don't even know how to use that unix, or linux box well enough to tell the difference between unix and os x. so either way you'll be happy!!

23 Dec 2002 17:39 laurion

Apparently someone has a superiority complex?

A few of O'Reilly's testimonies do give some concrete examples of user problems they had: "I refuse to spend weekends and late nights fiddling, Linux-hacker-style, with the scripts and codes and config files...". This sentiment reinforces that these users shouldn't have been using Linux in the first place.

It's thinking like that that makes no sense. What you are saying here is that only those people with the time and interest to learn complicated set ups should be the ones allowed to use a Unix OS? Pardon me, but setting a high barrier to entry like that is exactly why so many people *are* switching to Mac OS X, and if you don't like it, then you've got to be more friendly to the average person.

Sounds like someone here resents the fact that his 'superior' knowledge and skill (which really just means greater interest in operating systems and more time spent, not any actual brain superiority) isn't elevating him above the masses quite so high.

Forgive my hard words there, but flawed thinking does not give anyone the right to pass opinion off as fact. Mac OS X _is_ a Unix OS, but one where the traditional Unix barrier to use has been lowered. All the unix bits are still there for those who want them, and those who want them, will use them. It's a win-win. People who want Unix can have it, people who don't want to think about it don't. Either way, Mac OS X is a benefit to the rest of the Unix world, and that's an argument I will happily win, if you are interested in taking it up.

All of the above is solely my opinion, which I like to think of as firmly rooted in fact, but you're free to see things your own way.

23 Dec 2002 18:29 LadyH

Re: gnu/unix??
Use whatever makes you happy.

I have the new 800mhz iBook, use WinXP/RH Linux dual boot desktop, and also have a Toshiba Satellite NB. My Linux "distro" is a recent install. Yes, I am very new to this world.

If I want to tinker and explore the "what makes this work", I'll boot into Linux. If I want to tinker and be in compatability mode with what everyone uses in the workplace, I use the iBook. If I want to play certain games, I use WinXP....you get the point.

I can program in VB, I can Program in C++, ....but I have yet to figure out what those damn RPM's would like for me to do with them. I'l figure it out but how many people would want to be bothered? Ease of use...even with "tinkreing" is the name of the game.

Most consumers are not that curious minded as to want to know "what makes this work". For those who are (recent Win users)they don't mind tinkering as long as they can get their work done also. This is the lure of MacOSX.

Be hopeful, maybe they will explore further, start writing scripts, program, etc. Maybe they will be able to delve into Linux or Unix and contribute also to these communities making choice in the free world even greater.

Unix, Linux, MacOsX, BSD, ....who cares!!!??? You have the opportunity to support an entire movement where CHOICE is the objective. Divide and conquor positions will cause everyone to be using MS...with no other choice.

25 Dec 2002 08:59 shawkin

Re: I like it
It's beautiful. End of story.

25 Dec 2002 14:26 SwedishChef

Re: Main Point
I agree with this... I've used Linux since 1993 and can set up a server in under an hour and my own desktop in about 2 days of on-and-off tinkering. I also have an iBook which I find useful for trips and for planting in front of me when I'm watching tv but still want to surf occasionally. It's not Unix and it's not Linux but it's fine for casual stuff. I can't imagine OS-X replacing my Linux desktop however. But that doesn't mean I don't like it nor does it mean that I don't think that others will find it useful. But I understand Linux and am comfortable and natural with it. For me, Linux "just works" every time.

31 Dec 2002 10:14 ward

a few corrections the author should consider
&quot;just ask all the hardcore Unix users who have tried to change their OS X settings using configuration files in /etc, only to find all their changes ignored. Apple's Unix-like operating system uses NetInfo, for a configuration datastore, something more akin to the Windows registry we all know and hate.&quot;

Point one: If you're a NIS or NIS+ client, you can't just go mucking around with a lot of that stuff anyway.

Point two: I'm a seasoned UNIX user (started with SVR2.4, how about you?), and I like it. I think you'll find that NetInfo not only predates the windows registry, but it's also very different. It's what NIS+ wanted to be. Also, it's free, open source, and available for Linux. It may be different, but it's also better. If you feel the need to do it the old way, just nidump and niload.

&quot;Consider, too, that any Unix users poking around an OS X box will be surprised to find a &quot;Unix&quot; with no gcc. Or gdb.&quot;

Hmmn... Name a branded UNIX that came with those before just recently. NONE. NeXTStep/OpenStep, just like MacOS X, has gcc as its standard c compiler and gdb as its debugger, but they are available as part of a developer's kit.

&quot;Original versions didn't even have bash. And Unix's beloved fortune, who dutifully greets us upon login, is missing.&quot;

Bash isn't included by default with any UNIX-like OS I know of other than Linux. Certainly not with a real UNIX. Fortune is not exactly common either. I thought you used Solaris and HP-UX on a regular basis?

So, since I have all of the above, and X, on a Win2K machine, is it suddenly to your liking?

&quot;That's because all of those utilities that arguably make a &quot;Unix system&quot; a Unix system don't come by default&quot;

So, you mention tools that don't ship with commercial unixes and aren't installed by most UNIX-like systems by default and then claim that the lack of these tools makes these UNIX systems non-UNIX. Your argument is invalid.

You mention the dev kit, &quot; but which is not part of the operating system distribution.&quot; Most desktop users have no need for these tools, so why waste disk space?. Consider the target market. Yes, market. This is a product, not a project.

Where's the HP-UX dev kit? Oh, it costs a lot more. Where's the Solaris dev kit? Oh, it costs a lot more too. How about AIX? IRIX? That's the big four (arguably, the big two and slightly smaller two), and they don't include a dev kit. Strangely, they're all UNIX.

&quot;Speaking of xterm, where is X?&quot;

I've used many UNIX systems without X installed. I have even used them where X wasn't available and you had to use NeWS. You remember NeWS, don't you? Not the Sony workstation, the Network Extensible Windowing System. All Display PS, very nifty. X11 (or X10, or whatever) certainly does not make a system Unix.

&quot;you have to &quot;enable&quot; the root user before you can login as root... &quot;Unix&quot; indeed&quot;

Most seasoned UNIX admins never log in as root if they can avoid it anyway. And remember, this is a DESKTOP OS. Why should Joe User log in as root?

&quot;show me a Linux distribution that doesn't ship gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities&quot;

I can think of a few where they are not installed by default and have to be added as packages, just like OS X. Slackware, Debian, etc. To me, that's like saying 'show me a distribution that doesn't ship with Mozilla, because that's what I use to browse.'

&quot;I refuse to spend weekends and late nights fiddling, Linux-hacker-style, with the scripts and codes and config files...&quot;. This sentiment reinforces that these users shouldn't have been using Linux in the first place.&quot;

Perhaps that's the best point in your whole editorial. If the user is sick and tired of fiddling with things and going through what you called the 'endless cycles' of configuration, perhaps OS X is the solution.

&quot;Like most long time-Linux users, I know the pain of spending what seems like endless &quot;cycles&quot; trying to figure something out. But unlike other operating systems, once I hack those &quot;scripts and codes and config files&quot;, it all &quot;just works&quot;, and it continues to &quot;just work&quot; until I introduce a new variable into the equation.&quot;

Or, until a new variable is introduced without you. Or, until you leave your job and someone else is forced to maintain your hodgepodge of scripts.

&quot;under which an application modifying something somewhere in some binary NetInfo registry could break something else.&quot;

Such as? Given the structure of NetInfo, it's quite unlikely to happen. Not impossible, but unlikely. You're clearly confusing it with the Windows registry. Have you used NetInfo yet?

&quot;The development of a &quot;desktop environment&quot; on Linux, in the form of KDE, Gnome, and -- in the tradition of Open Source -- software we haven't heard of yet, will continue and is of value to those who are using the Linux platform for the right reasons in the first place.&quot;

I'm assume that the 'right reasons' you mention involve free software, fiddling with configurations for fun, and being on the elite bleeding edge of near stability. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Reagen

31 Dec 2002 10:34 ward

Re: Why Linux?

> I have
> never seen a piece of hardware that
> comes with drivers for commercieal
> Unixes.

Hmmn. How about AMI RAID cards? Mine shipped with SCO and Solaris/x86 drivers and tools on the CD.

NVidia has Linux and FreeBSD drivers for download, but that isn't quite the same as shipping on the CD.

07 Jan 2003 11:28 McLaurin

Unix, Linux, or GNU?
My inclination is to agree with the editorial, but it turns out that what he really doesn't like is the non-GNU-ness of Mac OS X. The only thing I really detest about the Mac OS X hype (I'm still running OS 9.x) is when they brag that you can run that lovely MS Office. Yecch! Haven't they heard of OpenOffice.org? One thing about the Mac (I'm also running Yellow Dog Linux) is that the hardware really is superior. And perhaps the iMovie, QuickTime, iPod and so forth are worth the proprietariness to lots of people.

12 Jan 2003 09:06 themoebius

Well... I use OSX 10.2 and it _has_ bash
As MacOS X 10.2 appeared, bash is now present in the standard installation, but tcsh is used by default.
I've used PCs until last summer, starting with MS-DOS 3.30 and 8086-based PCs, and ending with Athlon-pwered ones. I have been using Windows (98 and XP), BeOS, Linux (some flavours: mainly SuSE &amp; Gentoo, but I tested Redhate, Slackwarez, Madrakech, Debian). I have a testing partition in one of my HDs where I tested QNX, FreeBSD and Darwin/x86.
Last July I acquired an iBook and started playing with OSX. Of course I didn't like tcsh or NetInfo ignore my files at /etc, but after some searches at Google I downloaded bash, GNU fileutils, vim and made NetInfo use /etc. I installed the Apple's DevTools: they're totally based upon GNU stuff: gcc, gdb, binutils, autoconf, automake, libtool... plus IBuilder/PBuilder that I find great. I have comfortable development and desktop environments with the unleashed power of Unix. What else may I need?
You'll need to know that Apple didn't forget X11, as they are making their own implementation of X11R6 (based upon XFree86's) and it's in beta stage.
Also, Apple does not depend upon Microsoft at the moment: there are superior web-browsers for OSX, ranging from Mozilla and Chimera (based upon Gecko, the rendering engine behind Mozilla) to Apple's own browser, Safari. And there's OpenOffice, too.
After using OSX for 5 months, I'm sure I'll never switch back to PCs, as they have nothing they can offer to me.

12 Jan 2003 12:41 mlowry

Apple has released X11 for Mac OS X
One of the few points where I actually agreed with you is that Mac OS X had no X Windows server.

This is no longer a reason to say Mac OS X is not a real UNIX. Here's Apple's official X Windows server:
X11 for Mac OS X.

-MAL

13 Jan 2003 16:00 guyb

Two Words
I don't understand all the fuss. The main failing on the whole Apple strategy has nothing to do with the OS, never has. It's those sky-high hardware prices.

The strength of Linux has always been a Unix-like OS that runs on commodity hardware. It's two elements Unix + Cheap Hardware that make it such a powerhouse. Hell if we were trying to sell Linux entirely on the OS we'd have a tough time competing with existing Unixes.

OSX only runs on Mac hardware. Mac hardware is pricey as hell.

If people like the OSX GUI, then turn it around on them, make a OSX compatible system that runs on commodity hardware and put apple out of business at the same time you put MS outta business.

14 Jan 2003 01:32 Ngezi

Re: Unix, Linux, or GNU?

One thing about the Mac
> (I'm also running Yellow Dog Linux) is
> that the hardware really is superior.
> And perhaps the iMovie, QuickTime, iPod
> and so forth are worth the
> proprietariness to lots of people.

Hmm ?? hardware superior? all the macs I have worked with (up to the dual 1.25Ghz) use old pc hardware. old fsb, old processor, slow memory, etc. They are actually talking about getting IBM or Intel to make the next cpu!
No the main reason to use Apple is it's ease of use and (for video) the magical Quicktime layer.

17 Jan 2003 10:05 rollinhand

Re: Two Words

> OSX only runs on Mac hardware. Mac
> hardware is pricey as hell.

Only if you have a look at the Desktop PCs, if you compare their prices for Powerbooks with Notebooks of other PC producers, they are on the same level if you compare price with the performance you get out of it, although the processor rates are not that high. And that depends most on MacOS X.

19 Jan 2003 11:26 sean23007

Re: Unix, Linux, or GNU?

>
> Hmm ?? hardware superior? all the macs I
> have worked with (up to the dual
> 1.25Ghz) use old pc hardware. old fsb,
> old processor, slow memory, etc. They
> are actually talking about getting IBM
> or Intel to make the next cpu!
> No the main reason to use Apple is it's
> ease of use and (for video) the magical
> Quicktime layer.

Hmmm, do you even know what you're talking about? No Mac uses "old pc hardware." The FSB might not be brand new and it might not be clocked as fast as those on PC boards, but it performs well. The processors really aren't that old, and blaming them for being old is like saying that old Alpha server that has handled its job so well for so long sucks because it's old. OS X is optimized for the G4 processor, as are many programs written for it. As a result, the programs really do perform very well, even though the processor sounds slower. Bear in mind, of course, that a 1Ghz G4 is comparable to a P4 with a MUCH higher clock rating. Obviously the fastest G4 is slower than the fastest P4, but the G4 runs very well.They never talked to Intel about making the next iteration of their processor, and they would never be interested in something like that. However, it is true that they approached IBM to make it. Further, IBM agreed. Now, you seem to think that this is a failure of Apple in some way, but you don't remember the fact that it is Motorola that builds the G4 and Motorola that shares the G3 with, get this, IBM. In fact, Motorola has too much of the rights to the G3 processor, and it is thanks to them that IBM is not allowed to release G3s that are faster than Motorola's G3s. All the new G3-based systems that you can buy contain an IBM-manufactured processor. It is not surprising that Apple wanted IBM to make the next PowerPC, and it is perhaps less surprising that IBM agreed. That processor looks to be fantastic.I personally think it's hilarious that your knock against Mac OS X is that Macs use "old pc hardware," while the main positive argument for Linux is that it is able to run on commodity pc hardware. Linux runs on old pc hardware, OS X uses no pc hardware, much less old.

19 Jan 2003 11:36 sean23007

Just works
I don't know if you get the concept of &quot;just works.&quot; When Apple says that OS X &quot;just works,&quot; what they mean is that you don't have to configure it when you get it, and you don't have to do it later. If you have to change &lt;I&gt;any&lt;/i&gt; configuration settings, then it did not &quot;just work.&quot; That is according to Apple's definition. Your definition appears to be different. You call Linux &quot;configure once, run forever.&quot; Well, that means you had to configure it. With OS X, you just have to plug it in and turn it on. You describe your setup and say that it &quot;just works.&quot; Well, how much did you have to configure that to get it to work the first time? Did you have to change a lot of settings when you first installed it, or did it detect all your settings upon installation? That's right, you had to do it yourself. Now, you may have enjoyed that, but it is not an argument proving that Linux &quot;just works.&quot; It is an argument proving that Linux just requires a lot more work. There are some things you may be able to do with Linux that you might not be able to do with OS X, but not everyone that Apple is selling it to wants to do that. If someone does, well, Apple provides the tools to write it, or simply to port it from the Linux version. Really, none of your arguments against OS X stands. The only thing you can definitively say is that you don't like it because you use Linux. Great.

21 Jan 2003 02:08 mkone

The truth
The truth is some people are quaking when they see what Apple has done with their UNIX based OS. And they did it damn well. I applaud it. Give credit where it is due.

I personally think Netinfo is a very good idea. I just don't want it to be as cryptic as the Windows registry, you know, with all those long strings of letter and numbers which supposedly do something. I would like a central place to do all my configuring. It doesn't have to be a binary thing. It can be a small database of config files. Or XML files too while we are at it.

gcc is available for Windows too, so is X windows, does make them UNIX though.

I personally hate it when people think that one must configure their system for it to be stable and useable. Hell no, It must have a default state that is immediately useable. Configure things like Apache and sendmail and ftp, yes, configre MIME tyoes and the like NO. Configure sound, NO. Configure video for use. Not unless I am a graphics professional with some really comlex requirements. Finding dependencies is an absolute NO NO. Ask if OS X does this. YES. If that makes it less UNIX then I don't want UNIX. No, I want Linux to be more like OS X in that regard.

I am a linux user on my own PC. I really get the feeling that experianced users have forgotten how long it took them to master the OS. I do not think it is necessary for anyone to do that unless he/she is so inclined, which we are not all sorry to say.

I read somewhere that Freshmeat is a repository of apps people do not want. Maybe it is because developers forget that whilst they understand the apps they develop very well, to eb accepted, they need to be easily useable by the target market. Anyone is immediately comfortable with Mozilla coming from IE. It should be the same with all apps. It is unfortunate that the Windows world has imposed some of this on computing and open source software has too follow (unwillingly), but like MS, maybe we have to 'Embrace and Extend'

22 Feb 2003 11:42 scutter

That's nice.
I'm not a techie, but I'm trying to get my head back into
UNIXland so I can understand just what I can do with Mac
OSX...or what I can't. I'm a code hack turned graphic
designer and now manage creative folks. I enjoyed reading
this article, but would like to point out that no matter how
many tech heads wish it, the company known as Apple
isn't going anywhere. The entire advertising business is
built around Apple products...from its hardware to
software like Final Cut Pro. For this reason alone Apple will
live for a long, long time. Then there is the rabid following
its products have attracted....those people who don't
necessarily have to use Macs to get their work done (as I
do), but chose to do so. I bet someone could do their
entire psych thesis on these folks (if they haven't already).

Might I also add that OS X is in its infancy. Why do people
forget this fact? I can't wait to see where Apple, and more
importantly the open source world, take it. Hey, if you
don't like it, work with folks like SourceForge to take it
where you want it. They've already one-upped Apple by
creating software solutions that allow Macs to print to just
about any printer ever created. I can now print complex
postscript documents to all those old nasty HPs that seem
to populate the halls of the Novell-world I work within.
Just my non-tech two cents!

14 Jun 2003 12:34 uberfreak

Re: gnu/unix??

> my point? the unix operating system has
> had a monumental impact on the computing
> world and on the design and
> implementation of every operating system
> i've even seen.

Agreed; well put. One other thing to mention, however, is that Unix, originally, was never meant for the desktop. So, logic would suggest, that Unix made desktop-friendly is going to look quite a bit different than any flavor you've recently encountered.

> my last question to the author is, so
> what if os x isn't unix? the linux
> operating system is also unix-based, as
> you pretty much said yourself.

Depends on what you mean by Unix. If you mean philosophy, perhaps. Except that now, modern Linux philosophy is "if it's not bleeding edge, it's not worthy", which is somewhat off from Unix philosophy, "hm, that's nifty...how can I make it work with other stuff?".

On the other hand, if you're talking from a source-code perspective, not even close. The Linux kernel was meant to be a Minix clone. And the userland is GNU, who we all know stands for GNU's Not Unix. So, it looks like even the author has some misconceptions on both Unix *and* Linux.

Besides, beating up Mac OS X because it's Unix-based or Unix-like, and then turning around and touting Linux as the Right Way for exactly the same reason, kicks one's credibility out the window...even moreso when you're wrong about both.

08 Oct 2003 19:03 CMYanko

Linux Moot
OS X has obviously come a long way since this article
was written but I said it then and I'll say it now, &quot;OS X
make Linux moot&quot;

I was a Windoze user since there was windoze. Not
because I like it or thought it was good but because my
job sucked me into it. I tried getting into Linux in the
past but with a job, a family and a life I simply didn't
have the time to learn it well enough that it wasn't a
barrier to doing what I really needed it to do, work.

Now I have a eMac with 10.2 and I can't wait for 10.3

I have been able to learn Unix shells well enough on it
for my job where I work on 'real' Unix systems. Apples
FreeBSD based system has survived legal attacks from
the would-be SCO's over the years and is presently
free and clear of that little tussle.

This thing runs circles around any box I have ever
used. It has never crashed and stuff, 'just works'. Like
my new video capture unit. At first I was miffed
because I couldn't find the CD to load the software like
the instructions said. Then I realized that was for
Windows. On OS X I just plugged it in and iMovie was
ready rock-n-roll.

But there aren't any apps for Macs, right? We'll that
work I reffered to earlier comes down to email,
manage and print my digital photos, surf the web. Truth
is, the iApps are probably over 80% of what I want/
need to do with my 'home' computer. The OpenSource
community is filing the rest of my needs with apps like
MacGIMP and a GLTerm.

Well, Macs are more expensive. Hmmm... I put this one
to the test to. Just to make sure I wasn't being a geek
and buying a Mac because I thought it was cool when I
could get a Intel box for hundreds less. Funny thing
was, I couldn't find that box anywhere. By the time I
configure it to have what the eMac had I was paying the
same price.

So, who do you give your money to? Bill Gates and his
Wintel Cartel or Steve Jobs, the closest thing IT has to
a rock star?

And while I can't argue how 'Unix' OS X is or isn't I do
know I finally found a Linux I could deal with.

17 Oct 2003 08:35 kuruption

Wow your jealous prevails

First off, in the interest of full disclosure... I am a security architect for a Fortune 100. I work with various systems daily, including Windows, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX and OSX. Some I like, some I like more than others... but none I really dislike. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but that's not the point of this discussion.

I find your statements to be immature and factually incorrect. I wonder how you made it to be a senior at a top rated university making such false statements in essays you've written, but I digress...

Your statement of 'While the foundation of the operating system is Darwin, a BSD-based kernel, the core of the operating system is NeXT; just ask all the hardcore Unix users who have tried to change their OS X settings using configuration files in /etc' is correct, HOWEVER you can change within OSX whether to use the NeXT-commands or /etc config files.

Secondly, you statement 'Consider, too, that any Unix users poking around an OS X box will be surprised to find a "Unix" with no gcc. Or gdb. Original versions didn't even have bash' is completely invalid. Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX all do not come with gcc or gdb. So what part of gcc or gdb classifies a system as UNIX? If I remember correctly, the 'g' stands for GNU which stands for 'GNU IS NOT UNIX'. So how can you say that the absense of NOT UNIX utilities makes a system UNIX?

Thirdly, 'And Unix's beloved fortune, who dutifully greets us upon login, is missing.'. Fortune was a program written in order to test out the first btree implementation. It's a game, not a component of UNIX. Also, note again, fortune does not come with Solaris, HP-UX, nor AIX.

Fourthly, 'Speaking of xterm, where is X? You know, that often-maligned client/server hardware-independent platform MIT came up with to provide GUI services for *nix' is wrong. X is not a GUI, but X is a client-server architecture designed for distributed computing. The GUI part of it was just there because there was nothing available at the time. Again, why does X make UNIX?

Fifthly, 'you have to find yourself an X server for Mac OS X, which Apple doesn't even want to acknowledge exists', to the contrary, available from Apple's download site, xtools 1.2 (www.apple.com/download...) which is an X server for OSX.

Sixthly, 'A few of O'Reilly's testimonies do give some concrete examples of user problems they had: "I refuse to spend weekends and late nights fiddling, Linux-hacker-style, with the scripts and codes and config files...". This sentiment reinforces that these users shouldn't have been using Linux in the first place.'; referring to my background,it's not that I shouldn't be using Linux, in fact, I used Linux as a desktop OS for several years WITHOUT X, that's right, console only, and did my time writing scripts, hacking config files, and re-installing. The problem is not that I don't know how to do these things, it's that I don't want to have to do these things. You may be a college student with infinite time on your hands, letting your mommy and daddy pay your way through life, but some of us have jobs and want things to work NOW and not after 80 hours of hacking.

Seventhly (if such a thing exists), 'But Linux was never meant to be a sports car; I like to think of my Linux desktop more as an expandable VW bus towing a boat behind it and an SUV behind that.'; in other words you acknowledge that Linux is slow and unable to perform under heavy loads? Give me a break... even I know that Linux's main design is to be quick and responsive, and the various benchmarks constantly comparing Linux w/ Apache and Windows IIS is the proof of this.

Your rant is just that, a rant. You have no valid facts, and the facts you do have are illegitimate ones. You insult the users of OSX, saying they were incapable of using Linux. Please go back and review your facts before making any more ignorant statements.

26 Nov 2003 07:21 subsu

Re: Two Words

> I don't understand all the fuss. The
> main failing on the whole Apple strategy
> has nothing to do with the OS, never
> has. It's those sky-high hardware
> prices.

I really get fed up with this "PC architecture is so cheap" stuff. All the non-standard, non-compatible hardware isn't cheap at all. You can spend hours getting your brand new hardware to work, then give up, send it back to where ever you bought it and get something back that doesn´t work either. Just look at all the chipbugfix code in the linux kernel. I, and most of my friends run PC/intel ... hardware and ALL of us have had or has and will have hardware problems.
Of course something is cheap if it doesn't work. You can of course browse the net and look at tests but shouldn't you add the time you spend on doing so to the pricetag? Finally, if you find something stable and good most of the time it isn't that cheap any more...
correct me if I'm wrong.

16 Dec 2003 09:29 nsayer

NetInfo more like YP than the registry
just ask all the hardcore Unix users who have tried
to change their OS X settings using configuration files in
/etc, only to find all their changes ignored. Apple's Unix-
likeoperating system uses NetInfo, for a configuration
datastore, something more akin to the Windows registry
we all know and hate.

You must really hate YP, which has been a
part of every *nix since Sun invented it in the 80s.
NetInfo is an exact analog to YP, but without the bad
security.

In the same way that YP uses a set of /etc files as its
source for information, so does NetInfo. It's just that
unlike YP you can also edit a NI data store in place.

As for the disabled root account, so what? Just use
'sudo'. The fact that you can't by default log in as root is
meaningless, and actually improves security quite a bit.
The number one security problem with Windows is that
damn near everyone logs in as an Administrator. This is
more or less necessary if you're going to do anything
non-trivial with the machine? Why? Because unlike OS
X, Windows has no convenient facilities to temporarily
'up-shift' to root. But this was a Linux screed, so I
digress.

There has been too much bad journalism in the
technical press of late - people writing bad reviews
about systems they don't fully understand. The present
article is but a symptom of the disease.

28 Feb 2004 13:42 the_bastard

Re: Mac OS X is Unix
It's interesting and very healthy to see a squabble over two computer interests and non of them being windows ...
Thanks

28 Feb 2004 13:46 the_bastard

Re: Wow your jealous prevails
very nice indeed ... no windowz in this fight. i've recently gotten myself a powerbook g4 12" that came with macosx10.3.1 post jaguar and it impressed the hell out of me ... i've realized i've beem away from the mac market and the darwin approach is basically what all us linux blooded people want ...

31 Mar 2004 22:08 grimharvest

Some of the details are arguable
But the gist of his editorial is right. OS X is for people looking for the &quot;polished&quot; desktop experience. Which is fine. But Linux and BSD are for people who believe in Open Source, want real choices and want free as in speech (and as in beer) OSes. Now after all these fanatical, raving Mac addicts got done flaming him, they might have taken the time to acknowledge the truth about the different priorities people have in their OS of choice. The fact remains that no matter how good OS X can be, you'll do things Apple's way. With Open Source you can make changes, do it your way. And that's the real difference.

08 Jul 2004 21:47 sord

...
I am a switcher to OS X. I do have to completely agree with

the most of this article however. It is nice being able to use

my desktop with gcc and the &quot;Unix-base&quot; terminal and such.

One thing that I will never do though, is switch my server to

linux, OS X, or windows and it will always run on FreeBSD.

Just thought I'd share that atleast one (not including anyone

else who has commented because I havent read all of them

yet) OS X user does agree.

08 Sep 2004 15:03 Lefsha

Waste of time
Me personaly, do not see any problems in that OS X is not Unix. The comments about which OS is better are not related to this article. Whether the author tried to explain the same thing - if OS X is not realy Unix so doesn't matter what it is, but for &quot;all&quot; is clear Unix way is better and it's related to Open Source Community, but OS X is not...

It is a wrong way to think so. IMHO.

I don't see any advantages that config files are spreading in /etc and to make localization, for example,

you need not only to set some (quite a lot) variables, but also change init files (apply patches), because

without it you don't get a full functional environment.

Does it mean that it was a gut concept? For me not.

X server? Ha-ha-ha...

Who needs a Graphic Interface thru IP protocol?

May be .1% of all users. Then it is a strange logic

to create concept with meets only small part of user

requirments... But till now we have no complete UTF8

support from box...

So, there are a lot of bad words, which can be said about Linux. So, forget about how OS X is bad.

Think better how we can improve this unix clone.

Regards,

15 Mar 2005 13:29 muzgo

...
" (...) when they were expecting clones of their Windows or OS 9 experiences."

Why UNIX-like window systems has tu be ugly (Windows is ugly, OS 9 is not)? It seems like some kind of "naturist" hippie dogma to me.

Desktop systems MUST be beautiful and practical; if you re running xtemr, copying files with cp, with do you want drag-and-drop? But if you consider getting easier and easier for the desktop user you have to think outside the command line.

"Linux, isn't really Unix either, and they're right. But while the kernel is merely Unix-like, show me a Linux distribution that doesn't ship gcc, gdb, X, and all those other utilities (even fortune) that make Unix Unix."

Oh shit I cannot find gcc in my HP-UX!

gcc and gdb definetly doesn't make UNIX UNIX, they make Linux Linux.

Some minimal Linux installations doens't come with compilers and debuggers (see Conectiva).

Considerer trying to get out of your GNU hype jail.

ps: No, I don't use Mac OS X. My personal desktop is NetBSD at home and OpenBSD at work.

15 Mar 2005 13:35 muzgo

Re: Unix, Linux, or GNU?

>

> One thing about the Mac

> % (I'm also running Yellow Dog Linux)

> is

> % that the hardware really is superior.

>

> % And perhaps the iMovie, QuickTime,

> iPod

> % and so forth are worth the

> % proprietariness to lots of people.

>

>

>

> Hmm ?? hardware superior? all the macs I

> have worked with (up to the dual

> 1.25Ghz) use old pc hardware. old fsb,

> old processor, slow memory, etc. They

> are actually talking about getting IBM

> or Intel to make the next cpu!

> No the main reason to use Apple is it's

> ease of use and (for video) the magical

> Quicktime layer.

The mac processor is made by IBM

02 Apr 2007 23:51 mdnava

No solution?
"Desktop *nix Users Find No Solution in OS X"

First off, I must say the author is right about MAC OS X not being Unix (even today), but I don't agree/understand the title of this article... Perhaps it should have been something like "Desktop *nix Users Find No GCC (among other things) in OS X"... Anyways, this article has already fallen old, GCC is available as of today from Apple Dev Tools (developer.apple.com/to...) and I'm quite sure you will find quite a lot of *nix tools available also.

About X, well, I haven't tried Tiger or Leopard yet, but Apple says is integrated and fully compatible with any existing app made for it.

Mel

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