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JLG destroyed all the stupid anti-Apple arguments of the interviewer.
He's a really smart guy and I agree 100% with his explanations.
Yep, I agree. JLG is absolutely right about the execution vs. the open or closed argument.
However, Martin Hedberg seemed to loose track of the conversation and thus neglected to ask JLC about what he considers the next big thing in OS development.
It would have been quite interesting to hear what JLC considers the sortcommings of todays' OSes from a technical point of view as seen from the user/consumer, rather than the focus on entrepreneurship and what defines a succesful product.
yeap, I missed more technical questions too.
I think the interviewer was not very good, really poor arguments, but hey It's difficult to argue with someone like JLG he has really rock solid arguments and tons of experience... he's a living legend.
I quit going to Usenix cons in the late 90s because I got tired of the GNU zealots getting up at the mic at every presentation and asking some stupid off-topic question in a sad, pathetic attempt to convince everyone to join their cult. I still cringe when I hear these kind of people who believe that their way is the only way and that the entire IT world should bend to their will. So I get a small amount of joy any time someone like that get their ass handed to them.
Open source is good for consumers, but not so if you are a company.
It always sounds great on paper, until you try to make a living out of it.
I am an open source fan, but I only make use of it if it makes business sense.
Not everything is server side code that can pay bills just by doing support contracts or consulting.
Except for the fact that open source software does not have to be given away for free. With appropriate licensing, it should be possible to ensure that every owner of a piece of commercial software is given personal access to its source code, without being allowed to redistribute copies nor derivatives of it.
In fact, I have been trying for some time to get OSI approval on an OSS license that handles this use case. However, at this point, it still needs further lawyer review. People on the license-review mailing list have given me some pointers to this end, though, so hopefully I should be able to do that. Edited 2013-04-15 15:52 UTC
How is this different from the commercial software you get access to the source code, like game development middleware?
For me if you prevent any form of redistribution, it is commercial software.
My point is precisely that selling software is not fundamentally incompatible with sharing source code. And once the source code is shared, you get most of the benefits that people normally associate to open source : ability to know what the software you own does, to point its flaws, to toy with it so as to improve your programming knowledge...
Sure, you can't make an incompatible fork of that software and sell it (like Amazon with Android), nor create a free clone of a commercially supported product (like CentOS with RHEL), but I'm not sure that being able to do that is really a quality of the open source ecosystem. More like a nasty side effect of some people's quest for unconditional software "freedom", in my view. Edited 2013-04-15 17:58 UTC
"For me if you prevent any form of redistribution, it is commercial software."
That's a silly definition. Commercial software is paid software, period. Whether you are free to distribute it or not, whether it is open source or not.
Applying nonsensical definitions to words that have a shared meaning is violence against language. There is no dictionary in the world that defines "commercial" as "unable to be redistributed by an end user."
As a passionate BeOS fan I have mixed feelings about JLG. I still can't forgive, that he decided not to open source of at least some important parts of BeOS back in 2001 (not just Deskbar and Tracker). It would've helped OpenBeOS immensely to reach usable state faster. OpenBe could've been a major player in open-source multimedia desktop OS sector for seven or ten years by now.
Yes I'm a little bit bitter. Props to him for showing up at Google Talks in 2007 to support Haiku, though.
Right with you. BeOS was... (to me and many others) simply an amazing OS. I miss it. I've tried Haiku for fun but it still isn't quite there... but I do hope for it and donate whenever I am able.
Sometimes I wonder how it would have turned out if Apple had gone the BeOS way.
Assuming that they would have been as successful, then Mac OS X (BeOS variant) and Windows would be both non UNIX systems as the mainstream platforms.
On the other hand, without Steve Jobs on board and the publicity to cater for UNIX fans to jump into Mac OS X (NextStep variant), most likely the strategy could have failed.
Anyway, this is just a what if from history that won't repeat itself, BeOS is gone.
The problem with opensourcing BeOS is that some parts were under NDA from both licensing and ownership proprietarity and releasing BeOS as open source in somewhat usable bits and pieces at that time did not make sense as Palm.inc had plans to use some of those parts and the Be engineers in their future proprietary projects and needed to stay clear of legaleese issues.
There was a good article here on osnews recently that party touched the issue.
It's odd -- think I like print interviews better. You can go at your own speed.
I wonder if people like my videos on my site. I don't get that impression. Edited 2013-04-14 02:41 UTC
I get more people looking at my ScreenShots page than videos. I used to have a video on my main page. Ain't nobody got time for that. :-)
My product is an operating system. It is misunderstood in countless ways. My web page? I flail around trying to correct this or that misunderstanding. My web page gets long and rambles. Then, I start over and repeat. I find it hopeless. I don't know who I should talk to and which people would be interested and why.
On the otherhand, sometimes, I think my web pages doesn't matter and those who are interested would download it no matter what. Those not interested, won't.
The videos? I have no idea. They can explain some thing well. I don't know which things.
Sometimes, I think I explain too difficult material, when I should keep it simple.
These guys are competitors, but I doubt I lose any customers. http://www.returninfinity.com/ Their site looks much nicer than mine. http://www.templeos.org We have different visions, though, and I generate my site with my own software. My software does a bad job on my front page, but it does an excellent job on all the source code. I want continuity between all my pages.
They have a more well-defined purpose. They are minimal and high performance. I am somewhere in between minimal and maximal. Edited 2013-04-14 11:52 UTC
My code--it's always been there, all 140,000 lines: http://www.templeos.org/Wb/Accts/TS/Wb2/LineCnt.html#l707
These guys seem to think they will have nontechnical users? http://www.returninfinity.com/ I crack-up laughing. Maybe, they think users will install it for the applications? LOL
I see there is some upset comments here about my interview so I thought I would pop in to clarify my view a bit. First of all, yes the open vs close question was handled a bit sloppy of me. Mainly because my first language isn't English. Quick definition-questions have a smoke screen effect on me.
I disagree however with garyd's statement that my doubt about Apples strategy have it's foundation in a GNU-cult mentality. What is really bothering me about Apple is that they are dictating what people shall use their platform to. If Microsoft would have done this everyone would have been upset, but not when Apple does it. The examples I mentioned is not the only examples of their destructive closed strategy. Remember when you couldn't replace the battery in the iPod? It took a lawsuit to get them change their minds. What happened to their "Think Different" motto?
If a vendor treated me like that I would feel humiliated and angry.
When it comes to strategy and execution that Mr Gassée mentioned, I would like to say that there are times when they can't be separated from each other.
"Closed Platform" + "Success" + "Company Politics" = "Abuse of locked in customers". Just the same way as a government can't go unchecked. This applies even if the company is reasonably ethical. Read the history of IBM, DEC and Microsoft.
This nearly unavoidable cycle of abuse in closed platforms is something people in general and companies remember. As Mr Gassée himself said: You can't fool everyone in the long run.
Maybe you don't agree with me on this but let's have a less tempered discussion about this topic.
I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the negative effects on lock-in, and as an OS enthusiast I am saddened by the current state development from companies such as Microsoft (and Apple for that matter).
In my opinion Apple has been extremely successful in providing aesthetically pleasing physical and technical improvements, whereas companies such as Microsoft continues to release subpar products - Windows 8 and Surface to name their latest flops.
Aesthetics and usability goes a long way and Apple has set the bar - not in innovation - but from an execution standpoint. Sadly, the competitors - if any - are embarrasingly slow in just keeping pace and plain incompetent when it comes to delivering competitive aesthetics.
Sadly, I see no significant improvements coming from the competition in the forseeable future, because of the obvious flaws in the traditional decision making process. Too many chefs spoil the soup. Edited 2013-04-14 12:46 UTC
But in fairness though there are vendors that release 'nice looking hardware' (subjective at that) but at hamstrung by the fact that all they have to offer is Windows. As I've said in the past, for vendors to restore margins and stand out as something different they need to have an operating system of their own and actually be willing to spend the money to bring it up to speed. The problem is that far too many vendors such as Dell focus only from quarter to quarter sales and thus ignore the bigger picture are their own peril.
Dell already tried their hand at crafting their own operating system, and by many accounts it was one of the better Unix implementations on x86 of its day. And yet, it failed to gain any significant traction.
Running an actual business is a different experience than waxing poetic for a few seconds about "how things should be," from the safety of your home.
Well... Every opinion is a statement pro something or against something. I understand the "everything gets simple when one decide argument". However you can't use that argument on some of Apples "strategic" decisions. The ban of YouTube is an example of that. They limit the freedom of their customers, not because of adding value ,by making things simple, but of pure greed.
Maybe you'd have a point if "they banned YouTube" but they haven't so I don't even have a clue what you're talking about.
Neither of those links say or show Apple "banning YouTube."
Maybe ban was a strong word. "Obstacles for more value adding services" would be a more correct term.
If "strong" means completely inaccurate and... No, it would not as these are a year old. Apple removed its own YouTube app and permitted Google to release its own more fully-featured YouTube app so Apple actually increased openness, functionality, and content availability. Edited 2013-04-14 18:10 UTC
They replaced something that worked with something that didn't work (maps). Not because it added value but of pure greed.
Nonsense, but what happened to YouTube?
When you have to make shit up that even people that agree with you don't believe (because it's not reality), you are not helping yourself.
I think "Obstacles against more value adding services" is a good definition.
Look at this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkrRCgFZhGo
Your pointing to idiotic propaganda about the iPod from 10 years ago? This is your best argument for the Evil of Apple? When 75% of the market has copied Apple's hardware by having "sealed" batteries in the decade since? This is getting laughable.
Defining "banning" as "Obstacles against more value adding services" is making language meaningless. Edited 2013-04-14 18:25 UTC
"Nonsense"? Yes, of course. That's why Tim Cook apologized for it:
Yes, I think it's nonsense to say:
1. Apple Maps "didn't work." (While acknowledging that its missing some features useful to some users (transit, street view), in some places has incorrect data (the worst sin), less data (still very bad), worse imagery, for some (but not all) a worse visual presentation of maps, photographic imagery, 3D, and/or labeling. Admittedly, I'm in an area where I have never experienced a single error in mapping (but do sometimes fail to have good searches or prefer Google's imagery; I also sometimes have better navigation and search results with Apple than Google). Transit was never accurate in Google where I'm from and I enjoy StreetView. But Apple hasn't denied me from using Google Maps, Waze, or the innumerable other mapping, augmented reality, and navigation apps that pre-existed Apple's Maps app. I acknowledge that using the current maps API for app developers is a tricky situation but so is choosing Google's map API. Etc...)
Claiming Apple Maps "doesn't work" and that the current situation for mapping on iOS — which in many, many ways is healthier than Android's mapping landscape — is proof that Apple is evil, closed, hurting users, or losing in the marketplace, worse than Google, or any such overly broad rhetorical half-truths is nonsense that doesn't help discussion. It's a comment worthy of dismissal.
2. That it is evident they did this out of "pure greed," with absolutely no intended, delivered, or appreciated value.
3. Tim Cook's apology is proof that Apple Maps didn't/doesn't work. Just as much nonsense as Steve Jobs's apology proved Antennaegate. Edited 2013-04-14 19:17 UTC
Well, I agree that the really interesting technical questions weren't asked...
I would say the issue of the moment is QT platforms (in combo with HTML apps), and it's interesting because it's being picked up by multiple projects, with differing degress of openness. Sailfish seems to be one of the more promising, but it's more closed than Android at least regarding the UI above the more invisible system level. But since the application API is largely open, there isn't as much potential for lock-in and abuse. Android's application API is likewise already 'reverse engineered' (including in Sailfish), so that lock-in just isn't as strong as it could be. This holds the potential for vendors like HP to integrate these API layers with their kernel like QNX, and a UI to suit. Edited 2013-04-14 04:02 UTC
BeOS was my primary non-work endpoint operating system until 2006 thus I was rather interested to listen to this interview. Jean-Louis Gassee made some interesting points, but at times, seemed to contradict himself.
Mr. Gassee mentioned that the important characteristic of a company's success is not the product, but the execution. This is a valid point and important to understand when assessing product quality relative to company success. A contradiction came when Martin Hedberg brought up a specific detail regarding an inferior characteristic of Apple's smartphone to which Mr. Gassee responded sarcastically and unprofessionally "that is why they are unsuccessful." Mr. Gassee's reply intimated that product success is dependent on product quality whereas his previous statements were focusing on "execution".
Later in the interview, as the topic of the importance of product quality relative to success, was being discussed in more detail and Mr. Hedberg was questioning the quality of Apple products, Mr. Gassee responded that it was ignorant to say that the products offered by such a successful company could be low quality when a large portion of people purchase them; Mr. Gassee explained people can be tricked temporarily, but not indefinitely. Mr. Hedberg, however, was not indicating that people were being tricked indefinitely, only now.
Mr. Gassee's statements that explain execution is the most relevant characteristic to company success and that details such as open/close software and ecosystems are unimportant in comparison (relative to profitability not capability) makes perfect sense; like he said, there are examples of profitable closed and open companies. One, for example, could create the cure for cancer. They then could advertise it only on their web site and provide no scientific data to back up the claim. This would be an example of a good product purely executed. Another party could create a treatment for cancer that works 30% of the time. They advertise heavily, send free samples to all medical offices, etc. and thus become very successful exampling a mediocre product well executed thus more profitable.
Mr. Gassee's position that the execution is the most important characteristic relative to success is spot on. His statements that the profitability of a company indicate they make a good quality product contradict the former statement and are incorrect.
Mr. Gassee created an amazing product (BeOS), however, after listening to this interview, I know that, where I would trust his judgement for organization structure relative to profitability, I would look elsewhere for advice regarding product quality relative to technical attributes, innovative characteristics, ease of use, and other characteristics important in product (not company) assessment. Edited 2013-04-15 23:42 UTC