Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 18th Apr 2006 17:48 UTC, submitted by RGCook
Mac OS X Noted PC Magazine columnist John C. Dvorak was one of the first to predict the release of Boot Camp. His prophesizing continues in his lastest column. "A cloud is rising over Mac OS X and its future unless Apple makes its boldest move ever: turning OS X into an open-source project. That would make the battle between OS X and Linux the most interesting one on the computer scene. With all attention turned in that direction, there would be nothing Microsoft could do to stem a reversal of its fortunes."
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RE[2]: What part of...
by cpiral on Wed 19th Apr 2006 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE: What part of..."
cpiral
Member since:
2006-04-19

I agree. Apple and Linux are two animals.
Both need recognition, and debate
fosters this recognition.

"Apple Needs to Make OSX Open Source"
unwittingly underscores the importance of
"New Linux Look Fuels Old Debate",
the OSNews article just above it.

So the multi-purpose of Dvorak's article
includes fueling the debate
about the place and purpose of open source software.

The following are my take on the debate.

Open Source is an extreme purism, a heaven, an ideal.
As such it's place is certainly in the kernel, but
also in any place where worldly advise is profitable.
Both kernels, Darwin (OS X) and Linux are open source,
and both allow for some proprietary programs running on
top of them.

In the case of Linux, we have Linus Torvald
controlling the kernel. In the case of Apple,
Tim Cook, COO controls it. Both seek the same goal:
to spread, albeit in different ways. (Next paragraph.)

The debate on what goes open source is the debate
on what is practical for a democracy. In Apple's
stance, the world is not ready to run itself, because
it doesn't have the hardware or know-how to do it well.
In Linux stance, it's OK world, let's see what you got.

The debate is moot. It just draws people to the
obvious conclusion that there are two approaches,
equally right. In one, you advertise your problems,
and the understanding part of the world responds
intelligibly, or with genral token of financial support. In the other, you solve your own problems, raise money with promises of financial returns, and make a "personal" financial profit in the process.

Quoting the "New Linux Look Fuels Old Debate" article:
For Nvidia, intellectual property
is a secondary issue.
"It's so hard to write a graphics driver that
open-sourcing it would not help," said Andrew Fear,
Nvidia's software product manager. In addition,
customers aren't asking for open-source drivers,
he said.

Some Nvidia components are open,
including some driver configuration tools and
a driver component that interfaces to the kernel.
"We believe in open source where it makes sense,"
Fear said.

The debate about where to draw the GPL line,
as it raises such issues as
+ the vulnerablity of Loadable Kernel Modules
to rootkit infection, and
+ the level of
abstraction, and
+ the kernel/user space lines
is really just the perview of software engineers.

But watching the drama of such a world event
really feeds the soul, doesn't it?
Thanks Dvorak, but you know not what you do for me.

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