Linked by Tony Steidler-Dennison on Wed 9th Jul 2008 12:03 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
Apple One benefit to open-source applications is they can run on any operating system you want. But getting open-source software developed for the Mac is -- depending on whom you ask -- slow as molasses or quick as lightning. Mac expert Lisa Hoover collected several viewpoints. Which do you think is right?
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RE: This is insane
by AndrewDubya on Wed 9th Jul 2008 20:00 UTC in reply to "This is insane"
AndrewDubya
Member since:
2006-10-15

I think your rant does actually have a point, but you're confusing different topics. Company's need a reason to be in business, and "perfect" open source software would kill most business models: free software, cheap hardware, and easy interoperability.

As much as I prefer the business models of RedHat, etc, they obviously benefit from the fact that the software isn't always intuitive and easy to configure (that slightly side-steps the fact that they make money providing services for the OS). For the desktop, that model doesn't really make sense and you have something like MacOS X. Microsoft benefits from running on any kind of hardware, but they didn't do that for OSS, it's just something that happens when you can plug multiple components in.

I think the thing about Apple that harms OSS the most is using proprietary formats/protocols. Microsoft does that _and_ is militant in keeping a monopoly alive. At least with Apple, some argument can be made that they want their stuff to "just work" and their formats help them accomplish it.

On the other hand, a lot of developers and users like Apple because they use open source as a foundation (which also makes using that platform somewhat easier for development) and they contribute back, even when the projects don't require it.

I certainly don't love Apple, but I don't think it's nearly as much of a threat to open source software.

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