Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 24th Jul 2008 04:32 UTC, submitted by snydeq
Linux Mark Shuttleworth today urged development of Linux models to rival what Apple has done on the desktop and mobile devices. Certainly on the desktop experience, we need to shoot beyond the Mac, but I think it's equally relevant [in] the mobile space, Shuttleworth said, outlining the challenge as figuring out how to deliver a 'crisp and clean' experience, without sacrificing the community process. Key to this will be services-based mechanisms for creating revenue for free software that go beyond advertising, Shuttleworth said, adding that cadence in free software releases spurs innovation, and that a regular release schedule, as well as meaningful ties to Windows, will be essential to fulfilling the vision.
Permalink for comment 324319
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by exigentsky on Thu 24th Jul 2008 08:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
exigentsky
Member since:
2005-07-09

I've used Linux (dozens of distributions) for close to a decade and Windows for even more than that. Yet, last year I purchased my first Apple product, a Macbook. It wasn't for the "pretty screen."

I was curious and wanted to try a fresh alternative. I wanted to see an open source system (Darwin) with a unified interface and direction. Moreover, I wanted to get a glimpse into what Linux might be like if it had reasonable commercial support from Microsoft, Adobe and the other big companies as well as no hardware incompatibilities. Given that the price of a Macbook was identical to the Windows based models, from Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba etc., I really had nothing to lose. After all, I could always put Linux or Windows on it if OS X turned out to be a disappointing mistake.

While I still use Linux from time to time, my OS X experiment has been interesting and successful. Trying to get a hang of Applescript, Dashcode and Cocoa was fun and really forced me to learn new ways of doing things. Moreover, the interface is a pleasure to use once the learning curve is over. Having one menu bar for all programs gives a consistent target and saves screen real estate. Additionally, the Dock is a bit gimmicky but actually has some advantages over the taskbar. When you have ten or more programs open, it is much easier to distinguish the large icons. In a taskbar, the icons would be too small and the text almost unreadable. Moreover, it is useful in drag and drop operations. For example, I can drag a file to some program on the Dock and it will open it. Of course, it's not perfect. Apple has made some really silly decisions like having the cut feature only work with text. Moreover, Leopard's Dock has false perspective and the reflections are really just over the top distractions. That's why I disabled them and switched to a cleaner 2D look. Just write the following in the terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
killall Dock

And here we come to one of OS X strengths and weaknesses. The customization options are more limited than in KDE, XFCE, or GNOME, if you want them through a GUI. On the other hand, this means consistent and well-thought out defaults which have been tested thoroughly. It's a balance. Obviously I could write much more about this, but I don't want to make a record for longest post. I hope my account was insightful.

Reply Parent Score: 8