Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 9th Apr 2003 03:30 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews Today, we host a mini-interview with Fink's project leader, Max Horn. The Fink project wants to bring the full world of Unix Open Source software to Darwin and Mac OS X. They modify Unix software so that it compiles and runs on Mac OS X and make it available for download as a coherent distribution. Fink uses Debian tools like dpkg and apt-get to provide powerful binary package management and you can choose whether you want to download precompiled binary packages or build everything from source.
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Rating: Worthwhile
by digitaleon on Wed 9th Apr 2003 12:41 UTC

I want to thank the authors, maintainers and contributors on the Fink and FinkCommander projects. By creating these applications, and by combining them with the powerful Dpkg and Apt-Get tools, the world of command-line utilities and X/KDE/GNOME applications has been made readily accessible to thousands of users that would otherwise, through technical inexpertise or ignorance, would not be able to harness these tools.

Being able to run these tools side-by-side with the MacOS X environment and its applications, and have some level of integration betwixt the two, and having a measure of unofficial support and technical work from Apple, means that Macintosh users are prepared for a future where open standards and open source are the rule, rather than the exception, on desktop, portal, middleware and backend systems.

The Macintosh has a chance of becoming what has eluded it since it's inception: an accepted, supported business platform outside of the niche markets that Apple currently serves. This also has benefits to the wider community as Apple has already demonstrated its' willingness to contribute to existing projects and spawn new projects that can then be adopted on compatible platforms, such as BSDs and Linux distributions.

I have read a number of stories of outfits in the scientific and multimedia markets being able to replace two computers (PC w/ Windows + PC w/ UNIX-derviative) with one (Macintosh w/ MacOS X), since the latter can run their BSD/Linux or X-based applications as well as many "standard" business applications required for administration and collaboration. I have no double that Fink played a key role in this.

I can also attest that Fink has enhanced my work as well, since I have a fully-built KDE with many applications, a number of which fill in gaps in the MacOS X software market. By combining the two, I have a full solution for all my requirements except gaming (which I have on a separate, Windows-based computer).

So, for myself, as for thousands of other Macintosh users out there, some of whom are not using Fink, but will in the future and will be glad that it is there, I want to say a big thank-you to the Fink team, and also to the FinkCommander team. Your efforts have helped the Macintosh platform remain a viable choice in markets where the odds are all stacked heavily in favor of particular players, and where the pundits have more than once left the Macintosh for dead.