[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] Indexes: Main | Date | Thread | Author

Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Fwd: Linux at Sun: The Big Push

on 2002/02/20 3:25 AM, Murray Altheim at m.altheim@open.ac.uk wrote:
> [...]
> I don't think Linux or Solaris have much to fear from OS X, as it
> isn't in competition with them. I'd fear for KDE, Gnome, or the
> other linux desktop environments. There's every bit as strong a
> need for that unix/linux underpinning with OS X, and its extremely
> unlikely that BSD will overtake linux or Solaris in a head-to-head
> competition.
> What I've really wanted to see (and am somewhat surprised that it
> hasn't already happened) is that Apple would move from BSD to linux.
> Then they'd have a GUI shell that could run over top of any linux
> box, and porting would be almost trivial over the various hardware
> bases. It's sad really that this hasn't happened. I'd switch in a
> minute from Enlightenment (my linux shell) to OS X, assuming the
> performance was reasonable.
> My understanding of the reasons that this hasn't occurred is that
> there are licensing issues on the Mach kernel used to create OS X,
> and that Steve Jobs isn't particularly interested in making that
> transition.    (01)

No, there are no licensing issues with the Mach kernel--in fact, Apple
freely distributes an x86 version of Darwin (the Mach/BSD core of OS X).    (02)

I believe the licensing issues that would exist are with the PDF-based
rendering engine (Quartz) behind Aqua, which required Apple secure a license
from Adobe. But I think the only real impediment is that Apple simply
doesn't want to make it available on other platforms.    (03)

And personally, I don't see why this should be such a big issue. You can
install X-windows and Gnome on OS X, so you can run all the Linux apps
essentially the same as with PPC Linux. If Gnome and KDE are converging on a
compatibility layer(?) then I would hope that layer could be made to work
with Aqua, but until then the standard for compatibility remains X, and Aqua
on x86 wouldn't really change that.    (04)

> I'll (hopefully) soon have a new Macintosh iBook laptop, which I
> will promptly gut and install a PowerPC version of linux. OS X is
> not particularly useful for my style of working, and I want to
> have access to the voluminous linux software base. Also, Java
> versions always seem to be a step behind on the Macintosh.
> Murray    (05)

Java is indeed perhaps the biggest issue on OS X.    (06)

The good news is that the OS X JRE supports native threads, which enable SMP
on the new G4s, and that the Cocoa APIs have all (I think) been exported so
you can do "native" OS X app development in Java.    (07)

The bad news:
- There have been some bugs, and Apple seems to have been slow to fix them.
- A Java3D port is still not out, and rumor is it won't be until Q2.
- Apple says they will support Java 1.4, but won't say when.    (08)

Of course, how much this is Apple's fault and how much it's Sun's is hard to
say, unless you know someone close to it who'll give up the dirt...
Kevin Keck
keck@kecklabs.com    (09)