[OT] Re: iPod support in Linux

Avi Greenbury avismailinglistaccount at googlemail.com
Fri Apr 18 07:35:40 UTC 2008

On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 13:13:10 -0400
"Brian McKee" <brian.mckee at gmail.com> wrote:

> >  Ah, yeah. Much as I prefer open source and all its benefits, I tend to presume that people using non-open source software don't, and see some advantage in it. So I don't see OSX being closed source as a bad thing for the user, presuming that user wants OSX. Might have something to do with the fact that I've never really had a problem with closed source software that was caused by the fact it was closed.
> As an Apple user have you never used Apple Works?  I bet it wouldn't
> have stagnated and died had it been open source.
> You must not own an Airport Extreme with disc drives that weren't
> useable by Time Machine because Apple tried to force everyone to
> purchase a Time Capsule.  

No. As I said above 'I've never really had a problem with closed source software that was caused by the fact it was closed'. One advantage of liking Linux is that when presented with, say, an Apple, I can always just download the OS I'd prefer to run on it.
I also tend to choose products because they work in Linux (hence the iPod). My current laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad, because there's nothing in it that doesn't work with Linux out of the box. The fact it came with a closed source OS for which support is from a single, charging, vendor didn't really factor into it - I wanted the best thing for the job (a computer I can carry) and this was it.

>					Do you really think
> HP/Lenovo/pick your favourite can't build a decent computer to run OSX
> on?  It's the closed source of OSX that makes that impossible.

No. I think that anyone else might very well be able to make hardware that'd run OSX if it was open. But I think that half the reason people buy an apple is because they _can't_. They buy a box with an OS and hardware that were designed for each other. No funny driver issues, no problems with half-compatibilities. Sure, you get that kind of thing from people like Dell, but they've no control over the software. Install Windows on a Dell and you need to download extra drivers. Install Linux on most Dells and _something_ doesn't work. Install OSX on an apple and everything just works.
Sure, an open source OSX would be really good for those of us who want to be able to play with it on our own hardware, but I really can't see it benefiting the majority of apple users. I've seen a few apple users turn to Linux or a BSD when they do want to use other hardware, but I've not heard any express a desire to use OSX on anything but their mac.

> OSX has a lot going for it, and there are benefits there for OSX
> users, but being closed source IS a disadvantage for the user.
> There's no benefit to closed source OSX except that it maintains
> Apple's current income model.  Some people may feel the other
> advantages they see in running OSX outweigh the problems caused by
> closed source, and that's certainly their perogative  (I'm not the
> EVERYONE HAS TO RUN LINUX OR ELSE! fanatic) but don't claim closed
> source isn't a negative!

I'm not claiming it isn't negative so much as that any disadvantage to running it may well be seen as negligible by those people running it. Linux features plenty of the downsides of community-developed open source, too. It's just that those of us who use it see them as negligible enough to be ignored when compared to the advantages.

Avi Greenbury

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