Sunday, June 12, 2005

Linux GUI vs Mac OS X GUI

Is true - lots of Java developers indeed look favorably toward the Mac and its OS X:

Are many switching Java development from Windows to OS X?

But there's an even more potent and contentious schism brewing in the computing universe - lots of folks that have been fairly bullish for Linux are defecting to Mac OS X. We still see Linux as quite good as a server OS (the 2.6 kernel multi-threading enhancement finally enables Linux to be a good J2EE app server OS), but we've become completely disillusioned with Linux as ever becoming a viable desktop OS worthy of standing toe to toe with Windows.

There's simply no disputing that Mac OS X is clearly the superior GUI OS which has some Unix-inspired heritage underneath the hood. The Linux GUIs are not even in the same league.

A lot of the Linux stalwart devotees aren't too keen to hear this kind of talk, and naturally some of them get angry. These folks tend to be the free software political ideologues that view the use of computers and computer software as a political statement.

The rest of us folk just want a great computing experience that we can enjoy and benefit by.

The story of Java developers liking Mac OS X is a bit old by now - while Linux zealots vs Mac OS X is just really getting heated up in earnest. (Frankly the Linux zealots are stewing from a bad case of jealousy and envy. The fact that a proprietary GUI OS is so vastly superior to any open-software/free-software GUI attempts is a reality they can't cope with very gracefully.)

The success of Mac OS X is a jab in the eye of the software-must-be-free ideological fascist. That is perhaps one of the very best sociological benefits of the burgeoning success of proprietary Macintosh and its OS X.


  • Since OS X runs a rootless X11 the Open Source folk can have their KDE/Gnome/... desktops and the OS X GUI. There is no reason to not go to OS X now and once its on Intel then you've got Windows, BSD, and OS X GUI all on 1 machine. Who could possibly say no to that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 AM  

  • Why do you care if Linux ever becomes a viable desktop solution? If it never becomes something you find usuable, does that mean it is a failure? Why should I ever care about a usuable "Linux Desktop" if it works just fine for me now? Care to show us some instances of envy on the part of us Free Software ideological fascists? And why all the bile? If you find OSX to be superior, why not just say so and leave out the name calling (it just makes you look petty)?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:04 PM  

  • > And why all the bile?

    I don't much care for Richard Stallman's politicalization of my particular chosen vocation. I would druther he go brow beat GM, Ford, and Chrysler into giving away the cars they make for free.

    By Blogger rogerv, at 9:42 PM  

  • I don't much care for Richard Stallman's politicalization of my particular chosen vocation.

    But he's only using words to make his point, right? And you don't have to listen to him, correct? And if his arguments weren't persuasive, you wouldn't even bother mentioning them, would you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:02 PM  

  • the Linux GUI might be less usability than OS X ... but .. there are a big possibility of enchancement of the GUI bcoz it is OpenSource .... anyone can modify it to their needs ....

    I might not be an expert in development ... at least i can still do the basic stuff ... even without the GUI, Linux still rocks...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:10 AM  

  • > even without the GUI, Linux still rocks

    And my original comments said as much as I praised Linux for server use and of course it looks to have a bright future in all manner of embedded devices, etc.

    It is specifically in the area of the GUI that I have focused my comments. Despite that there are two major players - Gnome and KDE, neither has managed to produce a desktop usability experience that would convince Windows users to switch (whereas many have been convinced to switch to Mac OS X purely because of the quality of its GUI and overall user experience).

    Sun Microsystems has done some interesting R & D with advanced GUI concepts but even they now are retreating from their Java Desktop initiative, which was formerly touted on a version of SuSE Linux.

    Sure there is a user segment that will overlook Linux GUI deficiencies - but in terms of the mainstream user base, Linux is still not a viable option.

    By Blogger rogerv, at 7:55 AM  

  • Have you formed your opinion on Mr. Stallman based on on third-hand gossip and industry innuendo? If so, you might take a look at the philosophy behind Free Software.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:20 AM  

  • > you might take a look at the philosophy behind Free Software

    I respond here in a new blog entry:
    response to GNU philosophy

    By Blogger rogerv, at 12:00 AM  

  • I'm from Asia. Getting the language part working properly is more important than fancy GUI. Mac OS X seems to easier for non-technical people. Personally, I prefer Gnome interface. If they make it more Aqua, that might chance the opinions on Linux.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 PM  

  • I've got a computer set up with 64-bit Ubuntu Linux and use it for some software development.

    I still am seeing a fundamental problem with Linux.

    The Mac OS X has far superior applications that are available (not the ports of unix tools but the consumer apps that are recently written to use Cocoa to good effect).

    Other than the development tools and such, I really find Linux a dismal place to be for apps.

    Open source approach is not working out for providing consumer oriented apps on Linux.

    Mac does hugely better because it has a commercial marketplace for software that a developer of a good app can make a business on.

    Open source software gets developed through corporate benevolence. Open source software used by corporate IT can be viable be supported through this model.

    By Blogger rogerv, at 10:58 PM  

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