Re: It's IBM dummy

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 23:39:09 PDT

Dave Winer wrote:

> Think about Mac OS X a bit. The religious issues fall aside, and think about
> bridges between the two worlds.

To adopt a devil's advocate stance here for a minute --- and I'm *not*
"interfering," just expressing an opinion (Dave ;-) --- but OS X is the worst of
all possible worlds. *Pragmatic* Mac purists can't be happy, because it just
screwed their world up tremendously. UNIX geeks can't be happy, because the
nonstandard filesystem org screws completely with portability of reams of
code... Windows geeks can't be happy because... well... it ain't "True Blue"
er, I mean, "True Bill." Opensourcies can't really be happy for a variety of
reasons, some overlapping with the UNIX geek problems...

So who exactly is the constituency? Just the Apple engineers who managed to
finally scale this "new OS" fence after multiple attempts and (rapidly mixing
metaphors) deliver this mutant hybrid bastard kicking and screaming into
(obscure quote coming up) "a world it never made." Oh, and of course Stevie and
his army of sycophants.

What's good about this thing, exactly? Too little, too late --- there's a "time
value of innovation" effect, unfortunately. This would've kicked ass in
'88-89. It would've still kicked ass in '92-93. It would've been a modestly
good thing in '96-97. In '01, it's so completely ho-hum that I can't believe
anybody's drinking the Kool-Aid. It may very well *still* kick ass on many
now-irrelevant technical levels, but it doesn't matter --- the market window of
opportunity has closed. The tragedy is that Apple, if it had gotten its act
together, could've shipped substantially this product at any of those previous
points, if it could only have overcome its own inertia, its incredible, arrogant
self-absorption, and its tendency to revel in its own glory while missing market

So the measure of any OS's potential is how much *NEW* (EMPHASIS!) developer
interest it generates + how much developer lock-in it already has. As stated
above, OS X doesn't generate substantial interest in the UNIX or Windows world.
Apple's playing an (IMO) failing game of seduction with the Open Source
community --- they might have been there with their Darwin gambit but few true
opensourcies will tolerate having the filesystem reorg'd as egregiously as Apple
has apparently done. They aren't going to win any Windoze guys... so that
leaves the ever-dwindling Mac True Believers crowd. Where does the
application-driven "marketing pull" come from to make this platform succeed
generally? Nowhere. No software product company with a non-political /
non-religious agenda will bet on OS X as anything but a distant --- VERY distant
--- second in desktops, and 5th or later in servers.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming...


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