TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jun 99 Online

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 6
Column Tag: MacTech Online

Sep 98 Viewpoint

by Jeff Clites, online@mactech.com

Apple surprised everyone when they announced the Darwin project, exposing the core of their new operating systems for all to see and hack. It is a bold strategy, to try to latch onto some of the momentum that is the Linux phenomenon. From where I sit, I see three possible outcomes: Darwin could form a bridge to lure programmers from the open-source community into the Mac fold; it could introduce traditional Mac programmers to the larger, traditionally Unix-based open-source arena (same bridge, opposite direction of travel); or it could flop. It's too soon to tell which scenario will play out. Up until now, the Mac community has not been heavily involved in open-source projects, with a few notable exceptions. (In fact, the only similar Mac-based community project that I know of is FilterTop, and most people probably have never even heard of it.) I suspect that this is more a logistical mismatch stemming from underlying design issues than a fundamental reflection of the cultures involved. Most open-source projects have originated in the Unix world, and Unix applications tend to either lack a GUI, being command-line and text-configuration-file based, or they have a UI based on X Windows. In either case it would take a considerable amount of work to make such applications truly Mac-like, and new versions of the core application would have to be re-ported with each release. The open-source projects which have successfully been brought to the Mac have all surmounted these potential problems in some way: Linux runs on PowerPC hardware, but since it is an entire operating system it isn't subjects to the expectation of a Mac-like design; Mozilla grew out of a product which was cross-platform before it was open-source, and its design reflects this; and Perl, Python, and Tcl, the major scripting languages, all have Macintosh versions, but as programming languages are inherently text-based there is not a fundamental design mismatch between platforms.

Now that Darwin has arrived and Apple's operating systems are BSD-compatible, Macintosh users are going to have an easier time participating in open development projects, or in simply using the software that these projects have already developed. Last month we explored resources to help Macintosh developers learn more about the Unix world in general. This month we are going to investigate the open-source phenomenon, with the hopes of helping Macintosh developers figure out where they fit in the larger scheme.

Darwin
http://www.publicsource.apple.com/
FilterTop
http://www.topsoft.org/Projects/FilterTop/Index.html

The Open-Source Movement

The open-source movement is definitely a movement, complete with its own interesting characters, terminology, and culture. The most influential piece of writing within this community is "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", written by Eric Raymond, one of the leaders of the movement and the man who started the Open Source Initiative which has actually trademarked the term "open source". You can read about the requirements that a software license must meet in order for it to qualify as open source, and the rationale behind them, at the Open Source Page. Another piece of required reading is Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, a book recently made freely available in electronic form by its publisher, O'Reilly and Associates. Another site not to be missed is the home of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation, lead by the other most vocal figure of the open-source movement, Richard Stallman. This is also where you can read about the GNU Public License (GPL), probably the most common and most restrictive open-source license. Finally, you can read more about the history and economics of the open-source movement in the online version of Tim O'Reilly's article "The Open-Source Revolution", originally published in Esther Dyson's expensive Release 1.0 newsletter.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar
http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/
The Open Source Page
http://opensource.org/
Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/toc.html
GNU's Not Unix! - the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation (FSF)
http://www.fsf.org/
Release 1.0 - The Open-Source Revolution
http://www.edventure.com/release1/1198.html

When you are done with these, check out the other links available from the MacTech Online web pages at www.mactech.com/online/, and stay tuned for next month, when we'll investigate some open-source projects which could benefit from the involvement of the Macintosh community.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.2 - Live performance t...
MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring to the stage all the same instruments and effects that you love in your recording. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar with from... Read more
formZ 8.5 - Solid and surface modeler. (...
formZ pro is a powerful 3D design application featuring a variety of modeling personalities and tools with an easy to use interface to express and communicate your imagination. It is based on... Read more
PopChar 7.2 - Floating window shows avai...
We're also selling a 5-license family pack for only $25.99! PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar provides a frustration-free way to... Read more
FileMaker Pro 14.0.2 - Powerful, easy-to...
FileMaker Pro is powerful, easy-to-use software used to create custom solutions for your business that run on iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the web. Use FileMaker Pro to manage and share information... Read more
djay Pro 1.2 - Transform your Mac into a...
djay Pro provides a complete toolkit for performing DJs. Its unique modern interface is built around a sophisticated integration with iTunes and Spotify, giving you instant access to millions of... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more
Today Only: Save US$50 on Adobe Elements 13;...
Keep the memories. lose the distractions. Summer’s winding down and it’s time to turn almost perfect shots into picture perfect memories with Elements 13. And get the power to edit both photos and... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Best Buy has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price for online orders only, in-store price may vary... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gold MacBook on sale for $1149...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849.99. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Declin...
Does Apple badly need a touchscreen convertible/hybrid laptop MacBook? Yes, judging from a new market forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which... Read more
Continued PC Shipment Shrinkage Expected Thro...
Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -8.7 percent in 2015 and not stabilize until 2017, according to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker data. The... Read more
Imminent iPhone 6s Announcement Leads To 103%...
NextWorth Solutions, with its online and in-store electronics trade-in programs including http://NextWorth.com, reports that it has experienced a 103 percent surge in quoted trade-in values over the... Read more
Weekend Deal: 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros for...
Save up to $100 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pro at the following resellers this weekend. Shipping is free with each model: 2.7GHz/128GB MSRP $1299 2.7GHz/... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

Product Design Engineer - *Apple* Watch - A...
**Job Summary** Product Design Engineer Job Description As a member of Apple 's Watch product design team, you will help to create the next generation of the world's Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Software QA Engineer, *Apple* Pay Security...
Changing the world is all in a day039s work at Apple . If you love innovation, here039s your chance to make a career of it. You039ll work hard. But the job comes with Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.