[thelist] I'm gonna switch! I mean it this time!

Arlen.P.Walker at jci.com Arlen.P.Walker at jci.com
Fri May 17 15:20:01 CDT 2002

>Actually, FYI, the MacOS (any version) IS a derivative of the UNIX System

Not in any meaningful way.

>The more recent MacOS X is unique because the purchaser of the OS may, in
>fact, purchase a license to the source code (something that MS hasn't
>gone with - even 50%).

Ummm, the source code for the underpinnings of MacOSX is *free*. It's from
the *BSD tree and it's called Darwin (and Apple has fed the changes to the
underlayment back to the BSD community, rather than sitting on them). The
rest of OSX does *not*, repeat *not*, emphatically *not* have a source code
license available, for any price.

As a long time mac-head (I have a Plus and a 512 holding up some
bookshelves in my living room right now, and my evangelista number was just
barely into three digits, if you need credentials) let me try to correct
some misconceptions:

Sound editing apps -- depends upon what you're after but a lot of
professional houses do *all* their sound editing on Macs. I've worked with
a local band that does all their CD prep work (recording, mixing, etc.)
with Macs. So, they're out there.

Availability of apps in general -- fewer apps on the Mac platform, true,
but the biggest effect of that is that you only get to chose between 6 word
processors instead of 30, for example. Especially now that OSX has shipped,
and the X on X project is coming up to speed, you can always recompile any
of the open source apps you need for it. NOTE: tcl/tk support for aqua (the
gumdrop doohickies) is still chancey, so if what you're recompiling insists
on it you might need to do some work before getting the app to run that
way. I haven't tried using the "normal" tcl/tk libraries, so I can't tell
you how well they build a normal X app on OSX.

Speed. This is highly subjective and also highly dependent upon compiler
and publisher. MS apps run slowly on MacOS, mainly because MS doesn't seem
to understand any platform but intel (heck, they even ran slowly on
*alphas* back when they supported NT on that chip). Photoshop runs faster
on MacOS, probably because that's what the coders started with. GCC
compiler is poor at optimizing for PowerPC, ISTM, so a lot of the open
source apps could perform better if built with a different compiler. The
MrC and MrC++ compilers seem to produce better and faster code. Probably
another case of the coders not being familiar enough with the chip, but I'm
only guessing at that. I think IBM released some of their optimizing
compiler code to the OS community a little while ago, so that may improve.

Windows Media Player exists on Mac as well (don't know where that canard
came from, but I keep seeing it repeated as gospel).

General advice: forget the ideologies. Look at your tools. What are you
using and what will you be using? If all your tools exist on the platform
you're considering, then there's no worries.

I saw you mention HomeSite, sorry, Allaire had a thing about not developing
for Mac, so it's not there, except perhaps in DWMX (I haven't seen that,
yet. It's another case of not having a particular product but several
similar ones. But BBEdit was what shipped on the Mac side of the house with
Dreamweaver, so have a look at it. I've never used HomeSite, only looked at
it, but I like BBE; I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I'll end with the same advice I give everyone. Pick the software first, and
then find the hardware it runs best on. Don't worry about what anyone else
feels about what you've chosen. Everyone has a different work style, and
different computers will fit those work styles better or worse. The
hardware there in front of you is just a tool; it says nothing at all about
your life, or your worth. Find the one that fits your hand best, that you
feel most comfortable using, then tell everyone else to take a long walk
off a short pier and get on with it.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen.P.Walker at JCI.Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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