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Apple Spins It Again

Posted by notKlaatu , 06 November 2008 · 120 views

Saw a story on apple.com today that boasts a pic of some Macs and that big-solid-iron-looking UNIX logo that Apple uses in their marketing, and talks about how a science department at USF uses Macs. Specifically:

Combining the power, security, and stability of UNIX with the ease of the Mac interface, Mac OS X provides the ideal platform for scientific research.

To further investigate, I decided to download some of these scientific apps that were running so well on Mac that it inspired, apparently, USF to buy nothing but Apples. Almost without variation, they were all X11 apps. OK, I'm on Apple's X11 mailing list, and I use X11 all day, every day at work. And I know for a fact that if you are using UNIX on a Mac then you are getting NONE of the "ease of the Mac Interface"...and yet this article makes it sound like they've actually gone to great lengths to make working with Unix on the Mac a pleasant and easy experience.Fact: Unix on a Mac is enabled by the X Server running on top of, and in spite of, the Cocoa GUI interface.Fact: There is little to no integration between X11 and Cocoa- there is no copy / paste between the two environments- the Unix apps do not inherit the "ease of the Mac interface" because they are built with QT or GTK and Mac does not do anything to change this via porting or anything -- even though you'd never know if from this article.- no drag and drop between environments- X11 is buggy- The Leopard implementation of virutal desktops ("Spaces™") does not deal well with X11So on the surface, Apple is touting their product and championing the "power and stability" of UNIX...but in reality the application that enables you to run the UNIX apps is a mere afterthought for them. My guess as to why USF is using Mac? Um, probably because Apple gave them a ridiculous deal on the machines and who ever does the purchasing doesn't know Mac from Linux from Windows.Give me a good Linux system and load those apps, and experience the ease of the Linux interface, combined with the stability and power of a Unix-Like system, without the overhead of proprietary code, the Cocoa interface, and the vendor lock-in. That's what I say.




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