Tag Archives: open-source

Least frustrating system


I don’t con­sid­er myself blind­ly brand-loy­al to the Mac.

I know, right? Co-founder of a indie Mac soft­ware com­pa­ny?

I find Mac OS X to be the least frus­trat­ing of the cur­rent­ly avail­able options, but the buck cer­tain­ly doesn’t stop there. We have miles and miles to go in terms of mak­ing com­put­ing bet­ter. I want my socks blown off, and I don’t care whether it’s Apple, Microsoft, Google, or the open source move­ment that does it, as long as some­one does.

I hope that mak­ing it1 Some­one Else’s Prob­lem will work out for you. If you put your faith in Apple/Microsoft/Google, or even in the open source move­ment, you can expect what you get. Since at least I can par­tic­i­pate in the open source move­ment, if it does­n’t blow off socks, I can say that’s my fault2.

  1. “total usabil­i­ty utopia”, for lack of a more all-encom­pass­ing word []
  2. in part, of course :) []

The ecstasy of influence

The ecsta­sy of influ­ence: A pla­gia­rism, By Jonathan Lethem Harper’s Mag­a­zine

In near­ly one breath, [Mud­dy] Waters offers five accounts [of the ori­gin of his song]: his own active author­ship: he “made it” on a spe­cif­ic date. Then the “pas­sive” expla­na­tion: “it come to me just like that.” After Lomax rais­es the ques­tion of influ­ence, Waters, with­out shame, mis­giv­ings, or trep­i­da­tion, says that he heard a ver­sion by John­son, but that his men­tor, Son House, taught it to him. In the mid­dle of that com­plex geneal­o­gy, Waters declares that “this song comes from the cot­ton field.”

Blues and jazz musi­cians have long been enabled by a kind of “open source” cul­ture, in which pre-exist­ing melod­ic frag­ments and larg­er musi­cal frame­works are freely reworked.

Com­pelling quote from a com­pelling edi­to­r­i­al with an even more com­pelling ori­gin. (Be sure to read it to the end.)

Google’s Open Source Patches to Wine

Dar­ing Fire­ball Linked List: Google’s Open Source Patch­es to Wine

This idea deserves a full essay, but for now, con­sid­er: In the same way that Apple took Mac OS X and Cocoa and shrunk them to serve as a hand­held device OS, I think Google could take Android and grow it to serve as a PC OS. Wine would be to Android what Clas­sic was to Mac OS X.

The big win is say­ing “screw you” to KDE and Gnome and all those crap Lin­ux inter­faces and APIs. Start over with some­thing new, cohe­sive, bet­ter, and, most of all, which is not, con­cep­tu­al­ly, a watered down clone of Win­dows.

I’m real­ly not sure where Gru­ber is going with this. Google seems to like Wine for var­i­ous rea­sons (main­ly Picasa), but I don’t real­ly under­stand how it could vault Android into desk­top fame. It seems Wine is a “watered down clone” of Win­dows (its inter­nals, any­way) and I don’t real­ly see much future in it.

Obvi­ous­ly Gru­ber and I dis­agree on the var­i­ous suc­cess­es of the “open-source desk­top” mis­sion, but I don’t think Wine is the way to suc­cess.

John, I await your full essay; per­haps I mis­un­der­stand?