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?