[nycbug-talk] WWDC representation for NYCBUG

Sunny Dubey sunny-ml
Sat Jun 26 22:32:13 EDT 2004

On Saturday 26 June 2004 08:15 pm, Sir Levy wrote:
> Hi Sunny, All,
> On Jun 26, 2004, at 7:43 PM, Sunny Dubey wrote:
> >> With that, I'd really like to See apple put more direct code out into
> >> other projects, in order to not only share particular technologies by
> >> making them usable outside of Apple stuff, but also to make Apple
> >> stuff
> >> natively more interoperable (and therefore desirable) to start
> >> slipping
> >> into our respective IT infrastructures.
> >
> > Erm,
> >
> > IMO those sound like some pretty self-serving OSS contributions ...
> Not sure if you mean self-serving for Apple, of self-serving for me :)
> If you mean me, well heck yeah it's self-serving.  I constantly find
> things in Apple/Darwin/OSX machines that are AWESOME and eloquently
> executed ideas
> provide clean interoperation with my other *NIX boxen, which are what I
> use for the bulk of the work I'm involved with.  As an Apple lover with
> a relationship with Apple stuff for over 15 years, I almost feel more
> like a shareholder here, and totally want to make sure I keep paying
> for systems I WANT to use, for various reasons...
> --
> If you mean Apple being self-serving, well, Apple isn't in OSS for
> kicks here- they are a business, and IMO need to see direct monetary
> ramifications to feed their ability to contribute (big picture through
> small strategic acts).  Every OSS project must sustain itself, and this
> manifests in MANY different ways- from FSF to Apple, every project must
> sustain itself and it's own growth- (btw your talking to a
> card-carrying FSF member, BSD fanatic, Zope/Python Contributer, and
> long-time Apple fan).

[snip]IBM stuff[snip]

> > How about doing some stuff just for good-will ? Like sponsoring some
> > of the
> > great work Eirc Anholt does for the *BSDs in terms of Xorg? Right now
> > *linux*fund pays him to do that ...
> Well, Sunny, I'm not really sure what you mean here.  Why would Apple
> have any incentive to get involved with the Freedesktop project, when
> part of it's business is selling a desktop of their own?
> If this question is merely flame-bait, pipe it to /dev/null, but if
> this is a serious question in some context I'm missing here, please
> tell me-

I'm obviously aware of economics of how a corporation should be run and 
such.  I also fully understand that throwing money to OSS just to look good 
isn't going to add real numbers to the ledger anytime soon.  However I do 
know that even a million dollars per year is chump-change for Apple, but is 
priceless to lots of OSS projects in terms of man hours and support.

I bring up Eric Anholt up because he is one of the primary reasons BSD has 
support for open source OpenGL.  Sure DRI/Mesa OpenGL is crappy, but its 
something.  By having such a infrastructure existing on the *BSDs, it adds 
value to the OSes as a whole.  By adding value, your project in turn has 
the ability to attract people/developers to your OS.

Such an attraction is good because these people are going to be the source 
of new development, bug reporting, etc ... all which go into a BSD tree, 
which ends up in Apple's tree as well.

However, in the status-quo, I see the BSD's largely putting up for 
themselves on their own*.  I've noticed that the problems the BSD's face 
aren't shared about OS-X.    Lets suppose I'm a new and aspiring developer 
who wants to jump into *nix .. yet I've noticed that *BSD doesn't support 
bare 3d-accel for my video card, barely supports my wifi card, and the 
power management features of my computer (MSFT-centric ACPI) don't work... 
why would I want to use *bsd when linux some-what supports the above 
features ?

The above is the major reason why people would rather run OS-X/ibook over 
BSD/laptop ... 

The problem is Apple has defined the BSDs to be the base of its flag-ship 
product yet IMO does not do outside the scope of whatever effects them 
directly.  I think Apple should do the minimal amounts to ensure that their 
foundation projects does not ever lose ground.

* (Now I'm not saying that BSD's are ever going to be dependent of 
commercial support.  Far from it.  But there is no denying that corporate 
involvement goes along way for just about anyone.)

> Fun fact: Apple has contributed some very cool patches back to the
> XFree86 project, while they were in the process of creating an X86
> distro of their own which interoperates with the Aqua finder.  In that
> case, some OSS code came out of Apple, which they wrote while they were
> doing something for themselves- (and which they re-distribute as OSS),
> but I still don't see how Xorg fits into that picture...

erm, I'm not here to question your word, nor make this tit-for-tat, but as 
someone who follows former-Xfree86/Xorg developement, I can't remember when 
Apple has ever contributed major work to the project (which is somewhat 
understandable cuz no one could really contrib to XFree86 until Xorg came 
around, heh).

[paste]ibm stuff[/paste]

Sorry for slightly changing the order of this paragraph.  Except it stood 
out as a different point from the others above.

> With that, Sunny: I'm curious to know similarly what has IBM done in
> this area with Linux?  They are clearly using linux and providing a lot
> of support to OSS, (much like Apple here), and are a large corporation
> with business interests first, (much like Apple again).
> Besides being good connoisseurs of Open Source, how has IBM given back
> to OSS (directly or indirectly?), and what is the general Linux
> developer opinion on IBM's practices?

IBM is definately loved by linux folks (especially with the whole SCUM Group 
debacle).  I suppose this is the case because of the little things that the 
various IBM branches do for linux.  On FreeNode, one can do "/who 
*.ibm.com" and find various IBM empolyees sitting in the various IRC 
channels of various OSS projects. IBM gives back primarily to linux in what 
serves them best as well, there is no denying that.  However it isn't too 
hard to see folks with @ibm.com addys on various OSS mailing lists (no 
offense, but more-so than seeing @apple.com email addys.)  The real appeal 
about IBM is their use of linux to continue their never ending vendetta 
against MSFT.  IBM spends money advertising linux.  This for linux users is 
a real holy grail.  I remember once my gf and I was walking through times 
square, and my gf pointed to a massive linux advertisement done by IBM.  I 
couldn't help but have the most massive smile ever, heh. (or the "linux 
will change the world" advert during the super-bowl). Or even IBM's CTO's 
calls for the company has a whole to use linux more and more (which sounds 
like some bullshit they're saying because it sounds damn good on paper and 
in the press, but then you speak to an employee of theirs and realize they 
really aren't kidding.) Or how IBM always mentions that their POWER/PPC970
(G5) fab is run entirely with linux (not even AIX, heh).  Or the 
*LEVEL-HEADED* (strong words for us linux folks, heh) articles IBM writes 
about Windows->linux migration, etc etc etc

> > The likes of redhat/suse (pre-Novell) are much smaller than Apple, but
> > I've
> > seem them do more for OSS in general which in turn effects the *BSDs.
> I still don't understand this question here- does RedHat do anything
> directly that doesn't affect their own strategy and market share for
> RedHat in enterprise?  What about SuSe, I mean, even before Novel, they
> had to make decisions that benefited SuSe by letting it's developers
> get feed- so asking them to get involved writing something outside of
> their vision would be a silly sidetrack which SuSe would have no
> reason/resources to do- have they stepped outside of this in some
> signifigant way which I have missed?

Yes, I suppose my arg about rh/suse was flawed.  It was flawed because what 
Suse/RH do spend on OSS is for themselves, and thanks to the nature of OSS, 
these changes are simply absorbed by the BSDs.  Sorry for the flawed 

Wow, this was one heck of a post, heh.  Responces are welcome, but i'm def 
not posting anything till tomorrow morning, heh

nite folks

Sunny Dubey

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