[nycbug-talk] WWDC representation for NYCBUG

Bob Ippolito bob
Sat Jun 26 23:16:34 EDT 2004

On Jun 26, 2004, at 10:32 PM, Sunny Dubey wrote:

> 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:
>>> 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.

His work, as you describe it, almost literally has no value whatsoever 
for Apple.  If they want to spend money to attract developers to their 
platform there's MUCH MUCH better ways to spend it.

For example, their new Apple Remote Desktop includes PostgreSQL for 
data storage and has VNC support (client and server), both of which are 
VERY clearly marketed 
<http://www.apple.com/remotedesktop/resources.html>.  Work and 
marketing like this helps everyone.  I was frankly surprised that they 
used PostgreSQL and put a big 'ol logo on their page about it.  They 
used Metakit for data storage in the past without really acknowledging 
it (for Address Book, I don't know if this still stands.. probably not 
if they move to LDAP).  I think they're starting to do a better job 
with their OSS community relationships.. I mean hell, they gave me a 
ticket to their conference ;)

> 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.

New development, bug reporting, etc. for parts of the BSD tree that 
Apple doesn't use at all?  Why should they care?

> 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 reason *BSD and Linux have shitty hardware support is because the 
hardware manufacturers don't like the platform for whatever reason 
(licensing, market, etc).  Apple probably has a hard enough time 
getting support from hardware manufacturers just for themselves :)

> 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.

That hardly makes any sense.  Apple doesn't budget enough money just to 
fund all of the BSD work that *does* benefit them, why the heck would 
they take money away from that and spend it elsewhere on projects that 
don't do anything for their platform?

> 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).

Their contributions only benefit OS X users, they offer a Quartz-based 
server and window manager that integrates very nicely with their 

>> 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 
> (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

Apple is a MUCH MUCH smaller company than IBM.. and most of the Apple 
employees I know post under non-apple addresses, mostly for historical 
reasons, but they are DEFINITELY out there.

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