[talk] Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

Brian Cully bcully at gmail.com
Fri Nov 21 23:34:37 EST 2014

On Nov 21, 2014, at 18:59, Pete Wright <pete at nomadlogic.org> wrote:
> On 11/21/14 15:34, Scott Robbins wrote:
>> I think what Pete means is that all those OS X users make vendors worry
>> about Apple, and Apple worry about supporting its users, sometimes creating
>> things that can be used by the BSDs.  I don't pretend to speak for Pete,
>> but that is what I took away from it.
> yea that is pretty much the argument I wasn't clearly stating.  although to be honest i think i've even confused myself as to what my original point is - lol :)
> i think it was:
> - lots and lots of osx users, they don't know they are using unix.  but there are a shit ton of them out there for better or worse.
> - fair amount of "hackers" using ubuntu or what ever gui linux'y thing is cool these days.  they are pretty much clueless when it comes to unix design patterns - yet they feel like they invented what ever "project" that comes around <cough> docker/containers</cough>.
> - and finally traditional unix people that well all know and love.

	I would agree with you, and I think your first two points are closer than the people of the second point would like.

	My issue is that the traditional unix method doesn’t appear to work well with GUIs. I’ve certainly spent a lot of time trying to create simple, pipe-based CLI programs that plug in to GUI wrappers, but inevitably, the end result is something awful no one wants, and that’s been my experience with traditional Unix GUI programs and wrappers as well. The only time it works at all is when you allow for monolithic, huge applications that can provide the feedback necessary; IOW, the opposite of the Unix philosophy.

	Hence “bifurcated.” Unix is very good at server/cli stuff. It basically requires being used that way. Linux (even Ubuntu) sucks on the desktop because it can’t cope with what most people want out of end-user machines. OS X is the most popular Unix out there /because/ most people get confused when a terminal pops up.

	As for the cost of a mac to watch Netflix, you can get used laptops on eBay from a few years ago for a few hundred bucks, or less if you’re willing to go further back, and they can do what you want at least as well as a Chromebook.


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