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Mac OS X = UNIX with a GUI? - Page 2

post #41 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

He is the one who turned the discussion nasty. I am not the type of guy who lets himself bullied without responding.

Sorry, I can be sarky at times. No offence intended. It just seemed like you'd already made up your mind and this wasn't a discussion at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

From this whole thread it was clear that we were talking about my desktop. Any additional software layer brings in the possibility of additional bugs, and therefore the possibility of corruption of data during the backup/restore operations. So, while I wouldn't suggest the use of tar/gzip for the massive backup/restore operations that go on in complex organizations, since it wouldn't be practical and the minimum risk of a bug is worth the amount of work saved by having the extra software layer, for my own data, I prefer to use tar/gzip because I know what I am doing.

And I disagree that you know what you're doing, even on the desktop. Rsync works better for me there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

So, the fact that Mac OS X has backup/restore tools is irrelevant from the point of view that it is a deskup running a UNIX with a GUI. Most expert users in such desktop will rather write a shell script with tar/gzip than use a high level backup utility.

Or rsync

However, you're missing out on the advantages of the GUI tools in OSX (which normally all have command-line access too btw) such as TimeMachine's snapshots and easy interface to view snapshots chronologically. It's a lot easier than hunting back through directories full of .tar.gz files.

That doesn't say you shouldn't still do complete backups as well though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

The previous comment, and similar he did in the same line, were intented to be derrogatory. He got what he deserved.

How do you know what I intended?

They weren't. I just disagreed. You didn't like that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Again, it's a question of how you define GUI. Are CDE/KDE/Gnome "plain" GUIs or do they add "frameworks"? A more interesting question, was Windows 3.X just a "GUI" (deserving a copyright lawsuit from Apple for stealing the look and feel) or was it a GUI + a framework totally different from the Mac GUI?

I don't know why you're even conflating the two things. There are Graphical Frameworks and there are non-graphical frameworks. I've already given you many examples of non-graphical frameworks and technologies which are unique to Mac OSX and that are not part of 'UNIX + GUI'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Most people are comfortable (and the most honest ones in the thread made it clear) with saying that Mac OS X is essentially a UNIX with a GUI/UI, like there are other UNIX-es with GUI/UIs out there: HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, RedHat/Ubuntu, etc... You are free to disagree with that statement but if you make derrogatory comments to those who don't see thinks like you do, you should expect some kind of answer (unless you are a bully accustomed to abuse people without getting any response).

I'm obviously not free to disagree with that statement without you being a knobend back.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

As a matter of fact, I am. And while I was having these discussions I found the following(based on Panther),

http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/

I read through it, some sections in more detail than others. From reading The Architecture section, and from the different responses, I am more convinced than ever that Mac OS X is a UNIX with a GUI (and since Leopard has been officially certified as UNIX, so this claim makes even more sense with the 10.4 version of Mac OS X).

So you read this section...

http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/arch_sys.html

...but skipped all the boxes in the architecture diagram that described all the services that sit on top of the kernel that aren't 'UNIX + GUI'?
post #42 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post



No, no, I am not the one confused. To me it's just a machine!

It's Mac users like aegisdesign who make it appear to the non Mac users that the Mac is a religion. And as such, I am very cautious/suspicious.

Now I'm confused being as I've more Linux machines than Macs.

Look, I'm just trying to answer your question. You're the one who brought cults and religion into it.

In my time I've used PC-DOS 1 to 7, CP/M, AmigaOS 1 to 4, Windows 2 to Vista, FlexOS, Concurrent CP/M, B-TOS, C-TOS, MS-DOS, OS/2 1.0 to Warp, UNIX (on 3B2s, DG Aviions, OKI i860s, Suns, Texas Instruments, IBM RTs, AS/400s, 370s and god knows what more), XENIX, Linux, SCO, RiscOS, BeOS, PalmOS, Symbian, EPOC and probably a load more I've forgotten. And I've written software for all of them too.

Really, I'm the least likely of people to have some kind of brainwashed cult idea about Macs that is based on ignorance of other systems.
post #43 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Anyone who doesn't think OS X is a UNIX 03 certified operating system from the ground up with an industry leading Windowing API/WindowServer/Graphics Subsystem needs to get back on their meds.

Yep. But that's not what was asked...

"So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?"

To which the answer is no.
post #44 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?

I think Mac OS X is a UNIX-like (compliant, whatever) O/S with a tightly integrated GUI, many tightly integrated frameworks, and lots of decent (not great, but still pretty good) included applications intended for *all* audiences.

I think it's difficult to say the Mac product line targets one specific demographic or computer competency level. Programs like Adobe Photoshop are not intended for your grandmother who wants to see pictures of her great-grandchild. However, it's pretty hard for me to find a program that doesn't serve some use as-is in a professional environment. Maybe the iLife applications?


I think the thesis of this thread proposes a question that does not adequately answer the query you intended to make. (However some great discussion was had by all.)

Q: Is OS X a *nix-derived/*nix-like operating system with a full-featured GUI+tool/application-bundle that has adequate industry support in the form of quality third-party applications and is usable in a production/commercial environment with minimal learning curve and interaction quirks when communicating with Windows and other *nix-based systems?

A: Yes. Enjoy.
post #45 of 186
Thread Starter 
To all,

To me this issue is settled now: Mac OS X is essentially a UNIX + a GUI.

Since I am not (and was never) interested in talking about splitting hairs (which seems to be what attracts posters like aegisdesign), I will not be answering this thread in the future.

Cheers!
post #46 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

To all,

To me this issue is settled now: Mac OS X is essentially a UNIX + a GUI.

Since I am not (and was never) interested in talking about splitting hairs (which seems to be what attracts posters like aegisdesign), I will not be answering this thread in the future.

Cheers!

Why did you even bother asking since you've ignored everyone in this thread, and excellent articles like those on Ars and Kernelthread that explains why OSX isn't just 'UNIX + a GUI' and stuck with your original and wrong assumption.

I'm not splitting hairs. There are significant additions to OSX over an above what you get from 'UNIX + a GUI' that you're simply dismissing out of hand.
post #47 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Why did you even bother asking

Good or bad arguments aside, I think we all know why he asked. Some people ask questions to find out answers, others ask questions to pontificate the answers they already "know." You get a lot of that on these boards... people just like to talk. No big deal.
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post #48 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by acr4 View Post

I think Mac OS X is a UNIX-like (compliant, whatever) ...

No. MacOS X 10.5 is certified by the Open Group as UNIX 03. UNIX 03 certification makes MacOS X an official port of UNIX, not Unix-like.
post #49 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Why did you even bother asking since you've ignored everyone in this thread, and excellent articles like those on Ars and Kernelthread that explains why OSX isn't just 'UNIX + a GUI' and stuck with your original and wrong assumption.

I'm not splitting hairs. There are significant additions to OSX over an above what you get from 'UNIX + a GUI' that you're simply dismissing out of hand.

He's not dismissing it. He's asked about the core of the operating system.

Being one of only 3 UNIX 03 systems vendors in the world, plus having a world class GUI is, in short, UNIX + GUI that isn't the traditional UNIX + X11/Motif of old.

To go in and talk about the the extensions to OS X that add to its separation from other operating systems doesn't diminish the fact that it first and foremost is UNIX + GUI that is world class.

The whole point of Rhapsody was to bring a UNIX operating system with a world class GUI to Apple and allow Apple to expand into other market segments completely untouchable by them with their prior operating system.
post #50 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

He's asked about the core of the operating system.

Er, no he hasn't. He asked: "So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?"

And I've got to agree with Aegis and others that that is a gross oversimplification. Many of the frameworks in OS X do not require a GUI to operate and are not part of UNIX. Stating that Mac OS X is UNIX + GUI is incorrect as you can remove all GUI-related parts of OS X and still remain with something that is more than UNIX. I can't think of a simpler way of putting it.

Of course, you'd have to be a special sort of moron to deny that Mac OS X is UNIX + some other stuff, but I don't believe that anyone in this thread has done that.
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post #51 of 186
Well, to throw in my $0.02, I would say that for curious' needs, yes, OS X is 'just' UNIX + GUI. That GUI is not to be underestimated, but in essence, that is what OS X is.

From curious' perspective, ie: life in shells, there's little benefit to OS X for him besides:
1.) Tight hardware integration, ie: keyboards that light up when a room is dark, battery life that far exceeds what a laptop running linux will get, ability to er, quadruple-boot, and so on. If you are content with digging through /etc/ to edit config files, OS X's System preferences offers little value. For a man who spends all his time in BASH, OS X is just another BASH box.

That said, after using OS X for a month or so, I'd love to know curious_about_mac's opinion of OS X is. I suspect that, like Mono and Gnome developers, he will find himself seduced more and more by OS X.

I myself have used linux extensively (and love it! And it is by no means slow at all, contrary to one poster here!), use Windows professionally (XP), and obviously am right at home on OS X. All the IT guys at Electronic Arts Black Box use Macs at home. It's not just newbies who appreciate the ease of use! Witness the slew of Open Source developers who are flocking to our fav. OS.

BTW: curious_about_mac: Peep Cygwin. It helps with the linux withdrawal on Windows

edit:
Quote:
Of course, you'd have to be a special sort of moron to deny that Mac OS X is UNIX + some other stuff,

Bingo!
post #52 of 186
Even if you lived in bash world, there's still loads of stuff that is unique to Mac OSX like launchd, mdutil, ditto that you need to know. Of particular relevance would be ditto if the OP wants his backups to work.

Quick Google and here's a big list...

http://www.matisse.net/OSX/darwin_commands.html
post #53 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Even if you lived in bash world, there's still loads of stuff that is unique to Mac OSX like launchd, mdutil, ditto that you need to know. Of particular relevance would be ditto if the OP wants his backups to work.

Quick Google and here's a big list...

http://www.matisse.net/OSX/darwin_commands.html

As I said, to me (and to other people whose remarks I really appreciate) this issue is settled.

Your remarks boil down to talking about splitting hairs which frankly doesn't appeal to me at all. All UNIX + GUIs systems (even those who are UNIX compliant) have proprietary commands/subsystems. HP-UX for instance had a very nice System Administration GUI called SAM, which is now targeted for obsolescence, among other things. If you read http://docs.hp.com/en/5991-5535/5991-5535.pdf, you'll learn a lot about features that HP-UX but other UNIX-es with GUIs lack. In particular, HP-UX is very strong supporting enterprise class hardware (up to 256 cores running a single instance of the OS, high end multi vendor store support, etc), rivaled only by IBM's AIX these days among the other UNIX03 compliant OS-es (Mac OS X 10.5 cannot compete with either HP-UX or AIX in high end enterprise systems). That said, HP-UX is essentially a UNIX with a GUI.

I said I wasn't going to reply to this thread, and I intend to do so. However, this morning I felt I could make a funny analogy about how aegisdesign comes accross:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKJonM0fM54

I feel like Jesus in minute 3:37 telling Arnold "you just don't get it, do you?".

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!
post #54 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

As I said, to me (and to other people whose remarks I really appreciate) this issue is settled.

As I said, I think you'd settled it in your own mind before you even asked your first question even though everybody disagreed with you.
post #55 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

As I said, I think you'd settled it in your own mind before you even asked your first question even though everybody disagreed with you.

Hear! Hear!
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post #56 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Er, no he hasn't. He asked: "So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?"

And I've got to agree with Aegis and others that that is a gross oversimplification. Many of the frameworks in OS X do not require a GUI to operate and are not part of UNIX. Stating that Mac OS X is UNIX + GUI is incorrect as you can remove all GUI-related parts of OS X and still remain with something that is more than UNIX. I can't think of a simpler way of putting it.

Of course, you'd have to be a special sort of moron to deny that Mac OS X is UNIX + some other stuff, but I don't believe that anyone in this thread has done that.

There are two Foundations that sit on top of Darwin. Darwin is UNIX to the core. There is CoreFoundation and Foundation (Cocoa).

CoreFoundation is legacy.

Foundation Cocoa is NeXT foundation and future of OS X.

Developers, for now, have a choice of low level communication for their Application (Command line, GUI, Service) to and from the Kernel. That is either through CoreFoundation or Foundation.

With each revision of OS X Applications in all categories will either be moved to legacy or moved forward to current using Foundation.

Carbon and Cocoa are the GUI level abstraction above CoreFoundation and Foundation.

The same goes for each of these.

Splitting hairs aside, the Operating System (Darwin) is UNIX + GUI.

The Kernel of the Operating System (i.e., without the various Filesystems) is UNIX in origin.

If you want to search for an API who doesn't have it's origins from UNIX/NeXT and then proclaim victory on splitting hairs then go for it.

It doesn't change the fact that any non-UNIX based API which isn't GUI dependent still talks eventually to Darwin and it's UNIX brethren.

Get over it.

Mac OS is dead.

OS X is alive and well.
post #57 of 186
So by analogy, is a Lexus just a a Ford with a fancy GUI?

I think not. Same with Mac OS X just being UNIX + GUI. The problem is with the word "just". Mac OS X is Unix, no question. It also has a great GUI. But that is not all it is. Throw in apps, frameworks, etc and that still is not all it is. I think Apple is more than the sum of its parts. I would explain it as good design. It is hard to quantify and we can try, but don't get angry if we fall short.

Good design does not mean just some outer shell that candy coats the outside. So many people think this is what is different about a Mac. But like a Lexus and all well designed things, there is a balance between form and function, yet maximizing both as much as possible. I would call it elegance. It is what a good dancer does when he or she moves across the floor. They are athletic and artistic and both never seem to get in the way of the other.

Now the Mac is not perfect. But it is head and shoulders above the rest. Tech geeks rarely understand the art side of things. After all, how many elegant geeks have you met? But having geeks talk about elegance in design is like most construction workers discussing Plato or Beethoven. It take two, or more, vastly different areas of expertise to knowledgeably discuss the whole.

Architecture is another discipline that balances form and function. You can compare square footage, rooms, and appliances, and still have two equal houses on paper be totally different houses. The good house just hits the sweet spot and you immediately fall in love with it. The bad house misses so badly that for somebody who understands elegance, makes you want to puke.

Flatland. If you have never read the book, get it and read it.

As for the Amiga, what a machine! I never thought of those machines as super elegant but man did they have super high function. It was way ahead of its competition. And their GUI was still head and shoulders above DOS and Windows.

I also am one of the few who got to work on a Next Computer. In its day, it truely was an elegant machine, both high on form and function. It just was expensive and lacking software. I am glad the Mac has inherited Nextstep, is reasonably priced and has great software.

So Mac is to a PC what a Lexus is to an average Ford. Not to knock Ford either since it costs way less. However, most PCs cost very similar to equal Macs, why get the Ford? Some people need a van or truck and the Lexus is not the right solution for them. However, for most people, they choose the Ford over the Lexus even when the price is the same.
post #58 of 186
osX is a divine work of art!!!!!
It's a unique masterpiece of os architecture!!!!
All hail the holy OS standard!!!!!



Behold the cult of mac in action...

Yes it is a great OS, for many the best even, but just look back at your post, your defending an operating system (.........) against an attack that wasn't even made in the first place. Go ahead, read the original post again. Now find the word 'just'......

Whenever 'liking' grows into 'worshipping' something goes wrong IMHO.

BTW, I just looked at the lexus website:
Yes, it's just an engine encased in a metal shell with some added wheels.
Oh, and a pretty lame audi-ripoff at that
post #59 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

As I said, I think you'd settled it in your own mind before you even asked your first question even though everybody disagreed with you.

Agreed. He just came in here to call us all Zealots and brand us as members of a cult - both his words. His own question in his very first post was splitting hairs. Who gives a monkeys if OSX is UNIX with a GUI or whatever?
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post #60 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I think you, curious_for_mac, are just trolling.

Agreed!

What started as an apparently civilized, "agnostic" inquisitive thread, quickly dissolved in ad-hominem, and useless banter.

All questions were adequately answered long ago, but an insistence on hailing what 90% of the computing community uses solely based on numbers cut the discussion short.

I think you were dubbed a totalitarian, but what should we call one who defends an inferior OS on the premise that it is the most widely adopted? OS X's share has been increasing of late, that, though, had no bearing on my decisions years ago to purchase Macs for our home use, nor on my intent to continue to purchase macs in the future.

I started buying Macs for my wife and kids years ago, made my life much simpler, no more "Honey, how do you do that?", "Dad can you fix this?", etc..., and eventually converted myself. The only truly windows box at home is a company owned box I have at home, and I own a license to run one Windows app (a game) using VMWare's Fusion on my Mac Pro.

I'm earning a living in large part thanks to Microsoft, but when I use a computer outside of work, it's OS X, and a couple of Linux boxes for my home servers. Doing so, I find no issue interacting with the 90% of the world who use a MSoft OS, but I'll be damned if I buy more than 1 bloated, overpriced, buggy, power hogging license of MS's current OS (I have to ) based on other's adoption criteria.
post #61 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

So by analogy, is a Lexus just a Ford with a fancy GUI?

That would be a Jaguar.

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post #62 of 186
Eh? CoreFoundation is legacy? No, CoreFoundation is open source.

Anyway, to the original poster I would ask: are you interested in Gnustep? Gnustep is an attempt to reproduce the NeXT/MacOS X environment in Linux. Its main achievement is a programming framework compatible with MacOS X. Check it out!

And if you like it, look at the technologies in MacOS X-- in addition to the Cocoa programming framework there are IOKit, WebKit, the Core technologies (CoreImage, CoreAnimation) and Carbon (legacy) APIs to help with porting from MacOS 9.

Do you feel excited? Try a Mac!

You will get a real command-line with all the Unix tools (though they are BSD-based not Linux), a polished interface built on top of these great foundations and many, many applications for your various needs.

Ah, by the way, it will also run Windows and Linux.
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post #63 of 186
...in the same way XP or Vista is just DOS + GUI. On one hand everything besides that actually IS splitting hairs, since the above statements are true. But in my mind it sounds like saying OSX = Unix + GUI is basically implying OS X is a *nix with a window manager. And as such should be limited to the functionalities that *nix has built in, but accessible through a graphical interface.

Which has been explained thoroughly in many posts above that it's just a very, very small part of the truth. There are a lot of layers between the Unix core and the graphics you see on the screen. Add frameworks, blue box, yellow box, (red box ), Core graphics, Core animation etc etc etc.

If all you wanted to know is if OS X is based on Unix, you already knew the answer, so why ask? If you were looking for a different answer, what would that answer be? Knowing that OS X is based on Unix, which other answer would lead you to believe it was MORE than Unix + GUI? Since you've disregarded all claims that OS X is more than that, what would "more than that" be to you?
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post #64 of 186
I think the most amusing part of this thread is that curious considers the fact that OS X is "just" UNIX with a GUI to be a bad thing. That's the reason I switched to Macs in the first place! At the time, Linux was still in a state where you could never be sure if copy & paste would work between any 2 applications. Switching to OS X was a no-brainer -- "You mean I can have a bash shell AND a functional desktop? Sign me up!"

curious seems to think that that the addition of a GUI always leads to system instability. That's just BS. It's true that there could -- scrach that -- will be bugs in the additional layers of abstraction that come along with a GUI, but in a memory-protected OS (e.g., OS X), that will only affect the software that sits on top of those layers. I'm willing to bet that his mission critical apps do not sit on top of Cocoa.

It's almost 2008. Anyone who still thinks a GUI is a bad thing has either been growing that grey beard for a bit too long or is a 12 year-old hacker wannabe. Time to step away from the meta key. The mouse is your friend.
post #65 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elron View Post

I think the most amusing part of this thread is that curious considers the fact that OS X is "just" UNIX with a GUI to be a bad thing.

No my dear. I consider it to be a great thing. If I want the GUI, I use it. If I don't, I don't use it.

Before aegis and other fanatics began with the demeaning comments, I asked the question honestly because from talking to my friend and other people, and my own experiences of using Mac OS X at the clusters of my university, Mac OS X seemed to me essentilly a UNIX (which I consider an exceptional thing) with a GUI. I wanted to know what else, if that wasn't the case, Mac OS X is.

Apparently some hit the ceiling at the thought that Apple is building on the work of decades of OS development done elsewhere (beginning wth the work in C/UNIX done at Bell Labs). To me that's excellent news because Mac OS X leverages the robustness that is synonymous of UNIX. But apparently the fanatics find it hard to swallow that the robustness of Mac OS X (that they so proudly compare to the shortcomings of Windows NT) comes from its UNIX roots rather than from some ultra-breakthough development done at Apple.

Best,
post #66 of 186
Some people obviously haven't read the book Flatland.

In that book, the author builds a world of 2 dimensional characters and has a 3d character intersect the 2D plane. However all the people who are stuck only seeing 2 dimensions don't get what a sphere is. They think it is just a circle. No matter how hard the sphere tried to convince them of a third dimension, the 2D people just couldn't get it.

It is the same explaining why a Mac is better. Geeks are stuck in their own 2D world and don't see the third dimension, the dimension of art and form. They then call those of us who do part of the cult of Mac. Yet they do not deal with the reasoning presented to support our conclusions. They can't. They lack the developed skills to do so. They then launch ad hominem fallacies to try and hide their ignorance.

I like my Mac but it is not my all time favorite computer. I loved my C64. I liked the Amiga. I liked Next the best. Used DOS, Windows, Unix. I use to be stuck in the 2D PC world but it was really the Next that rocked my world and showed me the third dimension. As a computer student at the university I was amazed at the Next computers in the music department. I thought it ironic that I first learned about GUIs, OOP, C, multimedia, UNIX, email, and the web all from the music department, not the computer department. They were still stuck on mainframes and Pascal - a microcosm of the PC/Mac debate.

I think it is high time we start talking about the cult of the PC. I see masses of lemmings blindly following a leader even when it leads them over a cliff. And yes, I have seen that old Apple commercial showing just that. The Mac people choose Mac because they want to; the PC people choose PCs because they have to.

I have worked on various mainframes like DEC Alphas , Next cubes, Commodores, PCs, Macs - I have used most software and computers created in the last 20 years. Not just seen them - used them. I do not think the Mac was the best OS - NextStep was way better.

As for the word "just", look at the title of this thread. Look at the various posts. Lots of posts pointed out the problem with using a formula Mac OS = UNIX with a GUI. It is not a = b+c. Others have pointed out how there is a d, e, and f too. I merely wanted to add in the z factor, the hard to define elegant design variable. Nobody had brought it up yet so I did.

I knew many geeks have an impossible time understanding this science so I tried hard to clearly define it and explain it. Even people who see it have a hard time defining it. It is a science, but so complex and little formulated that we usually call it art.

While Macs might have some big fans, some who are accused of blinding following Jobs, I would like to hold up a mirror and like to point out the Caveman many people see as their reflection. We can try to explain our point but it does no good to those who are stuck in Flatland.
post #67 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Apparently some hit the ceiling at the thought that Apple is building on the work of decades of OS development done elsewhere (beginning wth the work in C/UNIX done at Bell Labs) ... apparently the fanatics find it hard to swallow that the robustness of Mac OS X ... comes from its UNIX roots rather than from some ultra-breakthough development done at Apple.



Not at all. No one in this thread has denied the "UNIXness" of OS X. It's a very good foundation, certainly better than the instability and general crustiness of "Classic" Mac OS. You asked if Mac OS X is UNIX + GUI, then you got all narked when people said no and accused them of "splitting hairs", somewhat amusingly missing the fact that the original question is of the hair-splitting variety. Ultimately, it doesn't matter one jot what the technical make-up of the OS is, as long as it does the job properly and is stable.

Of course, a technical discussion is always amusing for geeks like us, but really any "normal" person looking at this thread would think all participants are irretrievably sad and should be doing something better with their time!

If your question is actually "Is the core of Mac OS X UNIX?", the answer is yes, if your question is "Is Mac OS X UNIX+GUI" the answer is still no, because Mac OS X - GUI > UNIX. Why is this devastatingly simple mathematics too much for you to grasp?
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post #68 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post


Apparently some hit the ceiling at the thought that Apple is building on the work of decades of OS development done elsewhere (beginning wth the work in C/UNIX done at Bell Labs). To me that's excellent news because Mac OS X leverages the robustness that is synonymous of UNIX. But apparently the fanatics find it hard to swallow that the robustness of Mac OS X (that they so proudly compare to the shortcomings of Windows NT) comes from its UNIX roots rather than from some ultra-breakthough development done at Apple.

Best,

That's because most of that "robustness" originated from OS 9 and earlier. Which wasn't built on Unix.

Unix may have opened up new things, but the basic interface and all the elements are from a non-Unix foundation.
post #69 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbrosfan View Post

That's because most of that "robustness" originated from OS 9 and earlier. Which wasn't built on Unix.

Unix may have opened up new things, but the basic interface and all the elements are from a non-Unix foundation.

I believe that you are gravely mistaken. Classic Mac OS was anything but robust (I know, I used it from 1993 till 2000). The only things that have lasted from Classic Mac OS are all GUI related.
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post #70 of 186
So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?


I'm a UNIX admin by profession and just happened to be strolling by since I like apple insider. It sounds like you are UNIX admin as well.

I personally find the wording of the question confusing because "Mac OS X is a UNIX" doesn't really describe anything other than that the OS X core operating system meets enough POSIX standards to be classified as a UNIX Operating system. "Mac OS X is a UNIX" doesn't make sense to me in the context that it is used, adding it to other components of the OS X distribution, because it does not describe any components of Mac OS X other than the standards that it is compliant with.

How I would understand the question.

Is the operating system (Mac OS X in this instance) a UNIX standards compliant operating environment (kernel, shell, hierarchical file system structure) that comes with a bunch of bundled software/applications that run above the kernel (Including the GUI abstraction layer and Window Manager)?

I think the answer to this question, would be yes for all major UNIX distributions including Mac OS X. But for the purposes of most discussions that question seems way too general.

I also think the addition of "intended for non expert users" to describe software and applications included with a software distribution that aren't part of the core operating system environment (kernel, shell, file system structure) could be interpreted as flame bait. : ) It is the software/applications that run on top of the core operating system environment that give the computer all of it's utility.
post #71 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by veblen View Post

I believe the initial question is confusing... I think the answer to this question, would be yes for all major UNIX distributions including Mac OS X. But for the purposes of most discussions that question seems way too general.

Exactly. You need to be able to formulate a well defined and quantifiable question in order to get an easily quantifiable answer. Otherwise you're travelling into this territory:

Q: Is Mac OS X just UNIX + GUI?
A: 42.

I reiterate my conveniently ignored question to curious_about_mac:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyatt Thrash View Post

Knowing that OS X is based on Unix, which other answer would lead you to believe it was MORE than Unix + GUI? Since you've disregarded all claims that OS X is more than that, what would "more than that" be to you?
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post #72 of 186
...Not that it matters now but... VMS is POSIX compliant, BeOS was too (albeit compliant to an older standard). I would not consider either of them UNIX (since VMS had non-UNIX roots as did BeOS). In the same vein I do not think saying that Mac OS X is not UNIX + UI is wrong, just as saying UNIX + UI is right.

The original kernel has been modified and bastardized by NeXT and Apple, so kernel comparisons seem (to me) to be a little sketchy at least in a direct lineage sort of way (altho' you can say that all the components mixed together in the soup were all derived from UNIX). The file system is different. Development relies on 100% NeXT/Apple frameworks and even the OS X UI is a mix of NEXSTEP UI and MAC OS UI. I don't know. While I know it derived from a UNIX base, the engine underneath it all, I have a hard time calling it a UNIX + UI operating system, even if Apple touts the UNIX03 (POSIX) title.


---


Also, while NT was developed by a group let by an ex-VP of VMS at DEC, I do not think that comparisons of NT to VMS should be made in a trivial fashion (I think someone earlier in the thread made a comment about VMS/Linux). I worked for DEC for 11 years, including a stint in the OpenVMS OS Security group and can safely say that VMS was a wonderful operating system. Development adhered to standards and testing was extensive. It was robust and secure.
post #73 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyatt Thrash View Post

I reiterate my conveniently ignored question to curious_about_mac:
Knowing that OS X is based on Unix, which other answer would lead you to believe it was MORE than Unix + GUI? Since you've disregarded all claims that OS X is more than that, what would "more than that" be to you?

No, I haven't conveniently ignored it, I just thought the issue was already settled.

That Mac OS X had significant features unique to it absent in any other UNIX system so that Mac OS X was more robust/secure as a result. I am going to give you an example, from which I hope you get the idea. For many years (and I think it's still the case), the name of the game in high availability systems was Tandem Computers and its OS (known as NonStop Kernel these days), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NonStop_Kernel

That's a complete different OS from UNIX, which was designed specifically to run applications that process transactions: "Several other companies introduced failover technologies but only Guardian supported completely fail-safe transaction processing. A properly constructed Guardian program could fail at any point and resume transaction processing without any loss of data."

I must note that the NonStop Kernel itself provides services that make identical instances of processes run in parallel in different hardware to allow its fail-safe transaction processing (it also imposes restrictions in the way applications are designed). Standard UNIX doesn't provide that. It's possible to design high-availability frameworks on top of UNIX which attempt to emulate the NonStop Kernel but such frameworks are developed on top of the UNIX kernel, thus they are not part of the UNIX kernel.

If the Mac OS kernel provided these type of services to processes, wthout an additional High Availabilty framework, then you could claim that Mac OS X is more than UNIX.

I haven't chosen this example by chance. High availability is not a trivial capability for an OS to provide. A UNIX system that provided such capability in its kernel would certainly be, in my opinion, more than "just a UNIX".

Hope this makes my point clear. From hearing the preachers of Mac OS X, one could be tempted to believe that Mac OS X is indeed "more than a UNIX + a GUI".
Well, it's clear from this discussion that no, Mac OS X ~ UNIX + GUI (if the "~" makes you feel better than "=", that's fine with me). What is certainly not true is that
Mac OS X is >>>>> UNIX + GUI.

To give you an example of the level of distortion in which some Mac zealots live, somebody earlier even made the claim that the robustness of Mac OS X had nothing to do with its UNIX roots but that it came from Mac classic. Mr H set the record straight in that regard.

Best!
post #74 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuishimi View Post

..., even if Apple touts the UNIX03 (POSIX) title.

....

Wrong. POSIX and UNIX 03 are two separate specifications. In fact, POSIX is not an OS specification. It is a code-portability specification that was developed in response to a U. S. Government mandate. A quick summary of what POSIX is can be found here.
post #75 of 186
Man some cool lurkers have posted in this thread

curious_about_mac: the high availability in OS X lies in userland and audio/video frameworks, not in the underlying BSD level. As a Unix guy, I doubt you'd find OS X 'amazing' in terms of responsiveness. But if you were a Windows guy, OS X would flat out amaze you. And OS X is certainly not 'enterprise grade' as its focus is user-desktop and media creation.

At work at a video game company, I used a multi-core PC running XP. One of my favorite things to do when the UI locked up due to 'CPU overload' was grab a window, and start painting with it. It would leave tracers all over the desktop. You simply cannot do that with a Mac running OS X. The front-most app has priority, and both the GUI and BSD layer are threaded. With OS X 10.5, the Finder (which sucks) is now kinda-threaded, so iDisk access doesn't lock up the Finder. On top of this, the UI and all it's effects and utility are offloaded onto the GPU. Meaning: none of it slows down your processing power. You can have ten Quicktime videos playing, music playing, semi-transparent Terminals above the movies, etc. Doesn't faze a Mac.

The userland experience is second to none, IMHO.

What makes OS X 'more' than Unix + GUI is prob'ly the frameworks, as already mentioned by others. It sounds trivial, I agree, but the more you use a Mac the more you appreciate the OO of everything. Stupidly simple example: system-wide spell check. In everything. Yes, everything.
System wide HTML rendering engine, used in Help, web browsers, the Dashboard, etc etc.

My advice to curious_about_mac: Ignore the kool-aid drinkers, and give OS X a try on your own time. See if it appeals, or not. Personally, I bet it will, ESPECIALLY because you appreciate a good Unix or Unix-like OS.
post #76 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbrosfan View Post

That's because most of that "robustness" originated from OS 9 and earlier. Which wasn't built on Unix.

No that's certainly not the case. Mac OS prior to OSX made the Amiga OS look robust.

The fastest and most robust Mac I had back in the 90s was an Amiga running Shapeshifter.
post #77 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Wrong. POSIX and UNIX 03 are two separate specifications. In fact, POSIX is not an OS specification. It is a code-portability specification that was developed in response to a U. S. Government mandate. A quick summary of what POSIX is can be found here.

Yep, there are non-UNIX OSs such as QNX that are POSIX compliant. IIRC BeOS was too.
post #78 of 186
Curious: The kind of system you describe with redundant harware sounds like a pretty specialized solution for a specific production. OS X is mainly a system for Desktop use, more than for example a specialized server OS or for use with redundant hardware in an ATM machine. Sure, it can be expanded into a lot of different territories and uses, but its main use and its main STRENGTH is as a robust and stable desktop OS in a production/home environment. Although its scalability and flexibility lends to it being feasibly practical in an array of devices and production models...

As a server administrator already familiar with UNIX, it might not be of much interest to you (the addition there isn't huge), but if you start using it as a desktop computer I think you'll understand why the UNIX + GUI equation just doesn't cut it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post

My advice to curious_about_mac: Ignore the kool-aid drinkers, and give OS X a try on your own time. See if it appeals, or not. Personally, I bet it will, ESPECIALLY because you appreciate a good Unix or Unix-like OS.

Agreed!
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post #79 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

If the Mac OS kernel provided these type of services to processes, wthout an additional High Availabilty framework, then you could claim that Mac OS X is more than UNIX.

I haven't chosen this example by chance. High availability is not a trivial capability for an OS to provide. A UNIX system that provided such capability in its kernel would certainly be, in my opinion, more than "just a UNIX".

I agree. If Mac OSX offered a high availability kernel under UNIX it'd be more than UNIX. It'd also be a pretty pointless and expensive feature in a desktop OS. Those Tandem boxes back in the 90s were the size of fridge freezers.

What you seem to have a problem with is anything in user space such as OSX's system wide PDF compositing technology, it's object oriented frameworks inherited from NextStep, it's simple networking and discovery technology, it's system wide functionality that is built in to all applications and many more things that make it more than just UNIX + GUI. UNIX is such a little part of OSX. If Apple switched from a UNIX kernel to a Windows kernel, it'd barely matter to a user - it'd sure matter to us geeks though.

If you really want to not use the features which make it more than UNIX + GUI then you're quite welcome to just use it's UNIX core and run X and whatever window manager you fancy on your Mac but then you'd be missing the point of OSX as you have done throughout this entire thread.

As visionary put it, we're explaining 3D to you when you're living in a 2D world.
post #80 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyatt Thrash View Post

Curious: The kind of system you describe with redundant harware sounds like a pretty specialized solution for a specific production.

It is.

Back in about 1992-3 I was writing COBOL compilers for Tandems. If that doesn't tell you how different a Tandem is from a Mac I don't know what does.

Then again we did have a Mac COBOL compiler too - never sold well.
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