Mac OS X = UNIX with a GUI?

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  • Reply 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.



    Powered by MicroSoft's Sync.
  • Reply 62 of 186
    jidojido Posts: 119member
    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.
  • Reply 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?
  • Reply 64 of 186
    elronelron Posts: 126member
    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.
  • Reply 65 of 186
    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,
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 67 of 186
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,838member
    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?
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 69 of 186
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,838member
    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.
  • Reply 70 of 186
    veblenveblen Posts: 201member
    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.
  • Reply 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?



  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 73 of 186
    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!
  • Reply 74 of 186
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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!
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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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