eWeek’s Matthew Rothenberg recently visited the LinuxWorld trade show in New York and he is convinced that Linux and Mac advocates alike can “work and play well together,” under the right circumstances. Rothenberg’s comments are in a new article entitled
A Mac angle on Linux.
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Rothenberg calls the relationship between Linux and the Mac “symbiotic,” with Apple’s venture into open source code distribution and work for OS X, as evidenced by everything from its Darwin operating system code distribution to its recent work to adapt Safari’s underpinnings from a Linux open source project. What’s more, some Linux gurus choose to use PowerPC-based Linux distributions on Apple hardware — possibly fueling platform growth, albeit on a modest scale. Mutual suspicion of Windows and a strong streak of anti-establishment thought mark both the Linux and Mac OS user.
Tim Ney of the Gnome Foundation finds a lot of commonalty between the platforms, and a lot of common effort too. Apple has offered work to open source programmers, and he’s seen some exchange in the Gnome project too, a graphical user interface for Linux that he says is improving thanks to inspiration provided by the Mac interface.
Apple’s continued efforts to win the hearts and minds of Unix and Linux users seems to be paying off. The company unveiled X11 for Mac OS X earlier this month, a public beta version of a hardware-accelerated X Windows interface for OS X. X Windows is a popular Unix-based user interface. At LinuxWorld, attendees were told by the OpenOffice developers of Sun Microsystems that an X11 version of that open-source productivity software package will run on Macs in May, and a fully OS X-native version is expected early in 2004.