The future of open source… Wow, that’s a lot. Actually, I would like to talk about just one future I see for open source. But first some background.
I’m a Mac user. On my desktop system (I’m typing this on my MBP) I want nothing else. This was not always so… I used to be all GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux on my desktop, GNU/Linux on the company laptop, GNU/Linux on my servers, GNU/Linux on my linksys WRT54G, in short GNU/Linux on anything that would run it. It felt comfortable. (I’ll describe how I came to like GNU/Linux so much in another entry, another time). On things that didn’t run GNU/Linux, I ran BSD, or HP-UX, or solaris, or whatever would run on it.
But those days for me are over. I still love GNU/Linux, just not on my desktop. And I am less fanatic about installing GNU/Linux on anything I see just “because I can”. I don’t have any machines that run X left. I tried glX a while back, but it could not please me. I like my mac, I like OSX, I want SpotLight, I want my “iTools” (apple Mail, iTunes, iPhoto, apple Pages, apple KeyNote, iCal, apple Address Book, etc etc). It looks sweet, and it all Just Works!! :)
And I’m waiting for os 10.5 (Leopard) so I can get Spaces, Time Machine, Core Animations, and plenty of other toys. Now I can already hear the OSS people in the back stand up and shout things like “spaces is nothing new, GNU/Linux has had desktop managers for ages!” and “glX has a LOT more eye-candy then osX!” and “apple stole most of their ideas from open source software!”
And you know what? They are RIGHT! There are so many things in osX that are nothing new. The open source world IS where the new things happen. THAT is where the new ideas are born! And apple “borrows” (some might say steal) these ideas, and integrates them all into a nice comfortable fitting package. But that’s the power of open source! It is! In open source land people can just say “hey, I got this idea, lets see if it could work”. And you the oddest and craziest ideas and concepts spawning everywhere. Some of them suck, some of them are not too bad, and some of them are great. But open source land is also mostly chaotic. And of-course it is. These people are creating, not organizing. The organization is what apple does. They take what works, and build a tight smooth running os. And in my opinion this is as it should be.
Mind you, i’m not saying that that is all OSS is good for. I’m just saying that in my eyes it’s but one of the wonders of OSS. It’s part of it’s future.
And what a colorfull future it is…