From: Niall O Broin (niall at domain linux.ie)
Date: Wed 03 Oct 2001 - 00:02:08 IST
On Tue, Oct 02, 2001 at 09:03:52PM +0100, Aidan Kehoe wrote:
> As established as anything else about the GPL :-) .
Well, yes. As a legal agreement, the GPL doesn't have a ;eg to stand on
until such time as someone pushes it to a court case. In every alleged
volation to date, the violators have caved in.
> GCC, groff and Emacs are in the box, on the developer CD. You don't
> pay seperately for them. That developer CD isn't available
> seperately. Mac OSX isn't available sans developer CD. `... as part of
Provided for your convenience. GCC and Emacs are not "part" of the operating
system. But of course nowadays, just what is an operating system ?
> > One of the world's largest proprietary Unix vendors, Sun Microsystems,
> > haven't shipped a C compiler as standard with their Unix systems for years.
> True. Of course, they couldn't have done it were GCC not universally
> available and convenient ... downloading & installing GCC *was* the
> first thing you did with Solaris 2 , right? :-)
I was at the coal face then and it wasn't funny. I was working for Ireland's
de facto Sun distributor (this was before Horizon) and we had very limited
net access. If I had downloaded gcc (over a 9600 baud modem) how was I going
to compile it ? The day was eventually saved by getting a tape from the
Irish Sun Users Group which had a precompiled version of gcc
> > You may regard a C compiler as a fundamental tool on a Unix system (as do I,
> > and I was well pissed off when Sun dropped the bundled compiler when they
> > brought out Solaris 2) but the operating system operates perfectly well
> > without it.
> Really? Given that the standard distribution form of Unix software is
> a gzipped tarball of _C_ source code? How satisfactory is an OS you
> can't install standard packages on? You point me towards a Posixish
> system without a C compiler, and I'll show you an embedded
> system. :-) .
You BUY a Unix system from Sun, HP, whoever, you plug it in, install the OS
however, and the system is up and running - no C compiler needed. You then
install Oracle, or Sybase, or Sun Net Manager, or any of the myriad other
big applications for which people pay lots of money and again, there's not a
C compiler in sight. Yes, of course the the standard distribution form of
non proprietary Unix software is _C_ source code (but not necessarily
gzipped or tarred - shar archives and cpio archives were very common too)
but the point is simply that the C compiler is not in any way an intrinsic
part of the operating system. In fact, I'd say that 99% (at least) of the
installations of the world's most used operating system don't have a
compiler of any kind yet they work away happily (in as far as that goes, of
course :-) )
> > For what value of know ? I believe them to be completely separate, although
> > interdependent things. A compiler for MacOS X is pretty useless with MacOS
> > X, but the converse is not true.
"with MacOS" X here should of course have read "without MacOS X"
> It's not just the compiler, it's a range of tools, admittedly none of
> them central to the OS. They are a big chunk of what makes the Unix
> experience, though.
Depending on where you're coming from.
> and Unix was one of the selling points of Mac OSX.
Yes and no - Unix as a stable basis, yes, but the majority of OS X users
will never use a terminal window, never mind a compiler.
This majority doesn't exist yet though - most OS X users now are technically
adept early adopters. For example, I know 4 OS X users, 1 of them of this
parish. 3 of these people are quite technically adept. 2 are experienced
Unix users, 1 is a somewhat less expereinced Unix/Linux user but is learning
and is a highly skilled Mac user. All of them think that OS X is great. But
what of the 4th person, I hear you say. He runs a photographic agency and is
not very technically adept. He's a long time Mac user with Photoshop,
scanners etc. His reaction to OS X - it's very slow, and for God's sake, you
can't even burn a CD. He doesn't, nor never will, care that OS X is Unix
based. If it eventually provides him with a better Mac using experience,
he'll be happy - until then, forget it.
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