Cost to Develop Mac OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by c2104338, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. c2104338 macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Newcastle, Australia
    Here is a question for some of the more learned MacRumors members out there: How much does it cost Apple to develop an OS like Tiger or Leopard (R&D etc). I've done a bit of Googling, but with the exception of vague guesstimates, I have come up empty-handed so far.

    If anyone could link me to an article or another source that details the cost to Apple it would be much appreciated.
  2. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Easily Millions I would imagine, without putting an exact figure on it.
  3. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2005
    the Netherlands
    That's so easy! :rolleyes:

    Cost of time and cost of programmers... So, find out how many programmers Apple has on staff, find out how much a good programmer would cost, find out how long it took Apple to develop a version of OSX, make a ratio of what development of OSX would require of the programmers on staff, and what proportion of them would be working on other software. And then think about the fact that OSX is in fact based on Unix and what development has already gone into that, and that OSX is updated incrementally, not like Windows which is rewritten, and that there's marketing, payrol, and other supportive business-functions, design, etc. And then remember that any formula follows the simple principle of "garbage in, garbage out." And then, please stop asking questions which no one apart from Apple could answer on this forum, thanks.
  4. c2104338 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Newcastle, Australia
    And I'm sure you'll find that Apple also don't release the profit margin for iPod nanos, but that doesn't stop research firms like iSuppli from giving a run down on the cost of components...

    Obviously since an OS doesn't have physical components like an iPod it is going to be a lot harder to get an estimate on the cost, but I find it hard to believe that there isn't an analyst out there somewhere who hasn't tried to work out an estimate. I'm not after an exact answer rounded to the nearest dollar- just an estimate based on a bit of research.
  5. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    Based on my calculations using Steve Jobs's salary, about $2.50
  6. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    I don't think anyone but Apple could put a number to the cost.

    It's tougher because they started with a base (Darwin / BSD) and built on top of it.

    The OS developers aren't your typical offshore Monkeys, so you would think that a team of 15-20 well paid engineers would be a minimum. Probably at an average of say 150k / year (despite the peanut rumor :p ).

    A team of QA analysts, I would tend to think in the range of 10 folks, although I think they may get paid in Cashews, the average here would probably be around 90k.

    Workstations, Servers, Infrastructure, etc...

    It costs about 5-6 million a year just to have the team there.

    Add in cross licensing for whatever technologies they use.

    Estimate the last 10 years in R&D as well as development, your probably looking in the range of 100 million and that's conservative.

    Although SJ works those guys like a bunch of Dogs running the Iditerod, so cost per line of code is probably pretty low for industry standards, as they tend to not to put out bloatware.

    I'm pretty sure Microsoft bases their salary on peanuts per line of code which is why even "Hello World" ends up being 2MB in Visual C++.

    Then again, they could be surfing Macrumors instead of coding, which would really mess up my peanut model!
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    As for the OP, remember that OpenSTEP sold for something like $1000 US. Any "useful" version of Windows is also quite a bit more expensive than MacOS X. My point is that OS development is expensive. Without Apple's hardware business to subsidize it, MacOS X would cost you a lot more than it does now.
  8. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2005
    the Netherlands
    There's a very big difference between a Nano and Mac OSX. Visualise a Nano, glued up to the max so that when you try to open it, you break the screen or the battery. You get the idea. The Nano is made up of parts whose costs can be compared to other electronic equipment. Mac OS X has no comparable components apart from some shared Linux-code perhaps, which arguable costs nothing (though open source advocates would knife me for saying that). It costs nothing to the consumer, but it definitely costs something to the producer.

    And even the price-estimates(!) you see of the Nano or any other device, really tell you nothing about how much it costs to develop the device in a lab, to design it, etc.

    I already gave you an answer, more than any other I've seen. Find out how much comparable people would cost and try to estimate how many people Apple used during what time. You can start with asking someone who worked on Linux. I think you'll find that cost is relative. For instance, how much does it cost to ship a gold-product and then to fix bugs. Are these part of the same package or a separate OS, what?

    It would be a much more interesting question, I think, to ask how Mac OSX makes money. Because it you have a viable business-model, cost doesn't matter as much. And no, "by charging $129" is not the right answer.

    And sorry if I answered harshly, but I really thought it was a stupid question. Not that you're the only one who ever asked one on this forum or anywhere else, myself included.
  9. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Wow. What an intelligent discussion so far.

    I'm disappointed that nobody in this thread realized that much of OS X is derived from FreeBSD, though much of Apple's time and money is spent adapting FreeBSD code to work with their legacy code. the oddities of the HFS+ filesystem has to suck down quite a bit of time and money, since they had to rework even simple UNIX programs like CP and MV and the like to recognize resource forks.

    It'd be interesting to see how much that costs, because I think a great deal of it is wasted to preserve an aging filesystem.

    On the same note, it'd be interesting to see how much time and money is "wasted" on the security of OS X. Since patches from FreeBSD have the possibility of not working "out of the box" with Darwin (official name for the FreeBSD parts of OS X), quite a bit of resources must be spent fixing the parts of the code that are incompatible

    David Maynor's Wifi Exploit found a problem with the OS X driver, that was not present in the Open Source version. They had actually taken out the protective code when they used the wireless driver in OS X, which is why he was able to demonstrate exploits against OS X.

    Even if we can't quantify the amount of resources spent on OS X develpment, we can surely analyze where they are "wasting" resources.

    The way Apple works, without the lock-in that they have, Mac OS X wouldn't exist. At all. There are some circles that lament the fact that the great NeXT operating system (NeXTSTEP & OPENSTEP) has been relegated to a measly 5% market share, as well as a single platform, when originally NeXT worked on many different platforms. Even NT!

    Within this circle, there are even some that are angry about the fact that some of the great features of NeXT were ruined when they made room for the old Mac OS 9 APIs and technologies.
  10. kellah macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2007
    East Lansing, MI
    Devlopment for an operating system like OSX is easily in the hundreds of millions. Between development, testing, and maintenance, the number of people involved, and the time it takes (years).. yeah but unless I was inside Apple I couldn't provide a better guess than hundreds of millions.
  11. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I'll agree that it's probably somewhere in the $100-200 million range. In FY-2006, Apple spent a total of 712 million on R&D (Link).

    FY '06 includes (as far as Hardware is concerned)
    Updated 5G iPod
    2G Nano
    1Gb Shuffle & 2Gen Shuffle
    Intel Mini
    Intel iMac Rev B (Rev A was released in Jan '06 - so much of the R&D was from FY-05)
    Mac Pro
    CD & C2D MacBooks
    17" Rev A (CD) & 15/17" Rev B (C2D) MBP (15" Rev A was Jan '06 - R&D similar to iMac)
    Intel XServe

    The 30" ACD was updated in spec, so there was very little R&D cost if any. But I'll say that a lot of the R&D on these machines had been spread out since June '05 when the Intel transition was announced.

    As far as software (generically speaking), we have
    Tiger (security updates, 10.4.x updates)
    Aperture Development
  12. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Out of interest, what do you view the solution?

    Which file system should they adopt and why did they go to such trouble to carry on with HFS+?
  13. aeaglex07 macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2007
    United States
    don't forget about the attorney fees they waste on rumors sites and the likes...keeping their faithful customers in the dark is one of their best marketing ploys:D
  14. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    And resource forks are quickly going the way of the dodo thanks to bundles and other techniques, true... but other filesystems don't all quite have what Apple still uses, and 'newer' filesystems still lack. Very few POSIX tools actually need to be resource fork aware, and with the VFS architecture that Apple has been using in OS X, the abstraction between OS and FS has been getting a lot better.

    For the applications in the POSIX layer, yeah, that is a problem. Once again, this has been getting better, Tiger has been quite good for the unix tool guys, and Leopard is even certified as UNIX-compliant (which includes full POSIX compliance). For the kernel layer, XNU is not FreeBSD, and no patches will ever work between the two, since they don't even share a common ancestry.

    It also hurts Apple in this regard that each major release of OS X needs to be stable in the sense that you can't be doing major releases every couple of months in the same way the OSS guys do. Someone expects Tiger to behave with Perl 6 behavior, then shoving Perl 7 in there with a random update is dangerous, and issuing tons of small optional packages runs counter to the user-friendly mantra of the platform.

    Big unfriendly distributions have this same problem... where the stable RPM versions are usually months out of date for the latest version shipped yesterday. The blog linked exaggerates the problem to be a lot bigger than it is. Some of the apps mentioned aren't even customized by Apple at all, and are just used out of the box.

    The problem here is that once again, XNU isn't FreeBSD. The driver models are different, and while the drivers share a common ancestry, there are swaths of code that was likely ported from older versions which didn't have some of these security fixes, or improperly ported. It happens.

    What sucks more is that FreeBSD, having a different kernel from Linux, has some of these same problems where drivers are out of date because they have to be written from scratch for FreeBSD or vice versa. Rarely do the two platforms share the same driver support at any one time.

    Developing an OS is expensive in terms of time and effort. Apple sees benefit in sharing some of the expense with the OSS community, but I am not sure I would describe what Apple (or FreeBSD or Linux) has done as wasteful, per se. It is only wasteful when the time they spend by customizing the OSS work to fit their technologies meets or exceeds the time it would take to write it from scratch themselves.
  15. CashGap macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2007
    Music City, USA

    (EDIT - Somehow I missed that JDECHKO had already posted the link with explanation - SORRY)

    Easy. Download two year financial history HERE.

    Look for this line ($ in millions):

    "Research and Development (R&D) 712"

    Now we know they charged $712,000,000 to R&D in 2006, (and $535,000,000 in 2005).

    What percentage of R&D is devoted to OS X?


    iPhone 25% (Just this year... dropping to 10%)
    Mac Desktops 15%
    Mac Notebooks 15%
    Other iPod 15%
    OS X 15%
    Apple TV 10%
    Other Software 5%

    $712,000,000 x 15% = $106,800,000 which is darn close to what a poster estimated above using an entirely different method.
  16. devman macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    Depends on what you exactly mean by "cost to develop O S X." Developing just one release of it (say 10.4) versus OS X itself initially is a very different equation.

    I thought the analyst firms (Gartner, Meta, etc.) had the cost of a new OS at around 2 billion?

    Anyway, here's a link with some food for thought.

    There was a similar study done for debian 4 that came in at around 5 billion.

    These things almost always exclude other real costs (such as support). They generally only consider the cost of production.
  17. Rom Rim macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Woof woof.
    Bundles and resource forks have nothing in common.
    Such as?
    Name one.
    Care to elaborate?
    It has?
    It has? An example please.
    1. It isn't even released yet.
    2. Linux isn't certified. I doubt FreeBSD is certified.
    3. Parts of versions of Microsoft Windows are certified.
    4. That certification means nothing.
    No it doesn't.
    Yes we know. X is Not Unix. But that's not a requirement - it's a mistake.
    That's their problem - not the users' problem. If they want to do things that way they have to accept the consequences. Users shouldn't have to suffer.
    This sounds like a really lame excuse for the iPhone exploit. Shame on you.
    No it doesn't.
    But the PCRE wasn't, was it? :D
    But again: that is APPLE's problem. You're trying to encourage people to have pity on Apple for this.
    You mean like the Leffler/Atheros drivers? Yes they do. Apple's driver is remarkably similar to the Leffler/Atheros driver, isn't it? Just a few missing buffer overrun tests... :D
    Sorry. That's just LAME.
    But there are more installations of FreeBSD than Linux. Add the other BSDs to that. The FreeBSD people do this and only this. That's what's so good about it. But Apple do it too - that's reinventing the wheel for reasons you can't enumerate evidently - much less defend.
    Right. So it makes a LOT of sense to just use the FreeBSD layer like NeXT always did - unless of course you can come up with a REALLY GOOD REASON to not do it?
    You're looking at it backwards. You're assuming they'd otherwise build their own OS. History lesson: they already tried that. It was called Copland. It tanked. Like a BOMB.
  18. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Is the sarcasm because the discussion isn't quite going in the negative way you expected? :)

    Oh I'm sure anyone here who has opened up a terminal window on a Mac is fully aware of OS X's roots. But as the rambling, disjointed article you've linked to even admits, it was done for a reason. System 7 was an aging OS, and the developers' attempts to improve were considered (and actually proven to be) more wasteful than going with the BSD and NeXTSTEP base.

    End result: the company survived and is quite profitable, and we're using Macs today. From every viewpoint I know of, the ends certainly seem to justify the means. Perhaps any criticism of "waste" would be valid if Apple was still losing money and on the verge of bankruptcy, but that just isn't the case. In fact, based on recent financials it would seem that Microsoft did Apple a favor by releasing Vista. :)

    How much money does Microsoft "waste" on patches for its OS? How much money do Windows end-users "waste" on buying and renewing antivirus software subscriptions? I would bet you that Apple's "wasted" expenditures are far dwarfed by those of the competition.

    So what do you propose as an alternative?

    I submit that your concept of "waste" is predicated solely on the fact that you have you have a prejudice against the previous MacOS platform, and feel that it was not worth the trouble to bring in backward compatibility. You're welcome to that opinion, but I further submit that at least 2.35 million people disagreed with you this year alone... and the year isn't done yet.

    What was NeXT's sales numbers pre-buyout? Oh right... a total of 500,000 boxes sold throughout the project's entire life. Yeah, they did a real good job, there... :D

    From a purely detached standpoint based on the math, it seems Apple had a choice: preserve the NeXT user base, or preserve the user base of the previous MacOS camp. The camp that had more users won out. I'm simply not convinced Apple would've continued being viable if they hadn't made that choice. If that to you is "waste" then so be it.
  19. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    As a point of reference, Solaris 10 cost Sun $500 million over four years.

    And one is not even counting what it took to get up to Solaris 9.
  20. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    Even iSuppli is just making SWAGs (silly, wild ass guesses). They can look up most of the parts from a supplier like Digikey, but some parts aren't labeled, and some parts that are labeled aren't available. Even if you did know all the single-unit market prices for those components, you have no idea what kind of bulk deal Apple has negotiated.

    So the best you can do is provide a wide range within which we suspect the actual cost might lie.

    In the case of OS X, it's actually a little easier. Figure out how many devs work on OS X (there are probably not too many who work on multiple projects simultaneously) and then multiply by the number of years they have been working on it. OS X started around 2000, let's say they have 100 programmers and the mean salary is 75,000 a year, so thats 7 * 100 * 75000 = ~50 million.

    I'm completely guessing on the last 2 parameters, but with enough googling you should at least be able to figure out how many developers work in the OS X group. Then you could look at job postings at and figure out what they're offering for OS engineers.

    If you put together useful details, post them back here. I'd be interested to know what Apple spends as well. Intuition tells me that they spend far less per year than Microsoft does.
  21. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    50 million. HAHA. 5 years of Vista development are estimated at 5-10 billion. It's more complicated, but not so extremely.
  22. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Incorrect, resource forks and bundles have one /big/ thing in common: To take resources that an app or library uses, and bundle them together in a way that is opaque or 'hidden' to the end user. Strings, UI elements, images, and more are stored by resource forks in the old OS 9 world, and in bundles in the OS X world. They serve the same purpose, with the exception that bundles are FS-neutral.

    A variant available under a license other than the GPL is a big one. As XNU isn't under the GPL, there are plenty of legal issues of mixing GPL drivers with ASPL drivers and kernel. This is really what prevents competent FSes from showing up on OS X from the OSS world.

    But beyond that, you look at what is available under a BSD license that is more compatible with the ASPL, and there isn't a whole lot. Apple pretty much already supports it, unless the version under BSD is extremely old.

    But technically, I suppose there isn't a whole lot of difference these days. Ext3, ReiserFS, and HFS+ all are optimized towards different problems, but essentially offer the same thing. The only thing HFS+ has over them is resource fork support, and a slightly different list of unacceptable filename characters.

    Nothing in the default OS X install's BSD layer is resource fork aware. The cpmac and mvmac commands talked about in the post I responded to was included in XCode, and only if you set your path because you needed it. Apple has been pushing people to move from CFM+Resource Fork apps for awhile and towards Mach-O executables in bundles... but companies like Adobe and Microsoft take awhile to migrate.

    Things like the resource fork aware ZIP archives are done above the zip command. zip itself is not resource fork aware.

    If you are familiar enough with how the BSD guys do things, you already know what VFS is. It is BSD's own method of abstracting FS drivers away from the general FS logic of the OS. The catch here is that Apple has modified this so resource forks can still function. But in the end, VFS is brand new for 10.4.

    SVN, Apache, OpenSSH/OpenSSL, and even mainline GCC (rather than Apple's fork which contains all their patches) all build out of the box on 10.4 without patches. The trick to getting these apps to install is dealing with version dependancies on 10.4, which is a much simpler problem than the incomplete POSIX implementation of 10.3 and earlier. 10.4 is still incomplete, but complete enough for most applications.

    True that neither Linux or FreeBSD are certified, mostly because neither project would dare spend that sort of money on a certification.

    But the certification doesn't mean nothing, what it does mean is that if you have an app written against POSIX, using compliant versions of make/etc... you should be able to take it to any certified platform and just build it.

    It exaggerates the problem by claiming the problem is more widespread than it is. It acts like Apple customizes every little thing that comes across, when they don't. However, there is a problem with these long release cycles using OSS software that moves extremely fast compared to the big box software devs.

    Maybe they should change the name, X is Unix now. :p

    Which they should be addressing with prompt patches, yes... but the cost of boxed software releases and QA means they have to recoup on it. OSS uses an entirely different release model than any commercial software. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but your subtle claim that one is always better than the other is false.

    I wasn't aware the iPhone exploit used Perl... explain further.

    But really, it is a fact of development on closed platforms. Developers do NOT like the rug being pulled out from under them on patch updates. This is something Microsoft knows, and takes to an extreme. While I agree that patches must get issued, upgrading software that is part of the platform also has the chance to break software. With how apps broke at 10.3, or 10.4... do we want to have that same experience at 10.3.3, or 10.4.2?

    Patch, yes... jump major revisions? That major revision BETTER work just like the previous one or it is just gonna be disaster.

    Yup, you are right on this one... While I see some things that appear to be in common, one is not a superset of the other.

    Please don't put words in my mouth. I am explaining the situation as I see it. People can take it or leave it as they see fit. I am just tired of evangelicalism that Apple isn't going far enough in adopting the holy OSS path, or that Apple is an evil devil out to consume our souls.

    They are a group of programmers working for a goal. They will make mistakes... as does the OSS crowd. If we want to get into what makes Apple piss /me/ off, it is the sheer lack of transparency that bugs me. Microsoft does a better job being transparent to developers than Apple by a huge long-shot.

    I was referring to that particular driver... but without an accurate disassembly/etc, it is impossible to know when it forked from the original source, and if it was the fault of an Apple engineer in writing the driver, or maintaining it after the fork.

    The root cause of this particular problem is that IOKit, while a really, really nice driver development platform, isn't compatible with BSD/etc. So Apple was negligent in their duties on forking a driver, not that they intentionally removed code from a driver.

    Truth is lame. Everyone screws up somewhere when writing code. The trick is to fix it quickly when someone (including yourself) finds it. OSS is completely transparent about this process, Apple isn't. People like transparency, and so while OSS looks good for being transparent on this... Apple looks like a demon because they won't say anything or tell you when they patched it without digging through KB notes.

    Both are just as human. Humans make mistakes... but better ones /do/ own up to it.

    I can't enumerate or defend decisions I didn't make except for what I see as good aspects for it. However, as someone who has tried to develop a driver at one point in OS X... I like IOKit over what is available elsewhere. That combined with the Mach back-end are arguably strengths of the platform, rather than weaknesses, especially as we go into an SMP world. However, from your definition of what makes a strong platform they probably aren't in your eyes.

    Every approach has strengths and weaknesses, and if your priorities are different than Apple's, then you will see Apple's approach in a different light. Not that this is a bad thing, but it isn't like Apple took their approach out of incompetence either. They had goals which their design grew from. Plus, XNU isn't entirely reinventing the wheel when it is a tweaked Mach kernel with a BSD personality on top provided by FreeBSD.

    No good reason /not/ to do it. I like the approach. But as you yourself try to point out, you still have to maintain it. It isn't as if Apple would get a free pass if XNU was replaced with OpenBSD's kernel, would it?

    Waste is being calculated as compared to alternatives. Apple when making OS X had the requirement of being backwards compatible to /some/ extent with OS 9. It isn't like their alternative was to use an uncustomized kernel and BSD environment... their alternative /was/ to write it from scratch.

    The big problem with Copland is not that Apple tried to write it, but they had a big dream fantasy pitched to execs who bought into it and didn't realize how unrealistic the plan was. The plan was to take System 7 and create Copland from it, with FULL backwards compatibility. The failure was that: 1) System 7 could not be extended in the way they planned, 2) Backwards compatibility while moving to a fully multitasked environment is /hard/. Especially when these apps are running natively.

    Rhapsody's Blue Box, Carbon, and other technologies present in Tiger are partially a result of learning from the mistakes of Copland.
  23. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    No, it was because people like Krevnik hadn't entered the discussion.

    OK, well I don't know about anyone else, but that's a scary statement.

    We'll see. Apple had a HUGE opportunity to get people to switch, and I think that they just don't have the oomph to get people to switch. It seems that the market prefers staying with XP more so than switching to OS X.

    You don't get what I'm saying about time being wasted. The more time that Apple has to spend adapting patches from OSS sources (like the iPhone exploit) the more time that people are vulnerable.

    Send their developers back to school and learn UNIX. Don't develop devices (iPhone) that runs applications as root. That just shows everyone that you have NFC. People laugh at you for stuff like that. Then the hackers start using it against you.

    Yeah? So what of it? You want your single mouse button and like what, 1% market share? You want your OS 9 and your executives to try and play the numbers game, seeing how much of a price hit you'll stand while still being a loyal Apple drone?

    Get a clue. Those people adopting OS X don't care about "Beige Box Junk" or OS 9 or any of that bullcrap. We all came from Windows looking for a better system. We didn't run OS 9, nor do we want to run OS 9 nearly ten years later.

    They did a good enough job for you to be able to post dumb comments like this. Tim Berners Lee? WorldWideWeb?

    Just you wait. You're all getting to be a very small vocal minority. We'll be rid of you soon enough. You had your chance at making something, and let's just say you didn't do much. You took a new system and wanted to go backward with it. Those days are over.

    APSL is a huge ball of hair. I don't get why they do it, because the only thing it does is to discourage people from helping them out.

    There's a bit of difference between those FSs and HFS+. Ext3, Reiser, and so forth were designed for UNIX, while Apple did the other thing around. They reworked a bit of UNIX to work with their FS, as I understand it.

    I believe rsync was patched to support them out of the box.

    Safari uses an old outdated Perl RegEx library that had a security patch. Apple didn't patch their libraries, which left them open to an exploit. It was a pretty old version that they were shipping in the iPhone compared to where the library is today. It wasn't like it came out the week before.

    Read David Maynor's paper. He does a bit of speculation about it.

    Krevnick, thanks for joining the thread. It's good reading.
  24. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Well, on behalf of everyone who apparently fails to equal you in intellect, I apologize. :)

    Why does it scare you?

    You're assuming that everyone has the money to simply upgrade on a whim. That's simply not the case.

    Even so, one needs only to look at how sales are progressing. They're on a singificant uptick, so I don't see where the doom and gloom are coming from.

    To.... what exactly? Where's the massive doomsday scenario coming from? OS X has been around for seven years now, and the real world data suggests taht the vulnerabilities that have existed have been addressed in a timely enough manner to prevent the disaster you're trying to predict.

    My mighty mouse has four mouse buttons, thanks. And market share is a very deceptive metric. How is Dell doing financially? How is Apple doing, by contrast?

    I'm more secure in knowing that the OS X platform I'm using now will continue to be supported then I am about the Dell products I deploy at work.

    You're twisting my words. I don't want OS 9. I want OS X, and I have it, and I'm happy with it. :)

    Meanwhile, you have the evolution of OPENStep. I suggest you use it, and be happy with your choice, and I'll be sure not to dig at you about the size of its userbase. Fair enough?

    I have a clue. You should calm down. I never said *I* wanted OS 9. In fact my background is quite similar to yours, and you certainly don't speak for me. I kindly request that you stop acting as if you do.

    No, you're not going to credit NeXT as the sole reason the WWW exist and expect me to believe it. Sorry.

    NOW we see the hidden agenda. So who's making "scary" statements now?

    Yes, time will tell who is right, and I'm perfectly content with that.
  25. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    I disagree that time is wasted on adapting patches (in general). I agree that in specific cases, it takes time to port a patch from one forked project to another, or writing it from scratch if you are masochistic enough.

    However, the big blocker is usually not the technical, but the political. Updating OS X's perl install from perl 6 to perl 7 has bigger impact than backporting the fix, ironically. You have to practically get executive approval for major version shifts in the middle of a single release of OS X or Windows (or anything else corporate controlled). This is partly because they also need to keep devs happy, which isn't always easy... or leads to secure platforms (usually, catering to devs makes the platform worse as time drags on, but without devs, you don't have a platform).

    If it was simply a matter of keeping people on the latest, 10.4.10 would ship with Perl 7.

    There are probably better licenses for Apple's purposes, true... but those other licenses are proprietary in the sense that only Sun can release code under it/etc.

    Apple wants to stay in line with their obligations, but at the same time, they want control. The result is usually some very obtuse licenses. GPL is also a big hairball in the sense that it /is/ viral. It works great in a pure GPL environment, or one that allows relicensing into GPL without repercussions... but when you want to mix and match your stuff with the OSS world, the GPL becomes the spawn of satan.

    In how they are architected, they are different... in what they attempt to provide in terms of feature support, there is less and less difference between them as time goes on, and it is more about what scenarios they are optimized for.

    Good point, and an example where Apple did the wrong thing with regards to the BSD layer.

    Once again, motivation is usually political, not technical. OS X on the iPhone and OS X on the desktop are pretty much the same thing. What modules/packages are included may be different, and the arch it was built for is certainly different, but it is the same kernel, BSD environment, etc. For a company of Apple's size, they aren't going to allow the iPhone side to make a decision on something like Perl when it will affect the desktop as well.

    Really, I think companies in general have problems because of the waterfall style of development, which leads to decisions like what version of Perl to include being made too early. In some areas, agile methods will lessen security and versioning woes, but even then, other political blocks can exist.

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