Mac OS 9 - Should it go Open Source?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Zion Grail, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Zion Grail macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2002
    I was chatting with a few Mac friends of mine and the issue of OS 9 came up. None of us use it anymore, but we shared a fondness for the old platform (except me, I never really liked it). Then the idea of Apple releasing it's source code to the community came up.

    It's a neat idea, and I'd like to see it happen. However, I can see that some people may not agree with it for various reasons (especially Apple which is trying to get people to go to OS X, not OS 9).

    I'd like to see the community here kick the idea around a bit, see what issues and ideas stick.
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    I don't see the point. Who would use it. No one is going to make software for it, so it would basically be a novelty, and I'm sure apple still has plenty of technology and intellectual property they'd rather not release. Do you envision some kind of community continuing to improve on it, because I just don't see that happening. Apple already has darwin which is open source and that's as much as people are going to get. Also, making it open source requires apple to spend money on the process, which seems like a total waste for a product they haven't been selling for a couple of years now.
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Nope, if you take it Open Source you'd be putting the toolbox at the heart of OS 9 into the public domain.

    And since the same rewritten ToolBox is called Carbon, which is part of both OS 9 and OS X -- you'd be giving people a chance to play around with every Carbon app written, which just happens to be most of the OS X apps we use.

    Since there are very few apps that are written in Cocoa.


    So while a lot of people may think OS 9 is pointless, they forget that Carbon is just another way of getting OS 9 apps to run in OS X without the need for starting Classic.
  4. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    You just answered your own question. Apple will let OS 9 die--they'll even up the morphine to help it along.
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    theres really no point to do this what so ever....
  6. phonemonkey macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2004
    as many people that still use os 9 as their primary os it seems that would create a security vulnerability as well.
  7. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Yeah. Look at Windows - it was all secure and everything, then one day the NT source code got leaked and look how things have changed since then ... :D
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I can see theoretical advantages to having it as open source. There are many users of older machines that would love to have newer applications running on them with newer device drivers.

    In reality, Apple are not going to clean up the code to release it to the public, using whatever licence they might choose for such a project. It would cost too much to make it acceptable because of all the retro-fitting (ugly, ugly code) and the various quick patches.

    If there was profit in it, someone else would buy Mac OS 9.x and continue it.
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Apple would never even consider doing this, not because they want to push OSX (an open source OS9 wouldn't affect that--only a tiny handfull of people would use it anyway), and not because of the expense of releasing it, but because it contains massive ammounts of proprietary code, much of which they still use in OSX, and almost none of which they'd consider releasing the copyright on.

    Things like QuickDraw, many of the Carbon APIs, QuickTime, and a variety of other under-the-hood things are still used in part in OSX, and Apple wouldn't even think of giving them away, any more than they made those parts of OSX open source--only the Darwin core is.

    I don't know that I see what the point would be past novelty, anyway--it's not like if the system were open source there'd suddenly be a huge rash of new applications for it. Seriously, how many current OS9 users would upgrade to OS Open9 1.0 (with whatever that might break) instead of going OSX, and it's not like you could miraculously add support for X-native applications to OS9. There'd be no installed base, you'd still be hacking around with a somewhat "backwards" OS, and so you'd get no significant ammount of new software for it.
  10. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    It's an interesting concept, but I don't see Apple doing it.

    I get the sense that a successful open source effort comes out of a project that captures the imaginations of developers. I think MacOS <X is a product that captured the imagination and affection of users, certainly, but I'm not so sure about developers, who probably find the technologies in Linux, xBSD, and Darwin more interesting.

    Interesting to think about, though.

  11. Nny macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2004
    Hahaha... was the morphine Quark? Steve seems to think Quark for OS X was the final nail in OS 9s coffin.

    But like people have stated, it will never happen. Steve wants OS 9 to die.
  12. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2002
    bat country
    there's really not much room left for improvement in os9. it was held together with rubber-bands and paper-clips and although support for new technologies and devices could be added, it would be a lot like putting a $5,000 stereo in a $200 car.
  13. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    MacOS 9 is free. When I bought MacOS X 10.0, I got MacOS 9.1 free. When I bought MacOS X 10.1, I got MacOS 9.2.1 free. MacOS 9 is free, but it is not opensource.
  15. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Exactly. Why is Mac OS 7.5 free but not 8 or 9? (I think I remember that 7.6 isn't even free yet.) Can Apple really be making money selling this old software anymore? Or are they trying to discourage anyone from running old Macs?
  16. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    well, I would say that my school of 9,000 probably has about 500 cars that exact description, so bring on the superglue version of OS 9!!!!! :D
  17. Gyroscope macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2002
    What is the point of opening source code when it can't be moved forward anyway. Couldn't even be used as text book example of how to write OS/apps propertly:).Besides, who'd want to start something on old crappy hybrid (Pascal,C) spaghetti code of MacOS <=9.X. It's so oudated and badly patched, it would be a real nightmare to any individual or small group of (would be contributors) just to figure it out in reasonable time :D. I welcome and understand various efforts people are putting in Linux,Darwin,OpenBeOS etc. All these OS-es are based on much more stable,"modern" :p ,better documented model and there is so much potential for learning,improvement, research and testing that is also helping in advancing current commercial OS-es. MacOS <=9.X went(or is still going slowly for some) into history as first commercial GUI OS and it will be honoured according to these merits. Now, lets hit final nail in that coffin, SJ made for it 2 years ago.

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