Web Objects and DirectX....

gtoledo3's picture

Does anyone here ever use Web Objects for doing graphics? I've been messing with it lately, as well as DirectX... which is a whole OTHER bag 'o worms, and have been finding both sort of interesting. I have found an odd sense of satisfaction in it.

Is there anyone else around here that uses either, at all?

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cwright's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

I can't say I've used WO any, but I did touch on DX back in the day (probably DX 7 or 8... it's been a super long time).

My experience with DX was that it mostly mirrored OpenGL (but with lots of additional stuff for I/O, network, sound, etc), but was more advanced in some ways (it has no immediate mode, so you're always working with batches and buffers, which is very efficient -- GL took a bit of time to adopt this model, except for Display Lists, which aren't flexible at all once created). DX has also lead the way with shaders (they got geometry shaders first, I believe, and vertex/fragment shaders first as well).

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

What's weird to me is that I've found some of the new DirectX stuff to be very natural... I may be using the wrong terminology, but I believe that "Media Foundation" is part of DirectX...

So, what has changed probably, since the time you last used it, is that with Media Foundation (I am talking Vista here) you can have your control layer, and you "pull" from what you need when you need, instead of stuff "pushing through" the pipeline (ala old school Direct X). Animation can be time based and not frame based... feeling some OS-Xesque love on those points.

I'm not going to be going Win anytime soon, but I find the whole media/archive sink, and media foundation transform (eg., a filter type basically) setup pretty obvious.

I think that Microsoft developed some of the tech with nVidia (may be wrong on that), and it definitely feels familiar. I also have run into "HEY, you can already do this in Windows, but not in OS X"... which is not a warm fuzzy feeling at all, though that one cuts both ways.

cybero's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

WO Application tutorial - well old - see Explorer 4.0 back in action ( :-) ), but might be useful.

Direct X is / was for gaming and then, over time, got exploited outside of games development for graphics rendering in other applications. Gaming now falls to Direct3D.

How is DirectX coming into play ? within a media browser, clip viewer, presentation, whatever...

DirectX 10 is a definite improvement upon DirectX 9. Porting from v9 to v10 requires a rethink, an awareness of what hardware truly makes a comfortable fit.

If the product being presented could work in v9, then why not produce two variants, v9 and v10 that would cover a far larger audience.

Does the DirectX support on Mac ever look like hiking up a notch on the WMPlayer front?

cybero's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Quote:

Microsoft Media Foundation (MF) is a COM-based multimedia framework pipeline and infrastructure platform for digital media in Windows Vista. It is the intended replacement for Microsoft DirectShow, Windows Media SDK, DirectX Media Objects (DMOs) and all other legacy multimedia APIs such as Audio Compression Manager (ACM) and Video for Windows (VfW). The existing DirectShow technology is intended to be replaced by Media Foundation step-by-step, starting with a few features. For some time there will be a co-existence of Media Foundation and DirectShow. Media Foundation will not be available for previous Windows versions, including Windows XP.

from

Media Foundation, which helps to clarify the relationship between the various new and legacy APIs, respectively supported &/or deprecated .

Interesting to note, midi is not currently supported by Media Foundation.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Yeah...

I think that should probably be rephrased in the wiki... it is kind of true and kind of not. For example the "media kit" (ok, now I'm making up terms)... will play midi... WMP plays midi off the bat. You can DO midi, you just have to be prepared to implement it. I have a feeling that they probably give some basic MIDI code somewhere, but I definitely can't say for sure.

I wonder if that comes out of the fact that there have been so many sequencers for Win over the years... maybe it didn't make much sense for them to develop a robust midi foundation since so many companies do things their own way anyway, and it might rely on extra hardware or software (weird aberrations like SoundFonts... which were pretty popular... come to mind).

On the semantic thing...I just wasn't sure if DirectX was considered part of Foundation or the other way around.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Hmm, I'm not sure about the thing of DirectX/WMPlayer support on Macs. Basically, I've been looking at DirectX from the standpoint of re-doing a few ideas from scratch for Windows, so I haven't looked too much at going "the other way".

cybero's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

gtoledo3 wrote:
Yeah...

I think that should probably be rephrased in the wiki... it is kind of true and kind of not. For example the "media kit" (ok, now I'm making up terms)... will play midi... WMP plays midi off the bat. You can DO midi, you just have to be prepared to implement it. I have a feeling that they probably give some basic MIDI code somewhere, but I definitely can't say for sure.

...................

On the semantic thing...I just wasn't sure if DirectX was considered part of Foundation or the other way around.

Well, I stand corrected on that midi point I'd so recently 'discovered' :-)

Windows 7 (Vista Update) looks better and better. Is it just me though or does the Win 7 interface look slightly flat?

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

No... it's not just you. Windows does kind of have aesthetic issues... however, open up iTunes and start to reflect upon what it has morphed into - the Myspace of OS X, with inconsistent layout and aesthetics... and it's a bit of a centerpiece app. So, I don't feel like casting stones :) Apple needs to make that iMedia, or something similar, and make it look more consistent when in different modes.

In fact... looking at SL recently has kind of driven my interest in other OS's (ouch... that sounds bad, and wrong conclusions could be derived).

I actually do feel like Windows is getting stronger and that OS X is kind of... lacking strong forward direction other than tightening things up, and implementing tech that should arguably already be done.

leegrosbauer's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

gtoledo3 wrote:
... however, open up iTunes and start to reflect upon what it has morphed into - the Myspace of OS X, with inconsistent layout and aesthetics ...

It'd suit me just fine to have an iTunes spin-off which reverted to its SoundJam parentage. That was a really slick app. And it was FAST. iTunes is often slower than a slug in January, what with all the media it's packing.

cwright's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Just curious, but what have you found that's faster than iTunes? (I'm not trying to imply that it's the pinnacle or anything -- again, just curious).

From my experience on the windows side, there's WMP + Zune, and I've personally grown impatient on both of those with significantly fewer media files inside than I currently have in iTunes. There are moments where iTunes seems to choke strangely (primarily skipping to the next song, for example), but overall I've never wanted to throw it out the window like I have with Windows offerings. (More telling, my sisters promptly stopped using their Zunes, and begged my parents for iPods once they saw that I could use iTunes with More Than 2000 Songs And Still Use The Computer, which was enough to bring the entire machine to its knees on the windows side. Things have perhaps changed since then though...)[note -- my sisters are both less than 20, with one still in highschool, in case ages sounded weird ;) I don't live in my parent's basement]

Granted, I've not used movies/video in iTunes much (it doesn't seem to fit, I don't know why they added it -- probably just for ITMS purposes), so maybe that changes things.

cwright's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Just curious, what do you see improving on the windows side, and not moving on OS X? (Not trying to instigate a flame war, or get into a Mac vs. Windows jihad. Nor am I trying to be a fanboy, or put on blinders.)

From my point of view (as a software dev), windows has some very good hardware support (and old versions are supported -- Yesterday both ATI and NVidia announced OpenCL drivers going all the way back to Windows XP -- not a chance that Leopard will get such treatment). However, media handling isn't particularly well done (3rd party container/decoder plugins still trounce Microsoft's offerings -- the same could be said for QuickTime in many instances, but I've at least been able to play media, and install additional codecs successfully on OS X, while I've had much more mixed results on windows).

OS X, on the other hand, has many great convenience features (mountable disk images, why isn't that possible on Windows in 2009?). Garbage collection, caching, and memory management in general got really cool in Snow Leopard. GC was in Leopard (and tiny pieces in Tiger, if you looked carefully), and was nice, but had some serious problems that made is useless in graphical contexts. Parallelization also gets a nice perk in SL with GCD. I've not seen anything comparable to that on Windows, perhaps Intel's Thread Building Blocks (TBB)? In a GCD-TBB shootout, GCD actually paced TBB, or slightly outpaced it in some cases, so it's a serious contender in that department.

Property lists (definitely not new) trounce "The Registry" in every conceivable way. I don't know how the registry situation may have changed in Vista/Win7, but it's still a serious design nightmare.

Filesystem-wise, HFS+ is an abomination that Apple Really Really needs to get rid of. And resource forks. NTFS, in comparison, is quirky, but not too bad. I'm still partial to ZFS, resierFS, and possibly even ext3 in most cases (those don't really get much action on Windows or OS X, but in Solaris and Linux they're pretty common, and quite nice). Snow Leopard makes some changes to HFS+ that are "improvements" (compressed files, primarily) -- NTFS already had this, and otherwise hasn't changed much, feature-wise (it was arguably pretty feature complete when it was created, unlike HFS).

App-wise, I see a lot more consistency on OS X than I do on Windows (and both of those are light years ahead of consistency on Linux), and stylistically I prefer OS X to Windows (esp. Vista and later) -- that's entirely subjective, so it's not a useful point of discussion otherwise. I will acknowledge Apple's inconsistencies in many tools, but in general things still work more intuitively (to me) on OS X.

Is virtual desktops available on Windows out of the box yet? I use that a lot (and even used a 3rd party app to pull it off on Tiger), but haven't found it much on Windows. Exposé is also miraculous -- it seriously changed the way I use my computers (and I've been using/programming them since my age was a single-digit number), quite unlike anything I've ever come across on Windows. Vista and Win7 made some honest efforts to offer similar functionality, but I've not really felt like it was "there" -- maybe the RTM build of win7 changes that up (I stopped testing win7 early in the beta program).

low-level-wise, EFI trounces BIOS in every conceivable way. Windows is the sole reason why BIOSs still exist on PCs, as far as I'm concerned, and they're certainly not doing anyone any favors by doing that. Target disk mode (admittedly weakened by the recent lack of Firewire) alone is brilliant, and impossible on PC hardware as far as I can tell.

The trackpad+gestures stuff for me has been superior to any windows laptop I've used, ever (and my wife, a non-computer person, whole heatedly agrees). two-finger-scroll destroys every "track on this line thingy" scroll hack, and allows two dimensional scrolling to boot (try scrolling diagonally on any other laptop, and you're likely to fail). Single-button drives me insane, but two-fingers-on-the-pad-click is simple enough that I've trained myself to do that instead in just a couple weeks (previously, I always used ctrl+click, which worked but was annoying too).

So, from my point of view, and from my experiences, OS X is still a no-brainer compared to Windows, for me. Others needs can and often are different (we use linux + solaris on our servers, for example, because they solve the problems they need to more simply/at a lower cost than either windows or OS X would). For users, I still feel that OS X offers "more" than windows does, and while a lot of diehard windows people complain about OS X stuff, in 99% of those cases it's simply trading one arbitrary thing (ALT+F4) for another (cmd+Q) -- neither is inherently more "right", it's just a learning curve thing. There are lots of other reasons than just the above, but I think the above is a reasonable enumeration of "usability" and "what's coming up", which is what matters.

Oh, and OS X is significantly more simple than Windows when it comes to versioning :) No Basic/Home/Ultimate 32/64bit complexity. Just OS X and OS X Server.

cybero's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

The way I see iTunes is that it is primarily an iTunes Store application, the music role of which would definitely suit running within a separate dedicated process. It also gets quite close to being part of a system wide media browser, although other media is covered quite well by other iLife apps.

leegrosbauer's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Actually, for just playing the music, I'll have to admit that iTunes is just as good as SoundJam was. And it now has really good tagging capabilities, so my comment was really not so well considered.

In all honesty, the actual reason I liked SoundJam was that in OS 8 and 9 you could do a convenient maneuver of simply dragging a file or big group of files directly from a SoundJam Playlist straight into an FTP client and they would fire off to their destination like lightning. In my case, I was broadcasting world music at Live365 at the time and I needed to stay on top of an archived broadcast loop with daily refreshes. Anyway .. that cool trick was OS related, so my comment was not really appropriate. Sorry about that.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Yeahhhh. But remember... iTunes used to be a nice focused music player app, and the store and movies came about later, and looks like poo poo(the store), imo. It slowly morphed into a front end for hardware... which MAY have been the plan from the start, and I may be well in the minority to say that I think the store should be it's OWN app.

So, now it's doing movies, store downloads, the "genius" bahoo stuff, and whatever else they can shoehorn in reasonably (or unreasonably as the case may be). They might as well throw in photos, call it iMedia and be done with it.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Well, in fact, I agree with you point for point!

It's the things like you mention with the driver support that catch a bit of my ire. I totally agree with you on every strength you mention of OS X, and then every weakness of Windows. The registry DOES suck. I don't enjoy using Win day to day, and generally avoid it like the plague.

If you look though, Microsoft is legitimately taking the things that suck in their OS and going "mac-esque" with them. I don't think it's completely accurate when people at Apple poo poo Win 7 as being more of Vista, and it kind of makes them look like they don't know what they are talking about, or are drinking too much of the kool aid. I don't think it is "there" yet either though.

You CAN get OS X running on a PC if you want to go "hackintosh" with it, but that certainly isn't the same as real virtualization, and I actually don't really advocate that approach. If you don't want to go by the EULA, then don't use the software. I think you should be able to put a EULA on anything and have it apply :)

(Rhetorical question though... what would anyone think if Microsoft had an EULA that said that you CANNOT install Win 7 on a Mac. Would we think that smacked of insecurity?)

I also find things like Expose and Spaces (Spaces particularly) a godsend.

Hmmm, I guess I would characterize Windows as taking a jump, and OS X as taking a step, imo.

Stuff like lopping off/ limiting Firewire, express cards, being behind on shaders and hardware support, a lot of inconsistencies between performance on different models for a company that's value is supposed to lay in NOT having that be a problem (that one is a BIG one for me), very small improvements at a time when I think big leaps could(and should) have been taken (that one is totally subjective) in lieu of cosmetic change for the sake of change (eg., not purposeful just "cosmetic makeup"), and a drive towards computer driven appliances (like the iPod and iPhone) that have really tight reigns on app distribution are all really big turn offs to me. Frankly, I find that stuff to smack of complacency, arrogance, and "half-assedness" which is the exact same formula that made "Longhorn/Vista" go bust.

It's as you say... GCD paced or slightly outpaced TBB. To me, I would expect Apple to just slam it. Really, it's a case of me having grown to expect miracles from Apple, nothing bad on them.

cybero's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

For me the primary reasons for using a Mac is that it is such a sweet combination of plus points, great book value, tremendously good software / hardware mix, deceptively facile & well designed GUI :-), consistency in performance and stability, security, efficient networking and great built in Developer Tools.

I think that Apple's future OS X wise is to continue to develop and improve that OS, whilst purposing and supporting other computing and communication devices based upon be-spoked versions of that OS.

I'm not sure if they now lack direction, but there seems to be plenty still left on wish lists external for the Cupertino crew to look into.

cwright's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

Not to be too facetious, but I think Microsoft is taking notice/making changes only because they're really seeing market share starting to slip. They've gone so far as to list Red Hat as a competitor on their SEC filings (a first) [see http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/article/313782/microsoft_acknowledges_li... for details]

Their stock's been flat for about 8 years (though they have paid regular dividends, so it's not like they're completely flatlined), so they have to do something to keep things going.

I've not heard many "Win7 = Vista2" people (even from the linux camp) -- almost everyone has a good impression of 7 (myself included). The question is, why did it take so long to get it "nice" when Vista was in development for so long already? I'm firmly of the opinion that 7 is what Vista should have been, back when Vista was first launched. Say what you will about Leopard/Snow Leopard (I've also heard people saying SL is just Leopard reloaded, which isn't quite the case).

I'm aware of Hackintosh stuff -- that's nothing particularly interesting. I'm assuming this was in regards to EFI vs. classic BIOS stuff. Once the OS is loaded, either is neither here nor there -- it's simply the startup convenience (target disk mode, built-in boot loader, etc) that Apple took and ran with, while Microsoft did not/has not (even now, there's no EFI-bootable build of windows. Bootcamp/VMWare/whatever still ahve to resort to emulating a classic bios to get Windows going on Mac hardware).

Your question was rhetorical regarding installing Win7 on a Mac, but I think that's actually a very complicated issue -- On the one hand, Apple is a hardware company, while Microsoft is not (Mice/Keyboards/Xboxes don't count). Thus, Apple needs to move machines to maintain their margins. Microsoft, a software company, does not require hardware sales. Apple profits from software sales as well, obviously (Final Cut, iLife, iWork, Logic, etc), but their hardware division isn't anything nearly as trivial as Microsoft's. Apple's been burned on OS licensing in the past, so their "paranoia" is perhaps justified (if overly cautious). And there's always image -- Apple really doesn't like their products to "suck", while Microsoft largely doesn't care. My parents bought a netbook that runs windows XP, and OUT OF THE BOX startup applications/services would crash on startup, Windows wasn't properly configured, network sharing didn't work (and still doesn't), and it was missing drivers. Out of the box. It was an absolute disaster. Does that harm Microsoft's position/market share? no, not really. Even if it lost them 4 customers, that's nothing. Microsoft is floating around 90% market share (a tiny bit lower now?), while Apple is around 8-10% -- thus, a single lost custom to Apple is 10x as painful. (More on performance disparity in a couple paragraphs)

It's easier to make a jump when others already have. In other words, while Microsoft is making jumps (and they are), most of those jumps are just to catch up. Blazing trails is much more difficult, while walking already-blazed one is rather easy. We've experienced that a lot ourselves -- I'll end up sinking several days of work/R&D on something simple, and then we'll turn around and quote a project that uses it at some very low rate, because that initial work is already done.

Back to performance disparity -- I think the only really severe disparity has been GPUs. Notably, the GMA950 and the GMA X3100, both of which are absolutely awful. However, let's look at their situation. (I'm not trying to be an apologetic, just laying things out as I saw it):

They had to differentiate their Pro and non-Pro lines. They needed a small form factor. They needed low hardware costs. And they needed something that worked. NVidia and ATI were doing just discreet GPUs at the time. Apple instead opted for Intel's integrated offerings. Much cheaper, Much less power, Much lower cost, and, of course, Much worse performance.

But, at the end of the day, it worked. And 90% of their users didn't care. It didn't affect their work, or impact their needs. And that's why they made that choice. You and I, unfortunately, fall on the side of needing higher performance graphics, and thus we feel left out, let down, etc. You, as an audio guy, could feel equally disappointed at the lame built-in mic. On the lack of multi-channel input/output (just stereo). Me, as a visual guy, could feel let down by the iSight's low framerate, poor low-light performance, and low resolution. But for the vast majority of their users, it simply doesn't matter. Would it be sensible for me to call them out on lousy performance because their laptops are all 2-core, while their desktops are 8+ core now? That's a much larger disparity, when it comes to user-facing characteristics (all software touches the CPU, not all depends on GPU).

The shader situation was actually OpenGL's problem, not Apple's. Apple was in a difficult situation -- they couldn't really use/license DirectX, but they needed high performance graphics. The logical choice was OpenGL. But at the time (2005ish), OpenGL's ARB was 100% retarded, and still trying to operate like they did in the 1980's, not like they needed to to follow hardware advances. Things have since changed (and OpenGL 3.2, just released today, makes even more changes/advancements, and wildly modernizes the shader model to have feature parity with DirectX), it's just that OpenGL needed to catch up, and thus Apple did too by extension.

To TBB vs. GCD -- I find it impressive that they could even pace them; INTEL wrote TBB, and INTEL designed the processors that TBB runs on. If anyone's in a position to pull out all the stops, it's Intel. Pacing them is quite an accomplishment, in all honesty. Back when I was in college, You could find AMD-tuned or Intel-tuned software (distributed by AMD and Intel, of course) that would show either CPU absolutely destroying the competition. From that, I know Intel's able to write very highly optimized code when it makes their platform shine.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

cwright wrote:
Not to be too facetious, but I think Microsoft is taking notice/making changes only because they're really seeing market share starting to slip. They've gone so far as to list Red Hat as a competitor on their SEC filings (a first) [see http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/article/313782/microsoft_acknowledges_li... for details]

I think you are "right on". Being reactive like that is a sign of weakness, and over-reach doesn't make them look good either.

Quote:
I've not heard many "Win7 = Vista2" people (even from the linux camp) -- almost everyone has a good impression of 7 (myself included).

Well, I think that the general party line from WWDC08/09 on Win7/Vista was that (granted, I wasn't there, I'm just speaking from the presentation tapes I have). I really LIKE Bertrand Serlet's presentations, and want to be right there going "rah rah rah", and I think the list of cons gets a little hyperbolic when it doesn't need to.

The whole point of those presentations is that Apple set out to "build a better Leopard", yet... that IS what Microsoft did with their product as well.

Quote:
The question is, why did it take so long to get it "nice" when Vista was in development for so long already? I'm firmly of the opinion that 7 is what Vista should have been, back when Vista was first launched. Say what you will about Leopard/Snow Leopard (I've also heard people saying SL is just Leopard reloaded, which isn't quite the case).

I agree on that up to a certain extent.

I think that when something is geared towards single users, or maybe smaller design based offices, it makes sense to have an atmosphere where you update OS at the rate that Apple does. However, I've definitely seen scenarios with many a recording studio or commercial design firms still running TIGER. The more you get into "production" of any sort, the more you see the lag factor.

When it comes to other types of corporations, I don't think that it is feasible to update OS's even after a few years. A project can extend over 5 or 6 years easily. People don't want to do major OS or even app shifts in the middle of that, even if it could theoretically be smooth, because they just don't want to eat that time. Especially when you have to make it work with all of your peripheral devices like printers, faxes, etc. I think XP stayed what it was for so long because it actually served the end user better than more frequent shifts. However, it could be argued that something like Vista should have been released years earlier.

Surprisingly, I know a decent amount of designers in offices that run XP, that run Vista against company IT policy. However, usually the IT is actually aware, and don't particularly care. I think that the reason that Vista didn't really take off has a lot more to selling to a group of consumers that really didn't know there was a reason for wanting anything else!

The other aspect is that companies like HP offer lease and service agreements for large offices, that Apple doesn't come close to, so even though people call Apple a hardware focused company, they don't address that hardware market so much. Each one of those agreements is a sell for Windows. In scenarios like that, the XP systems often work well out of box, and IT can just call in a new one should something go seriously awry, and it is also in the interest of a company like that to not have OS shift too much. Having anything fundamental change in an officeplace is just frocked with all kinds of babysitting (of the people oftentimes more than the equipment). So, I really don't think that there was this large outcry for anything different than XP among the actual user group.

Quote:
I'm aware of Hackintosh stuff -- that's nothing particularly interesting. I'm assuming this was in regards to EFI vs. classic BIOS stuff. Once the OS is loaded, either is neither here nor there -- it's simply the startup convenience (target disk mode, built-in boot loader, etc) that Apple took and ran with, while Microsoft did not/has not (even now, there's no EFI-bootable build of windows. Bootcamp/VMWare/whatever still ahve to resort to emulating a classic bios to get Windows going on Mac hardware).

That is a good point. I wonder what Microsoft would say about that... probably who cares?(which would be lame) It does seem really peculiar to work within that limitation.

Quote:
Your question was rhetorical regarding installing Win7 on a Mac, but I think that's actually a very complicated issue -- On the one hand, Apple is a hardware company, while Microsoft is not (Mice/Keyboards/Xboxes don't count). Thus, Apple needs to move machines to maintain their margins. Microsoft, a software company, does not require hardware sales.

I'm taking the lib of breaking this paragraph in half, because it was big :) I argue that it is really crucial for Microsoft that hardware sells (the software does have to be installed on something), but they are in even more of a predicament because they aren't in direct control of the hardware sales. I think that what is hurting them and fueling the annoying tv commercials, is that they have to try to appeal to a home user group that they haven't had to worry about too much, because it was fairly certain that really big corporations would upgrade hardware more regularly. The constant want for professional users to have faster processors, etc., drives that, so they just call in an upgrade model from whoever their company leases from.

Hardware sales to major corporations has grown pretty stagnant right now, which makes it more important for Microsoft to appeal to the homes users that they have alienated, because so many jokers make HORRIBLE Win computers (and frankly, I've never worked on a Windows system that I've been totally satisfied with, even with really solid "professional" specs and whatnot).

I view Apple limiting their software development to OS X as simply a choice they have made, but not one that was necessary. I view them as a kind of integration company, so in that regards, selling simple software seemingly flies against that, but there is no reason that they couldn't have a "non-mac hardware" OS X license and sell it for a $1000 a pop! (being a bit hyperbolic, but it could that price could be halved, and many would buy it for Garage Band and iMovie alone). It IS quite a portfolio of software, and OS X is killer. There could just be a minimum spec, the same way there is on any myriad of other software. That's their gamble though.

Quote:
Apple profits from software sales as well, obviously (Final Cut, iLife, iWork, Logic, etc), but their hardware division isn't anything nearly as trivial as Microsoft's. Apple's been burned on OS licensing in the past, so their "paranoia" is perhaps justified (if overly cautious). And there's always image -- Apple really doesn't like their products to "suck", while Microsoft largely doesn't care. My parents bought a netbook that runs windows XP, and OUT OF THE BOX startup applications/services would crash on startup, Windows wasn't properly configured, network sharing didn't work (and still doesn't), and it was missing drivers. Out of the box. It was an absolute disaster. Does that harm Microsoft's position/market share? no, not really. Even if it lost them 4 customers, that's nothing. Microsoft is floating around 90% market share (a tiny bit lower now?), while Apple is around 8-10% -- thus, a single lost custom to Apple is 10x as painful. (More on performance disparity in a couple paragraphs)

Totally agreed. I do think they are overly cautious though. While I like the idea of a unified hardware line, and have generally loved Mac hardware, there are some people that just love the thought of building their own systems and it's foreign to them not to, and ironically, OS X could probably scream on those systems, and those people would conversely be more likely to like OS X as well as pay a few hundred just to run it on their own "hot rod". So, they use Linux instead ;) ... and run Windows whenever they "need" to.

Your parent's scenario is the classic Windows personal/home user story basically. I haven't known many happy netbook users in general, save for a friend that runs the netbook OS version of Linux (whatever that is... maybe there is more than one, can't say).

Quote:
It's easier to make a jump when others already have. In other words, while Microsoft is making jumps (and they are), most of those jumps are just to catch up. Blazing trails is much more difficult, while walking already-blazed one is rather easy. We've experienced that a lot ourselves -- I'll end up sinking several days of work/R&D on something simple, and then we'll turn around and quote a project that uses it at some very low rate, because that initial work is already done.

Hmmm, I don't know. Apple was in the dumps and they came back strong because of a good NextStep base, threw what they were doing out of the window, and then had a real nice run of fairly dependable hardware/software couplings. They didn't invent the OS, they didn't invent Obj-C or the Foundation, they didn't really even invent Quartz Composer. I don't think that's trail blazing, but I do think it speaks to them being an excellent company in integrating and polishing technology, and then coupling it with great hardware. So, I think that Apple generally walks the already blazed trail, but makes you feel like they were the ones that blazed it, which is an art in and of itself. The polish they put on ideas is unbelievable, and that then basically constitutes something new.

I think that both Apple and Microsoft have also gained a great deal from pre-existing ideas, as well as the opensource community.

Quote:
Back to performance disparity -- I think the only really severe disparity has been GPUs. Notably, the GMA950 and the GMA X3100, both of which are absolutely awful. However, let's look at their situation. (I'm not trying to be an apologetic, just laying things out as I saw it):

They had to differentiate their Pro and non-Pro lines. They needed a small form factor. They needed low hardware costs. And they needed something that worked. NVidia and ATI were doing just discreet GPUs at the time. Apple instead opted for Intel's integrated offerings. Much cheaper, Much less power, Much lower cost, and, of course, Much worse performance.

But, at the end of the day, it worked. And 90% of their users didn't care. It didn't affect their work, or impact their needs. And that's why they made that choice. You and I, unfortunately, fall on the side of needing higher performance graphics, and thus we feel left out, let down, etc. You, as an audio guy, could feel equally disappointed at the lame built-in mic. On the lack of multi-channel input/output (just stereo). Me, as a visual guy, could feel let down by the iSight's low framerate, poor low-light performance, and low resolution. But for the vast majority of their users, it simply doesn't matter. Would it be sensible for me to call them out on lousy performance because their laptops are all 2-core, while their desktops are 8+ core now? That's a much larger disparity, when it comes to user-facing characteristics (all software touches the CPU, not all depends on GPU).

You know what's weird about that, is that I've had that macbook do better on things than the new macmini in general, which is a bit counterintuitive. I actually don't complain at all about any of that stuff, because I knew totally knew every nut and bolt about what I was getting (though maybe not a few graphic quirks that only came into perception because of plugins designed by a certain someone). There are things that are quirky on the nVidia's as well as the Intels. If I'm on the 9400/9600 current Mac pro combo, there are still weird things, they just run with better fps :)

Quote:
The shader situation was actually OpenGL's problem, not Apple's. Apple was in a difficult situation -- they couldn't really use/license DirectX, but they needed high performance graphics. The logical choice was OpenGL. But at the time (2005ish), OpenGL's ARB was 100% retarded, and still trying to operate like they did in the 1980's, not like they needed to to follow hardware advances. Things have since changed (and OpenGL 3.2, just released today, makes even more changes/advancements, and wildly modernizes the shader model to have feature parity with DirectX), it's just that OpenGL needed to catch up, and thus Apple did too by extension.

The argument could be made that it was simply wise of Microsoft to get in bed with nVidia when they did and get the DirectX stuff going, whereas Apple chose not to do the same, and took their own route (which was arguably a really nice one too). In a way, it can be argued that OpenCL is Apple following Microsoft's lead (hold off the fire and pitchforks!), and the new advancements with OpenGL are complimentary with the OpenCL advancement, and allow them to finally compete with DirectX (ouch, that sounds much harsher than it should). Sure, OpenCL is the technically the Khronos group, but it's still a big nVidia/Apple push.

Quote:
To TBB vs. GCD -- I find it impressive that they could even pace them; INTEL wrote TBB, and INTEL designed the processors that TBB runs on. If anyone's in a position to pull out all the stops, it's Intel. Pacing them is quite an accomplishment, in all honesty. Back when I was in college, You could find AMD-tuned or Intel-tuned software (distributed by AMD and Intel, of course) that would show either CPU absolutely destroying the competition. From that, I know Intel's able to write very highly optimized code when it makes their platform shine.

Sure, I don't know how many AMD/Intel arguments I've been witness to. You are right, that GCD can do that is an impressive feat.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

cybero wrote:
For me the primary reasons for using a Mac is that it is such a sweet combination of plus points, great book value, tremendously good software / hardware mix, deceptively facile & well designed GUI :-), consistency in performance and stability, security, efficient networking and great built in Developer Tools.

I think that Apple's future OS X wise is to continue to develop and improve that OS, whilst purposing and supporting other computing and communication devices based upon be-spoked versions of that OS.

I'm not sure if they now lack direction, but there seems to be plenty still left on wish lists external for the Cupertino crew to look into.

Well, it's not exactly as if the things like iPods run on OS X :)

Yeah, I totally agree with you. The great thing about a Macintosh system is that it is usually really well done (though I know some people with water cooled Mac Towers and cracks on their Macbook cases that may disagree).

I've had Lisa and Apple II systems sitting in my household, up to current day, so I have no issues with Apple at all (save for a lame ass mac genius that said I had liquid damage on my white macbook, not allowing me to fix my top case on a unit that I wanted to return as defective after first having a top case crack problem and them assuring me that it wouldn't be a problem to come in and get it replaced again if it cracked a second time. Any other company and I wouldn't have bought another unit ever, so that speaks to my like/need for Apple. It's pretty fair if that's my only complaint in over 2 decades of use.)

Did I say "lacked direction"? That was way too strong if I used that wording. Refinement is always an admirable direction, and is actually way better than "change for the sake of change" scenarios.

cwright's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

It's a shame this will be getting so slender -- I love these kinds of discussions (I hope you're not feeling like I'm evangelizing/disagreeing too much -- I don't think you are, but I want to proceed with caution incase things get too pushy/touchy ;)

gtoledo3 wrote:
Well, I think that the general party line from WWDC08/09 on Win7/Vista was that (granted, I wasn't there, I'm just speaking from the presentation tapes I have). I really LIKE Bertrand Serlet's presentations, and want to be right there going "rah rah rah", and I think the list of cons gets a little hyperbolic when it doesn't need to.

Now that you mention it, I do recall some Vista quips at WWDC08 -- mostly justified, from my experience, but still, quips none the less. Those were from over the pulpit (from apple employees), not from actual developers/users, so I'm not sure they had the effect they were looking for. That said, Vista more or less dug its own grave, so I don't see why anyone had to chide it even more... shrugs

gtoledo3 wrote:
That is a good point. I wonder what Microsoft would say about that... probably who cares?(which would be lame) It does seem really peculiar to work within that limitation.

I'm guessing the same -- the bootloader's already written, things work, so "who cares". It is kinda lame though. Seeing BIOS posts/drive enumeration feels so weird after seeing the gray screen after all this time.

gtoledo3 wrote:
I'm taking the lib of breaking this paragraph in half, because it was big :) I argue that it is really crucial for Microsoft that hardware sells (the software does have to be installed on something), but they are in even more of a predicament because they aren't in direct control of the hardware sales.

Hardware sales to major corporations has grown pretty stagnant right now, which makes it more important for Microsoft to appeal to the homes users that they have alienated, because so many jokers make HORRIBLE Win computers (and frankly, I've never worked on a Windows system that I've been totally satisfied with, even with really solid "professional" specs and whatnot).

That's an interesting take on it. I hadn't considered it, but I think you're right.

gtoledo3 wrote:
Totally agreed. I do think they are overly cautious though. While I like the idea of a unified hardware line, and have generally loved Mac hardware, there are some people that just love the thought of building their own systems and it's foreign to them not to, and ironically, OS X could probably scream on those systems, and those people would conversely be more likely to like OS X as well as pay a few hundred just to run it on their own "hot rod". So, they use Linux instead ;) ... and run Windows whenever they "need" to.

I guess I personally have outgrown the custom hardware phase (I used to love building my own systems, and even now I still modify when it's easy -- my MacBook sports a 320GB harddrive, and 4GB of ram (3GB addressable, the 4th is for pairing to allow the lame intel chipset to dual-band for performance). I could see a market for allowing custom built machines, but there's still the unsolvable EFI problem (no motherboard on the planet ships with EFI unless it's going to end up in a Mac), and some pretty problematic driver issues (I'm not sure of the extent of this, it might not be too bad, or it might be a disaster). Apple could ship a non-EFI-requiring build (making one wouldn't be difficult, just some bootloader work really) to solve the first part. I think you're overestimating the market of for-profit operating systems though. Linux is free, and has been for over a decade, and still hasn't eclipsed OS X (an undeniably "premium" OS). BeOS didn't catch on either, and it ran circles around both Microsoft and Apple's offerings at the time. People simply aren't going to pay money for an OS, and certainly won't if it'll break their existing apps. Enthusiasts will do it, sure, but they're a tiny tiny minority. It's kinda like the gaming market -- Microsoft and Sony went into the highest-specs war, while Nintendo noticed that 99% of the players of video games aren't hardcore gamers. They aimed to captivate the non-hardcore market, and they seem to have had a bit of success from doing so. Specs definitely matter, but never forget volume ;)

gtoledo3 wrote:
Hmmm, I don't know. Apple was in the dumps and they came back strong because of a good NextStep base, threw what they were doing out of the window, and then had a real nice run of fairly dependable hardware/software couplings. They didn't invent the OS, they didn't invent Obj-C or the Foundation, they didn't really even invent Quartz Composer. I don't think that's trail blazing, but I do think it speaks to them being an excellent company in integrating and polishing technology, and then coupling it with great hardware. So, I think that Apple generally walks the already blazed trail, but makes you feel like they were the ones that blazed it, which is an art in and of itself. The polish they put on ideas is unbelievable, and that then basically constitutes something new.

This section's pretty philosophical, and subjective. (preface, nothing more, nothing less).

They didn't invent Obj-C, but they did add a ton to it -- the entire 2.0 runtime is from Apple. GC is from apple. Blocks (in Snow Leopard), other 2.1 runtime tweaks, synchronization (admittedly abysmal), properties, and the like are all from Apple. While not inventing it, they've certainly contributed heavily.

They didn't invent QC, but there's very little vestigial stuff from PixelShox in QC Leopard, and even less in QC Snow Leopard. Ship of Theseus type scenario there.

Core Image, Audio, Animation, and Data -- all invented.

As you mention, they have taken a lot of things and polished a lot, but I also think a fair amount of genuinely new stuff has popped up that makes things easier for developers, and more pleasant for users. Core Animation, for example, is pretty darn awesome when you get right down to it.

gtoledo3 wrote:
The argument could be made that it was simply wise of Microsoft to get in bed with nVidia when they did and get the DirectX stuff going, whereas Apple chose not to do the same, and took their own route (which was arguably a really nice one too). In a way, it can be argued that OpenCL is Apple following Microsoft's lead (hold off the fire and pitchforks!), and the new advancements with OpenGL are complimentary with the OpenCL advancement, and allow them to finally compete with DirectX (ouch, that sounds much harsher than it should). Sure, OpenCL is the technically the Khronos group, but it's still a big nVidia/Apple push.

I think that, long run, both will equal out (like, right about now-ish -- I can't think of any really disparity between the two, graphically speaking -- GL 3.2 Core is pretty much feature-matching DX). Microsoft may have had the innovative choice up front (and definitely profited nicely from the more rapid development cycles, while the ARB sat around discussing 74 ways to implement Vertex Arrays, or whatever it was that they were doing from 1997 to 2003), but they also had some compatibility problems because of that.

I don't really see CL being a follower -- there's CUDA (Nvidia only, and already available on OS X and Linux), and GPGPU (not sure how portable that really is), but no real massive compute features in DX come to mind (granted, I'm pretty out of touch with DX after 9.0). CL's sole purpose in life is to make GPGPU simpler/accessible without tying yourself to a vendor -- nothing else does that. DX wrappers on OS X already exist (see Cider -- Sims 3 makes use of that Today on OS X, so it's not like there are magical holes that make emulating DX on OS X particularly difficult, even pre-CL), so it's already "competing" (at least able to perform all the same functions, though perhaps with some different performance characteristics).

All in all, both sides are making some pretty cool innovations, and numerous incremental ones, and that competition makes it better for everybody. I can only hope it continues -- progress is so very exciting to me :)

cybero's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

gtoledo - earlier .....

Quote:

I think that Apple's future OS X wise is to continue to develop and improve that OS, whilst purposing and supporting other computing and communication devices based upon be-spoked versions of that OS.

I'm not sure if they now lack direction, but there seems to be plenty still left on wish lists external for the Cupertino crew to look into.

and

Quote:

Well, it's not exactly as if the things like iPods run on OS X :)

Well actually they do, it's a stripped down version of the Mac OS see [one of my favorite and most informative mac information sites] iPod OS Revealed

Quote:
Did I say "lacked direction"? That was way too strong if I used that wording. Refinement is always an admirable direction, and is actually way better than "change for the sake of change" scenarios.

no, you didn't specifically say that , you actually said ....

Quote:

I actually do feel like Windows is getting stronger and that OS X is kind of... lacking strong forward direction other than tightening things up, and implementing tech that should arguably already be done.

It is perfectly feasible that Apple become complacent, however, Apple has a pretty clear roadmap OS development wise.

Windows is getting stronger.

It needs to become far more robust, it is , effectively at the proving ground stage for creating a true 64 bit OS and application environment.

Very few 64 bit applications for Windows 7, they are coming, some are here, but there is the hardware cut off point, albeit that Windows 7 has got a 32 bit version, I wonder how much longer that will be updated. For me MS has got to just cut off the production of XP and will have to get down into producing badged hardware , its own premium brand hw/sw mix.

The entry level price for truly useful performance levels , gaming, workstation or otherwise, doesn't seem to favour MS much at all, quality pays in the final analysis.

Given the scale of Windows engineering task, I doubt that they will make much better progress in that regard than Apple has made within its less complex OS / HW marriage. Fewer multiplicities to contend with, less likelihood of causing post compile problems are not the benefits that MS have as Apple does.

Regarding the differences between the two OS Win 7 & OS X - even now the primary difference for me is that -

Windows seeks to be a One Size Fits All for a pretty bewildering number of potential form factor variants that , if Apple were to seek to do the same , would probably result in a similar stop / start state of progress. An engineering achievement of some scale then, but fraught with its own inherent difficulties. I'm put in mind somewhat of a pair of tights.

OS X seeks to be a scaleable, stable and efficient OS specified for Apple's far more limited range of hardware and form factor variants, with nil OEM component to even consider within the equation.

Oh and yes & it really does run every iPod, iTouch, etc that Apple sells :-) [until some one decides to hack the OS, a fairly well documented exploit]

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

cybero wrote:
gtoledo - earlier .....

Quote:

I think that Apple's future OS X wise is to continue to develop and improve that OS, whilst purposing and supporting other computing and communication devices based upon be-spoked versions of that OS.

I'm not sure if they now lack direction, but there seems to be plenty still left on wish lists external for the Cupertino crew to look into.

and

Quote:

Well, it's not exactly as if the things like iPods run on OS X :)

Well actually they do, it's a stripped down version of the Mac OS see [one of my favorite and most informative mac information sites] iPod OS Revealed

afaik, iPods run on a modded Pixo OS. It has been concluded by some that because the kernel is Mach/BSD that that Pixo OS must be running on top of OS X, but I don't think that necessarily makes any sense. If you look at the Pixo architecture, I don't think it's right to compare it to a graphic layer like Quartz, which is the way that some people describe it.

Quote:
Quote:
Did I say "lacked direction"? That was way too strong if I used that wording. Refinement is always an admirable direction, and is actually way better than "change for the sake of change" scenarios.

no, you didn't specifically say that , you actually said ....

Quote:

I actually do feel like Windows is getting stronger and that OS X is kind of... lacking strong forward direction other than tightening things up, and implementing tech that should arguably already be done.

It is perfectly feasible that Apple become complacent, however, Apple has a pretty clear roadmap OS development wise.

Well....

NeXT wasn't Apple, and that OS couldn't have happened in a million years at Apple, and similar major OS innovation/invention couldn't happen today at Apple because of the culture. NeXTStep also doesn't look quite as futuristic so many years later, even with tons of gloss.

In fact, the robust open climate, and ability to deploy for multiple systems... strong points of NeXTStep have basically been lost in the shuffle. As they say, "don't forget your roots".

In a way, they are slicing and dicing parts of the Foundation, making stripped versions, glomming stuff onto it, and adding software onto other OS's that they've absorbed (like Pixo). This sounds familiar (microsoft, cough cough).

I think that's a move that could probably work for them, but at some point, small devices will be able to run things like a full fledged OS X without much trouble, and OS X just isn't going to seem as mind blowing, especially is Microsoft has caught up by that time. I don't think it's easy to ignore Linux either. In fact, I see Linux and other Unix based systems as the longtime concern.

Quote:

Windows is getting stronger.

It needs to become far more robust, it is , effectively at the proving ground stage for creating a true 64 bit OS and application environment.

Very few 64 bit applications for Windows 7, they are coming, some are here, but there is the hardware cut off point, albeit that Windows 7 has got a 32 bit version, I wonder how much longer that will be updated. For me MS has got to just cut off the production of XP and will have to get down into producing badged hardware , its own premium brand hw/sw mix.

The entry level price for truly useful performance levels , gaming, workstation or otherwise, doesn't seem to favour MS much at all, quality pays in the final analysis.

Given the scale of Windows engineering task, I doubt that they will make much better progress in that regard than Apple has made within its less complex OS / HW marriage. Fewer multiplicities to contend with, less likelihood of causing post compile problems are not the benefits that MS have as Apple does.

Regarding the differences between the two OS Win 7 & OS X - even now the primary difference for me is that -

Windows seeks to be a One Size Fits All for a pretty bewildering number of potential form factor variants that , if Apple were to seek to do the same , would probably result in a similar stop / start state of progress. An engineering achievement of some scale then, but fraught with its own inherent difficulties. I'm put in mind somewhat of a pair of tights.

OS X seeks to be a scaleable, stable and efficient OS specified for Apple's far more limited range of hardware and form factor variants, with nil OEM component to even consider within the equation.

Oh and yes & it really does run every iPod, iTouch, etc that Apple sells :-) [until some one decides to hack the OS, a fairly well documented exploit]

Yeah, I don't disagree with any of that. I don't want to give the feeling that I'm a Windows apologist in any way. I'm just not an Apple apologist either.

We will have to agree to disagree about OS X and what it actually constitutes when it runs on stuff like iPod. I don't think it's so cut and dry, and can necessarily be called an OS as much a big custom app working in tandem with other tech, but I'm splitting hairs, and it's a matter of semantics and definitions.

cybero's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

just about OS X and its be-spoking to other Apple devices besides computers as we generally know them to be.

A direct quote , or two from the MacTech site might help disabuse of our misapprehension [unless I'm falling foul of 'arguing from authority' here :-)

Quote:

It's commonly believed that Apple's iPod portable music player uses a bare-bones operating system developed by a company called Pixo, Inc., and that the device itself is a closed system insofar as only Apple can add software modules -- such as the games or contacts list manager -- to the device. And, it's further believed, even if there were a way to load third-party applications onto the device, actually writing such applications requires access to development tools whose availability is tightly controlled and that are expensive to license. In effect, the iPod is even less open than the original Macintosh computer (which is to say, not very open at all).

In fact, none of these beliefs is true.

they further reveal later on in the same article, link for which is in my post above

Quote:

if we list the contents of the Device folder using ls with the undocumented option af (for "all files"?), we get a far different picture:

[Kant:/Volumes/iDegger/iPod_Control/Device] monroe% ls -laf total 41 -rwxrwxrwx 1 monroe unknown 2872 Mar 4 13:55 Prefs -rwxrwxrwx 1 monroe unknown 413 Mar 4 05:55 SysInfo drwxr-xr-x 5 root wheel 190 Sep 22 08:33 bin drwxrwxrwt 6 root wheel 204 Jan 29 2003 cores dr-xr-xr-x 2 root wheel 512 Mar 6 13:38 dev lrwxrwxr-t 1 root admin 11 Mar 6 13:38 etc -r--r--r-- 1 root admin 709440 Mar 6 13:38 mach.sym -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 744576 Apr 1 15:21 mach_krn That's right, the iPod is running a slimmed-down version of Mac OS X! Why am I not surprised?

BTW I think you are spot on that without Jobs and NeXT we wouldn't have anything to agree to differ upon at all, in some alternate universe somewhere they no doubt are dreaming of running 64 bit applications anywhere on their desktops whilst surrounded by 16 and 32 bit rusting hulks of steam punked computers - whatever :-)

I rather suspect that the truth regarding Pixo lies somewhat in between and that OS X has had some interesting code conversions from acquired stock when deemed useful.

I merely speculate here, though.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Web Objects and DirectX....

cwright wrote:
It's a shame this will be getting so slender -- I love these kinds of discussions (I hope you're not feeling like I'm evangelizing/disagreeing too much -- I don't think you are, but I want to proceed with caution incase things get too pushy/touchy ;)

Fanboy, fanboy :) heheh, just messing around. Not at all.

Quote:
gtoledo3 wrote:
Well, I think that the general party line from WWDC08/09 on Win7/Vista was that (granted, I wasn't there, I'm just speaking from the presentation tapes I have). I really LIKE Bertrand Serlet's presentations, and want to be right there going "rah rah rah", and I think the list of cons gets a little hyperbolic when it doesn't need to.

Now that you mention it, I do recall some Vista quips at WWDC08 -- mostly justified, from my experience, but still, quips none the less. Those were from over the pulpit (from apple employees), not from actual developers/users, so I'm not sure they had the effect they were looking for. That said, Vista more or less dug its own grave, so I don't see why anyone had to chide it even more... shrugs

Well, "rally the troops" stuff does make sense for something like WWDC. I think what was a bigger turnoff is that I remember seeing some tape of Tim Cook making a statement about Win 7 that just seemed kind of sad. I don't think it was WWDC actually, but it was like... you know when people seek the need to insult something out of their own insecurity, when they should just let the facts speak for themselves? We've all done it probably, it's just human nature. I think that it's those kind of things that actually tend to do a company disservice and serve as a kind of dissuasion to buying that companies product, especially given that it's a comment made when 7 isn't even release software yet.

So, "same old Vista" comes off as lame, when someone could similarly go "same old NeXTStep, can't they invent their own OS, and isn't it just a Dev kit ontop of Opensource that even NeXT didn't invent, and wasn't good enough to be successful as a cross platform software development environment, so it got gutted for OS X?... what would they do if they had to write their tech instead of just buying it?" (I have a fairly well credentialed Win/Unix developer in the family, as you may or may not remember me having mentioned, so this is the crap I hear when we get in our discussions, and there is some truth in it).

Quote:
gtoledo3 wrote:
That is a good point. I wonder what Microsoft would say about that... probably who cares?(which would be lame) It does seem really peculiar to work within that limitation.

I'm guessing the same -- the bootloader's already written, things work, so "who cares". It is kinda lame though. Seeing BIOS posts/drive enumeration feels so weird after seeing the gray screen after all this time.

hahah...

Quote:
gtoledo3 wrote:
I'm taking the lib of breaking this paragraph in half, (blah blah)

Hardware sales to major corporations has grown pretty stagnant right now (blah blah blah).

That's an interesting take on it. I hadn't considered it, but I think you're right.

I think that if the Microsoft felt that they needed to do something really strongly for business reasons that it can materialize, and I don't think painting the people at Redmond as a bunch of buffoons that can't deliver an OS is entirely correct. I think it is totally the economic bottom line that drives them (as it should... they are a business).

Quote:
gtoledo3 wrote:
Totally agreed. I do think they are overly cautious though. While I like the idea of a unified hardware line, and have generally loved Mac hardware, there are some people that just love the thought of building their own systems and it's foreign to them not to, and ironically, OS X could probably scream on those systems, and those people would conversely be more likely to like OS X as well as pay a few hundred just to run it on their own "hot rod". So, they use Linux instead ;) ... and run Windows whenever they "need" to.

I guess I personally have outgrown the custom hardware phase (I used to love building my own systems, and even now I still modify when it's easy -- my MacBook sports a 320GB harddrive, and 4GB of ram (3GB addressable, the 4th is for pairing to allow the lame intel chipset to dual-band for performance). I could see a market for allowing custom built machines, but there's still the unsolvable EFI problem (no motherboard on the planet ships with EFI unless it's going to end up in a Mac), and some pretty problematic driver issues (I'm not sure of the extent of this, it might not be too bad, or it might be a disaster). Apple could ship a non-EFI-requiring build (making one wouldn't be difficult, just some bootloader work really) to solve the first part. I think you're overestimating the market of for-profit operating systems though. Linux is free, and has been for over a decade, and still hasn't eclipsed OS X (an undeniably "premium" OS). BeOS didn't catch on either, and it ran circles around both Microsoft and Apple's offerings at the time. People simply aren't going to pay money for an OS, and certainly won't if it'll break their existing apps. Enthusiasts will do it, sure, but they're a tiny tiny minority. It's kinda like the gaming market -- Microsoft and Sony went into the highest-specs war, while Nintendo noticed that 99% of the players of video games aren't hardcore gamers. They aimed to captivate the non-hardcore market, and they seem to have had a bit of success from doing so. Specs definitely matter, but never forget volume ;)

I've used BeOS a decent amount with the RADAR recording systems, and it was slick, but it didn't have obvious things like ... oh I don't know... multiple user support. It was OK for certain production scenarios, and the OS is really stable as well. I don't think it had the utility features it needed.

I am going to make a weird argument, but I TOTALLY believe it to be the case.

OS X is more than an OS, it's a software suite. Linux and other Unix dist's give you bundled software, but it's not even close. Microsoft isn't close either, for all of the crap they've loaded into their new OS. Apple could sell OS X as something in competition to Adobe's products, that ran as it's own mega app on TOP (or alongside) of another OS.

If hardware sales start to peter out, I wouldn't be surprised if OS X quickly gained "new abilities" in that realm. Eh, that is admittedly somewhat ridiculous conjecture that I should stay away from.

Maybe some of the real homebrew PC guys are a dying breed... I don't know. I don't get that feeling. I do think it's a shame that there is a group that is SO into technology, computing, and development, that are cut out of a software system that they could appreciate.

To fall back on music experience and background... there is a part of me that always feels like I'm talking to a REAL audio engineer when they are sitting there with a rack of pre's that they put together. When they want to fix it, they pop it open and fix it. There is a certain clientele that simply believes that to be a standard of what constitutes something that is truly professional, and I think it's lame that Apple doesn't serve to those people (or their counterparts in the computer field as it were), even if it's a small group, problems with availability of EFI capable motherboards notwithstanding.

Quote:
gtoledo3 wrote:
Hmmm, I don't know. Apple was in the dumps and they came back strong because of a good NextStep base, threw what they were doing out of the window, and then had a real nice run of fairly dependable hardware/software couplings. They didn't invent the OS, they didn't invent Obj-C or the Foundation, they didn't really even invent Quartz Composer. I don't think that's trail blazing, but I do think it speaks to them being an excellent company in integrating and polishing technology, and then coupling it with great hardware. So, I think that Apple generally walks the already blazed trail, but makes you feel like they were the ones that blazed it, which is an art in and of itself. The polish they put on ideas is unbelievable, and that then basically constitutes something new.

This section's pretty philosophical, and subjective. (preface, nothing more, nothing less).

They didn't invent Obj-C, but they did add a ton to it -- the entire 2.0 runtime is from Apple. GC is from apple. Blocks (in Snow Leopard), other 2.1 runtime tweaks, synchronization (admittedly abysmal), properties, and the like are all from Apple. While not inventing it, they've certainly contributed heavily.

They didn't invent QC, but there's very little vestigial stuff from PixelShox in QC Leopard, and even less in QC Snow Leopard. Ship of Theseus type scenario there.

Core Image, Audio, Animation, and Data -- all invented.

As you mention, they have taken a lot of things and polished a lot, but I also think a fair amount of genuinely new stuff has popped up that makes things easier for developers, and more pleasant for users. Core Animation, for example, is pretty darn awesome when you get right down to it.

That is all fair... but I see that see that as them building on the "blazed trail" the same way Microsoft is. That doesn't take away from invention... sometimes it can even be harder!

I think of it like this - OS X=NeXT ; Quicktime = Apple :)

Without NeXT, I don't think there could be those cool high level abstractions like the Core stuff.

I do see your point about something ending up winding up totally gutted and as something totally different. There has been a great deal of rich innovation and pure invention at Apple, and I would never deny that, and it's what I love about Apple.

Quote:
gtoledo3 wrote:
The argument could be made that it was simply wise of Microsoft to get in bed with nVidia when they did and get the DirectX stuff going, whereas Apple chose not to do the same, and took their own route (which was arguably a really nice one too). In a way, it can be argued that OpenCL is Apple following Microsoft's lead (hold off the fire and pitchforks!), and the new advancements with OpenGL are complimentary with the OpenCL advancement, and allow them to finally compete with DirectX (ouch, that sounds much harsher than it should). Sure, OpenCL is the technically the Khronos group, but it's still a big nVidia/Apple push.

I think that, long run, both will equal out (like, right about now-ish -- I can't think of any really disparity between the two, graphically speaking -- GL 3.2 Core is pretty much feature-matching DX). Microsoft may have had the innovative choice up front (and definitely profited nicely from the more rapid development cycles, while the ARB sat around discussing 74 ways to implement Vertex Arrays, or whatever it was that they were doing from 1997 to 2003), but they also had some compatibility problems because of that.

I don't really see CL being a follower -- there's CUDA (Nvidia only, and already available on OS X and Linux), and GPGPU (not sure how portable that really is), but no real massive compute features in DX come to mind (granted, I'm pretty out of touch with DX after 9.0). CL's sole purpose in life is to make GPGPU simpler/accessible without tying yourself to a vendor -- nothing else does that. DX wrappers on OS X already exist (see Cider -- Sims 3 makes use of that Today on OS X, so it's not like there are magical holes that make emulating DX on OS X particularly difficult, even pre-CL), so it's already "competing" (at least able to perform all the same functions, though perhaps with some different performance characteristics).

All in all, both sides are making some pretty cool innovations, and numerous incremental ones, and that competition makes it better for everybody. I can only hope it continues -- progress is so very exciting to me :)

That's a pretty cool take, and it gives me a different view on that.

I think the progress IS very cool. I in no way think Microsoft's offering touch OS X, and my only interest in looking at Vista/7 is because I can't really deploy to that environment using the Apple Developer Kit, so I'm just peaking around to see the feasibility of re-doing some of my simpler ideas from scratch. In that, the one over-riding thought is "I would hate for Apple to start getting smug or resting on laurels".

I think that little computer like appliances are also a good emphasis. I don't like the idea of embedded apps being a front for web stores, but that is a really small nit-pick on my part... it kind of strikes me the same way that Microsoft sponsoring the pay-for-click market does - a seemingly wise idea that is a turn off in the long run. The majority of iPod/iPhone users I know populate their players with music they already own or have torrented, and see the iTunes store as either irritating, a non-issue, or some mix of those two, but nobody I know goes "man this iTunes store and FairPlay are great". I'm sure those people exist though...

I think it's fairly likely that things like the iPhone can start to morph into a ultramini-mac mini (with mucho mas computing power), where you can plug in extra peripheral things like "roll up plastic monitors/keyboards", etc., or perhaps the peripherals would just work wirelessly. Forgetting about any other thing I've said, whoever gets that going in a robust and seamless way is going to rule the roost for the next generation, and it's likely that will be Apple.

Uhm.... I'm going to go look for the cool bookmark for some Web Object tutorial I found to get a little more OT :) (actually... I think I recently read that Web Objects is being deprecated, so I'm like " : / " . That sucks if that is true because it's really natural to use... I'll have to poke around SL more).