Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Darwin and Linux

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:5/14/1999; 9:03:24 AM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 5/14/99
Msg #:6223 (In response to 6216)
Prev/Next:6222 / 6224

The differences between BSD, Linux, and Darwin are relatively minor. Only slightly more than the differences between RedHat, Debian, and Caldera Linux. Apple is building on one of Unix's greatest strengths, modularity.

That's what they said about all the semi-compatible PCs that came out in the early 80s. Let's see, the most memorable ones were the HP touch screen, the DEC Rainbow, the TI Professional with its great color. There were at least a few more, but I can't remember the names of the companies.

All these products did something better than the IBM PC, and were very close to compatible, it would take a few days at most to produce a port for each of the systems. We even sold a bunch of special builds, thousands of units, and got back a handful of regcards. (This means the boxes sat in a warehouse until someone decided to throw them out.)

In the interim, Compaq cloned the PC, it ran all the software, they saw incompatibilities as bugs. Then the herd came in, and eventually the DECs, HPs, and TIs got behind the standard, but for the most part it was too little too late. Look where that mistake got DEC and TI! (Acquired and out of the computer business. Ooops!)

Lesson learned. The IBM PC was a consensus platform. When a consensus forms, it sucks up everything in its wake. The weakness of Unix now is so many almost-Linux systems.

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