Torvalds, founder of the Linux open source movement, is sure to piss off a few Mac faithful. According to him, Leopard OS X 10.5 is, in some ways, worse than Windows Vista.
Worse than Windows Vista? Whatcha smokin’ there, Linus?
At the linux.conf.au conference in Melbourne, Australia, the chief Linux nerd was asked his opinions about OS X.
"I don’t think they’re equally flawed – I think Leopard is a much better system," he said. "(But) OS X in some ways is actually worse than Windows to program for. Their file system is complete and utter crap, which is scary."
He also ripped on Apple marketing, saying he didn’t think the release of a new operating system update should be cause for celebration and marketing. He thinks an OS should be completely invisible.
Torvalds Is Missing Something
For one, the idea that an OS should be completely invisible is completely contrary to the reality that is Linux. Linux, despite the testimony of some long-time Linux users, is NOT easy to use. Just try to set up dual screens in Ubuntu and you’ll see what a nasty experience it is. Linux is still very much reliant on the nerdy command line. I have TRIED to use various Linux variants many times and am constantly thwarted by Linux difficulties.
So, no, Linux is NOT invisible. For most people, it is staring right at them, throwing up barriers to getting things done. I know that that is likely to rile the feathers of Linux guys, but if what I were saying weren’t true, Linux would be much more popular than it is with end users.
I agree – an operating system should be invisible. It should not get in the way of getting things done. And that is precisely why I say OS X is a better operating system than Linux. And Windows as well.
Apple probably offends every fiber of the Linux fanboy mantra. The fact that Torvalds mentioned the marketing of Apple is case in point. Linux is anti-commercialism, and Apple marketing is notably very blatant. But, that anti-commercialism is exactly why Linux is not used by the end user very much.
Linux is awesome for flexibility, and most of the Internet wouldn’t exist without Linux. But, there is a place in the market for both Microsoft and Apple – and that is a place that, quite frankly, Linux will never fill as long as it adopts this philosophy of Linus Torvalds.