There has been a lot of well deserved attention going the way of "Mac OS X Tiger". Athe current time, a lot ofthis attention tends to focus on the consumer constituency comprised of Aunt Milly et al, designers, and new media aficionados. TheDaring Fireballposts an article titled:Point, Counterpoint: Mac OS X Is Great for Fortysomething Unix Hackers. This particularpost applies to OpenLink Software in generalacross a myriad of fronts, especially the essence of this excerpt:

On the surface, Graham’s piece seems like a nice pat on the back to the Mac platform. But there’s an implication in his piece that the world’s most prodigiously talented programmers are only now switching (or switching back) to the Mac, when in fact some of them have been here all along. GUI programming is hard, and for GUI programmers, the Mac has always been, in Brent Simmons’s words, “The Show”.

I.e. the idea that by the mid-’90s the Mac user base had been whittled down to “graphic designers and grandmas” is demonstrably false — someone must have been writing the software the designers and grandmas were using, no? — but I don’t think it’s worth pressing the point, because I suspect it wasn’t really what Graham meant to imply. And the main thrust of his point is true: there is a certain class of hackers — your prototypical Unix nerds — who not only weren’t using Macs a decade ago, but whose antipathy toward Macs was downright hostile. And it is remarkable that these hackers are now among Mac OS X’s strongest adherents.

It’s another sign of Mac OS X’s dual nature: from the perspective of your typical user (and particularly long-time Mac users), it is the Mac OS with a modern Unix architecture encapsulated under the hood; from the perspective of the hackers Graham writes of, it is Unix with a vastly superior GUI.

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