Why We've Embraced Mac OS X

by Derrick Story

As a reader of O'Reilly Network, I think
it's time I explain something to you.

Most likely you probably have a number of our books on your shelf -- Linux,
Java, Unix, and probably Perl. You've most likely visited
oreilly.com, XML.com, ONJava.com, ONLamp.com, and maybe even have scanned our articles on openP2P.com. Those sites feature solid, traditional O'Reilly content.

But, over the last year, you've seen more Mac-related articles in our lead space.
Now I don't know how you feel personally about this platform,
but I want to tell you why we've been covering this stuff. And I
thought now would be a good time to do so since we're wrapping up our participation at Macworld SF.

It all has to do with Mac OS X, which is completely different than
anything Apple has ever produced before. As you know, OS X has Unix
underpinnings and lots of familiar tools built-in including Apache,
PHP, SSH, CGI, and Java. The essence of OS X, Darwin, is an Apple
open source project. And this new OS has accomplished in a short
period of time what others have struggled to do for years: bring a
compelling, widely accepted GUI (called Aqua) to Unix.

Oddly enough, Mac OS X is more popular in the open source community
than it is in Apple's traditional customer base, many of whom
dislike it and are rebelling against the change. But there are lots,
and I mean great numbers, of technically-minded people who love this
new operating system. And for those people, we created the Mac DevCenter.

Our books for Mac OS X are doing well. We sold 350 copies of David
Pogue's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual on the first day of Macworld. We thought
that's how many we would sell the entire week. We scraped up another 150 copies and sold them within hours. On Thursday, we called the nearby Apple Store and asked if we could "borrow" back our shipment of 120 books to sell at the show. They kindly lent them to us, and we sold every copy within two and a half hours.

The Mac DevCenter has doubled its traffic in the last two months. And the articles
we've published on Apache web serving, Java programming, and Cocoa
application building have attracted great numbers.

If you've been less than enthusiastic about Apple technologies
in the past, I'm asking you to take a second look. There's an
opportunity here for us to take back control of our computers, and
at the same time, enjoy some of the luxuries of GUI applications.

Our focus on Mac OS X doesn't replace our passion for Linux, Perl, Java,
XML, and BSD -- it is in addition to it. If you have a moment,
browse some of our Mac articles and let me know
what you think. I believe that Mac OS X should be a full-fledged
member of the O'Reilly community. It has the strengths we value in a technology.

If you have comments about Mac OS X, please share them.


2002-01-11 10:51:50
osx - the best of all possible worlds
yes, osx should be come a core feature of orielly ... it has allowed me to bring together stuff better, faster, cheaper than any other solution i have been previously using.

i hope other people from outside the mac discover what awesome possibilities apple has created!


2002-01-11 12:57:06
Thanks O'reilly
As a former Mac despiser, and faithful *BSD/Windows 2000 user, I've finally jumped ship to the OS X world, both at home and at work.

It's been a sincere blessing working in OS X. The desktop environment is top-notch, and when I need to do nerdy UNIX things, I just launch Terminal.app instead of SSHing to another box.

I'd love to see more OS X articles focusing on programming and tecnical aspects.

The Cocoa and Java programming articles have been great, and there've been a few good technical OS X articles.

From the sounds of it, I'm only one of a bunch of network admins jumping ship to the OS X world.

2002-01-11 13:48:06
Mac OS X/Darwin <-> O'reilly/Opensource community

It couldn't be better! :-)


2002-01-11 14:29:10
I agree with the others. Mac OSX should be a regular feature of oreillynet. I have read the Cocoa programming and java development articles for OSX and they have gotten me very interested. I am planning on purchasing a Mac for my next home computer.


2002-01-11 14:29:15
Absolutely right!
As a web developer and longtime Mac user, OS X is exactly what is needed right now: a powerful, easy to use, standards-based OS with a great looking GUI. The fact that they incorporate things like PHP, Java2 SE, Samba and WebDAV right into the OS without having to manually go and try to get these things working is jsut awesome! And it's nice that you can go ahead and still do all the customizing you want. It keeps getting better and better with each update and with all the great software being released by both commercial developers and the open source community. If only I can get one of those new iMacs....
2002-01-11 19:43:32
Macworld Update and New Articles
First a Macworld update. I stayed to the end and helped box-up what few O'Reilly books we had left to bring home. In those boxes there were no Mac books what-so-ever. We sold every one.There weren't too many Unix or Java books left either. Everyone keeps saying that Macworld is strictly a "consumer" show. Hmmm, a lot of those "consumers" were sure interested in the command line.

As for upcoming articles on the Mac DevCenter -- we have a very cool Java piece that's about ready to run. We've decided to extend the Apache web serving series. Some great AppleScript stuff is coming together. And of course pure OS X, QuickTime, Aqua, and our flagship series on Cocoa will be returning to every other week.

2002-01-11 22:06:42
macs + unix rule
I've always been a Mac geek and a Unix geek on the side... now I can be both all the time on the same machine...

keep it up O'reilly. I love my "animal" bookshelf

so stylish, like Macintosh


2002-01-12 00:43:40
Yes please - more on OS X & technologies

I hope OReilly will continue to provide in-depth coverage of OSX topics - particularly Applescript, Darwin and integration of web services.

I'm a very recent convert to the Apple platform - despite its annoyances (a tendency to allow design to drift into relms of the merely cute being prominent, IMHO) - BECAUSE of the unique opportunities that OSX offers to a moderately sophisticated user (BSD + modern interface, lots of commercial grade software and LOTS of scriptability).

I think it is the only consumer OS that - like UNIX itself - allows and even expects the user to add functionality to the workplace environment - including easy access to tools in the internet cloud - and provides the tools to do this (Apple events, scripts, SOAP etc). But its much prettier than UNIX and generally less obscure (now .. if only it were as small and as quick as QNX....:-).

OReilly is an essential and valuable source of information on all this stuff... Please keep it up on your site and in your library. More applescript (incl studio) and more SOAP.

Thank you.

2002-01-12 05:09:49
Great resource
As a mutiplatform user, I'm really glad to see O'Reilly providing me a great source for Mac OS X development. While I like Mac, I never develop any serious Mac app. I hope I can learn something from the Mac DevCenter. I still remember it's an O'Reilly book that led me to a not too bad Perl programmer.
2002-01-13 08:16:13
Happy to see Mac OS X a part of O'Rreilly
I 've enjoyed and read all of your Java/EJB, XMl and some UNIX publications and find them of high quality. Being a user of Mac OS X which I find superior to UNIX I am glad to see you support and more books and articles will appear.

Thank you.


2002-01-13 13:42:20
I have always been a mac user. About 5 years ago I was turned on to the stability and power of Linux. I have used every PPC Linux disrto on my G4 and even biult my own distro with Linux From Scratch.
After upgrading to OS X 10.1 I found myslef rarely using Linux. Last week I got rid of Linux. I wiped the dedicated Hard Drive I had purchased for running Linux and now run only OSX. It has the GUI, ease of use, and Applications of MacOS with the Power and stability of Linux. What could be better?
2002-01-13 19:50:06
OS X - ahhhhhhh, *finally*!
Let's set the stage:

I've been a Linux, OpenBSD, HP-UX and Solaris guy for the past few years. I work as a senior system admin in a Linux software group within a large telecom company. I've done embedded Linux development, coded a server appliance in Python, and have generally been Linux-centric since 1993.

Then I discovered OS X.

I've always loved Apple hardware. I hate cables. Style counts. Steve Jobs knows this, and damn him, I've always lusted after Apple's computers. It was their OS that drove me nuts. Cooperative multitasking? Hugely inefficient virtual memory system? Ack.

So I bought Macs and stuck Linux on 'em.

Then I got ahold of the OS X beta. Wow. A functional GUI, running on beautiful hardware... AND there's a Unix derivative underneath? *drool*

My Linux workstation is gone. I don't run it any longer. My main "workstation" is a G4 Titanium notebook running OS X 10.1. The last time I was *this* satisfied with a computer OS was somewhere back in the days of my Amiga.

Way to go Apple!

2002-01-13 23:54:13
old-time mac users rebel?
I have used macs since about 1986. My office has had a mac and an SGI in it; the latter I use for serious computational stuff. That is, until OS X came along. I bought a new computer (G4 with two 800 Mhz processors) because of OS X. Now my SGI sits virtually unused except for stereographic visualization.

Mac OS X is the most legal fun I have ever had with my clothes on. I finally can get serious work done on my mac. If there is software that only runs on OS 9, I probably don't really need it anyway.

2002-01-14 08:58:26
Hi Derrick,

Thanks for the update and for O'Reilly's support of OSX. I have been coding for Mac, Windows, and Unix for many years, and I gotta say OSX is wonderful!

--gordon tillman (got@mindspring.com)

2002-01-14 09:54:09
OSX something for everyone
Apple are moving in the best of directions, an OS that a child can use and IS the hub of people growing digital life styles; plus (for people like me) the start of a solid, open source developers platform... if there is a better path than this, what is it?

Thanks for supporting OSX

bob (avid purchaser of your books and user of your articles)