星期四, 七月 27, 2006

[翻译][translation]Bryan O’Bryan » Why I ditched my Mac for Linux

Bryan O’Bryan » Why I ditched my Mac for Linux: "

Based on the title of this treatise of mine you are, likely, safe in your assumption that I am about to tell you all, using the bestest words my mind can muster, why I stopped using MacOS X and switched over to Linux.


Now, there have been a few other various blog postings along a similar vein as this and, by no means, do I wish do beat a dead horse (unless said horse is into that sort of thing). But I have a sneaking suspicion that this will prove itself of interest to some of you.


Let me start by schooling you on the topic of myself, so that you can best understand the points I’m attempting to make.


I have used many operating systems in my day. A few of my personal favorites include OS/2 Warp 3 (Warp 4 just didn’t do it for me), OpenStep and AmigaOS 3 (gotta love that Workbench). Some might call me an “OS Whore”. I prefer to think of it as being “Technologically Agnostic”.

我一生使用过许多的操作系统。我个人喜好的包括OS/2 Warp 3(Warp 4我不喜欢),OpenStep和AmigaOS 3(喜欢她的Workbench)。有的人会叫我“OS娼妓”。我更愿意被称为“技术上的不可知论者”。

That is, until Apple purchased NeXT and released the original iMac. I fell in love. Sure I had used Macs before, but I’d never really lusted after one. From the day that original iMac came out… I was hooked. Sure, it was an, arguable, underpowered machine… but just… LOOK at it.


And that changed the next several years of my life. I sharpened my development chops under MacOS X Server 1.0 (before it had that “Aqua” look and feel) and, a few years back, quit my day job and started a Mac-specific software company. Over the last few years I have poured my heart and soul into developing, supporting and marketing software for MacOS X. This is how I have paid the bills. This consumed the bulk of my waking hours.

那改变了我后续几年的生活。我在MacOS X Server 1.0(那时还没有"Aqua")下秣马厉兵的开发,几年后,我辞掉我的工作,开辟了一家专注Mac的软件公司。近几年,我全心投入MacOS X软件的开发、支持、市场运作。这是我的谋生手段,也耗费着我的每个小时。

Recently (as in, within the last few months) myself and a good friend took over the operations of a rather popular (and long lasting) Mac-specific theme-ing / modding website known as ResExcellence.com. The previous owner was going to close it down, so the opportunity came up for us to take it over.


I was crazy excited. I was at the apex of Mac geeky-ness. I ran a known Mac software company, hosted a big Mac website. I was all Mac.

我狂喜。我处在了Mac geeky-ness的巅峰。我开了间知名的Mac软件公司,主持着一个大型Mac网站。我全是Mac了。

So why, with all this glorious Mac-ness around me, would I drop it all and switch to Linux? Well that, my friends, is a good question.


Allow me to break my reasoning down into a few key points:


1) The Mac Community


It has been my experience that the Mac “community” (ie, the most vocal and active of the Macintosh enthusiast and power users) tend to be incredibly negative and expect much more than they deserve.


Now, I know how that sounds. It sounds like I’m being a big cry-baby. That some Mac users was mean to me so I’m whining about it. Well, I may be whining a bit… but I’m not the only one who’s noticed this…


Through my Mac adventures over the years I have come to know many Mac “celebrities”. Webmasters and editors of some of the bigger Mac websites and developers of some of the most popular Mac third party software. (I’m not going to name names as that would adversely affect many individuals ability to make a living.) And many have noticed the same thing.


It’s almost amazing really. If you go to many seasoned Mac developers (especially ones who have also developed and released software for other platforms as well), and you say something like…


“My Mac users tend to get upset if they don’t get a good enough product… even if the product is free and nobody makes them use it. They assume the product is dead if it hasn’t been updated in the last week. And they don’t act like users of other platforms when they get upset. They get… mean. Personal attacks. Outrageous demands.”


… you’ll, often get a laugh or a sigh followed by a “tell me about it”… followed quickly by an anecdote.


In my own Mac experience I ran a free Mac website and was greeted with an absolutely immense amount of hostility. I have also release free (and, in some cases, incredibly inexpensive) Mac software and was greeted with hostility there as well.


Now, you might say… this is just the way it is. Sometimes people get mean and I should just get tougher skin. Except… it’s not.


I’ve also released Windows and Linux applications and the response overwhelmingly positive. And, oftentimes, this was for applications that were direct ports (of, often, lower quality) of the Mac versions I’d already gotten hell about.


Likewise, I began co-hosting a Linux-centered Podcast (www.linuxactionshow.com) recently. Myself and the other host are amateurs. We are learning as we go. And what was the response? Overwhelmingly positive. Heck, even the criticism we received was good natured and constructive (unlike what we received when attempting to run a Mac free website).


2) Apple and their practices


This is a simple one. Apple has a long track record of directly copying 3rd party application developers (most notably small shops) and including almost perfect clones of those, usually shareware, apps in their next version of OS X. Watson & Konfabulator are the two most high profile recent examples.

这很简单。苹果有一条很悠久的纪录——拷贝第三方应用的开发者(最著名的小店铺),加入几乎完美的克隆,通常是共享软件,小程序到下一版的OS X。Watson & Konfabulator就是最近的两个最典型案例。

And I am in the software business. If Apple clones one of my apps… I’m out of business.


Sure, you could say that Microsoft does this too. Except they have a tendency to just straight up purchase the technology rather then re-make it. They find it easier. Apple likes to copy. There’s a big difference there when you’re looking at it from the point of view of trying to pay for food.


3) Apple’s software quality

3) 苹果的软件质量

I’m sure I’ll get plenty of flack for this one (then again, I’m sure I’ll get plenty of flack for all of this), but Apple’s software quality has gone into the toilet.


Case in point. Apple released iLife 06 this last January. My friends and I were all excited. Apple added Podcasting specific features into Garageband. And they made a new web publishing application called iWeb. We were determined to use them to make a great podcast (which ended up being www.castablasta.com for those interested).

举例。苹果今年一月发布iLife 06。我的朋友和我 都很激动。苹果为Garageband加入Podcasting相关功能。他们做了个新的web发布程序“iWeb”。我们注定要用这些制作优秀的podcast(最终变成www.castablasta.com)。

So we literally rushed to the local Apple store the MOMENT it was in stock and picked up iLife 06. Over the next few months we struggled, on an almost daily basis, to keep Garageband (which we were using to record and edit the podcast) from crashing. We lost a LOT of data. And a lot of time. And an even greater amount of patience.

因此,iLife 06一上架我们就冲进本地的Apple store买下了。后面几个月,我们痛苦挣扎,几乎要日复一日,保持Garageband(我们用它来录音并编辑podcast)不崩溃。我们损失了很多数据。还有很多时间,和更多的耐心。

We wanted to use iWeb to create our Podcasts website and publish it to our newly purchased .Mac account.


That was a nightmare. iWeb crashed a lot (not as much as Garageband… but a lot). It was slow to use. And the .Mac service was too slow and buggy (and feature-free) to run a podcast from… despite Apple’s marketing claims.


Now, before many of you chime in and say how great those apps work for you… I just plain don’t care at this point. We tried multiple updates of these apps on multiple different types of Macs (G5’s, G4’s and Intel with may different configurations of Ram and audio equipment). None of it proved any more stable for long-term use. And Apple’s support was almost useless in this.

现在,在你们中许多人插话说这些应用对你们起了多大作用前……我就是不关心这一点。我们试图在不同类型的Mac上(G5, G4 和Intel的有着不同配置的内存和声音设备的机器)升级这些应用。没一个证明能够长期稳定使用。而且苹果的支持对这些几乎没用。

So we moved to using Audacity under Linux. Did it crash? No. Is it harder to use? Yes. But, you know what? At least we can get the job done.


And this example is just the surface of the software problems. OS X itself is becoming more and more buggy in my usage. Apple’s bundled web browser, Safari, renders many pages I visit incorrectly (often in weird ways)… and, when it doesn’t, it often crashes (or at least hangs for a minute or more at a time rendering my system almost unusable).

这个例子仅是软件问题的表面。在我的使用中,OS X本身就变得有越来越多的臭虫。苹果的捆绑web浏览器,Safari,把我访问的许多页面渲染错误(经常十分糟糕)……且,不出错时,经常崩溃(或者至少死一分钟或更长,让我的系统变得几乎无法使用)。

So. There’s three of the primary reasons I left. I didn’t list games, specific applications, etc that I needed on another platform. I was just focused on whether or not I could use what Apple was providing me in a, relatively, simple way and in a community that was pleasant to be around.


And, in those regards, the Mac has failed me.


To be quite honest the community problems was the real killer. If all the other problems existed… but the community was fun to be around and work with… I would have stuck it out. I would have made it work (no matter how much productivity or hair I lost).


But I had to quit. To move on to something that made me happy. An OS, and a community, that was, in general, positive and helpful. Linux has that community.


The distro I settled on at this point is Ubuntu. I like it. It’s easy to use, cool looking, flexible… and it works. And when I have a problem, an idea or a solution there is a massive community out there to share and work with.


Now I’m sure some of you will notice that I claim that Mac users tend to expect too much for free… and you might argue that Linux users expect things free and open source. But, you know, that’s not my experience so far.


Sure, Linux users have come to expect open source and free software. And many of them balk when presented with commercial software. But, amazingly enough, the Linux community at large seems to be much more open to the concept of paying for your software than the Mac community. Of course that will be put to the ultimate test as I begin to release software for Linux.


That is my rant. If you have questions, please feel free to post them in the comments here and I will do my best to answer.


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