There’s no defense like an obvious (read passive) offense . . .

. . . So Bill Gates & Steve Jobs both threatened to sue the former standard bearer of the Open Source movement, SUN Microsystems (before it was whisked away from us by Oracle). The CEO at the time was Jonathan Schwartz, who by waving the banners of Unix and JAVA in front of both Bill and Steve forced them to stand down.

Being an obvious proponent of Open Source (also known as FOSS), I generally use only Linux and Open Source software. I own an Android phone, my home machines run Linux and wherever possible I try to deploy Open Source software professionally where possible & appropriate. I’ve never owned an Apple/MAC or an iAnything. In fact, my Sansa e280 media player runs Rockbox, the Open Source Jukebox Firmware for media players instead of the closed source software shipped with it. I have owned Windows systems and played with DOS in my youth, but once I reached the age of liberation I made a conscious choice to walk down the less trodden path and have reaped the rewards for it.

We’re all interdependent and this fact is ignored by many. Both Microsoft and Apple deny that the very foundations of their closed source products are rooted in the collaboration of the community, rooted in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Indeed, Apple’s OS is based on FreeBSD, while .NET (Microsoft’s primary application framework) is clearly drawing its inspiration from JAVA.

UNIX is one of the seminal operating systems which in many ways has influenced the world in which we live and I contend, moreso than Apple or Microsoft. In some of its core applications under the hood, some Windows code is based on FreeBSD. Simply click here for an example of which there are many, or this link, or this link. Although not a majority of it; I wouldn’t want to demean BSD by drawing parallels between the two <smirk>.

Of course as we all know, Apple is based on FreeBSD. Mac OS X is based upon the Mach kernel, parts of  FreeBSD’s and NetBSD’s implementation of Unix were incorporated in Nextstep, the core of Mac OS X. See this link for more info (Wikipedia).

Internalizing these facts in consideration helps me to realize that raw creativity, intelligence, community and ingenuity can provide great fulfillment, certainty and happiness in many spheres.

Having said all of the above, reading this article brought a smile to my face. It is a summary of Jonathan Schwartz’s blog post which can be read in its entirety here.