2/17/2010

Gruber and Pilgrim on Mac, Linux, "betterness" and data openness

(from 2006, but I only saw this now, and it is just as applicable now as ever)

YES YES YES: Gruber on Pilgrim's decision to switch from Mac to Linux (and what makes something 'better')

More yes:
I’m deeply suspicious of Mac users who claim to be perfectly happy with Mac OS X. Real Mac users, to me, are people with much higher standards, impossibly high standards, and who use Macs not because they’re great, but because they suck less than everything else. Pilgrim, to me, is a quintessential Mac user in that regard; and what he’s doing is wondering if maybe things might suck less somewhere else.

Pilgrim's primary concern is over data portability, which usually boils down to format openness and has hurt him many times - an issue that I am already quite concerned about myself and am trying to focus on more and more when I choose database-type software but have yet to be satisfied with. Proprietary concerns me far less than real world practical 'openness' in the data-portability sense. In my case the various factors in OS decision work out differently, but I really like the issue(s) that Pilgrim brought up and am thinking about them more than I used to. In fact, right now I am in the middle of trying to migrate my Aperture library over to my new clean instal, and am having issues with data corruption and file ownership permissions - I chose Aperture for its UI-level photo library management tools, but the biggest flaw with it is it's awkward library structure under the hood which lock me into the Aperture ecosystem. Would I make the same decision again to lock myself into Aperture? Yes, but only because there still is nothing 'better' out there (for me) - I can't wait to jump ship the moment something does come along though.

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