Proprietary Software on Fosdem

I recall 2 years ago when people criticised a speaker, for using Microsoft Windows on his laptop during his talk on Fosdem. Which is pretty much well understandable on a Free and Open Source forum. Altough. I did notice someone giving a talk about Jabber, using a Windows laptop, who left the dev room alive. I still wait to see Linux on a Microsoft event in a theatre near me.

But what strikes me every time, and also today when visiting Fosdem, is the sheer number of Mac users running OSX. Apple hardware is nice, but OSX, as sweet and cool as it is, is just as proprietary as Microsoft Windows. Yes, I know about the Mach kernel and OSX being FreeBSD based and Apple contributing back and so. But the fact remains, OSX is a proprietary system.

Hey, each time I booted my (employer’s) laptop today, I had to concentrate on the first 15 seconds of boot proces, so I could choose to boot Ubuntu when Lilo presented me his menu. I wouldn’t risk booting Windows today 🙂

Now, why is OSX so easily tolerated amongst the F/LOSS community? OK, it definitely has some pros. It’s FreeBSD based. It’s a cool and well integrated desktop environment. It seems to be very user friendly (huh? since when do geeks care about that?) I’m told it is a good developers platform. It carries all you need to run X apps and use most floss apps. So yes, OSX seems to be a wonderfull platform for the – euh how we call those? – Unix, Posix enthusiasts.

But it’s not Free. Apple is far behind, say e.g. Novell, which already proved to understand what Free and Open Source is about.