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Apple and Linux share the same design philosophy

Filed under
Linux
Mac

It sounds crazy. But hear me out. They are antithetical not because of the philosophy, but simply because the nature of the products that they make. Linux makes “backend” stuff, while Apple makes “user-facing”/”frontend” stuff. So, they do not compete. And their philosophy is similar.

For Apple, I refer to the Steve Jobs interview in Fortune:

We did iTunes because we all love music. We made what we thought was the best jukebox in iTunes. Then we all wanted to carry our whole music libraries around with us. The team worked really hard. And the reason that they worked so hard is because we all wanted one. You know? I mean, the first few hundred customers were us. … We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too.

Now, I am sure that this is a sugar-coated version of what happens in practice. I have been in big software organizations and I KNOW that reality is more complex than that. But the complexity is just details. The above is still the guiding force.

As for Linux, I refer to ESR’s famous The Cathedral and The Bazaar:

rest here




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