OS X and Ubuntu: Waves of Dissatisfaction

Despite Leopard being new and shiny and wonderful, I’m terribly discontent with it. The biggest reason seems to be the huge amount of Macports breakage. I can’t build Haskell to play with it, but that’s fairly trivial. It’s not like that’s anything but an intellectual curiosity thing. But I also can’t build the GIMP, which is actually something I use with some frequency. It’s because MacPorts had finally, during the extra year and a half that the delayed release of Leopard had given them, gotten everything just singing together. Everything built right and correctly and worked together.

Then Leopard arrives and the breakage begins.

It’s like there’s this wave of “works-right-ness” that ebbs and flows. When a new version of OS X comes out, then much of the cool open source software I love gets broken on it, hopelessly, certainly beyond my ability to fix. At this point, (Ubuntu) Linux looks better because a ton of things work there that don’t on OS X. As time goes on, things get fixed and fixed and fixed on OS X until it’s on an equal footing with regards to open source stuff building correctly, and at this point OS X looks better than Linux because of its general professionalism and ease of use and smoothness.

There’s a second wave in there related to Ubuntu releases but because they happen every 6 months instead of every one to two-and-a-half years, it’s a smaller, less disruptive wave.

UPDATE: They fixed Gimp. (Well, they fixed glib2, which was the source of the problems.) Good-o. :)