[Humanist] 24.391 iPad apps by/for us

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Oct 8 21:35:15 CEST 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 391.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2010 08:31:40 +0100
        From: "Postles, David A. (Dr.)" <pot at leicester.ac.uk>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.387 iPad apps by/for us
        In-Reply-To: <20101007223734.950858D2BC at woodward.joyent.us>

There are a number of issues here.

* Apple products will never, IMHO, attain that position because of their pricing structure and the needs of the developing world.  Essentially, it's developing apps for the use of rich kids in the western world.  Poor kids in the western world will not be able to afford these products unless HE gives them to them as part of their course.  So HE has another moral dilemma there.

* Why do I need an iPad?  My light 13" kit was assembled in Portsmouth and delivered without an OS, at less than half the price of the cheapest of Apple products.

* The consortia which donate apps to the 'community' do so under the GPL.  Everyone under the GPL has to contribute back.  Of course, those companies have their enterprise versions too, the basis of which is largely the support involved - no one decided to use Sun products because it gave us Java, OpenOffice, OpenSolaris - I doubt that giving those apps to the community increased Scott McNealy's business by one iota and I doubt that he expected it to - I used OpenSolaris, but only as one OS amongst many, but actually I prefer PC-BSD as my Unix OS because I prefer KDE to Gnome

* You use Linux/Unix every day - you are using Unix in your Apple products: a proprietary version of the BSD - you use LAMP servers every day in your web work - Linux will, IMHO, be the OS of choice in the developing world

* I'd be interested to know what Apple has done for the community and development rather than take advantage of webkit and BSD - CUPS is a minor offering, but HP gave us HPLIP

In short, I'm not convinced, but then I'm a strange person.

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