So Apple just released their latest OS.
It has all the newest bells and whistles. Which it should since Apple has a lot of really smart people working for them. They certainly innovate a lot over there in Cupertino. And guess what, even us non- apple users benefit from them, because others will imitate the useful features.
There I said it. Microsoft will do it, open source will do it. I'm not saying that these other two groups don't innovate, because they certainly do. But they also try to borrow the best from others as well. In my quest to understand drivers of open source features, here's another chart: I'm not including adoption this time, since I really have no clue about it (and I don't think it really makes sense in this case).
The chart illustrates a specific example of a theory that I'll call "feature flattery". It compares an application of OS X that I find really useful, Expose and an open source attempt at a clone called Kompose. (Why do I find them useful? I guess cause I'm messy [a slob]. Yes, I know about and use virtual desktops, but my machine's desktops are still a mess. Some might claim that Expose is Apple's answer to virtual desktops, but for me both are nice.
My work machine probably averages about 20 xterms and 15 browsers(not counting tabbed pages) and 10 emacs instances at a time.). Hopefully the graph makes sense. The main idea is that said commercial company comes out with a polished implementation (it jumps in features every major release or so). I assume Hans Oischinger tried Expose, found utility in it and began to create a basic open source implementation (which rapidly grows in functionality until it has the authors desired feature set).
Does the clone have all the features of the commercial implementation? In this case no. Is the clone useful? To me, yes. Will the clone get better? I don't know, the new features of X (windowing system not os) might make the implementation prettier (with windows flying around and dynamically resizing). And that's "feature flattery", that some spikes in the features (and even creation) of open source software occur quickly and rapidly after a mature commercial release (or a detailed description of said feature).
Kompose's website is currently down but according to kde-apps.org, there has been a little progress recently. But the current features work for me. Thanks Apple and thanks to Hans Oischinger.
Now when will KDE pull it in?