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Windows Is So Slow, but Why? – New York Times

Windows Is So Slow, but Why? – New York Times:

“And Apple had the advantage of building on software from university laboratories, an experimental version of the Unix operating system developed at Carnegie Mellon University and a free variant of Unix from the University of California, Berkeley. That helps explain why a small team at Apple has been able to build an operating system rich in features with nearly as many lines of code as Microsoft’s Windows.”

It’s a great little thing called industry standards. It took Apple a long, long time to find them, but they are like strapping a rocket booster to development.

At work I program in Java, and one of the most recent things I did was implement our report system. It works like this:

  1. A user makes an HTTP request to a web page.
  2. A Java Servlet gets the request.
  3. The servlet makes a series of SQL calls to a database.
  4. The servlet then marshalls that data into XML.
  5. The XML is then transformed in XHTML using XSLT.
  6. The user gets a normal-looking web page that they can print, save, or whatever.

Each step in that process is an open standard of one form or another. That entire system took me a little less than a month to make, while I was doing other tasks. If I had had to start from the beginning and do all of this by myself, it would take forever. And I would have to return to my boss and tell her that our ship date would have to be pushed back. Repeatedly. Which is what the Windows guys are having to do. Repeatedly. Because Microsoft doesn’t follow standards unless it was one of the guys at the standardization table. They’re doing better with RSS and Atom, but they have a ways to go before they realize that there’s a lot of projects out there that they can leverage, if only they’d try.