When Wikipedia Attacks (Darwin version numbers)

Started by RacerX, January 05, 2008, 09:22:07 pm

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RacerX

I find it amazing that information which can be easily checked is often completely missed in Wikipedia, and in it's place are bizarre assumptions. There are tons of examples of this, but I thought that this one deserved special attention.

From the Wikipedia entry for Darwin (Operating System):
    "Notice that the version number jumps from Darwin 1.4 to 5. The two versioning systems have different stories. Initially, Apple established the 1.x designation, in order for Darwin version numbers to correspond to the Mac OS X Server 1.x version numbers. However, the Mac OS Server 1.x saw limited use and that versioning practice was discontinued even before Mac OS X was widely introduced. The Darwin 5.x designations, on the other hand, continue the NEXTSTEP versioning (which left off at NEXTSTEP 3.3, followed by OPENSTEP (which later became Darwin), at 4.2). Since the prepackaged "Darwin 1.x" distribution was actually created based on the Darwin 4 code underlying the Mac OS X, Apple decided to ease confusion and to continue with the version numbers it inherited when it bought NEXTSTEP. The command uname -r in Terminal will show the Darwin version number, and the command uname -v will show the XNU build version string, which includes the Darwin version number."[/list]And from the Wikipedia entry for OpenStep:
      "Mac OS X's primary programming environment is essentially OpenStep (with certain additions such as XML property lists and URL classes for Internet connections) with Mac OS X ports of the development libraries and tools, now called Cocoa. However, Mac OS X diverges from the OpenStep specification to the point that it is now closer to NeXTSTEP as a product. Mac OS X 10.0 could be considered NeXTSTEP 5. Apple's internal versioning of Darwin, the open source code comprising the core OS and kernel of Mac OS X, follows this numbering."[/list] :roll: This is truly amazing. Without anything other than seeing the number 5, these people assumed it was done because 5 must have followed the 4 from OPENSTEP 4.x. Of course, there were version 5 releases that followed OPENSTEP 4.2, they were Rhapsody 5.0 through 5.6.

      So where did this 5 come from in the Darwin version numbering system?

      Apple wrote a letter and sent it to everyone on their developer lists explaining the reasons behind the change in Darwin version numbers and what they stood for.

      The jump in version numbers from  Darwin 1.4.1 to 5.1 with the release of Mac OS X v10.1.1 was designed to tie Darwin to the Mac OS X version and build numbering system. For those who don't know about the build numbering system, every version of Mac OS X has a unique beginning build number, which identifies what whole version of Mac OS X it is part of. Mac OS X v10.0 had build numbers starting with 4, 10.1 had build numbers starting with 5, 10.2 had build numbers starting with 6, 10.3 had build numbers starting with 7, 10.4 had build numbers starting with 8, and 10.5 has build numbers starting with 9. The point release number in the Darwin version is always the same as the second point number in the Mac OS X version.

      In the case of Mac OS X v10.1.1 (the version where all this started), this was build 5M28 and the 10.1.1 release, which is where 5.1 is derived from.

      Further, Darwin made it's first appearance in Mac OS X Developer Preview 1, but didn't identify itself as such until Mac OS X Developer Preview 3 (in DP1 and DP2 the uname information is given as Mac OS 10, in DP3 Darwin 1.0 is given). Darwin was not used in Mac OS X Server 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.0.2, 1.2 or 1.2v3, all of those are based on Rhapsody which still included encumbered BSD code that was replaced with FreeBSD elements in Darwin.

      The Darwin version numbers to date (as included within Mac OS X)...
        Mac OS 10.0 (Mac OS X Developer Preview)
        Mac OS 10.0 (Mac OS X Developer Preview 2)
        Darwin 1.0 (Mac OS X Developer Preview 3)
        Darwin 1.1 (Mac OS X Developer Preview 4)
        Darwin 1.2.1 (Mac OS X Public Beta)
        Darwin 1.3.1 (Mac OS X v.10.0.0-10.0.4)
        Darwin 1.4.1 (Mac OS X v.10.1.0)
        Darwin 5.1-5.5 (Mac OS X v.10.1.1-10.1.5)
        Darwin 6.0-6.8 (Mac OS X v.10.2.0-10.2.8 )
        Darwin 7.0-7.9 (Mac OS X v.10.3.0-10.3.9)
        Darwin 8.0-8.11 (Mac OS X v.10.4.0-10.4.11)
        Darwin 9.0-9.1 (Mac OS X v.10.5.0-10.5.1)

      None of this is a secret, so why in the world are people putting such disinformation up on Wikipedia if they really don't know what they are talking about?

      In the end, this should stand as a shining example of why you should never take anything put up on Wikipedia at face value. Everything on there should be cross checked before assuming it is accurate.

      ericj

      Quote from: "RacerX"I find it amazing that information which can be easily checked is often completely missed in Wikipedia, and in it's place are bizarre assumptions. There are tons of examples of this, but I thought that this one deserved special attention.


      Yes, it's appalling. And there are still people who will take the Web site without any salt (I know two such people, and I keep trying to get them to understand).

      Quote from: "RacerX"From the Wikipedia entry for Darwin (Operating System):
        "Notice that the version number jumps from Darwin 1.4 to 5. The two versioning systems have different stories. Initially, Apple established the 1.x designation, in order for Darwin version numbers to correspond to the Mac OS X Server 1.x version numbers. However, the Mac OS Server 1.x saw limited use and that versioning practice was discontinued even before Mac OS X was widely introduced. The Darwin 5.x designations, on the other hand, continue the NEXTSTEP versioning (which left off at NEXTSTEP 3.3, followed by OPENSTEP (which later became Darwin), at 4.2). Since the prepackaged "Darwin 1.x" distribution was actually created based on the Darwin 4 code underlying the Mac OS X, Apple decided to ease confusion and to continue with the version numbers it inherited when it bought NEXTSTEP. The command uname -r in Terminal will show the Darwin version number, and the command uname -v will show the XNU build version string, which includes the Darwin version number."[/list]And from the Wikipedia entry for OpenStep:
          "Mac OS X's primary programming environment is essentially OpenStep (with certain additions such as XML property lists and URL classes for Internet connections) with Mac OS X ports of the development libraries and tools, now called Cocoa. However, Mac OS X diverges from the OpenStep specification to the point that it is now closer to NeXTSTEP as a product. Mac OS X 10.0 could be considered NeXTSTEP 5. Apple's internal versioning of Darwin, the open source code comprising the core OS and kernel of Mac OS X, follows this numbering."[/list] :roll: This is truly amazing. Without anything other than seeing the number 5, these people assumed it was done because 5 must have followed the 4 from OPENSTEP 4.x. Of course, there were version 5 releases that followed OPENSTEP 4.2, they were Rhapsody 5.0 through 5.6.


          Yes, it seems odd to me. I first saw this when I was trying to figure out the version jump (I Googled it, and Wikipedia had the most relevant result), and it didn't make sense to me because of Rhapsody's versioning (and OS X Server 1.x not using Darwin).

          Quote from: "RacerX"So where did this 5 come from in the Darwin version numbering system?

          Apple wrote a letter and sent it to everyone on their developer lists explaining the reasons behind the change in Darwin version numbers and what they stood for.


          Interesting, I never knew about this. Any chance that the contents of the letter are on the Web?

          Quote from: "RacerX"The jump in version numbers from  Darwin 1.4.1 to 5.1 with the release of Mac OS X v10.1.1 was designed to tie Darwin to the Mac OS X version and build numbering system. For those who don't know about the build numbering system, every version of Mac OS X has a unique beginning build number, which identifies what whole version of Mac OS X it is part of. Mac OS X v10.0 had build numbers starting with 4, 10.1 had build numbers starting with 5, 10.2 had build numbers starting with 6, 10.3 had build numbers starting with 7, 10.4 had build numbers starting with 8, and 10.5 has build numbers starting with 9.


          I actually never noticed this, as I have only used 10.3 and 10.4.

          Quote from: "RacerX"Further, Darwin made it's first appearance in Mac OS X Developer Preview 1, but didn't identify itself as such until Mac OS X Developer Preview 3 (in DP1 and DP2 the uname information is given as Mac OS 10, in DP3 Darwin 1.0 is given). Darwin was not used in Mac OS X Server 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.0.2, 1.2 or 1.2v3, all of those are based on Rhapsody which still included encumbered BSD code that was replaced with FreeBSD elements in Darwin.


          I always thought that Darwin first appeared in DP3. Maybe it was because of the more visible changes in that version, that I thought there might have been a very major change in the core. I did know that Darwin wasn't used in Rhapsody, and I did know that it included non-Lite (AKA encumbered) BSD code.

          Quote from: "RacerX"None of this is a secret, so why in the world are people putting such disinformation up on Wikipedia if they really don't know what they are talking about?


          You really shouldn't expect that much out of Wikipedia. People just take advantage of the editable nature of it and are too lazy to try to find out the truth, and therefore make up what is (to the uninitiated) truthful-sounding, when it is really rubbish.

          Quote from: "RacerX"In the end, this should stand as a shining example of why you should never take anything put up on Wikipedia at face value. Everything on there should be cross checked before assuming it is accurate.


          I actually try to avoid the site whenever I can, but it's very difficult with Google making it one of the top results for anything, and sometimes putting in a positive-sounding and irrelevant summary. For example, try Googling "technetium", and the first result is:

          Technetium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
          Properties of the element, including its history, applications, and characteristics.
          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetium - 116k - Cached - Similar pages

          I think it's an insult to Britannica and the like to label it as an encyclopedia.

          Eric

          nextchef

          So did you correct it RacerX?

          The nice part about Wikipedia is that someone with greater knowledge can sign in and correct inaccuracies like this when they come up, and reference them properly if possible.  Wikipedia on a whole is a good thing, but it is only as good as the level of time and effort that people want to put into it.

          Chef

          RacerX

          Quote from: "ericj"Interesting, I never knew about this. Any chance that the contents of the letter are on the Web?

          I do recall it popping up on a number of mailing lists (like OS X Developers over on the Omni Group site). I can't believe it would be all that hard to find. But this is what I have in my reference materials on the subject...

            New Darwin Versioning Scheme

            As of Software Update 1 for Mac OS X v10.1, we have moved to a new
            numbering policy for the Darwin portions of Mac OS X. It you type
            "uname -a" from the command-line, you will see that the Darwin version
            number has changed to "5.1" (actually 5.1.0), which better aligns
            Darwin's numbering scheme with our internal build processes. The "5"
            refers to the major release - "4" was Mac OS X v10.0, and the earlier
            numbers represented developer releases. The minor version '1' is
            generally the update number, and the final number (e.g, the "0" in
            5.1.0) represent 'variants'. For example, under the new scheme, the
            Darwin in Mac OS X v10.1 would've been '5.0.0' whereas the Open Source
            Darwin version released immediately afterwards (1.4.1) would've been
            "5.0.1".

            We apologize for any disruption this may cause existing projects, and
            hope this change will enable us to provide greater consistency in the
            future.

            Sincerely,
            Ernie Prabhakar
            [/list]



            Quote from: "nextchef"So did you correct it RacerX?

            The nice part about Wikipedia is that someone with greater knowledge can sign in and correct inaccuracies like this when they come up, and reference them properly if possible. Wikipedia on a whole is a good thing, but it is only as good as the level of time and effort that people want to put into it.

            If it was as straight forward as fixing this type of thing, I would consider it... unfortunately I've seen how the Wiki-elite react to corrections, and frankly it just isn't worth it.

            The person who took the time and effort to think up the fictional account that is there now would most likely argue that his version of what is there is correct. And enough people have most likely started taking that as gospel that it would require quite a bit of fighting to get it changed.

            But I'll tell ya what... if you want to take on trying to make this change, I'll create a page on my site with the original e-mail explanation from Apple as a reference for you to site.

            I think you'll end up having to fight to change the fictional account though, as I think the original writers of it (a combination of GaelicWizard, Guy Harris, AlistairMcMillan and CRGreathouse) are quite proud of their deductive reasoning.

            But think about this, that is four different people who edited that passage, and not one of them took the time to even drop Apple an e-mail to find out the real reason for the change in numbering.

            That is what is so amazing!

            nextchef

            Quote from: "RacerX"[
            But I'll tell ya what... if you want to take on trying to make this change, I'll create a page on my site with the original e-mail explanation from Apple as a reference for you to site.


            That would be good to have it on the web somewhere, then at least it might start showing up on search engines like google.

            No arguing about how territorial some Wikipedia "maintainers" can be, but well try a little editing and see what happens.

            EDIT -
            Made some changes to the pages in question, and I guess we will see what happens.
            -EDIT

            Chef

            RacerX

            Okay, I'll put up a page covering version numbering and include the body of that e-mail. That way if anyone complains you can point them in that direction.