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OpenDarwin Project Shutting Down 470

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hard-to-hit-a-moving-target dept.
niabok writes "According to a message sent by Rob Braun to the OpenDarwin mailing lists, the OpenDarwin project will be shutting down, saying that 'OpenDarwin has failed to achieve its goals in 4 years of operation, and moves further from achieving these goals as time goes on.' The project's servers will remain online long enough to allow developers to move their various projects elsewhere."
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OpenDarwin Project Shutting Down

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  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by patio11 (857072) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @11:37PM (#15781504)
    I guess they needed more intelligent design.
    • Make that OpenIntelligentDesign
    • OpenDarwin is dying. Another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered OpenDarwin community, dot dot dot

      Listen, it's been over twenty minutes since this story was posted, and I haven't seen a Netcraft confirmation post yet. How do I know it's really dying? C'mon, people, get on the ball.
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @11:40PM (#15781515) Homepage Journal
    With a PageRank of 8 and an age of 4 years, that domain will sell to some SEO company very VERY fast. I wonder what they'll get for it.
    • It's take more than a good pagerank to make a name valuable. The name itself has to mean something. There are porn folks who'll buy a popular name just to grab they extra hits, but they're not going to pay very much for it.
      • It's take more than a good pagerank to make a name valuable. The name itself has to mean something. There are porn folks who'll buy a popular name just to grab they extra hits, but they're not going to pay very much for it.

        Then I guess they should've named their project "Open Darwina". Oh yeah, open wide for me baby...

  • by Cherita Chen (936355) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @11:41PM (#15781518) Homepage
    Quite Frankly, I'm not surprised... It is well known that the OpenID project (Open Intelligent Design) is far more promising. For those who don't know, there is now a beta version dubbed "Kansas" slated to be released around Christmas.

    Stay tuned!

    • I guess I am just dense, but I actually googled around for a bit before realizing that I had been had.

      I tip my hat to you on that one, even though it should have been obvious, ya got me....
    • by BitwizeGHC (145393) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @12:37AM (#15781714) Homepage
      Actually I think they'll be both trumped by the project affiliated with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Of course in some circles he is venerated as the Buoyant Spaghetti Deity; hence, OpenBSD [openbsd.org].
    • Sorry dude, someone made the ID joke 4 minutes before you did.
    • Quite Frankly, I'm not surprised... It is well known that the OpenID project (Open Intelligent Design) is far more promising.

      Dude, the design phase of the ID project was done eons ago, literally, and before any implementation work was begun. It was never open. I think the requirements document must have been lost long ago though, because nobody knows wtf any of this stuff is. but EVERYONE knows that for a project this vast and complex, the only way to do it is to plan everything in advance from structures

  • Sad (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuantumFTL (197300) * <justin,wick&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @11:44PM (#15781529)
    I personally use Fink (and love it, for all of its flaws), but it's sad to me to see a good alternative source for OSS on OS X bite the dust. The only reason I'm able to enjoy a proprietary OS like OS X is because of the availability of many of the best OSS packages (if not all), and the compatability this affords me with linux-based environments. Hopefully Gentoo on OS X [metadistribution.org] will go somewhere - does anyone know how it stacks up against Fink right now?
    • Re:Sad (Score:3, Informative)

      by code shady (637051)
      I haven't tried Gentoo on OS X but I have tried DarwinPorts, the OS X version of the BSD ports system. If you are familiar at all with the ports system, then DarwinPorts will be right up your alley. I love it. It doesn't seem to have the breadth that fink does, but it's still rather nice.

      Unfortunatley, it does seem to be hosted on the OpenDarwin servers, so I wonder what the long term plans are for the maintainers of the project. I hope it can continue to exist, as I for one would miss the nice ports st
      • Re:Sad (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hritcu (871613) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @02:37AM (#15782098) Homepage
        Unfortunatley, it does seem to be hosted on the OpenDarwin servers, so I wonder what the long term plans are for the maintainers of the project. I hope it can continue to exist, as I for one would miss the nice ports style installation and management on OS X.

        OpenDarwin was just a host for DarwinPorts. They will just find another host. The interest in DarwinPorts is high enough so that you don't have to worry about them disappearing.
    • Re:Sad (Score:5, Informative)

      by taybin (622573) <taybin.taybin@com> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @12:12AM (#15781629) Homepage
      This isn't the end of the darwinports project. That project was just hosted on the opendarwin servers.
      • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

        by QuantumFTL (197300) * <justin,wick&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @12:20AM (#15781644)
        Thanks, I misunderstood the announcment. Still sad though, Apple should be giving more back to OSS - it owes much of its comeback to OSS (though not Free Software because it doesnt' seem to like GPL stuff much, like many corporations).
        • Re:Sad (Score:3, Interesting)

          by m874t232 (973431)
          though not Free Software because it doesnt' seem to like GPL stuff much, like many corporations

          Well, I agree that Apple isn't giving back enough to open source, but they have no hesitation using and shipping GPL'ed stuff. Two important examples are gcc and bash. And with gcc, for years, NeXT managed to comply with the GPL while avoiding giving anything useful back to the gcc project.
          • Re:Sad (Score:3, Interesting)

            by LizardKing (5245)

            And with gcc, for years, NeXT managed to comply with the GPL while avoiding giving anything useful back to the gcc project.

            Apart from an implementation of the Objective C frontend and runtime. But don't let facts get in the way of your ill informed ranting.

            • Re:Sad (Score:3, Interesting)

              by TheRaven64 (641858)
              Apart from an implementation of the Objective C frontend and runtime

              Half right. The front-end came from NeXT. The runtime came from the GNU project. When you compile Objective-C with GCC you have the option of targeting the NeXT runtime, which is proprietary (and ships with OS X) or the GNU runtime, which is used by GNUstep and other non-NeXT Objective-C apps. Without a runtime, the front-end was completely useless.

            • Re:Sad (Score:5, Informative)

              by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @07:22AM (#15782769) Homepage Journal

              This is the kind of nit-picking I hate on Slashdot. He didn't say "while avoiding giving anything back to the gcc project", he said "while avoiding giving anything useful back to the gcc project". He qualified the word "anything", and you've responded as if he didn't.

              Objective C was close to useless for the longest time in GCC, which adopted Apple's changes largely, I think, in the hope someone would make it a viable system in the future. A crude object framework consisting of just the Object class was added (note: not NSObject) and a small run-time, by independent (non-Apple) developers, but until GNUstep came along there was nothing you could really do with all of that unless you spent a few months developing a basic class library. Basic meaning pretty much "everything". No string classes, IO classes, or anything else, existed unless you chose to write it.

            • Re:Sad (Score:3, Informative)

              by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
              Apple was also a contributor to the SSA [gnu.org] project for GCC, which I believe improves all frontends. IIRC, their interest was in using the SSA tree for autovectorization work.

              So (and somebody correct me if I'm wrong), if you're using gcc to compile c++ on linux, you're using Apple code.
            • Re:Sad (Score:4, Informative)

              by dominator (61418) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @08:27AM (#15782957) Homepage
              Speaking of history lessons and facts, let's not forget that RMS needed to due everything short of suing NeXt to open the Objective C compiler's and runtime's sources:

              http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/pragmatic.html [fsf.org]

              NeXt didn't want to contribute their code back to the Free Software movement. They even had some sneaky attempts (shipping just the .o files) to keep it proprietary. Only when lawyers got involved, did NeXt release their changes. They gave something back to the gcc community only when a gun was to their head.
        • Re:Sad (Score:3, Informative)

          by Eivind Eklund (5161)
          The GPL is not a requirement for something being classed as free software; there's numerous other licenses. I personally work with the BSD class of licenses mostly because I see GPL as unfree.

          Eivind.

    • Re:Sad (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aitikin (909209)
      Extremely unfortunate for those of us who are OSS enthusiasts on OS X Gentoo on OS X is lightyears behind Fink. No GUI, very little support, and an update right now is impossible, because they have so many bugs that have to be worked out. I just tried to sync my portage tree and upgrade everything and I get errors galore! If people put effort into it, I'm sure it would be useful, but there haven't been many updates on it in forever and the forums are a major dissapointment. Gentoo has also impressed me
    • I try to use Fink when I can, but I like to stay on the bleeding edge. Everything in Fink seems so out of date. Ruby is still version 1.8.2, for example. That's the version that ships with Tiger in the first place!

      I don't like to complain, though. Fink is still a wonderful concept. I just wish its admins didn't already have so many things they need to dedicate their time to.

      In the meantime, though I do my development work and some testing on my Powerbook, my stable test server is an Ubuntu box. It's just ea
      • by alistair (31390) <alistair@hotld[ ]com ['ap.' in gap]> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @02:23AM (#15782066)
        Fink mirrors the Debian release cycle so you have stable packages whiich are generally a few versions behind current and unstable (which I have always fount to be stable) which are generally bleeding edge. The unstable release of Ruby is 1.8.4 which is current.

        To configure Fink to use unstable, edit /sw/etc/fink.conf, add unstable/main and unstable/crypto to the Trees: line, and then run fink selfupdate; fink index; fink scanpackages.


        You should now find you have more than 5000 packaes instead of 1800 to choose from and the latest version oof PERL, Ruby, KDE etc. are all there. You will have to update all your old packages to use them though, with Fink you can either choose stable or unstable, not a mixture. Having said that I have over 1000 unstable Fink packages installed on this mac aand they work fine.

        Happy finking.
    • pkgsrc (Score:3, Informative)

      by LizardKing (5245)

      The pkgsrc project www.pkgsrc.org [pkgsrc.org] supports Mac OS X. The packages it contains are much more up to date than either Fink or DarwinPorts, and can also be used on a number of other Unix like operating systems. I bought a Mac at the beginning of the year, and intended to wipe the disk to install NetBSD. I ended up dual booting it because I found I liked Mac OS X so much, especially when I can use pkgsrc on it.

  • Sorry, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by megaditto (982598) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @11:46PM (#15781534)
    Too bad their dreams did not work out, but frankly, they will not be missed.

    Sure, they ported fink and some libs to Darwin, but that's pretty much it. ODP has been dorman for years, since 2002, pretty much.

    Is Apple to blame for their luck of support? I do not think so; since they do have a neat thing going with http://developer.apple.com/opensource/ [apple.com]
    • Well, I don't really get how much "open source" there is in Apple's effort. To me it looks more like "open-source compatible". In other words, with tools provided you can compile your open-source software (read: linux code) for Darwin. However I don't really see a full open-source effort. To me open-source means that you have to release the source one way or another, and Apple doesn't release any piece of source code. It's not enough to be based on FreeBSD to acquire the status of "Open-Source".

      Sorry, this
      • All of Darwin's source is 'open' in the sense that you are free to view, modify, and recompile it at will (unless you refuse to their fairly liberal license). All of it will work in OS X. With 10.3, you may rebuild Darwin from source, then 'drag&drop' the propriatory junk on top, and it will work! It is no longer possible to do that with 10.4_x86 since the TPM-related stuff is not released.

        An example of open-source compatible OS would be OpenVMS in my mind, which is, of course, closed-source, but very p
      • If I'm not mistaken, I believe that the proprietary stuff in OS X consists of the GUI mainly, and I suppose other things like CoreAudio. (If someone knows this a little more in depth, I'd be interested.) The stuff like Darwin is thus under their open source license. In other words, what makes it OS X and not just Open Darwin is proprietary.

        Frankly, if Apple had decided to bas OS X on the Linux kernel, I'd probably be a Mac user now. At the moment, many of their products don't appeal to me enough for me
      • Well, I don't really get how much "open source" there is in Apple's effort.

        Apart from the kernel itself, you mean?

        • samba, for filesharing with Windows computers. Quite essential.
        • printing, with cups.
        • apache and php, for web serving.
        • postfix, your email MTA.
        • lots and lots of Gnu software (just about all lower-level software development tools are Gnu).

        On the Server version of OS X there will be many more.

        I think that if you removed all open source software from OS X and rebooted, your machine would no

        • Uh, these are open source components that Apple incorporates into there closed OS. So I'm not sure there is any real benefit to open source that Apple is granting by using this. Does the BSD code in some of Microsoft Windows networking components help open source?
          Apple's current OS is relies on it's open source code base, but the world of open source software would be pretty much exactly the same without Apple.
      • by LKM (227954) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @03:36AM (#15782244) Homepage
        To me open-source means that you have to release the source one way or another, and Apple doesn't release any piece of source code.

        Uhm... You're mistaken [apple.com]. Some of Apple's open-sourced code:

        • Darwin
        • Darwin Streaming Server
        • Bonjour
        • WebKit
        • Compiler Tools
        • HeaderDoc
        • OpenDirectory
        • OpenPlay

        And of course, there's more, in addition to all the other existing open source components which they use and contribute to.

        There's even more which they don't release, and you can like that or not (it's a business decision to them), but you can't claim that they don't release code.

    • Re:Sorry, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by babbling (952366)
      The reason for this project failing is simple. MacOS is an "alternative operating system". If people value Free Software, it does not make sense to go from Windows to another proprietary operating system like MacOS. People who value Free Software either use Windows (because they have to or are pressured into doing so), or they use a Free Software operating system like Linux.

      The only people who use MacOS are those who want an alternative operating system and don't care about whether it is Free Software or no
    • Re:Sorry, but... (Score:2, Informative)

      by NadNad (550015)
      Fink was actually custom written on and for OS X by...well, by the authors of Fink. OpenDarwin is an entirely unrelated project.
    • Re:Sorry, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @12:46AM (#15781763) Journal
      Too bad their dreams did not work out, but frankly, they will not be missed.

      They really missed the point. Darwin was never intended to be yet another open-source UNIX derivative like Linux or the BSDs. Its whole purpose was to make life a bit easier for people writing drivers for Mac OS X, so when they started beating their chests about how Apple was oppressing them, those of us in the Mac community bascially said: "Umm, who the fuck are you anyway, and why aren't you just using Mac OS X or Linux like a normal person would?"

      -jcr
  • by caseih (160668) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @11:48PM (#15781540)
    Apple never supported the open source version of darwin in any way beyond lip services, some server space, and releasing source packages in mostly unbuildable form. They took from many open source projects but returned precious little to the community. At the end of the day Apple does what immediately benefits Apple. It's sad, but it's likely the threat of hacking OS X to run on white box computers likely is the greatest reason for Apple to not release vital parts of the latest OS X source code. Yet this will still happen. In the meantime, Linux continues to grow and become better all the time. There just was no need for OpenDarwin without Aqua. If all you want is a unix-like OS to run servers, Linux suits the bill just fine.
    • by dominique_cimafranca (978645) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @12:03AM (#15781598) Homepage
      Ah, so there's the problem. There were several missing link libraries.
    • They took from many open source projects but returned precious little to the community.

      Are they in violation of any software license? No? Then Apple has absolutely no obligation to give anything to anybody. If "the community" wants more than "precious little," they should put that in the license terms, eh?

      That's like getting a plumber bill for $150, paying $150, then having the plumber come and complain that you didn't give him a massage, too.
  • If I were a better programmer, I could make the project I've wanted: an update of GNUstep to be more library-compatible with OSX, and an OS using it with Darwin.

    -uso.
    • I sometimes wonder why this isn't an ongoing project like Wine. I think it's two things: 1) Few developers are interested in both Macs and asm. 2) It's such a narrow target. I mean, what Mac apps would you want to run on Linux that you can't find a windows version to run on Wine or some windows emulator.

      • [Re: GNUStep]

        I sometimes wonder why this isn't an ongoing project like Wine.

        Well, basically, it's like this: the people who know enough to work on it are, for the most part just using Mac OS X, and most of the Linux crowd can't really tell the difference between GNUStep and Gnome (ie, they actually believe Gnome is good enough).

        The upshot is that the contributors to GNUStep are a very small number indeed, and it's amazing how far they've gotten with so few people working on it.

        -jcr
        • Most of the linux crowd don't know why gtk+ Qt because they believe C > C++. What's funny is that I've heard of Python users who believe this. Last time I looked the PyQt bindings were way cleaner than the PyGtk bindings. Blah, whatever.

          Personally, I have no idea why people want to run any proprietary software on their Linux box, except maybe games and "shit you can't live without". Maybe no-one who uses a Mac ever migrates to Linux. :)
          • C is syntactically and semantically poorly suited to object oriented programming, and it doesn't matter how much radioactive spider venom you pump into it it's never going to start swinging from building to building like some comic-book super hero. Even wrapping a powered exoskeleton around it is iffy, but at least there's some realistic hope that you can implement something that'll make the transition from the funny pages to the front page that way.

            C++, of course, is the spider-man standin, and Objective C

            • "C++, of course, is the spider-man standin, and Objective C is our metaphorical iron man. "

              I think that's backwards. Objective-C is C that was injected with radioactive serum which effected a deep change in original language's existence and modus operandi.

              C++, on the other hand, is like Iron Man (or even the bulkier Iron Man armor-based War Machine armor with attached gatling gun and rocket launchers), a highly complex, difficult to maintain technology that has many different versions, yet which essentially
  • DarwinPorts (Score:2, Interesting)

    I wonder what will happen to DarwinPorts [opendarwin.org].
  • I wonder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bartmoss (16109) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @12:29AM (#15781689) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if they're afraid that people would try to use the opendarwin kernel with mac os x for intel to run the whole thing on any machine.
  • Don't fret. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gklinger (571901) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @12:46AM (#15781768)
    I started out using Fink [sourceforge.net] but it never felt quite right. Then I tried DarwinPorts and I've been happy ever since. As a result, when I saw this story my first thought was, "What will happen to DarinPorts?" I checked the Darwinports Mailing List Archive [opendarwin.org] and found this [opendarwin.org] comforting post. To summarize, DarwinPorts is alive and well and will continue. Time to start using www.darwinports.org [darwinports.org] rather than www.opendarwin.org.
    • Re:Don't fret. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rimbo (139781)
      Thanks for looking that up, and for the link. I, too, became a DarwinPorts fan after being disappointed with Fink. Fink has the better name, but DarwinPorts -works- better for me. I've never had problems with a DP package installing correctly; whereas I had all kinds of troubles with Fink.

      DP's "it just works" capabilities means I get more work done.
  • by Seiruu (808321) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @03:08AM (#15782184)
    They haven't failed. They've just found a way that doesn't work and leads to death. All part of the natural consequences of evolution.
  • Not surprised. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alphasubzero949 (945598) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:36AM (#15782544)
    If anyone had been keeping up with Rob Braun's musings about Open Darwin and Apple's behavior with the OS community, this decision was simply not a matter of 'if' but 'when.' The following links below illustrate that this wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision but rather the final straw:

    A Brief History of Apple's Open Source Efforts [opendarwin.org]
    WebKit and Apple's Open Source Efforts [opendarwin.org]

    Those are just for starters. And to top it all off where Braun gets to the meat of the matter:

    Why Darwin Failed [opendarwin.org]

    It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to figure out that the holdouts on the Darwin project have finally had it with Apple.

    In a nutshell: Apple have never let anyone touch their code which is a twisted beige box-grade edition of FreeBSD. If something burps no one can help outside of Cupertino. Worse, Apple deliberately makes it nearly impossible to report bugs and allow for patches to be made. This extension of Jobs' secrecy policy is why some holes remain wide open while the rest of the *nix world have patched them a long time ago.

    With OpenDarwin shutting down not too long after Apple closed down OSx86, Apple execs selling Apple shares all over the place, and the exodus of two former NeXT gurus, it isn't hard to see what path Apple and OS X are heading down.

    Go ahead and mod me as a troll for preaching against the Gospel of Steve, but if key players both at Apple and in the developer community do not believe in OS X (or are giving up on it entirely), how can the rest of us do so?

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