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Apple Announces New Open Source Efforts 323

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the on-the-road-again dept.
Today Apple announced a few expanded open source efforts. First, beginning with Mac OS X 10.4.7, the Darwin/Mac OS X kernel, known as "xnu", is again available as buildable source for the Intel platform, including EFI utilities. Second, iCal Server, Bonjour, and launchd are moving to Apache 2.0 licensing. And finally, Mac OS Forge has been launched, as the successor to OpenDarwin as a conduit for hosting projects such as WebKit that were formerly hosted by the OpenDarwin project's servers, such as WebKit. Mac OS Forge is sponsored by Apple. DarwinPorts has already moved to its own servers. Update: 08/08 01:43 GMT by J : The official Apple announcement is now out. Other fun news: Leopard will ship with Ruby on Rails.
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Apple Announces New Open Source Efforts

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  • Re:OS X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:31PM (#15863156) Journal
    If aqua is ever opensourced you can bet within 24 hours there would be 5 projects on sourceforge to port the gui to Linux and OpenDarwin. Then you would no longer need to have a mac to run macosx or a macosx like environment.
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by G-funk (22712) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:39PM (#15863184) Homepage Journal
    Already the case. No, Apple own't Open source OSX, but they will eventually put it on shelves. Because Dell would like to sell it to you. And I would like to buy it. Windows exploded and killed itself "for no raisin" for the last time this weekend, and it's getting replace with OS X. I have a mac laptop, I'm already paying for OS X. but I also have a reasonably high end wintel workstation that I've already sunk thousands into and is a year away from needing replacement. If I could buy OS X for intel to run on it I would, but I can't so thepiratebay it is. Yar!
  • Re:OS X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quantum Fizz (860218) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:40PM (#15863185)
    No they're not, people here on slashdot are constantly bickering whether Apple is a hardware or a software company. It's both.
    .

    Apple is really a solutions company. They give you the complete package to get done what you need to get done, without you worrying about the fine details. From the high end they'll sell you a server environment (Xserve + RAID + OS X Server), at the low end they'll sell you a system to let you browse the web, play with photos and make simple movies (iMac or MacBook + OS X), etc. And anywhere inbetween, they give you the tools for you to do what you want. They give you the solutions.

    Sure they sell hardware, they sell software, but look where they're aiming their market, and you'll see it's really solutions they sell.

  • by bobalu (1921) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:52PM (#15863237)
    Y'know, with all the crap Apple takes here about fanbois and shit you go ahead and tell me what they do compared to what Microsoft does isn't light years better for everyone in the community.

    And yeah, my MacPro order is in already.
  • by MarkWatson (189759) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:52PM (#15863240) Homepage
    I still can't help feeling that at least outside the USA, the future will be Linux - China, India, Brazil, Eastern Europe, and other places with low costs of living and an educated population are going to power the world's economy, and I don't see the rest of the world paying the Microsoft tax.

    That said, Windows, Linux, and OS X are all good platforms for open source applications: for work I 'live' using open source applications that really run great on all three OS platforms: Emacs, Eclipse, Ruby, LaTex, OpenOffice.org, and others...

    Commercial products that I rely on also run well on all three OS platforms: IntelliJ, LispWorks, and Franz Lisp.

    The only commercial application that I love to use that is single platform is OmniGraffle (OS X).

    I actually have a psmall oint here: as Linux gets better (and Ubuntu is approaching OS X in usability for my work, and is roughly on par with Windows), people like myself will likely use Linux and non-programers OS X or Windows.

    Anyway, I checked out Apple's new OS site FTFA, and it looks useful. Some enthusiasts will likely get Apple's open source OS core up and running with X Windows, etc., and make a free distribution, but I am not sure what the point is.
  • Re:OS X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:55PM (#15863250) Homepage
    Apple own't Open source OSX, but they will eventually put it on shelves. Because Dell would like to sell it to you. And I would like to buy it.
    Apple doesn't cater to the commodity market. So, no they won't do this.
    but I also have a reasonably high end wintel workstation that I've already sunk thousands into and is a year away from needing replacement. If I could buy OS X for intel to run on it I would
    And I thinkthey'd rather sell you a new $1000+ computer rather than selling you the $100 software (which would increase their costs by having to develop, test, and support a wide variety of configurations).
  • by DECS (891519) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:58PM (#15863261) Homepage Journal
    As noted in my various articles on Apple and OSS, companies open things for strategic purposes.

    Apple is opening their iCal Server to get it established as an alternative to Exchange Server. They pointed say on their website that Active Directory shops can set up Xserves to run their calendars and leave AD to user authentication, saving all those Microsoft per user Client Access Licenses.

    Apple also wants people using Bonjour and would like other distros to benefit from launchd (less likely, since Linux isn't really all about biting off new ways of doing things).

    I wrote up more examples of why Apple (an other commercial developers) will only release things as open source while their product has no chance of sales or market penetration otherwise, at:

    ---

    Open Source Values and the Peanut Gallery [roughlydrafted.com]
    The value proposition involved in choosing an open source strategy, and a roast of the emerging peanut gallery who are attempting to hijack and betray the free software movement.

    BSD and GPL: Different Sources for Different Horses [roughlydrafted.com]
    The benefits and the motivations behind two very different styles of open source development: the BSD style license, pioneered by UC Berkeley and MIT; and the GPL invented by Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement.

    The Revolution Will be Open Sourced! [roughlydrafted.com]
    Over the last decade, every player in the software development industry has been dramatically affected by an open source revolution. How will Apple adapt to fit into this new world? Are they leading, following, or falling behind? Do they stand to benefit from an increased adoption of open source practices, or will they simply have to change how they do business?

    Apple and Open Source... Strange Buffaloes? [roughlydrafted.com]
    Tim Bray's "Time to Switch?" and John Gruber's "Why Apple Won't Open Source Its Apps" both discuss the potential risks and benefits Apple would face in open sourcing their consumer applications. Here's my take: Apple does not make fierce profits from $130 Mac OS X retail sales, and there isn't a conspiracy behind new apps not working on an old OS.

    The 'Mac OS X Closed by Pirates' Myth [roughlydrafted.com]
    According to the proponents of this myth, Apple has abandoned their open source initiatives as they move to Intel, because they are afraid that, armed with the Darwin source code, pirate 3lit3 haxx0rs will p0wn them and have Mac OS X running on generic PCs. They're wrong, here's why.

    ---

    BTW, there is no chance they will open up Aqua et all as long as they can sell millions of copies at retail, duh. Even Novell isn't opening their NDS jewels. Solaris is open because nobody needs to buy it anymore.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:02PM (#15863277) Homepage

    Oh please. If you switched to OS X because you are a hard core FOSS person, you're an idiot. OS X is not open source. It never was, it never will be. Linux will ALWAYS be more open. Apple may open the kernel and various low level things, but OS X in total will not be. It's a great OS and if you want a no-fuss desktop with true Unix under it, it's great. If you want to be that hardcore ("Apple was late so forget them") then why did you choose a proprietary closed-source OS in the first place?

    As for the comment that most OSes are open today, that's because you can't survive otherwise. No one has survived the desktop/server space except MS (who was once up near 100% of the market) and Apple (who bundles with their computers). Solaris is open because it wasn't profitable enough. OS/2 died. BeOS died. At this point, if you want your new general purpose desktop/server OS to have a chance in hell it has to be open source. The only way to live and be proprietary is to have a niche and run on custom or embedded hardware.

  • (tapping foot) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jpellino (202698) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:02PM (#15863280)
    OK - let's see the rush of support for Apple that's roughly equal to the bashing they took when Intel XNU source went dark.
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flithm (756019) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:17PM (#15863349) Homepage
    If you're trying to argue that the hardware market is somehow more profitable than the software one I think you're sadly mistaken. If Apple were smart (which they are) they would rather sell you $350-$1000 dollar software and make TONS of ROI rather than try to compete in the tight hardware market which is currently on a downward trend.

    No one will believe me, just as no one believed me when I said as soon as Apple releases OSX intel, it'll run on commodity hardware -- but it'll happen. Because Steve is smart dude.
  • Re:OS X (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:24PM (#15863370)
    You must be new here. Any half baked rant about open source will get modded up in the first wave of moderation, then will slowly end up at +3 or +2 over time.
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pyite (140350) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:27PM (#15863384)
    From the high end they'll sell you a server environment (Xserve + RAID + OS X Server)

    Just as a point of clarification... Apple's solutions in this arena are more like mid end. The high mid end, at best.

    The problem with Apple's SAN offerings is that while there is some redundancy in the box, you can't connect the same array to two SAN fabrics. This is a serious drawback for any true "high end" work.

  • Re:OS X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:30PM (#15863396) Homepage
    If you're trying to argue that the hardware market is somehow more profitable than the software one I think you're sadly mistaken.
    That isn't what I was suggesting at all. You can develop high ROI & loyal repeat customers by providing an end-to-end solution. The game is to sell iPods, iBooks, and OS X to their customers, just as Microsoft's game is to sell Windows+WindowsMobile+Office. Even microsoft does sell hardware where they can. With the commoditization of the PC, there isn't a lot of space for that. They play where it is profitable & there aren't hugely dominant players & where the average customer is willing to get something better than a commodity (such as input devices).

    Development and support of OS X is eased by the fact that Apple controls the hardware.
    No one will believe me, just as no one believed me when I said as soon as Apple releases OSX intel, it'll run on commodity hardware -- but it'll happen. Because Steve is smart dude.
    I might agree that it can happen, but it isn't going to happen soon & there's no business reason to make OS X available on commodity PCs anytime this year like you want (which is why they didn't--Steve is, as you say, a smart dude).
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:58PM (#15863488) Homepage
    They control the fact that they have no legacy components & can take advantage of recent technologies. Every MacIntel has SSE3. If Apple (or any other dev) wants to make an app that takes advantage of that (sucha as Rosetta), they'll be able to. They don't have to test on low-end PC hardware or every single component you can shove in a PCI slot from manufacturers that have died. The minimum hardware for a MacIntel is considerably higher than the average PC that is on someone's desk right now.

    To shrinkwrap OS X & sell it to the Dell users of the world, they'd have to either develop & test like crazy on the lowend hardware (and pull out their hair when asked why low-end systems can't do some of the really cool stuff) or they'd have to specify minimum system requirements which the average user might not be able to see if they meet.
  • Re:OS X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Y-Crate (540566) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:58PM (#15863490)
    If aqua is ever opensourced you can bet within 24 hours there would be 5 projects on sourceforge to port the gui to Linux and OpenDarwin. Then you would no longer need to have a mac to run macosx or a macosx like environment.
    Your post is a perfect example of why open source is not making any real headway into the desktop arena.

    It's not that open source is a flawed development methodology, but rather that there is a persistent, and unflinching lack of understanding in the OSS community of what makes Mac OS attractive to a large number of users. I'll give you a hint. It's not POSIX-ish compatibility, it's not Cocoa, it's not even the pretty Aqua widgets themselves.

    People are drawn to, and continue to use Macs because of the way the userspace functions. The pretty icons catch their eye, the nifty effects wow them, but in the end, it is how all the pieces fit together as a whole, and how that larger piece works. Commonality of behavior and interaction between various applications makes the user comfortable and allows them to be more productive. The GUI is simply the glue that brings these pieces together. Mac OS applications are user-oriented, while there is still a pervasive developer-oriented ideal running through open source efforts. "If you want it to be different, just code it yourself" is still an underlying principle in many corners of OSS development that completely goes against the core Mac OS attitude, and ultimately relegates the open source community to spending the foreseeable future isolated in its current markets.

    OSS efforts have been hammering away at various desktop concepts for years with little success outside the relatively small circle of open source die-hards. They put in new effects, they make spiffier icons, they do all of this, but fail to recognize that improvements to the presentation of information need to be geared to facilitating the user's interaction with it. That's not happening. The reason is ego, Not Invented Here syndrome, and a simple lack of cohesive vision that will never be remedied until there is a sea change in the way developers view their relationship with the user and one another.

    Saying that all you need to do is port Aqua and people will abandon the Mac, betrays a complete lack of understanding as to why Mac users love OS X.
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imemyself (757318) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:59PM (#15863494)
    Would that really be open source then?
  • by TheNoxx (412624) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:05PM (#15863518) Homepage Journal
    Apple's just trying to find a balancing point between the open source philosophy and financial viability. I love the open source idea, and I'm guessing Apple does too, but you have to make some fucking money to support yourself, end of fucking story. I've never seen any other line of work ever that gave away so many man-hours of ingenuity and labor for nothing to the whole world. I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I will willingly burn karma to emphasize that people working on open source projects deserve compensation. The groups organized to work on the projects deserve compensation. Perhaps some open source groups will get this in the future and willingly hire translators to work with third-world countries so they can set up an open source or *nix based infrastructure for the entire government (education, military, police, revenue, legislation) in return for some tax funding or whatever.

    Just my couple of my petty cents.
  • by samkass (174571) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:07PM (#15863526) Homepage Journal
    The most interesting of these to me is the iCal server. This looks like it could become the best open-source competition to Microsoft Exchange. The Leopard version detailed here [apple.com] looks like a pretty compelling product to have as an Apache-licensed piece of code, and I could see the code getting merged into a lot of other products.

  • by gnufied (942531) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:09PM (#15863537) Homepage
    http://weblog.rubyonrails.org/2006/8/7/ruby-on-rai ls-will-ship-with-os-x-10-5-leopard [rubyonrails.org] "The love for Ruby has definitely spread inside Apple and we've been thrilled to see the level of interest they've taken to get OS X to be a premiere development and deployment platform for Rails." So what happened to a rather fruitful discussion, we had with Steve jobs. http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=172223&c id=14341270 [slashdot.org] Yeah, I know you may still argue like James Golsings that Ruby is alright for generating web pages(mind you *generating*, doesn't it shows the contempt/disregard on the part of James Goslings for Web Developers?).But still shipping a framework is too much.Even none of the flavours of GNU/Linux has done it.But i guess, Apple will eat its own humble pie, when it sees a business sense. Ruby on Rails + Textmate and the push by Rails core team, has created new OS X users.So, lets cash on it.There is nothing called "love for Ruby", as put up by, this guy on the Rails blog.If there is a love, why don't they help in writting Ruby bindings for Cocoa?? I am 101% sure, if tomorrow, there is a "Rails" for GUI development. http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2006/Aug-02.html [tirania.org], Apple will again eat its own humble pie(or cow dung, depending upong your GeoIP), and will ship it with OS X. But i am not interested, I am from India and will cost me a arm and a leg to lay hand on this half baked open sorsed(actually not open at all, if you call Mac open, then Windows is open too!!, but the way Mac zealots project Apple as less evil is funny.I remember, Galadariel talking to Frodo, "if you give me the ring frodo, then you will have a queen in place of dark lord Sauron.And she will be fair, white and terrible to behold." Ahh..there is go again, may not be the exact words, but that is beside the point. I just have this point that, Apple doesn't seem evil as long as M$ is there, but there it gains the ruling ring(the monopoly), it will be one for sure.) product.I am happy with Ubuntu. Thank you very much for your open kernel.(I am bothered to read your license also)
  • Re:Darwin on PC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by quizzicus (891184) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nosrednabnhoj]> on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:19PM (#15863574) Journal
    When making such a strong, sweeping claim, it's usually a good idea to cite a few sources.
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FLAGGR (800770) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:28PM (#15863604)
    Um. NO. Apple designed the Mac Pro. Intel built the cpu and some other chips probably. If Intel gets all of the recognition for "designing" the Mac Pro, what is Dell? Apple makes a lot of custom boards and junk (because they're always making crazy, nonstandard, and usually (but not with the Mac Pro) small enclosures) Dell, Hp and what not just throw pieces into a box (actually, I think Dell soemtimes makes their motherboards..) Apple makes the moniter, the mouse, the keyboard, the case, the wireless antennas and junk on the inside plus that iPod you probably own. That doesn't make them a hardware company? Come on. However, Apple also makes the operatiing system, the iLife apps, iWork apps, and the gajillion other awesome programs. I guess that makes them a software company. They are both, hardware and software. They offer full solutions for computing needs, all in one bueatiful package and fully integrated with itself. Sort of like how Nintendo makes the systems not because they want to make hardware, but because they don't want to use other peoples hardware. (I think Mr. Miyamoto said something to this effect, but I'm too lazy to get a quote)
  • by Swift2001 (874553) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:27AM (#15863829)
    The second the Mac OS gets like Windows, I'm gone. I think the whole point of this OS conundrum is to make sure that many OSes survive. It would be best if they play nicely together, so that you can move your e-mail for Mac to Linux and so on, and open up Word docs on all platforms, maybe in a free app, but the maintenance of a number of systems in important in a networked world.
  • by Narcogen (666692) <narcogen@narcWELTYogen.com minus author> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:32AM (#15863851) Homepage
    Anybody want to make a list of all the sites that announced that Darwin was now "closed source" because of the delay in releasing xnu source for Intel?

    Any of those sites now care to print a retraction, and admit they actually had no solid information whatsoever, that they were building their stories up from the fact of this delay plus rampant speculation?

    For a few weeks there it seemed every tech site on the planet was decrying how Apple had abandoned Open Source, was not giving anything back, was closing the kernel, and how this was going to negatively impact Apple's customers and benefit Linux on the desktop.

    And now, at Apple's own developer conference (of all places) they release that source code. Isn't anyone pointing that out to the sites who said it wasn't going to happen? Or are they already claiming that the only reason Apple did it was because of their articles?
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:10AM (#15863968)
    If you're trying to argue that the hardware market is somehow more profitable than the software one I think you're sadly mistaken.


    Apple is a business. If what you say were true, they would be a software company, not a hardware company. They already did the Mac-licensing thing in the 90s.

    I would really be interested in what you're basing your claim on that hardware isn't more profitable than software, at least for Apple. Would you tell Apple to stop selling iPods and instead be a FairPlay/iTunes software licensing company? Get real. Even Microsoft saw that approach fall apart with PlaysForSure.
  • Re:OS X (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Watts Martin (3616) <layotlNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:13AM (#15863976) Homepage

    Massive profit gain, with the only downside being a slight loss in public love when people blame them for their DOA Dell boxen.

    Um, no. The downside to selling PC-compatible OS X that people seem to keep forgetting is a company based in Redmond.

    Without getting too much into the Linux for the desktop argument, I think its hard to deny that a PC-compatible OS X would be the biggest challenge to Windows thats ever been mounted. Unlike Linux, or BeOS, or even OS/2, Apple has an incredible combination of worldwide brand recognition, reputation for user friendliness, and a broad software base. Right now, Apple and Microsoft can manage to stay in coopetition in the OS market; Apple can take as many pot shots at Microsoft as they want, because as long as OS X only (officially) runs on Apple hardware, Apple is not in direct competition with them. The moment an OS X box appears on shelves at your local Best Buy that Apple intends for you to install on your Dell, HP or Lenovo, that wall is down.

    The reason you arent going to see OS X for PCs any time soon has little to do with profit, and a lot to do with the fact that doing so means a fight to the death with Microsoftand no, I dont think Im engaging in hyperbole. In that circumstance, Microsoft would do everything they could to kill OS X dead. No Microsoft Office for Mac. No Microsoft anything for Mac. License changes to make running Windows on Mac hardware illegal. (And this is without suggesting any dirty trick like Microsoft was accused of in their fight with DR-DOS and BeOS, both of which were arguably far less threatening than OS X would be.)

  • by mccoma (64578) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:31AM (#15864024)
    Why bother?

    Because it is the right thing to do if you make remarks about someone or something that are untrue.

  • by snowwrestler (896305) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:34AM (#15864037)
    If you're trying to argue that the hardware market is somehow more profitable than the software one I think you're sadly mistaken.

    Apple does not sell hardware; they sell computers. Computers are products that are made up of both hardware and software, which work together. The question is not one of raw profits, but of vision and strategy in the computing market.

    Yes, I know Microsoft makes a lot of money with operating systems. But first of all they don't cost $350-$1000 (where did you get this number in a discussion of OS??). Also they are literally the only company succeeding with an OS-only (no hardware) strategy. And I think you'll find that the margins on that piece of their business are falling fast, as are the boxed-product sales volumes. The OS is a commodity in consumer products, whether you're talking about a cell phone, microwave, or home computer. It just comes on the hardware and it's built into the price.

    An integrated product is what makes the money in consumer markets. It's how Sony and Apple have made the majority of their money, and both companies have been around longer than Microsoft. A good computing experience requires a good OS, which is why Apple works so hard on it. They sell computers (not OS) to consumers (not system builders) and their most relevant competition is Sony, Dell, Gateway or HP (not Microsoft). It's a fundamentally different approach to the computer business that a lot of people just can't seem to wrap their heads around. Changing that mid-stream, in the midst of dramatic success and growth, would be phenomenally stupid.

    Repeat after me: just because something worked for Microsoft last century, doesn't mean it will work for anyone else today.

    No company in the computing business will ever duplicate the MS success, just like no company in the phone business will ever duplicate AT&T's success, just like no company in the steel business will duplicate U.S. Steel's success. Times change.
  • by jkh (3999) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:23AM (#15864177) Homepage
    Sigh. Wrong? Some of us like rails just because we like rails, OK? And, for the record, we HAVE helped with the writing of Ruby bindings for Cocoa - anyone who was actually interested in that topic rather than just pulling it out of the air as a randomly chosen example of "why Apple must not really love Ruby" would already know this because they'd have checked out the RubyCocoa project and noticed, surprise surprise, that Apple had donated a number of improvements back. Ruby is an excellent language and one we're happy to see better supported on our platform (and willing to put engineering time and effort towards that goal).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:27AM (#15864191)
    I agree completely.

    There is nothing wrong with free software. I've written some myself. However, I object strenuously to GPL style "free" software that forces me to release my software under the same license if I use it. None of my software went out GPL. If you want to make it free, make it *completely* free. Don't tie a huge pile of strings onto it and call it free, because it isn't.

    The huge fallacy of the software market is that software should be free because it has no material cost. Such logic completely disregards the value of the labor that went into writing (and maintaining!) the code. The principles that underly the philosophy of the FSF are closer to communism that most modern day communist regimes. Both would have the hard working and diligent stripped of the products of their labor.

    Thankfully, the FSF does not appear to believe that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

  • by Quantum Fizz (860218) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:52AM (#15864256)
    Well if you want to play that game, the Apple IIGS came out a year BEFORE your Amiga 500 and had resolution of 640x200 with 4096 colors.
    .

    And in reality your statement (as well as mine here) are quite misleading because both systems could only simultaneously display a handful of colors (out of a palette of 4096).

    But anyway, if you're going to dis Apple at least do a proper comparison.

  • Re:I Thought... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @05:03AM (#15864549) Journal
    Apple made a blunder by not releasing source in the beginning.

    Guess again. Apple maintained their policy of not talking about products before they're ready, and the payoff is tens of millions of dollars worth of free publicity. Compare that to being yelled at by a couple of bloggers trolling for page hits, and it's pretty clear to anyone with an ounce of business sense (which admittedly includes very few of the open-source zealots) that they did precisely the right thing.

    -jcr
  • Re:OS X (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @05:45AM (#15864623)

    Apple is a business. If what you say were true, they would be a software company, not a hardware company.


    They're neither. They're in the fashion business.
  • Re:I Thought... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @09:21AM (#15865325) Homepage Journal

    Neither.

    Apple didn't "get" Open Source (that's fine, many of us Free Software [fsf.org] enthusiasts don't "get" Open Source [opensource.org] either) and began deprecating it when it started to interfere with their other plans in general. The first to be deprecated was the open-sourciness, with Apple releasing code but generally not in a "community friendly" way and rarely making it easy for the community to contribute directly back.

    There's no evil in that, if you're strongly opinionated about the direction code should take, and you have the resources to write it yourself, you don't necessarily want to spend time trying to integrate everyone else's changes with your own.

    Some people noticed. In particular, the KHTML people got a little fed up with people pointing out that WebKit supported some feature or other that hadn't made it into KHTML yet. They explained that the changes to WebKit weren't easy to track and back-port. This was interpreted by the meeja, including Slashdot, as KHTML slapping down Apple, rather than slapping down the people who assume that simply because X is based on Y, Y can easily incorporate changes to X, and who keep flaming the developers of Y for not doing this.

    Then Apple closed XNU-Intel. Yes, they did. There are several releases of XNU-Intel for which source code apparently will never be released (though who would want them?) Some people noticed. They pointed this out and were immediately hounded by a bunch of, for the most part, obnoxious Mac zealots who claimed this wasn't true because at some point in the future, Apple might change their mind, and any way, who said their mind had been made up, I mean, Apple hasn't made an official announcement, right? To make matters worse, Apple's one comment on this was so inane it simply fueled the fire. One developer at Apple, posting on an Apple mailing list, said that the talk of XNU-Intel being "closed" was "speculation" and people shouldn't assume anything.

    This was meaningless and largely wrong. Those saying it was closed were right: it was. You couldn't download the source to XNU-Intel. When you're stating a fact, you're not engaging in speculation.

    There was much anger at this point because many people felt lied to. Apple had been advertising the openness of Darwin for a long time, and "Team Apple*" had been loud in repeating this supposed advantage, and now, without any explanation, the core of Darwin was now closed. Team Apple responded by claiming the Apple developer who said "speculation" had actually used the word "yet", and the "yet" word was used in pretty much every response to anyone critical of Apple or simply pointing out the fact that XNU-Intel was closed. Team Apple changed tact on the "Open Source is an advantage of Mac OS X" thing too, claiming it was never Apple's intention to release a useful operating system as open source, and that nobody cares about operating system kernels anyway. Needless to say, this intensified the anger.

    What do we have today?

    Apple has taken considerable steps to undo the damage. There's still no real explanation as to why XNU-Intel was closed. No technologies were announced yesterday whose existance could be discerned by looking at the kernel - which has supported the Intel architecture since its original release, which has supported the Xeon CPU range even back in the Panther [opendarwin.org] days, and probably long before. It was not necessary to withhold the XNU source before the release of the PowerMac G5, or, indeed, any of the recent radical changes in architecture. Meanwhile, the software-related announcements this week don't appear to have anything to do with the Tiger kernel.

    So, anyway, leaving aside the nonsense that it's "been confirmed" that the withholding of the source "was due to Apple's policy of not commenting upon unreleased products", we don't have an explanatio

  • by jkh (3999) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:51PM (#15868041) Homepage
    Ah slashdot, all the decorum and wit of a nursery school recess... Ruby works fine on 10.4.7, including the pack and unpack functions. Yes, there were bugs (that nobody "went out of their way" to cause - we have better things to do) and it took us longer than we'd have liked to fix them. That experience, in fact, is what led us to devote more resources to ruby going forward. Gah, posting on slashdot is like going to a sleezy strip club, isn't it? It's always against your better judgement, you feel slightly dirty and sad afterwards and you always swear never to do it again. I guess this takes care of any prurient impulses I might have had for the year. :)

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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