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Will MacIntel Kill Apple Open Source Efforts? 557

An anonymous reader writes in to say that "Rob Braun (OpenDarwin core developer claims Apple's open source efforts are now dead, because Apple is afraid of assisting OSx86 piracy. First, Apple withheld the source of cctools required to to build Darwin. Now it seems they are no longer releasing the source to OS X's xnu kernel. "
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Will MacIntel Kill Apple Open Source Efforts?

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  • post-release fear. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Travelsonic ( 870859 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @03:41PM (#14787137) Journal
    I guess the claims of piracy really hurting sales and technological progress really is only true when you factor in the senseless post-release/no-release fear.
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @03:45PM (#14787165) Journal
    I am not so certain that this is true, but if so, so what? The license allows for this. It was certain that apple did OSS while it benefits them, but not when it could hurt them.

    I would guess that if they do not support OSS and it ends up hurting them, they will then do a Sun and re-open it. Sun did the same with Solaris X86.
  • Re:Sour Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @04:01PM (#14787293)
    Uh, maybe in your twisted niche Slashdot world...for most people, the coolest thing about OS X is its interface and top-notch frameworks. Who gives a damn if the Darwin source is available? Have you ever actually needed or used it?

    Slashdot posters have a tendency to think their concerns represent everybody's concerns. Kind of like how we always see "Does it play Ogg?" posted, when nobody actually cares about Ogg.
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @04:12PM (#14787376) Homepage Journal
    Exactly why I resisted the pressure to abandon Linux for MacOS X on the desktop

    I'm not sure what your point is. Let's say the absolute worst thing happens and the next version of OS X is based on an NT kernel, all the UNIX-compatible stuff is supplied by Interix, and Bill Gates buys Apple.

    All the commercial software I've got on my Mac will continue to run.

    All the open source software I've got on my Mac will continue to run.

    All the software I'd have been using under any other free UNIX will still be just as available as it is right now, and I can continue to use it on Linux or Mac OS.

    If for some reason I want to run Linux on my Mac Mini, I will still be able to run all my Mac OS software under MOL.

    If I want to run Linux on an Intel box I can, and all the software I would have been using on Linux and all the open source software I'm using on Mac OS X will still be available.

    If for some reason I want to use my Mac software on an Intel box running Linux, I will be able to do so using Sheepshaver, under emulation, just as I woudl be able to use it using Rosetta, under emulation, on an Intel Mac.

    What would have been the advantage of using Linux for the past three years instead of Mac OS X, even under the brutal worst-case regime I described above? I really don't get it.
  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @04:14PM (#14787389)
    Ok, this one was a false alarm. Tomorrow it won't be. I laughed as much as the next slashdot reader when Dvorak made his silly prediction of Apple on Windows but after thinking about it I think he was probably right.

    Think it through folks, there isn't anything in a Macintel that won't be in every Dell this time next year. EFI is the future, we all know BIOS is on the way out and the machines that ship with Vista will most likely be EFI with EPT instead of traditional partition tables. They will also very likely be totally legacy free, USB keyboard/mouse, only SATA drives, etc. In other words, almost identical to the current crop of Apple hardware. We already know Apple hardware will run Vista and it already runs Linux.

    If you think Apple is going to have a hard time justifying the premium on their hardware you are right. But the bigger problem is going to be finding a response to customers who begin to dual boot their Macintel to gain access to all of the cheap hardware on the shelves at Walmart or online at Newegg. It is device support that is going to force the issue.

    In the end, Apple doesn't care about the underlying OS. Mach was handy, they only need a substrate to run their desktop environment atop. Remember that NextStep was ported to Windows once already and that NT based systems are a small sorta microkernel with one or more subsystems sitting atop it. Win32 and now Vista's stuff are but two which have existed. There was a POSIX one and an OS/2 compatibility one also in the past. Sooner or later Steve will swollow his pride and create a subsystem consisting of a modernized POSIX and NextStep and that will be OS XI. It will also ship with all of the Vista subsystem. That will allow all the device installers to run and gain the ability to run all Windows apps besides. Which also solves the Microsoft Office availibility problem.
  • Custom hardware? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Yoik ( 955095 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @04:30PM (#14787522) Journal
    I expect that Apple will put some hard_to_duplicate features in hardware to preserve their market and margin. That's what they have done before.

    That could make it nasty to port osx to non-Apple platforms without severely crippling the result.

    One good place for this would be a DRM/encryption chip.
  • by Reverend528 ( 585549 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @04:35PM (#14787565) Homepage
    I ran OS X for several months on my iBook before switching it over to gentoo. For me, the biggest issues were usability (OS X looks nice but is often very counter-intuitive) and software installation (3rd party OS X packaging systems seemed to think that software belongs in a fake root directory).
  • by Shawn is an Asshole ( 845769 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:01PM (#14787786)

    You can always run photoshop though wine

    I'm not going to use wine for anything serious. I use some programs that work fine in it, others seem to work and break every few releases. I also do not like the Windows version of Photoshop as I can't stand Windows-style MDI's. I'll stick with Macs for this until GIMP catches up.

    ACPI in the new kernel is fine

    I keep trying suspend and software suspend but it never has worked correctly on any machine I've tried it on. Most recently was with OpenSUSE 10.0.

    and so is Wireless support

    Only if you're lucky enough to find an adapter that has drivers or works under ndiswrapper.

    Just as a note, Linux (Fedora) is my primary OS.

  • Re:Their choice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:18PM (#14787914) Journal
    I was looking forward to a Darwin based OSS-OS

    Seriously, why? Darwin is about the last kernel I would choose for real-world usage. I use it on a daily basis, and only put up with it because the GUI layer built on top of it is nice. Get rid of Quartz/Aqua, and you're left with an over-engineered kernel that has delusions of being a microkernel. It has all of the performance problems that first-generation microkernels had and none of the stability advantages. I am used to getting a minimum of a 2x speed increase when I move my (POSIX) code from OS X to a FreeBSD box - and the OS X box I've been using has better hardware.

    If Launchd is that important to you, I suggest you finish the port to FreeBSD. Or take a look at Solaris' SMF, which gives similar functionality.

  • by billybob2 ( 755512 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:18PM (#14787915)
    Last July, Apple asked [] Anton Altaparmakov, lead developer of the Linux-NTFS [] project, to dual license the Linux-NTFS driver under the APL so that the Intel version of OS X can read/write files on Windows partitions (presumably for dual-boot computers). The problem pointed out by other Linux-NTFS developers is that the APL is not GPL compatible [], and any changes made by Apple to the driver will be unusable in Linux. As one person put it:

    This would open up a one-way street: towards OS X and away from GNU/Linux and any other OS based on the GPL.

    Not to mention the Konqueror / Safari fiasco [] where Apple complied to the terms of the LGPL by the skin of their teeth, making it impossible [] for open source developers to port changes upstream.

    In November, Apple has again tried to hijack Linux-NTFS code, this time by suggesting [] that it be licensed under the LGPL. This was promptly rejected by one main developer, who threatened lawsuits.
  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @07:55PM (#14789168)
    Who cares whether Apple gives you back their changes or not?

    Obviously the Linux-NTFS people do.

    Are the Linux-NTFS developers admitting that Apple can do things that they themselves are too dumb to figure out?


    How can software truly be free (as in speech) when you place these sorts of restrictions on people who want to use it?

    The restrictions are there to ensure freedom. You might as well as the question, "how can a nation be 'free' if it has laws which put restrictions on its citizenry?"

    Make whatever philosophical and ethical arguments you wish -- it's just wankery.

    There are three problems with that. First, you just made a specific philosophical argument (re: freedom of speech). Second, your whole post is a governed by philosophy. Third, the whole basis behind GNU and the GPL is philosophical. You might as well tell a mathematician that their solution to the Monty Hall problem is rubbish, because it's not obvious to you, and that any mathematical arguments are "just wankery".

    Ultimately it boils down to pure selfishness.

    You're confusing selfishness and will. Placing software under the GPL a matter of will (such as stating, "I want this software to have these four freedoms, and to be compatible with other GPL software"), but it's not "selfish".

    Feh. Long live the BSD license.

    BSD and GPL have two very different, although similar, goals. The BSD license is best if you most want for your code to be used, in absolutely any way whatsoever. The GPL is best for ensuring your code remains free. Which you prefer is a very philosophical, and personal, choice, but neither is "selfish".
  • by ldj ( 726828 ) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @08:55PM (#14789462)
    Wow. You just don't know when to quit, do you?

    I suppose you think the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. (name your favorite charitable organization) consist of a bunch greedy wankers because they only give to the "needy". After all, if they were truly charitable, they wouldn't put restrictions on their giving. They would give equally to those worth millions.

    I feel sorry for you. Someday you might grow to actually understand the subject about which you've been spouting off here. And then you'll have to deal with the knowledge that you have these public comments, eternally archived to your embarrassment.

  • Not quite. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:52PM (#14789697)
    Please educate yourself on the situation before you speak. Indeed, much of the system is available as open source but the kernel (XNU) is not. The reason? The new AES commpage/dsmos page encryption scheme within the kernel that is being used to run Apple's encrypted Intel binaries (such as Finder, ATS, Rosetta, etc.) on-the-fly.

    I can understand that Apple wanted to protect their system, but the half-assed protection they used (which involves transferring a hard-coded plaintext key in open memory) as well as hiding this source code have stalled hacking efforts a week or two at best. Nonetheless, Maxxuss et al. have single-handedly made Apple critically reconsider its open source position.
  • by Grab ( 126025 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @07:44AM (#14791667) Homepage
    Rethink your argument. RedHat makes the majority of its money from *support*.

    I don't give a damn if people need training, or need hand-holding while they work on it, or if they're prepared to subcontract installation of software. They're making money in a market which has been *enabled* by the existence of this software, which is fine. However, they're not making a profit by directly selling software written by me as "their product". You don't find Ford complaining about the existence driving schools...

  • by Sulka ( 4250 ) <sulka AT iki DOT fi> on Friday February 24, 2006 @08:22AM (#14791772) Homepage Journal
    The missing packages include a lot of support libraries for old hardware which are useless on the new platform.

    Can you create a list of missing libraries that are useful and/or needed on x86 Macs?

Forty two.