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Apple Announces New Open Source Efforts 323

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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  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:28PM (#15863136)
    The official announcement by Ernie Prabhakar of Apple is here []:

    From: Ernest Prabhakar
    Date: August 7, 2006 4:15:51 PM PDT
    Subject: Apple Opens Up: Kernel, Mac OS Forge, iCal Server, Bonjour, Launchd

    Hi all,

    In conjunction with this week's Developer Conference, we have four great pieces of news for Open Source developers:

    A. Intel Kernel Sources

    As of today, we are posting buildable kernel sources for Intel-based Macs alongside the usual PowerPC (and other Intel) sources, starting with Mac OS X 10.4.7. We regret the delay in readying the new kernel for release, and thank you for your patience. lls/apsl/xnu-792.10.96.tar.gz []

    B. New "Mac OS Forge" for Community Projects

    Mac OS Forge, a new community site hosted by Apple, is being created to support WebKit and other open source projects focused on Mac OS X, especially those looking to transition from []

    C. New Open Source Calendaring Server

    In order to encourage community participation, source code to the new iCal Server in Leopard Server is now available on Mac OS Forge under the Apache License.* []

    D. Apache-Licensed Bonjour and Launchd sources

    To further enable and encourage cross-platform adoption, the APSL** sources for Bonjour service discovery and Launchd process management are being re-released under the Apache License and hosted on Mac OS Forge: [] []

    Apple is more excited than ever about the power of Open Source development to create value for our (and your) products and customers. I'll be offline much of this week due to WWDC, but I look forward to working with all of you as we move forward to Leopard.

    Ernest Prabhakar
    Open Source Product Manager, Apple
    WWDC 2006, Aug 7-11, San Francisco []

    * Apache License, Version 2.0 []

    ** Apple Public Source License 2.0 []

    And as always, Darwin and Darwin component sources are available here: []
  • Apple (Score:2, Informative)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:43PM (#15863200) Homepage Journal
    Today they are a mixture of both. However, they are moving towards becoming a 'media company', where software will be a bit more unlikely to be given away.
  • Re:Darwin on PC (Score:3, Informative)

    by Quantum Fizz ( 860218 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:45PM (#15863207)
    These guys [] might have something to say about that, they've got a supercomputer of 1100 dual G5 Xserves running OS X 10.3.9. There are other OS X supercomputer and distributed cluster projects you can read about here [].
  • by Millenniumman ( 924859 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:55PM (#15863248)
    There might have been 3 people who switched during the couple of months before apple released xnu for intel because of that. And I doubt there were that many.
  • Re:Darwin on PC (Score:5, Informative)

    by oudzeeman ( 684485 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:04PM (#15863288)
    vtech used a custom compiled kernel, and have also been using Linux on the cluster. I used to work for a site with a 256 node Xserve cluster that was running the latest OS X 10.4 (we started with 10.3 and switched to 10.4 shortly after it was releases). They still run an up to date 10.4 on the cluster, but now they also have a portion of the cluster running Linux, which performs better than OS X for many HPC applications. They are working on software that will interface with TORQUE/Moab to install either a Linux or OS X disk image prior to launching a job thereby allowing a fully dynamic OS X / Linux hybrid cluster. Xnu appears to have issues with its memory manager. Sites often write their own simple memory manager in order to get the best possible benchmarks for OS X. VTech did it. We did it. Ours was a IOKit driver that loaded at system boot. The first thing it did was grab about 90% of the physical RAM (contiguous). The driver had to be loaded at boot or else this would have failed. Then we wrote a library that would overload the malloc familly of functions to use our memory manager rather than the default. This ensured that our high performance app would always get physcally contiguous memory which improved cache hits and greatly improved the performance of Goto's blas libraries (he has a very low oppinion of the OS X memory manager).
  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:08PM (#15863303) Homepage
    XNU/PowerPC has been open source for years. That's why people were surprised when the source for the x86 version was not released.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:50PM (#15863468)

    Apple's Java contract with Sun does not allow it to give away any of it's Mac OS JVM code.

    Blame Sun.

    Not Apple.

  • by quacking duck ( 607555 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:12PM (#15863551)
    By all accounts the fan control is entirely firmware-based, on both Macbook and Macbook Pro. In other words, no licence in the world would do you any good right now in coming up with a utility or even kernel extension to change the fan switch-on threshold.

    This is a marked difference from the hardware sudden motion sensors, which CAN be accessed via software APIs on Macs; this is why a couple of funky hacks using the SMS, like iAlertU, or switching virtual desktops by tapping the side of the screen, were done on Mac notebooks first (IBM notebooks with similar sudden motion sensors did not have APIs exposing them).

    I understand why Apple won't release actual APIs for these--the last thing they'd want is anyone accidentally (or purposefully) changing the fans to turn on far hotter than when they do now. What I DON'T understand is why they didn't design the firmware to allow a system preference that uses the current setting as the maximum threshold, with a couple of options to start the fans at lower temperatures.
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr. Jaggers ( 167308 ) <> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:20AM (#15863797)
    Not buggy any more, still fugly oldness though. I do run WindowMaker with some personalizations, though, and get some of that OpenStep goodness.
  • by nick.ian.k ( 987094 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:36AM (#15863861)
    Perhaps you are confused about what the community understands already, and will consider other perspectives in the future?

    Your statement implies that people contributing to open source and/or free software projects/efforts/whatever aren't always compensated, and also that compensation equates with financial gian. Contribution alone suggests that there is some interest already at stake. This list is by no means comprehensive, but here are some common motivations:

    1) Challenge. Perhaps someone's working on something because the matter at hand intrigues them and is a good way to flex their mental muscles and solve an interesting problem.

    2) Practical application. The task at hand may be somewhere between fascinating and dull, but the contributor has a problem that they need to solve somehow, and either starting a project that's FS/OSS or contributing to an existing one somehow helps to solve the problem, either in one go or incrementally approaching a solution.

    3) Facillitating "The Greater Good" relevant to one's own field of interests. Things done out of the goodness of one's own heart are typically geareed towards furthering a particular ideal, community, or some goal; that is, the well-meaning, altruistic behavior occurs because, if nothing else, the acting body has some interest at stake, in this case wanting to better or facilitate an application or other project that crosses into other fields of personal interest.

    4) Material/financial gain. Yes, it does happen: some folks do indeed get paid directly to work on stuff that gets put out under GPL or whatever other give-back license might be appropriate. They get paid to put something together because someone needs it, and then the code gets put back out there so fewer people have to waste time solving the same problem twice.

    That's an over-reduction, mind you, but I felt compelled to remind you that there's often more at stake than *just money*. If that was really the prime motivation, a lot fewer people would being opting to work jobs that require intellectual engagement and consideration, problem solving, etc. Remember, cents aren't always just petty in terms of exchange rate, but interpretive value as well. :)
  • by Mr. Jaggers ( 167308 ) <> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:42AM (#15863889)
    I personally try very hard to only run GPL'ed, natively-compiled applications, and to contribute back to as many as I have to skills to help. This, I think, is part of being a good neighbor.

    However, in the interest of helping a new convert stay on the side of the light, if you ever miss the popular windows games, you should consider Cedega from TransGaming. Several guys here in my office run it on their Gentoo or Debian boxes (so it'll probably work on Ubuntu also), and play World of Warcraft and Battlefield 2, etc. It's good to have a beefy machine, but it's more important to have a nice graphics adaptor (my buddies here have NVidia cards).

    Anyway, I hate to sound like an advertisement for them, since I think that projects like Cedega and NDIS are generally bad for FOSS in the long run. After seeing how happy some of my friends are to be able to play certain games on their GNU/Linux laptops, some over (mostly) functioning wireless LAN connections via NDIS wrapper, I have to admit that they are generally good for GNU/Linux in the short term.

    Also, keep in mind that if (when) you have money to buy your shiny new Mac OS box, you can also put Ubuntu on there as well, and switch handily between them (simultaneously, I believe). That will give you an easy migration path from your old box without having to abandon any of your new L33t Ubuntu skills.
  • by GaryPatterson ( 852699 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @05:07AM (#15864553) /ChangeLog?revision= []

    Read the email addresses, and note that Laurent Sansonetti is one of the five RubyCocoa developers (lrz).

    I guess you'll be wanting to apologise to the previous poster.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @07:53AM (#15864865)
    The cost of anything in a competitive free market tends to the marginal cost of production. E.g. bugger all.

    This is not the case with copyrighted software because it is no longer a competitive free market. Copyleft makes it a competitive free market because once the code is done, it will go down to the marginal cost or the market acceptable cost (e.g. buying from RedHat costs because it is RedHat, but CentOS doesn't have the cachet or appearance of stability in the business world, so some user RH over CentOS, despite the higher cost).

    The principles of FSF are far more compatible with what the market is *supposed* to be than the CSS world philosophy. CSS is more communistic in effect. FOSS is NEVER communistic, the state ownes NOTHING that is FOSS. FOSS is, if anything political, utopian.

    Remember, there are two extremes of political system, neither of which are wanted: communism and capitalism. Marx posited the idea that you had to move away from a capitalist system to communist to remove the concentration of power and money from the elite to a state-owned system (the state has more power than any individual, so would be the ONLY entity that could force the elite to back down). When the communist system fails, as Marx predicted would happen because of systemic corruption, the best of both systems would be arrived at in a utopian society. This society would not allow anyone to concentrate power or money in any individual or group, because they knew what evils that would produce.

    Please read rather than take the soundbytes as gospel.
  • Re:Apple's Teams (Score:3, Informative)

    by David McBride ( 183571 ) <david+slashdot&dwm,me,uk> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @10:19AM (#15865744) Homepage
    See also screenshot on the Apple website: es/indextop20060807.png []

    Notice the "Teams Directory" window in the background.
  • Re:I Thought... (Score:4, Informative)

    by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:52PM (#15867423)
    I don't think there's a credible alternative explanation. The "undisclosed technology" thing has been revealed to be utterly untrue.

    Why? The x86 kernel sources almost certainly have references to Woodcrest and quad CPUs, which Apple wouldn't have wanted to expose until the hardware announcements.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken