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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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  • Darwin on PC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mnemonic_ ( 164550 ) <> on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:29PM (#15863141) Homepage Journal
    Is there any reason to run Darwin on a PC instead of FreeBSD or other *nix system? Everyone knows OS X has a fantastic GUI, but is there anything exceptional about its kernel?
  • Very nice ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sonic McTails ( 700139 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:42PM (#15863197)
    I wasn't too happy about xnu-x86 and related kernel modules being closed source because the fan controls for the MacBook Pro are software based (in AppleSMC AFAIK), and that means someone can use the source code, and modify it so the fan starts at a lower temperature which should hopefully resolving the heating issues.
  • OSx86 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:47PM (#15863218)
    How long will it take for this new kernel to make it in to OSx86
  • by Quantum Fizz ( 860218 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:54PM (#15863246)
    I'm the opposite. I used to be a FOSS zealot, I've run Linux since 1998, I've gone out of my way to write reports in LaTeX instead of Word and to do presentations in OpenOffice instead of Powerpoint, etc. But now my time is worth more than a few bucks, and putzing around with my Linux box is getting too annoying.

    So last year when my GF got a Mac Mini and I started using OS X, I've come to realize that I'll gratefully pay money for Quality closed-source software. I've since even bought iWork '06, and I never would have thought I'd pay money for an Office Suite.

    So what you say might be true for a select few of the harder-core FOSS zealots, but I don't see why FOSS zealots would have even been on the Mac platform anyway if they're as zealous as to switch merely for the closing of Xnu. But anyway, for the rest of the 99% of the computing populace, this OSS initiative will be welcomed.

  • Re:Darwin on PC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m874t232 ( 973431 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:13PM (#15863330)
    There is little reason to run Darwin if it didn't ship with your machine: it's a decent kernel, but kernels like Linux and BSD have more hardware support, more functionality, and somewhat better performance. However, the technical differences are not large enough for Apple to bother switching right now. On the other hand, if Apple wants to move to generic PCs, porting their user environment to a Linux or BSD kernel might make a lot of sense.

    In any case, Apple's future is likely in hypervisors--small kernels that allow Linux, Darwin, BSD, and NT to run on top of them. In a sense, that's what Mach was supposed to be from the beginning, but it's being achieved using different technologies now.
  • by Vardamir ( 266484 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:24PM (#15863373)
    I'm rather annoyed that Apple has chosen not to open their modifications to J2SE 1.5 and greater, since the project is now open source and can even be built on Windows by anyone that wants to ... kind of ironic it can't be built on a supposedly more open operating system.

    The reason I really care is that I can't use anything but Java 1.4 on our OS 10.3 systems; I have no interest in upgrading to 10.4 except for the fact that Apple refuses to port J2SE to such an old and outdated os as OS 10.3 .....
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:45PM (#15863443) Homepage
    I'm rather stumped what this wide variety of configurations is that you speak of.
    One easy example is that Rosetta relies on SSE3. Apple has released an OS that takes advantage of features not found on "legacy" chips (including rather recent ones). While allowing a "designed for Mac!" brand could be useful, but I doubt anything would be branded that wasn't also high-end & so wouldn't be that much cheaper. (And, to respond to other posters:the markup on bleeding edge hardware is quite high.)

    I think that the outright sale of their O.S. to the unwashed masses who don't have the hardware to run it (and run it well) would be suicide. They might develop a rather small niche geek market, who wants a lower-end new PC (rather than a new high end one direct from Apple) with OS X, assuming that piracy in this demographic wouldn't be rampant.

    But they'd have many, many more people who would buy it & just couldn't run the damn thing or would refuse to buy it (or a Mac) after hearing of others who couldn't run the damn thing.
  • by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @10:52PM (#15863476) Homepage Journal
    BeOS died because of Microsoft.

    During the whole antitrust thing, Be had gone to the DoJ and presented their case to them stating that, basically, with all the evidence they had, it was an open and shut case against M$. the DoJ, for whatever reasons, decided to instead focus on the fact that IE was bundled and embedded inside windows.

    Be's case was that M$ was using unfair business practices to force them out of the industry. the M$ contract, to bundle and pre-install windows with your computers was that you were not allowed to sell any other operating system software, even if you bundle windows in addition to Windows, whether it's installed or not, or sold separately.

    I believe it was Toshiba that was in talks with Be to bundle their OS as a dual-boot option, but M$ started throwing their lawyers at them.

    The reason this didn't hit mainstream was that this contractual agreement between vendors and M$ was protected as a trade secret.
  • Re:Darwin on PC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by paulmer2003 ( 922657 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:13PM (#15863555)
    Am I the only one whom is irrated by the lack there of VIRTUAL CONSOLES?
  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:32PM (#15863614) Homepage

    Microsoft is the exception, because they are 90% of the market. The reason you can't have a proprietary OS is because you can't get past MS. At this point, it is currently impossible.

    The only exception I can think of this would be to have a proprietary OS and give it away for free. Even then, you'd have a very tough time.

  • by Slithe ( 894946 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:45PM (#15863660) Homepage Journal
    I think 'hacking' is far more dependant on age rather than location. Linux seems to appeal to the younger crowd, both because of the appeal of FOSS, and the 1337 ability to tailor your system EXACTLY to your liking! I first entered the Linux community in high school, and back then Gentoo seemed like a good match for me. Sure, it took me several weeks to properly install it. (I did not know what I was doing, so at every attempt I started from scratch. I liked to start from stage one and bootstrap the compiler while I slept and then emerge the system while I went to school, so I could compile the kernel when I got home! Now that my studies have picked up a bit, I do not have the 'endless' amounts of time that I once had (but still enough to read the comments on several Slashdot stories per day), so I pick a more convenient distro. The only way I could currently afford a MacBook/Pro would be to use the Apple Student Loan, and another monthly bill would inconvenience me even more than setting-up Ubuntu would.
  • Re:OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dotgain ( 630123 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:14AM (#15863772) Homepage Journal
    Bloody well said! And believe it or not, I'm one of the die-hards he's talking about, except that I don't: fail to recognize that improvements to the presentation of information need to be geared to facilitating the user's interaction with it. - I agree 100%.

    I've always used a shell since 16MB was a chunk of RAM, and it's going to stay that way. Every time I've tried out a new Desktop Environment I've just ended up frustrated at the waste of time that it was. Geez, guys - at least borrow some old Mac running OS8.1 and take some tips from that for a start. I've resigned to using XFCE, I've managed to tweak it so that enough shit stays out of my way graphically, and don't use much past launch menus and the dock, usually to open a Terminal or a Browser.

    I often wonder if the very fact that it is free (as in beer) will doom it forever. Nobody can complain, because nobody pays for it. The guy who wasted time writing Wanda the Gnome fish can't be fired. The guy who stayed up until 3 coding a fix that would keep once again instill peace of mind in millions of administrators might get a pizza or a box of beer. There's little incentive or disincentive in it. While I'm not entirely chuffed with OSX myself, I give it 10/10 for "The devs giving a crap about the users experience"

  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @12:28AM (#15863833) Homepage Journal
    I found your comment interesting because it's different from what I know from experience is the case on the desktop machines (G5 towers). While I have no experience with the newer Intel-based systems, I always assumed they were the same.

    At least on the G5, the firmware acts only as a "fail safe." If the software doesn't come up after some reasonable amount of time and take control of the fans, and keep the core temperatures within a normal range, it will kick the fans on to keep the system from melting (or going into some sort of thermal-shutdown mode, also bad).

    You could test this easily by rebooting the machine into single-user (recovery, safe, whatever you want to call it) or target disk mode, in which all the hardware/firmware systems ought to be running normally, but many parts of the system aren't loaded, and watching what happens: after a delay, the fans would be ramped up to their highest setting and left there. The intelligent control normally performed (which regulates the fans/pumps based on temperature) doesn't happen at all.

    Seems like it would be a pretty easy test on any other machine to reboot it in Target Disk mode or single-user mode (maybe it was open firmware mode), and watching what happens to the fans, to see if they're managed by a firmware system, or by a combination of hardware and a kernel extension.
  • by Sam Ritchie ( 842532 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:54AM (#15864092) Homepage
    Apple had the opportunity to correct people on those statements ahead of time and didn't.
    Like this []?

    I personally think Tom Yager does deserve to be pooh-poohed now his sensationalist spin on a piece of non-news has been proven incorrect.

  • Apple's Teams (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nedaf7 ( 851534 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:16AM (#15864158)
    Browsing through the new, I noticed something on the page for the Calendar Server. In a list of compatible clients [], it lists "Apple's Teams". I've never heard of this application, and I did a little poking around on Apple's website. I noticed a page describing OS X Leopard Server's built in Wiki Server [], specifically the repeated mention of teams using the Wiki server to collaborate on projects.

    This along with the iCal Server leads me to believe that OS X Leopard will include systemwide collaboration functionality that will integrate with any Apps that are programmed to use it. More evidence: How come during the demo of iChat's ability to share Keynote presentations, photos, videos, etc., we never saw the interface for the person sharing the documents? I would guess it's part of Leopard's collaboration system, named Teams.
  • Uhm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LKM ( 227954 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @03:17AM (#15864316) Homepage

    You're conveniently forgetting that most people would simply not buy Mac OS X for PCs. Yeah, the margins are higher for software than for hardware. Doesn't matter if you ain't selling any.

    And even with the high margins, Apple makes more money on each Mac sold than on each Mac OS X box sold if the box is priced below 400 US$.

    Look at Be OS: It was free, and people still didn't want it.

  • Re:I Thought... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:58AM (#15864541) Journal
    were people just being bitchy?


    Apple doesn't talk about unreleased products, and they won't release any code that tips their hand. The Intel kernel sources would have made it very clear what was going on with the replacements for the G5s, so they waited until today to release that code.

    The lesson here is: don't jump to conclusions just because some people with an inflated sense of entitlement throw a tantrum about someone taking their time to do something.

  • by cswiger2005 ( 905744 ) <> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @09:39AM (#15865447) Homepage
    Agreed. It's very common for systems to run the fans at full speed when they first power up, and then slow down once the system boots far enough for the "smart" fan control software to take control.

    It's not uncommon to need to provide about half of the fan's rated power before it will spin up when stopped, so providing an initial full-power jolt to the fans helps make sure that they are really spinning; once they are, it's OK to slow them down even below the point where they wouldn't be able to start from a standstill.
  • Not in Switzerland (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theolein ( 316044 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:34PM (#15867870) Journal
    Here, in admittedly tiny Switzerland, we have the highest percentage of Mac users anywhere, period. While I'm one of those and also work with Linux and Windows, the fact is that Macs are incredibly popular, and if people have money (Switzerland is fairly well off), they will buy them. Sweden, for example, which is also fairly well off, also has a high percentage of Mac users. The fact is that Macs are simply a bit simpler to use and somewhat more robust against user wear and tear than Windows.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly