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Safari vs. KHTML 553

Posted by Zonk
from the sibling-rivalry dept.
Johnny Mnemonic writes "CNET has a story that describes the divergence between the code base of Safari and KHTML. Although there were high hopes that Apple would contribute significantly to the OSS project, that optimism has all but disappeared. Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend? Can OSS code and goals harmonize with the goals and needs of corporation designed code? Is it that Apple mismanaged the relationship, or that the KHTML guys expected too much? Interesting warning for other OSS-corporate marriages." We've previously reported on the frustration in the OSS community on this issue.
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Safari vs. KHTML

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  • by Folmer (827037) * on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:15PM (#12510008)
    Afaik the relationship between apple and freebsd is fine, and they use eachothers' patches etc. The problem seems to be that apple wanted to develop the browser in another direction than kde, and the communication stopped as they didnt use eachothers patches. As apple are having paid developers working on it, they should develop it their way and kde should maybe look at their methods to see if they are able to work in that way. If not, though luck.. I cant see that apple is the bad guy here.
    • by Suppafly (179830) <.slashdot. .at. .suppafly.net.> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:20PM (#12510060)
      The problem with Apple and KDE is that apple doesn't make patches that are easy to apply to the khtml source. They release one patch that has tons of changes instead of one change per patch.
      • by Metzli (184903) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:26PM (#12510134)
        That's a problem for KDE, but does Apple not have the right to do what they want with their patches? They wrote the code and they're releasing it to be viewed and used, so shouldn't that be lauded rather than complaining that they're not releasing things the way that the other guys want?

        If Apple complained that the KDE guys were releasing code in a manner than didn't work for Apple, then people in the OSS community would say that the Big Bad Corporation (tm) is trying to control OSS and tell the developers what to do. Does Apple not get the same consideration? I thought the point of open sourcing code was to allow people to do what they want with it. Apple is, so either take what they're giving (for free) or shut up and write your own patches. It seems simple enough to me.
        • by angst7 (62954) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:44PM (#12510337) Homepage
          As others will likely point out, they certainly are within their legal rights to do what they like where patches are concerned. But you're missing a crucial distinction between Must and Ought.

          It is not required that Apple play nice with the way they release patches. That is to say there is not 'must' apart from the requirement that they make them available. But there's alot of 'ought' that comes into play when you use OSS code. This is basically a niceness test that says, in effect, if you use this code to make money, great, but you 'ought' to give back in such a way that we can make use of as well.

          Having said all that I feel a bit bad about even responding to an obvious troll. There's very little 'insight' in your comment.
          • Being nice costs time and money. Only a minority of Apple's potential customers care if the company is nice to a specific group of open source developers. Apple's goal is to make money for their shareholders, not to spend it on things most of their customers don't care about.

            From the information we see here, their behaviour is perfectly rational, even though it is less than convenient for the OSS people.

            I don't know if the animosity is symptomatic of the OSS community, but usually when two commercial c

        • by Thomas Miconi (85282) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @02:01PM (#12511253)
          That's a problem for KDE, but does Apple not have the right to do what they want with their patches

          Of course they bloody do. That's called a fork ! And freedom to fork is the most important aspect of OSS - in fact enforcing and maintaining this freedom to fork is the central aim of the GPL.

          Apple quite simply forked Safari. This happens all the time in the OSS world. Hello, does anyone really expect that X.org patches will remain 100% compatible with the XFree86 code structure ad aeternam ?

          Could someone please tell me what exactly the problem is in the Apple-Safari case ?

          Thomas-
          • AIUI, the big problem is that people see that Safari is built on KHTML, and assume that the WebCore codebase and the KHTML codebase are closely related; thus, when KHTML doesn't function as well as Safari, idiots go shouting at the devs, accusing them of being lazy for "not merging Apple's lovely changes quickly enough".

            The KHTML devs would like Apple to either make it clear that WebCore and KHTML are now very different, despite the common ancestor, or to help merge things back. Either way, they want somet

        • That's a problem for KDE, but does Apple not have the right to do what they want with their patches?

          Yes, and nobody is denying that, but this is not the point. The story is about the fact that KDE's KHTML and Apple's WebCore are nowadays pretty much separate in their development effort. So there is some disappointment in the KDE community. Sure it's their problem, and you could call them naive to hope that a big cooperation like Apple would collaborate with them, instead of just minding their own busines
        • You miss the point. The main complain of khtml developers is that clueless users think that once a feature is present in Safari, it would be easyt ot port it to konqi. Quote:
          And you know what? Thats their right. They made a conscious decision about not working with KDE developers. All Im asking for is that all the clueless people stop talking about the cooperation between Safari/Konqueror developers and how great it is. Theres absolutely nothing great about it. In fact it doesnt exist. Maybe for Apple - at the very least for their marketing people. Clear?
          Also, this is not just "a problem for KDE." One reason for the difficulties is that Apple has different sets of priorities than khtml devs. Apple wants feature X present by a deadline. KHTML devs place equal importance on keeping the code clean and optimized. As a result, the Safari code is not up to KDE's coding standards:
          Actually the biggest problem right now is that Apple are not keeping up with code-cleanup. We constantly try to develop more elegant easier to maintain code, where as Apple wants the right features - right now. Safari is basically still KHTML from KDE 3.1 with a ton of bug fixes and features. Many of the features takes time to port because they do not live up to our coding standards.
          I think this situation could have been avoided if Apple tried to cooperate with KDE from the very beginning - and kde guys did quite a lot (creating specific mailing lists, giving cvs access, etc) to help apple devs. What KDE guys were asking for would have benefitted everyone: code cleanup could have been easily integrated into safari (some kde devs even offered to sign an NDA's to help!) while features might have been integrated into khtml. This is clearly a win-win situation that Apple missed.

          A note on zealotry (not directed to parent post ... it is a general complaint). 1) It is quite funny that when I was discussing this on osnews, a bunch of people jumped on my posts calling kde devs names (whiners, zealots, whatevers) and praising apple for their huge contribution to OSS. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get them understand that the main problem of khtml developers is not that Apple didn't contribute back enough (although that is part of the problem). Their problem was that - the result of Apple's marketing campaign about being first class citizens of the OSS community - users thought that they don't implement features present in Safari because they are lazy or they just don't want to or whatever. In other words, their gripe was with clueless users.
          2) Check the asnwers to Carewolf's post [slashdot.org]. Apology, apology, apology... like "users DO NOT CARE if your code is 'elegant' and 'easier to mantain', users WANT THINGS TO WORK whether or not they are 'elegant' or 'adequate'." (why is he [slashdot.org] shouting? - and most importantly, why is he modded insightful?). IMHO, this kind of APPLE can't do wrong does disservice to APPLE - one of the keys to do successful business is to recognize the mistakes one makes in order to avoid them in the future. You can love APPLE and be critical at the same time!

        • They wrote the code and they're releasing it to be viewed and used, so shouldn't that be lauded

          Yes. They should be lauded for obeying the law. Similarly I should be lauded for not murdering those two tramps I walked past today.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:29PM (#12510166)
        From the parent: "the problem with Apple and KDE is that apple doesn't make patches that are easy to apply to the khtml source

        Noone seems to bitch about X.org changes not getting back into XFree86. Forks are not a bad thing. If Apple can move the software faster than the khtml guys did, they have my blessings. I wouldn't want to slow down Apple's progress by making them jump through hoops for the KHTML guys any more than I'd want to slow down X.org.

        Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?

        For almost everyone in the world it's a "fully realized feature" not "unrealized danger" of open source that if a new team can advance the software faster than an old team, they're FREE to do so because the software is OPEN.

        • by JohnFluxx (413620) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:41PM (#12510296)
          "Noone seems to bitch about X.org changes not getting back into XFree86."

          True, but the X.org changes are all in some form of vcs unlike the apple changes that they give us.

          The only 'hoops' we have asked for is that they give us some form of vcs (version control) logs rather than just a single 60MB dump :(

          How on earth are we supposed to do anything with comments like "this fixes 2374924" without being able to view what 2374924 is? Some of the kde developers have offered to sign NDA's just to see the commit messages, but apple refuses to reply to such requests.

          Personally I think Apple would gain more from working with us a bit more. Particulary with our new dom changes.

          • Learning about Apple (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:55PM (#12510461)
            How on earth are we supposed to do anything with comments like "this fixes 2374924" without being able to view what 2374924 is?

            One of the things you learn about Apple as you work with them is that secrecy is paramount. Among other things, that means that NOBODY gets access to their bug database. Developers have been clamoring for a more-open database for years. KDE's not getting special treatment, that's how ALL of Apple works. Love it or leave it.

            • by slipstick (579587) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:34PM (#12510931)
              And the KHTML guys have decided to "leave it" and explain why. If Apple gets a black eye out of it so be it.

              Apple could have tried to be a little more community spirited rather than just ignoring the needs of the very people they relied on to save them millions in development cost. How hard would it have been to include real comments in their patches rather than pointing to a bug database number?
    • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:24PM (#12510109) Homepage
      Is it? The last I heard of that relationship, Jordan Hubbard said FreeBSD had got a few minor bugfixes and test suites back. This quote sums up the Apple/FreeBSD relationship quite well, I think:

      In his own posting to the FreeBSD mail archives dated June 25, Hubbard stated that his new "day job" would not be the end of his contributions to the FreeBSD and other projects. In his words, "Apple does fully understand the importance of FreeBSD and they don't want me or anyone else to stop working on it. FreeBSD doesn't compete with Apple's product offerings in any way and provides an excellent source of technology for them."

      Taken from here [extremetech.com].

  • honestly. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Suppafly (179830) <.slashdot. .at. .suppafly.net.> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:18PM (#12510032)
    We've previously reported on the frustration in the OSS community on this issue.

    Atleast you're being honest.
  • Another question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:18PM (#12510033)
    As long as they're abiding by the terms of the license, does Apple, any corporation, or any entity for that matter, have any obligation to contribute anything back to the project? Who gets to decide when someone is contributing "enough"?

    Additionally Apple posts all of its open source code [apple.com]; here's the page for WebCore [apple.com], which states:

    WebCore is a framework for Mac OS X that takes the cross-platform KHTML library (part of the KDE project) and combines it with an adapter library specific to WebCore called KWQ that makes it work with Mac OS X technologies. KHTML is written in C++ and KWQ is written in Objective C++, but WebCore presents an Objective C programming interface. WebCore requires the JavaScriptCore framework.

    The current version of WebCore is based on the KHTML library from KDE 3.0.2. Changes that are specific to WebCore are marked with #ifAPPLE_CHANGES. Other changes to improve performance and web page compatibility are intended for integration into future versions of the KHTML library.


    Sounds like a case of sour grapes to me. I'm sure the level of cooperation and collaboration that the KDE/KHTML/Konqueror folks had hoped for wasn't there, if only because Apple keeps everything secret before its release (including everything related to Safari 2.0 in Tiger). Another example of a corporate need butting heads with a contrary OSS philosophy. And I'm sure Apple's main priority is not developing an infrastructure to cohesively and voluminously contribute changes back to projects. It's more like, "Ok, here's our stuff... [apple.com]"...it's all there for anyone to see.
    • As long as they're abiding by the terms of the license, does Apple, any corporation, or any entity for that matter, have any obligation to contribute anything back to the project?

      If you don't like that people JUST obey the license, then change the license!

      i.e. If a company decides to launch a similar product based on this source code, they're obligued to keep a revision history in a previously agreed format (i.e. CVS, SVN, etc) so that the authors can track down their improvements.

      Ta-da!
    • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:24PM (#12510112)
      WebCore-413 [apple.com]

      And here's everything from 10.4 [apple.com], posted on the same day 10.4 was released. They even posted full binary PowerPC and x86 installers for Darwin [apple.com] corresponding to Tiger that same day.
    • fork? (Score:3, Insightful)

      I wonder if this would be as big an issue if Apple had started out by saying, "we want to fork the code." The license gives them that right. This is essentially what's happened. Neither team is actively using the others patches.

      My experience is that merging code on large projects is a pain. Even when you share the same respository (CVS) and have teams working on different branches. I hate the thought of trying to merge code that's several months apart developmentaly. Besides just dealing with the code, che
  • OS Divergence (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Veinor (871770) <veinor@nOspam.gmail.com> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:19PM (#12510053)
    Open Source is designed so that everyone can see the code. If you can see the code, then you should be able to tweak it and make your own version of it, as long as you still give credit where it's due. Indeed, look at all the variations on *nix/Linux:
    • Suse
    • RedHat
    • *BSD
    • Knoppix
    • Mandrake
    And there are definitely more that I haven't included. If Safari diverges form KHTML, it's fine with me.
  • Safari on Windows? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by promantek (866291) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:20PM (#12510056) Homepage
    In the article, Apple engineer Maciej Stachowiak said,
    "One thing you may want to consider eventually is back-porting (WebCore) to work on top of (KDE)... We'd be open to making our tree multi-platform."

    I wonder if that means they are looking to port Safari to Windows. It would give Windows users another taste of the Mac, and I for one would use it.
    • by smallpaul (65919)

      I wonder if that means they are looking to port Safari to Windows.

      An engineer saying that they would be _open_ to making a component's development tree multiplatform is a huge stretch from a product manager having made a product management decision to take an application and port it to another operating system. I really don't see any correspondance between the two.

    • by Chucker23N (661210) <.slashdot1. .at. .chucker.rasdi.net.> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:42PM (#12511031) Homepage Journal
      Um.

      Because
      1) It's easy to port.
      (It's not. Windows doesn't even have native APIs to support Objective C, let alone Objective C++. Porting this means porting large parts of Cocoa.)
      2) Safari is just a little front-end for WebCore.
      (It's not. Writing a WebCore front-end using WebKit doesn't require, I shit you not, a single line of code. Safari, on the other hand, has many.)
      3) Apple would profit tons from this.
      (They wouldn't. Giving away a browser for free for a foreign operating system without any other benefits is a honorary decision at best, not a business one.)
  • Um (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:21PM (#12510066) Homepage
    Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?

    It's not unrealized, lots of projects have forked before. I think anybody who puts their code under a license that allows forking will realize that it can happen.

    Can OSS code and goals harmonize with the goals and needs of corporation designed code?

    Of course it can, this happens every day. Look at the kernel, GCC, Wine, etc.

    Is it that Apple mismanaged the relationship, or that the KHTML guys expected too much?

    I don't think expecting documented patches or a shared bug tracker is asking too much - this is the pretty much the minimal level of co-operation most projects would expect from a corporate good citizen. Some companies go even further than that, and hire some of the core developers, sponsor conferences, provide hosting facilities etc. There are plenty of examples in the Linux community of companies doing that.

    So did Apple mismanage the relationship? Arguably there is no relationship. They certainly mismanaged expectations - if they'd come straight out and the beginning and said "we're not going to co-operate" a lot of frustration would have been avoided. That would have harmed their (mostly imaginary) pro-open source image though.

    I doubt there's some kind of Evil Plan to screw over KDE here, it's more likely that Apple don't care or want to help the open source community, it's just a convenient place to take code from (go see how much FreeBSD has got back from them, for instance). Open source and Linux specifically are primary competitors and they'd be foolish to help the community more than they have to. After all, they're in the business of selling proprietary operating systems.

    • Re:Um (Score:5, Insightful)

      by danigiri (310827) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:31PM (#12510196)
      "After all, they're in the business of selling proprietary operating systems."

      No, really. They don't. They're in the business of selling computers and peripherals.

      Having those computers and peripherals work well (or at least up to their expectations) incidentally needs of propietary operating systems.

      Dani++

      PS: look on the changelog of Bash, recently there has been some significant Apple contributions, reported on /., even.

  • Does this really amount to anything more than a fork? I mean, it isn't as if there's never been an open source project that has been forked against the will of the original founders of the project. Does the forking by a company automatically make the fork bad? What if Google forked a project against the desire of the founder or "community"?
  • by Lars T. (470328) <[moc.liamelgoog] [ta] [regearT.sraL]> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:21PM (#12510074) Journal
    he made after his rant.
    Did KHTML become better as a result of Apple using it? Yes of course. KHTML became a lot, lot better as a result of patches we merged from Apple folks.
    • by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:39PM (#12510276) Journal
      And even during his rant:
      They do the very, very minimum required by LGPL.

      And you know what? That's their right. They made a conscious decision about not working with KDE developers. All I'm asking for is that all the clueless people stop talking about the cooperation between Safari/Konqueror developers and how great it is.
      So really, the only people they were ever particularly annoyed with were us. Here on Slashdot.
    • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:47PM (#12510357) Homepage
      You're quoting Zack out of context. Here is the full quote [64.233.183.104]:

      Did KHTML become better as a result of Apple using it? Yes of course. KHTML became a lot, lot better as a result of patches we merged from Apple folks. And you know what? We've been quiet for almost two years. No one mentioned anything because we all hoped. We still do and always will. Everytime people complained about KDE developers being lazy and not merging patches from the great Apple guys we just took it. This time I simply refused to sit back and look at another /. discussion on Safari and KHTML cooperation.

      Seems people like you are what Zak is pissed off about.

  • Obviously! (Score:4, Funny)

    by sammykrupa (828537) <sam@theplaceforitall.com> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:22PM (#12510094) Homepage Journal
    Obviously Apple is not sharing there code! Slashdot looks great in Safari!
  • This sounds normal (Score:4, Informative)

    by TimmyDee (713324) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:23PM (#12510095) Homepage Journal
    How is this different from any other OSS project? Two groups see the project going in two different directions and it forks. Granted, the Apple side on this one may not be as open as the KHTML people want, but in all honesty, I'm willing to bet that Apple has a much better code base than KDE at this point. The fact that Apple is suggesting a KDE backport of WebCore is pretty amazing. How many corporations do we see telling an OSS group, "Why don't you just take our code and use it for your project whole-hog"? My guess is not many.
    • The fact that Apple is suggesting a KDE backport of WebCore is pretty amazing. How many corporations do we see telling an OSS group, "Why don't you just take our code and use it for your project whole-hog"? My guess is not many.

      Maybe not, but why wouldn't Apple do this? Of course they want Konquerer to use the same rendering engine as Safari. First of all, it increases the user-base, which increases the chance that web developers will test for their rendering engine. Second, every improvement that the K

    • by Coryoth (254751)
      I think this is pretty much the whole point: WebCore is a fork. There isn't much cooperation, or joint effort between WebCore and KHTML. Sure, some code manages to go both ways, but slowly but surely the two projects are diverging more and more. This isn't really a problem, the problem is expectations. The KDE people are pissed not so much at Apple, but rather at all the people that keep expecting changes in WebCore to come to KHTML. They are pissed with all the people that don't seem to understand tha
  • by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:23PM (#12510101) Homepage
    Folks, if you want your code used in a certain way, you put the terms in the damned license. That's what it's there for.

    Besides, last I checked, the KHTML folks don't have a beef with Apple. They do have a beef with the fanbois who can't seem to grasp the fact that Apple using KHTML's Open Source code does not immediately mean that they're best buddies.

    All it means is that Apple is using Open Source code. Period. Apple isn't violating anybody's trust.

  • Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?

    Only if you're a moron. Everybody understands OSS is subject to forking. It's been used as FUD against it. But the fact is, it's just the market at work. If others take a project in a direction you didn't intend...so what? You released it in a way that allowed that to happen. If you don't want that to happen, pick a different license.

    Can OSS code and goals harmonize with the goals and needs of corpo
    • Re:Let me see... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DogDude (805747)
      Duh. Of course. Do I really need to provide a list? Can't anybody here on /. think for half a second and come up with one or two OSS projects sponsored by corporations where the code and goals are "harmonized" as the questioner puts it?

      Yeah, I'd like to hear about one or two projects like that. I'm not aware of any.
  • Safari != KHTML (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bunburyist (664958)
    Its probably best to think of Apple's WebCore as a fork of KHTML; they are no longer one and the same. Apple has already changed WebCore enough that backporting changes to KHTML is very non-trivial. As usual, they are starved for developers, especially when the task is simply porting someone else's code, rather than solving problems for yourself. Many devs would much rather do the latter, even if "results" come more slowly.
  • by Otter (3800) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:27PM (#12510144) Journal
    The original story just had Zach Rusin saying that Apple's contributions to KHTML were exaggerated. OK, fine.

    This stuff is just stupid. Apple has done absolutely nothing illegal; arguably they've done nothing inappropriate. KDE and KHTML are not in any way any less well-off, and if this story accurately reflects the attitude of the primary KHTML developers, honestly, they're being jackasses.

    What all this demonstrates is why using free code (especially GPL/LGPL code) is much more of a minefield than a reading of the license would suggest. You can comply to every last detail, and it doesn't do you any good against the negative publicity when someone decides you "owe something to the community".

  • Unrealized Goals (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jaylee7877 (665673) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:28PM (#12510149) Homepage
    Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?

    This is not a danger, it's simply a attribute of OSS. Do you really think Linus sat down to write the kernel and ever considered it'd be used on millions of computers worldwide for mission critical systems? When you release your code Open Source, your basically saying to the world "do with it as you please". Some license clauses may prevent certain uses (i.e. many OSS SMTP Servers have a clause that says if you use this software for Spam, you're in violation of the license). But as a OSS Developer I can't say that only Americans can use my code, or prevent those of other religions from using it to benefit their religion. And I certainly can't prevent some company from "leeching" by profiting from my work without giving back equally to the OSS community. That's life and that's OSS. Most companies however realize that as a whole, you get back what you put into something.
  • Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend? Can OSS code and goals harmonize with the goals and needs of corporation designed code? Is it that Apple mismanaged the relationship, or that the KHTML guys expected too much? Interesting warning for other OSS-corporate marriages.

    There is always a danger that someone will fork your code. That being said, Apple must perceive sufficient commercial advantage to maintaining their own fork.

    People don't real

  • by Jarnis (266190) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:29PM (#12510171)
    Apple has followed the obligation of the license.

    It's just a fork. Forks happen. Move along. If KDE guys think KHTML sucks compared to WebCore/Safari, they are free to fork THAT and start from there (backporting it to KDE). The source is open. Whine less, code more :)
  • by gr8_phk (621180) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:30PM (#12510179)
    "Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?"

    If you didn't realize that's possible, you're just being stupid. If they're going in a direction you don't intend, then by all means continue in the direction you DO intend and don't worry about it. Would it be nice if Apple maintained a set of OSX specific patches and did as much as possible in the upstream project? Yes. Do they have to? No. Will it bite them in the future? Perhaps. The farther they diverge, the harder it will be to bring changes the other direction as well.

  • Childish Spat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyberlotnet (182742) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:34PM (#12510216) Homepage Journal
    This is nothing but a childish spat between 2 diffrent groups of developers.

    Apple published the patches, and changes and KHTML cries about them having to much OSX specific code in them? Thats just crap..

    Apple is acting in good faith, they are basically asking Apple to make sure all patches are 100% compatible with the current code base.

    The KHTML team might as well just ask Apple to take over the project in full.

    Open Source does not mean "Anything you do must conform and work with our project or your not doing it right"

    Open Source is "If you make changes please give back to the community with the understanding that your changes might not be compatible with ours, Your code changes may not be what we want, but we can't complain about that"
  • new here, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by greystreets (581356) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:35PM (#12510231)
    Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?

    Isn't that point of OSS, hoping that someone will take interest in your project and do something with it you couldn't do yourself?

    And what's dangerous about that?
  • Gimme a break (Score:3, Insightful)

    by learn fast (824724) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:35PM (#12510234)
    Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?

    Oh come on, is this really a "danger"? Nothing in any open source license says that you keep the right to direction of whatever your code ends up as.

    This is like the "danger" that your source code can be "hijacked" in commercial applications if you use the BSD license.

    KHTML is not objectively any worse off because of this... Apple isn't hurting them, Apple isn't taking anything away from them, their project is not imperiled in any way. It may make them feel bad that their source is out there with improvements and it's not as easy for them to merge them back into KHTML as they would like. It's quite a mental exercise to try to think of a rational justification for that feeling without becoming extremely vague (try it), one which no open source license could ever protect them.

    To borrow a phrase from ABC News' mustachioed libertarian: Gimme a break.
  • by mgbaron (457884) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:37PM (#12510250) Homepage
    I think Apple made a decision that it needed to switch cores and at that moment has every right to do so and never look back. The fact that they are putting any effort into KHTML at all should be looked at as a mere bonus for the KTHML developers at this point. Apple never claimed to be the white night funding the KHTML project or that they would be the dominant developer for the future. This is not an example of IBM taking over a project. I think some KHTML guys read way too much into this relationship. It was pretty clear from the start that they were being used (but the nature of their license allows for this). It was great that they showed trust and attempted to built a relationship, but they should not have become in anyway dependent. I'm not saying this is the case, but the bitterness of their response seems to suggst this sort of dependence.
  • by MoneyT (548795) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:39PM (#12510272) Journal
    "One thing you may want to consider eventually is back-porting (WebCore) to work on top of (KDE), and merging your changes into that," Apple engineer Maciej Stachowiak wrote in an e-mail dated May 5. "I think the Apple trees have seen a lot more change since the two trees diverged, although both have useful changes. We'd be open to making our tree multi-platform."

    The suggestion, which KHTML developers said they were unlikely to accept,


    So Apple is open to making the tree cross platform, and presumeably to them back porting web core (which is nessesary to implement some of the things Apple has done since) and KHTML doesn't want to.

    So by choice KHTML has already limited the changes they can use.

    "In open source, everything's supposed to be done the right way, but sometimes the less correct way is faster," Rusin said. "In fixing one problem, they were breaking a whole bunch of other things. Apple developers were focused on fixing bugs in such a way that we could not merge them back into KHTML. Those fixes were never an option for us."

    Ignoring for a moment the fact that OSS is not done the "right way" many times, Apple has an obligation to turn out code and to do it fast. They have obligations to their customers. The fact that KHTML wants to take their sweet time and Apple wants to get the patches done fast and out the door shows where the divergence is. Apple can't afford to take the open source approach of spending 5 years in beta before releasing the next version.

    Once again a choice by KHTML. The patches are there, but they choose to do the patches their way, thus eliminating Apple patches.

    KDE volunteers said they suddenly found themselves dealing with bug reports Apple deemed too sensitive to share, new requirements for auditing code before releasing it, and demands that developers sign nondisclosure agreements before looking at some Apple code.

    So you mean once KHTML devs wanted access to code that wasn't part of KHTML, they had to play by Apple's rules? Say it isn't so! Apple plays by their rules for their code, but KHTML doesn't want to play by Apple's rules for Apple code. Again, choices by KHTML to limit their own options.

    "As long as they needed us, they used us, but when they gained enough knowledge they had no reason to keep sending us reviews and patches," Rusin said. "At a certain point they decided it was a waste of time for them, and at that point the communication just stopped...We had hopes that they would pour resources into KHTML. But that never happened."

    No, it did happen, but they're pouring resources in to the ways that allow them to serve their customers best too, and that means leveraging OS X technologies. KHTML has chosen to be just as uncooperative as Apple.
    • This is unbelievable (I mean the +5 insightful moderation). How can one claim that KDE developers have been just as uncooperative. They set up a mailing list specifically for Apple devs. They gave CVS access. All they asked was incremental changelogs instead of 60Mb code dumps. They even offered to sign NDAs with apple (and their offer was completely ignored) in order to get them.

      "The fact that KHTML wants to take their sweet time and Apple wants to get the patches done fast and out the door shows where the divergence is. Apple can't afford to take the open source approach of spending 5 years in beta before releasing the next version."

      This is quite ignorant. There are, admittedly some OSS project that are perpetually at a BETA stage. KDE is not one of them. KDE 3.4 had a few weeks of beta testing, and then it was released as final. Just as Tiger. Yes, there were a few bugs found since RELEASE - just as there were bugs in Tiger, and probably there will be more till the next release.

      KDE developers did everything they could to help cooperation - in vain. And they don't even regret that as much as they regret that there are clueless users who overestimate APPLE's contributions.

      And this makes hardly any sense:"Once again a choice by KHTML. The patches are there, but they choose to do the patches their way, thus eliminating Apple patches." Excuse me? What were you trying to say?

      Mods: congrats!

  • by Port-0 (301613) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:41PM (#12510293)
    Apple hasn't done anything wrong. This is exactly the way OSS is set up to work. If someone made some software and you want to change it, you are free to do so. As long as you publish the changes. There is no rule you have to do it in a way that makes the original author happy, you aren't required to follow their vision. You are free from all that. If the original author likes what you've done, they should be able to take your work and merge it back in.

    It's nice when everyone cooperates with each other, and keeps everything syncronized, but all that is frosting on the cake.
  • OSS project mantra (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @12:45PM (#12510338)
    How many times have you filed a RFE on an OSS project and gotten this back? "If you don't like how that works, feel free to submit a patch".

    Okay, if you don't like how Apple provides its patches back to the KHTML guys, please feel free to write a tool that converts their patches into the form you prefer.
  • by billstr78 (535271) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:00PM (#12510521) Homepage
    Dave Hyatt, one of the lead developers of Safari, has solicited comments and suggestions [mozillazine.org] on his blog [mozillazine.org] about how to better improve coordination between Apple's Safari group and the KDE Konqueror. team. Corporate support from Apple will have to follow, of course. I am sure that they are the main reason this coordination has not occured by now.
  • No problem here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by booch (4157) <slashdot2010.craigbuchek@com> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:03PM (#12510568) Homepage
    This definitely isn't a GPL violation, and doesn't even violate the spirit of Free/Open Source Software. The Apple developers are making their resulting branch of the code available in compliance with the KDE license. They're even trying to work to contribute their changes back to KHTML. Even if the patches don't apply cleanly, the KHTML developers are more than free to look at Apple's changes and add them by hand. Apple is even offering to give back their entire branch, to make it the new official KHTML, since their branch has advanced faster.

    This really seems to be a case of the Apple guys offering their changes (or at the very least, making them available), and the KDE guys not being interested in them, or unable to use them for various reasons. It's really hard to blame Apple for that.
  • by LordZardoz (155141) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:10PM (#12510660)
    I suppose the typical GPL liscence states that you need to share your changes or otherwise make them available.

    But in practice, I dont think there is much stopping any given company from using an open code base to use a more or less closed product. The BSD liscence specifically permits this.

    Being the sort that does not care much one way or the other about this topic, is Apple doing anything that the liscence in question prohibits?

    If not, then its permitted, and if its permitted, no use complaining. If your going to have a code base that open, then you should not be shocked when someone uses that liscence to their own advantage.

    END COMMUNICATION
  • No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jdavidb (449077) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:22PM (#12510804) Homepage Journal

    Is an unrealized danger of OSS that others may take your project in a direction you didn't intend?

    No, because that isn't a danger and doesn't hurt you in any way. If you're worried that your feelings might get hurt over something like this, though, perhaps open source isn't for you.

  • by pb (1020) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:33PM (#12510918)
    Check out gtk-webcore [sourceforge.net]; their browser (osb-browser) is incomplete, but the renderer is great. I was able to load Google Maps with it and zoom in, something I haven't managed to do on konqueror. There's also atlantis [akcaagac.com], which seems to use gtk-webcore--I haven't tried it yet.

    So... if Apple's code is so hard to work with, how did these people get it working? And using gtk, no less! Sorry folks--I'm no Apple fan, but Apple definitely *is* releasing code, and it *isn't* unusable.
  • by Illissius (694708) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:38PM (#12510983)
    What actually happened, was this: KHTML developer Zack Rusin read one too many uninformed comment on the internets about how awesome the cooperation between KHTML and Apple is; being on the recieving end of the very not awesome cooperation, he understandably got a bit pissed off, and blogged about it. The thing to note here is his ire *was not directed at Apple* (recognizing that they were fulfilling their legal obligations, and were required to do no more), but rather at the uninformed idiots. This has now been spun, in part by those same uninformed idiots, into the KHTML devs being whiny Apple-haters, and the whole legality question has also been quite predictably confused into it all as well, which was never a part of it.
    So far, I have seen exactly one comment on this thread with some understanding of this. it'd be sad, if it weren't so fucking ironic...
  • by eison (56778) <pkteison@hotma i l . c om> on Thursday May 12, 2005 @01:44PM (#12511057) Homepage
    How is this a 'danger', that other people do other things with a project that you have intentionally given the world the right to work on?
  • give it a rest! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Splork (13498) on Thursday May 12, 2005 @04:15PM (#12513008) Homepage
    they're complying perfectly with the license the code was released under. why the hell would you expect more?

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