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Apple Closes OpenNI the Open Source Kinect Framework 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the closing-the-door dept.
mikejuk writes "The OpenNI website, home to the widely used framework for 3D sensing, will be shut down in April. When, in November 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense for $350 million, people speculated how this would affect the Capri mobile technology but no mention was made of what would happen to OpenNI, the open source SDK most often used as an alternative to Microsoft's closed SDK for the Kinect. After Apple acquired PrimeSense, its website quickly shut, but the Developers link still points to Open NI. The status of OpenNI is a not-for-profit whose framework allows developers to create middleware and applications for a range of devices, including the Asus Xtion Pro. It claims to be a widely used community with over 100,000 active 3D developers."
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Apple Closes OpenNI the Open Source Kinect Framework

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @12:42PM (#46381827)

    "...Fortunately the code will continue to be available via GitHub..."

    • Leads to another question: What if you include this code in an app? Will it be rejected by iTunes?
      • by Sylak (1611137)
        Why would you use Kinect specific code for an iDevice app?
        • by Calavar (1587721)
          RTFS:

          The status of OpenNI is a not-for-profit whose framework allows developers to create middleware and applications for a range of devices, including the Asus Xtion Pro.

          It's not Kinect specific.

          • by Goaway (82658)

            That one doesn't connect to iOS devices either, though. It's just a Kinect clone.

            • by SuperDre (982372)
              Why wouldn't it? you can still hook up USB devices to you crappy iDevice...
            • by gl4ss (559668)

              why would you develop an app that uses usb device(possible) connected to an iDevice to to perform 3d scanning? why the fuck wouldn't you..

          • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

            RTFS:

            The status of OpenNI is a not-for-profit whose framework allows developers to create middleware and applications for a range of devices, including the Asus Xtion Pro.

            It's not Kinect specific.

            RTFT:

            Apple Closes OpenNI the Open Source Kinect Framework

            so yeah, it is Kinect specific.

      • Apache License.

        GPL appears to put some hurdles in front of developers wanting to put stuff on the Apple App Store. The Apache License is far more open and has no such restrictions. There's no problem with using it with Apps on the App Store.

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @12:52PM (#46381905)

    Fork it all!

    • Until Apple attacks users of such a fork with its software patents.
    • by the_B0fh (208483)

      Why fork it? As the summary clearly says, it is still available on github.

      Do you have reading comprehension problems?

      • Yes. That is where the forking begins. The Open Source code is available, but will no longer be maintained. Forking is the process of taking that code base and using it as a starting point for a project that will be maintained. Maybe your confusion lies in not knowing what forking means in this context?
        • by the_B0fh (208483)

          You assume the people with update rights in that github repository are not interested in patches you submit? Because until that happens, there's no need to fork.

          The article did not state that the people who originally created that github are the same people who wrote open NI. Presumably the people who created the github *are* interested in making things better, since they took the trouble to put it on github.

          *IF* they are not interested in maintaining it, then yeah, fork it.

          • Yeah. You still aren't grasping the concept. Apple is no longer maintaining the project. There are two, and only two options:

            1) Fork the project
            2) Let it die

            You seem to think there is a third option available to you: keep the project going, but don't fork it. Since you aren't Apple, that option is not available to you.
            • by the_B0fh (208483)

              Did Apple put it on github? I don't think so. Forking the github repo doesn't make sense if the people who did the original commit are maintaining it.

            • Yeah. You still aren't grasping the concept. Apple is no longer maintaining the project.

              You're confused. Apple never was maintaining the project. Apple bought Primesense. OpenNI is a consortium of which Primesense was only one member.

              There's no need to fork it. It's on GitHub. Contribute to it. 2 developers other than OpenNI already have.

              https://github.com/OpenNI/Open... [github.com]

              You seem to think there is a third option available to you: keep the project going, but don't fork it. Since you aren't Apple, that option is not available to you.

              You are mistaken.

    • by dbc (135354)

      Oh, yes, that will help. Not. The current generation of hardware will have a driver stack. Effectively meaning that PrimeSense-based projects are dead, because new generation hardware will have a closed stack. PrimeSense in open projects now has no future.

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      "We'll do it live!"

  • by sconeu (64226) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @12:56PM (#46381927) Homepage Journal

    I guess Apple was worried about the Knights who say (Open) NI!!!

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @03:53PM (#46383141)

    Surely at least one of them could lead a new project then.

    So in November Apple bought a company that has some side project developing Open Kinect software, which obviously has little interest for Apple. This month, they give a heads up that the website for that side project will be shut down. The code for the side project will continue to be available through GitHub.

    I'm not seeing much that's rage worthy here. Out of those 100,000 active developers, there is probably at least one that can set up and maintain a website

    But it seems like the real complaint is that, since the takeover, there have been no paid staffers supporting the project. That does suck for the developers, but again I don't see why Apple would be obligated to continue that. With 100,000 active developers, I'd think they could each cough up a few bucks to cover a couple salaries if they really cared all that much.

    • Well it would follow Apple's pattern of acquisitions. Sometimes they are more interested in the technology than the products and will stop making products like with PA Semi and FingerWorks. Apple used FingerWork's technology but wasn't interested in making peripherals per se; they wanted it for multi-touch. They wanted PA Semi for their expertise in chip designs but not necessarily their designs.
  • It's open source. I don't know the license, but I imagine it's likely a GPL/BSD-type license. One should learn that Apple is not the most "open source" friendly OS. Steal from BSD, as an example, and then release the derivative kernel and shut it down as quickly as one can to avoid raising "too many" suspicions.
    • It's open source. I don't know the license, but I imagine it's likely a GPL/BSD-type license. One should learn that Apple is not the most "open source" friendly OS.

      Yes that's why they release Darwin for free. Why they developed LLVM, why they open sourced OpenCL, why they kept CUPS alive, why they continue to develop WebKit. But we shouldn't let facts disturb our bias.

      Steal from BSD, as an example, and then release the derivative kernel and shut it down as quickly as one can to avoid raising "too many" suspicions.

      Er what? Apple is shutting down a website which they now own. Presumably they do not want to proceed to develop this SDK as it has been developed. The source code is available on GitHub as it always has been. With an open source license, you want to fork it, go ahead; that's what the license was me

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