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Apple Businesses Operating Systems BSD

GNU-Darwin Dropping Cocoa, PPC Support 460

Johnny Mnemonic writes "MacSlash is reporting that the Gnu-Darwin ports project has taken issue with some of Apple's current policies, to the extent of: 'GNU-Darwin will not support or distribute any software which links to proprietary libraries, and that includes Cocoa, Carbon, CoreAudio, etc. There will be no native package manager from GNU-Darwin (pkg_add suffices). Second, we will be moving our operations to x86, and we are putting the ppc collection into maintenance mode.' Astonished reaction on MacSlash, and recognition of the Fink alternative. Is this a worthy principled stand, or is it more like Kruschev banging his shoe in the UN? Will this help or hurt Apple's adoption of GPL technology?"
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GNU-Darwin Dropping Cocoa, PPC Support

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  • Utter Stupidity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j1mmy ( 43634 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:50AM (#4922228) Journal
    They're dropping these libraries but they haven't got anything worthwhile to replace them. This is a great way to kill their project.
    • by HiQ ( 159108 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:56AM (#4922255)
      Looks like evolution has taken a turn for the worse here!
    • Re:Utter Stupidity (Score:5, Interesting)

      by grammar nazi ( 197303 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:05AM (#4922282) Journal
      I agree. Also, we can't fault Apple with *trying* the GPL. People can get mad at apple for being to restrictive with which code can be licensed in which way. But name one other company that has attempted to embrace the GPL with their own code that wasn't already under the GPL.

      Or even easier, name one non-Linux company that has embraced the GPL at all.

      Apple is trying something new. As they decide what they feel comfortable releasing and retracting, they will make mistakes. Some of their decisions will be marketing related, some will be legal related, and we may not be happy with many of the decisions... but at least they are trying. The best that we can do is constructively support and offer recommendations.

      • Re:Utter Stupidity (Score:5, Informative)

        by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:17AM (#4922347) Homepage Journal
        Or even easier, name one non-Linux company that has embraced the GPL at all.
        Netscape.

        Started off closed. Was mostly-opened via the NPL and MPL, and now is MPL/GPL dual licenced.

        Off the top of my head, there's also Trolltech.

        Out of interest, when did Apple try the GPL? I thought Darwin was still 100% APSL? If they're dual licencing too, then that's great news, but I haven't seen anything like that lately.

        • Oh, I remember Netscape. Didn't they make a web browser or something like that?
      • by spatrick_123 ( 459796 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:29AM (#4922424)
        People can get mad at apple for being to restrictive

        Boy, you'd think the "grammar nazi" would know which form of to/too/two should be used in this case. :-)
      • Re:Utter Stupidity (Score:5, Informative)

        by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot@@@davidgerard...co...uk> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:44AM (#4922533) Homepage
        "name one non-Linux company that has embraced the GPL at all."

        Although it's now owned by Red Hat, Cygnus embraced the GPL before Linux existed.

      • Re:Utter Stupidity (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kraksmoka ( 561333 ) <grant @ g r a n t s t e r n.com> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:49AM (#4922574) Homepage Journal
        apple hasn't tried the gpl. all of the darwin stuff is that isn't apple original is BSD, my very favorite liscence on earth. there is some gpl software included with the distro and tools and whatnot.

        favorite thing about BSD license is that it's really really really free. restricts just about 0 uses of the code (which is why WinDoze has some of it lurkin around under the hood too, tho bastardized it may be). u can be commercial, or non-profit or mad scientist with it, and not have anyone sue you.

        but the gnu-darwin geniuses are killing the distro. a damn shame.

        are they smoking someting better than i have????? if they were so concerned with these issues, why didn't you just get to work on debian?? oh, wait, HP made a DMCA threat to someone also, oh, can't do debian anymore.

        they knew how it is, and was, and will be. why are they bothering to commit hari kari? just quit the project like a normal bunch zealots and go to work for richard stallman on the ever popular GNU Hurd.

        i have created free software my self, and it pains me to see such blind idiocy by someone who should be more responsible. apple even releases an x86 darwin themselves, so the project is more meaningless.

        /rant
        • Re:Utter Stupidity (Score:3, Informative)

          by ajs ( 35943 )

          "[With the BSD license] u can be commercial, or non-profit or mad scientist with it, and not have anyone sue you"

          Bravo, and cool stuff eh? Of course, you can still be sued for any number of reasons, but I do understand your core point (regardless of the fact that no one has ever been sued over the GPL).

          Now pay attention because I'm about to say something that you don't want to believe. That's all true for the GPL and any other truly open-source license.

          If you could not "be commercial" with a GPL-licensed package, Red Hat would certainly be in a world of hurt, and would not be turning a profit.

          Let's also be clear that the BSD license is not about avoiding restrictions. It's about giving up rights. You have certain rights over your creations under copyright law. The BSD license sacrifices those rights in favor of (hopefully) wider distribution and usage. It does not go quite so far as to place the work under the Public Domain, but gets damn close. A aplaud the generosity of the folks who make this sacrifice in the same way that I aplaud scientists who are willing to give up the fruits of their research, but not everyone is willing to make such a sacrifice.

          Enter the GPL. By contrast with such unilateral sacrifice, the GPL sacrifices very few rights and only does so as part of an exchange which is fair to both parties. What's more, the GPL is 100% optional for anyone who wants to use a piece of software. That's right, if you want to use GNU Emacs and not accept the terms of the GPL you can. Here's a mind-blower: if you want to DISTRIBUTE a copy of GNU Emacs and not accept the terms of the GPL you can. You just have to do so within the restrictions of copyright law (which means that you must be able to demonstrate that a) you are the copyright holder or b) you are acting withing the definition of fair use or c) you have specific license from the copyright holder). These restrictions are not the GPL's they are copyright law's.

          I'm not a license zealot. I've used the Artistic license, GPL, BSD, and worked on many a proprietary package. However, it really ticks me off when people try to bad-mouth a license without understanding it.
      • Re:Utter Stupidity (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Genady ( 27988 )
        But name one other company that has attempted to embrace the GPL with their own code that wasn't already under the GPL.

        Here's two. IBM, SGI.

        IBM has released it's JFS under the GPL, SGI has released XFS. I'm sure that there are other libraries/programs that these companies have made GPL. I don't fault Apple for not doing so, but there are companies out there at do release code into the GPL.
  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:52AM (#4922233)
    Since when did apple adopt GPL technology? Darwin is based on BSD not gnu. Does OS-X even ship the gnu tool set by default?
    • by zanerock ( 218113 ) <{moc.procenaz} {ta} {enaz}> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:25AM (#4922406) Homepage
      The reason Apple didn't use the GPL is that they felt they couldn't, and I for one think their choice has plenyt of merit. The viral nature of the GPL and the severe restrictions it places on developers are an impedement to both it's adoption and support. Apple will not, because it cannot, embrace the GPL.

      And why should they? The GPL's stated political and social agenda may be respectable, but the form that the GPL takes to further those goals is inimical to the standard economical model and way of doing business. I've got no problem with the GPL, but to cry foul because Apple doesn't want to support GPL efforts is ludicrous. The GPL is about very specific political and social goals. These are fine goals, but they are not Apple's goals. I don't whine about the fact that some random company doesn't support my personal political or social ambitions.
      • by imadork ( 226897 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @11:22AM (#4922785) Homepage
        I agree with you that Apple's choice of the BSD license has plenty of merit, and that the GPL has specific political and social goals that not all may agree with. But I keep hearing "Viral nature" and "severe restrictions" in relation to the GPL, and I just don't get it.

        Apple uses plenty of GPL'd software -- gcc ships with OS X after all. And my understanding of the GPL you can use as much GPL software as you like with no restrictions whatsoever. There's nothing viral about that! The only restriction is that if you modify and distribute binaries based on those modifications , you have to make the changes you made to the source available. Which seems reasonable; you're modifying someone else's work after all, you should reciprocate. While this is a restriction, please show me how this is any more restrictive than any other license short of the Public Domain.

        The GPL could pose problems for a company such as Apple, who probably have other people's licensed proprietary code in their code base, and who really can't open up the whole thing in a GPL-like way. But that doesn't mean that the GPL is "is inimical to the standard economical model and way of doing business.". Plenty of companies are contributing to GPL'd projects (where appropriate for their business models) and making money off of it, and RMS hasn't forcefully added them to the GNU collective yet.

        • You're correct, you can use GPL stuff all you want without any worry, if all you do is use it (in it's original and unmodified form... oh, and don't statically link to it either... maybe...). But, Apple is trying to develop new products, and so has to have some sort of value add. That's where the problem comes in. To do that value add, you *must* modify the source. Now, if you want to get paid for that value you added through the traditional means of selling the software (a very reasonable expectation), you're out of luck. That's what I, and others, mean when they say "viral nature."

          Now, you cannot sell that new value that you've added. The GPL has "infected" (though I wouldn't use that term, it follows the "viral" metaphor) your new code. There's nothing wrong with that, that's the price you pay for basing your stuff on GPL software, but it's also viral in nature, and the reason why Apple was (more or less) forced to BSD (and the fact that Next used BSD stuff as well... which might be for the same reasons).

          Oh, and just to clarify that I do understand, you can sell your software, but the fact that you also have to give it away, under the GPL, sorta obviates the fact that you *can* charge for it.
    • This so-called GNU-Darwin is an adaptation of the BSD ports system. There's nothing GNU or GPL about that, nor does the name acknowledge the origins in any way. (In contrast, at least GNU/Linux is vaguely justifiable...)

      The very nomenclature is a fraud, and I think they deserve to die.

      (In passing, though, OS X does ship with the GNU toolchain, it's built with gcc. RMS has made it clear that that alone isn't enough to demand prefixing a GNU-- for example he doesn't demand calling FreeBSD GNU/FreeBSD. Clearly Realm & Co are bigger zealots than him.)

  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:52AM (#4922237) Homepage Journal
    For those who were wondering what the specific problems the GNU folks have with the APSL are, the GNU site lists their problems with the Apple License [gnu.org]
    • by Espen ( 96293 )
      Actually, the commentary on this GNU page is for all practical purposes irrelevant since it only properly addresses a version of the licence which has been superceeded. Apple made some significant changes to APSL to specifically address the reservations the open souce community had about their first attempt at an open source licence. I believe the authors of this comment need to rewrite it make it relevant to the current version of APSL, and if they don't, I suggest people stop referring to this out-dated material.
      • by solferino ( 100959 ) <hazchem.gmail@com> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @05:49PM (#4925932) Homepage
        Actually, the commentary on this GNU page is for all practical purposes irrelevant since it only properly addresses a version of the licence which has been superceeded. Apple made some significant changes to APSL to specifically address the reservations the open souce community had about their first attempt at an open source licence. I believe the authors of this comment need to rewrite it make it relevant to the current version of APSL, and if they don't, I suggest people stop referring to this out-dated material.

        the above post is complete FUD. The analysis offered on the gnu site is completely up-to-date. Here is the proof which is completely verifiable, as opposed to bald assertions which turn out to be untrue in the parent comment.

        Specifically :
        - latest version of the apsl is 1.2,
        according to apple's own site here, [apple.com]
        released on jan 4, 2001

        - gnu apsl anlysis page [gnu.org]last updated 2002/10/15
        (shown at bottom of page)
        which specifically addresses remaining problems
        with apsl 1.2 (the latest release)
        and while it still provides comment
        on the initial problems with the 1.0 release,
        this comment is clearly referenced
        as referring to an older release
        for which later releases corrected
        only some of the problems
        (and probably the gnu analysis page played a large
        role in having these problems fixed).

        so, in summary, please stop posting fud,
        and moderators please check a posters assertions
        before modding him or her up

    • by zanerock ( 218113 ) <{moc.procenaz} {ta} {enaz}> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:22AM (#4922392) Homepage
      GNU is free to have their opinion, and I agree that the "we can stop you from using your stuff at any time" is a little silly and makes software licensed under earlier versions of questionable value, but after 1.2, I don't see the big deal. So what if they require you to send back your changes? The fact that GNU is complaining about freedom to do what you want with software is both laughable and hipocritical. The GPL places severe restirictions on what I can and cannot do with my software by requiring me to provide source. I've got no problem with the fact that they require me to, nor would I have a problem with the fact that Apple requires me to send them changes. If I accept the license and use the software, that is the cost of doing so. They created the software and can put whatever license they please on it, that's their right.

      However, for the creators of one highly restrictive license to call foul on another is nothing less than pathetic. The APSL does not "disrespect privacy" any more than the GPL disrpespects freedom. Each is a license with a purpose.
      • I have significant problems with licenses that require you to send back any changes. Now if it were the more reasonable "post to ftp site .... the code for any changes that you publically release", that would be much different.

        Perhaps you are paraphrasing the license, but Borland actually stuck something like that in the Kylix license. You were legally required to maintain a site where all of your scratch work was publically available. As far as I could tell from reading the license, every single edit that you made was supposed to be permanently saved and publically available. STUPID. And quite costly and inconvenient, also. Now I never heard that they prosecuted anyone for not doing this (it would probably be quite difficult to prove), but it was in the license, so they COULD have. And that would cause me significant problems. Eventually I decided that I didnt' need the grief, and didn't use Kylix. So I definitly understand that another group might decide that some comparable set of restrictions was intolerable.

        Also, a license doesn't need to be intrinsically bad to be incompatible with another. One of the conditions of the GPL is that you can't add any more conditions, so it's possible that the APSL is incompatible without making any assertions about it's intrinsic "goodness".
      • More FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

        So what if they require you to send back your changes?

        Originally the GPL had that clause as well, but it was removed in order to preserve peoples sanity. It's a stupid clause. What if you make an experimental change that doesn't work? Do you have to send a useless patch to Apple? What about if you alter the indents to make it look neater in your opinion? They don't really care about that. What about changes that are site specific? The list goes on and on.

        The "viral" nature of the GPL is there to stop organisations forking it and then "taking over" the product by adding proprietary modifications that then may become popular, so effectively closing the source. If you never redistribute the code, that can't happen, so there's no need for it.

        I see so much FUD about the GPL, really pathetic FUD. Stuff like "the GPL takes away my freedoms". That's BS - it takes away your "freedom" insomuch as laws against murder take away your freedom to kill people. Absolute freedom to do whatever you like simply doesn't exist in reality, why should software licensing be any different.

        The GPL places severe restirictions on what I can and cannot do with my software by requiring me to provide source.

        No it doesn't. The GPL places some very easily satisfied conditions on you if you modify then redistribute those modifications to somebody elses code. You can use that software for whatever you like, you can modify it in any way you want, but if you want to give other people that software it must be licensed in the same way as it was originally. Big deal.

        • Re:More FUD (Score:3, Interesting)

          by zanerock ( 218113 )

          I never said that the GPL takes away my freedom. I merely state that there are restrictions on using GPL software. There is no question on that. I am perfectly free *not* to use GPL code, which I rarely do, to develop that is. Please try to respond to what I write.

          What I said is:

          The fact that GNU is complaining about freedom to do what you want with software is both laughable and hipocritical.

          And this is true. With GNU, I am not free to add value and then charge for that value. Technically, it is true, I can, but since I must also provide that value free of charge, the fact is sort of obviated. Yet this does not restrict my freedom, it just restircts me from using GPL software in my own development projects, which is how I earn a living. There are very clear and strong restrictions on what I can do with GPL software, and that is the hippocrisy, that they complain about restrictions on APSL software simple because those restrictions are incompatible with their own restrictions.

          I respect the GPL and what they are doing, and I understand what the GPL is about very well. As to whether the restrictions are "severe" or not, you seem to miss the point that it's all about context. In the context that I develop code and need to distribute it (and charge for my distribution) in order to survive, then the GPL is very restrictive indeed. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, they can be restrictive if they want, it's their license, but restrictive it is none-the-less.

  • Woops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ldspartan ( 14035 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:53AM (#4922241) Homepage
    Sounds like a project about to go down the tubes. Principles are nice, but when they get in the way of being an effective entity, it rapidly becomes prodigious to get rid of them rather than to cling to them. Any belief held too tightly can be harmful.

    --
    lds
  • by Krondor ( 306666 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:54AM (#4922245) Homepage
    "First, Apple continues the wall-of-silence with respect to their repugnant DMCA-based legal action, and there is no reason whatsoever for us to think that they will not undertake similar action in the future. It is regrettable that the DMCA was Apple-sponsored legislation, and it is now time for them to disavow it and promise never to employ it."

    I think it's about time for Apple's actions to catch up with them. Frankly, they've made a lot of people mad over the years and it's nice to see a project so politically active. I just hope it doesn't destroy the project in the long run.
    • by Eagle7 ( 111475 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:23AM (#4922397) Homepage
      I think it's about time for Apple's actions to catch up with them.

      How is this? What does Apple care with GNU-Darwin decides to shoot themselves in the foot? Apple releases a Darwin distro, and folks can use Fink to build it up to do useful stuff on thier Apple machines.

      The only folks this will hurt are those die-hard GNU-ites who use GNU-Darwin for political or philosophical reasons. Anyone who is more pragmatic about thier software will just migrate to an Apple Darwin distro and Fink, or come up with an OpenDarwin distro, and be fine.

      The GNU Darwin folks (and a lot the GNU folks) need to learn a little less from Stallman (follow your narrow principles singlemindedly wherever they lead) and a little more from Torvalds (be pragmatic and realistic about your circumstances to advance toward your goals). And don't ruffle your feathers and act "activist" over a software license. Be happy, write letters, but if you insist on being activist, do it for something that is going to really change the world and/or affect everyone - like human rights, free speach, privacy rights, or even the free flow of information (i.e. copyright, biological patents, etc). But really, concentrating all this energy and mindshare into the differences between some software licenses - geesh. There are more important battles to be fought folks - if you feel that this is that important, than fight for reasonable copyright and patent laws, fight for personal privacy and individual freedoms, fight for an open flow of information - and good software licensing will fallout from that. But worrying about the differences between Open and Free - it's really not that important in the grand scheme of things, what with the Patriot Act, DMCA, a religious political agenda being pushing (and succeding!) in our supposedly secular society, laws like NY's Rockafeller drug laws on the books - there really are bigger problems.
    • And I think it's about time that the open source community give credit where credit is due. Apple is one of the biggest commercial entities in the industry to have embraced large portions of your way of thinking to date. Five years ago we might have been discussing what Apple would have to do to earn some of that respect and it might have sounded something like "Yeah well, if they were to open source some of their OS, that would be cool..." and "it would rock if they used some of the open source software that's out there, participated in the development, and gave back to the community..."

      Well guess what? Here we are. And some folks still insist that Apple is on the "bad side" because they don't kill their entire business by adopting the GPL and bringing their revenues down to Redhat levels. Give me a fucking break.

      As far as Apple and the DMCA, the only time I can think that they did anything shitty there was to go after Other World Computing who was basically making a patch for iDVD allowing it to work with 3rd party DVD burners. The thing that most people never realized, however, was that the only people who would ever want to do such a thing were people who were ripping off the software. Think it through - the iDVD software was free when you bought Apple's DVD-burning Mac. It was not legally acquireable in any other way. Therefore, those who owned a legal license to use the software already had an Apple-branded DVD-burner.

      I cringe when I reflect that Apple's legal department used this crappy law to do anything, it's true. I think that was clearly a mistake and deserves to be widely criticized. But let's be clear - going after OWC in general was the right thing to do.

      There are two sides to this licensing issue. There is the GPL side in which commercial software is the devil and should eventually go extinct. Then there is the commercial software industry's position that open source is evil and will be the death not only of their business but of the software industry.

      Clearly both of these positions are wrong. In order for the industry to go forward someone has to develop means of getting along...and middle-roads to take. Apple is standing at that meeting point, taking risks, putting their money where their mouth is, giving to the community, getting something back... They may not get everything right, but jesus, give them a little credit and stop insisting that the militant open source dogma is the only acceptable way.
      • While I agree w/ the spirit of what was feldsteins said, I feel obliged to comment on one aspect:

        >the iDVD software was free when you bought Apple's
        >DVD-burning Mac. It was not legally acquireable in
        >any other way. Therefore, those who owned a legal
        >license to use the software already had an Apple-
        >branded DVD-burner.

        Apple has included iDVD with their Mac OS 9 system software on at least a few occasions including systems which do not have a DVD SuperDrive---we don't have any here at work, and yet I've got iDVD here on my hard drive.

        However, it does refuse to start up (the required hardware could not be found) or some such, so one can see that Apple's complaint had some merit (no altering their binary), but to say that there was no legal way to have that binary is IME incorrect.

        More proper would've been to've said there was no legal way to use it w/o an Apple-branded SuperDrive.

        William
      • As far as Apple and the DMCA, the only time I can think that they did anything shitty there was to go after Other World Computing who was basically making a patch for iDVD allowing it to work with 3rd party DVD burners.

        What about shutting down themes sites that have gel-like buttons or gray and white row patterns in menu backgrounds? Is Apple going to sick their lawyers on Slashdot next because the little friend/foe button is a blatent rip-off of OS X buttons?

        What about the Sorenson fiasco? For years, Apple has been telling the unix communities that they cannot release a binary-only codec to allow unix movie players to play Quicktime movies. The reason they claim for this decision is because they do not control the Sorenson codec, but rather Sorenson does. However, when Sorenson tries to sell the codec to Macromedia, Apple speaks up and claims exclusive rights to distribute the codec. So, Apple has exclusive rights to distribute the codec, but not when it comes to a market that won't bring them any profit?

        What about Apple's membership in the BSA? They're premier members, along with Adobe and Microsoft. These are the people that bring in federal marshalls to shut down businesses when ex-employees claim that a business is does not have enough licenses for the software they use.

        Apple is not a "nice" company - they'll shut down small companies and sick their lawyers on fans just as quickly as Microsoft. Apple, does, however, have a great PR department and Mac fanatics believe Apple can't do any wrong. Their support of the DMCA is just one example of how self-serving they are.

        I for one congratulate the GNU/Darwin folks on their decision. It may just make some Mac fanboys ask just how ethical their favorite multinational really is.

        • What about shutting down themes sites...the Sorenson fiasco...Apple's memberhip in the BSA...

          I confess that I wasn't aware that those were DMCA issues.

          Apple is not a "nice" company

          I totally agree. Companies are incapable of being nice. This is the nature of companies - they exist to maximize profit.

          Apple, does, however, have a great PR department and Mac fanatics believe Apple can't do any wrong. Their support of the DMCA is just one example of how self-serving they are.

          I really don't know where to start with that one. The fact that Apple's PR department is irrelevant? The fact that Mac fanatics are just as you describe - by definition - but what about the rest of us? Shall we discuss GNU-Linux "fanatics" and "fanboys" who are totally irrational and won't see the truth even if it is under their noses? Would that be equally fair and accurate? The fact that "self-serving" as a criticism for a company really doesn't go very far?

          While we're on the subject of how ethical Apple is, where is the outcry of support for Apple as they stand virtually alone resisting DRM? Surely the freedom-loving open source community is all over that, right? Perhaps I missed it. The criticism that people like myself are "fanatics who don't see the truth" is a dangerous one that can easily be turned back on the likes of the GNU-Linux community in spades. In the end, however, I think it gets us nowhere. Let's skip that part next time, shall we?
      • Nobody who supports the DMCA has any right to expect approval. That goes double for a company that uses it.

        By using the DMCA, Apple has disgraced itself. By supporting it, Apple has disgraced itself. I have to wonder about the ethics of anyone who defends such actions. I can imagine possible ameliorating circumstances. But there's a big gulf between imagining them and believing in them, and I've seen no justification.

        I don't care what worthwhile things Apple has done, using the DMCA is vile!

        Using BSD software does not justify or ameliorate the foulness of using the DMCA.

        The DMCA is a vile law, and any company that appeals to is should rightfully be disbanded immediately. Any congress person who voted for it or president who signed it should be convicted of treason for violation of their oath of office.

        Likewise any judge who upholds it.

        The legal system can make something a force in the land, but it cannot make it just.

  • Waste of time.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:58AM (#4922268) Journal
    I couldn't get to the MacSlash article but I have to question the motivations of these GPL people. They say that Apple doesn't seem to be properly embracing GPL. Well that was never apple's motivation! They have been using the BSD license, and they use it a lot!! They both employ prominent members of the BSD community and have given back to the community in code as well.

    I have to say I don't even understand the purpose of darwin-x86 myself. It seems like stupid factionalization again. If you want to run BSD and x86, run FreeBSD. If you want to run a secure server or a routing box, etc, go for OpenBSD. If you want to run on anything else, go for NetBSD. And if you want to run OSX...darwin! As it comes closer and closer into synch with FreeBSD, I just don't see the point.

    I quite frankly hope that the gnu-darwin project falls into oblivion.
    • Preemptive clarification of my message--I say "they use BSD a lot" and by this I mean that they have borrowed code from the community a lot as well as releasing some code back in BSD form. I personally think it's a _great_ thing that Apple is able to do this--it lets Apple really focus on what they're good at, user interface and experience, while letting unix tech-heads etc worry about the guts.

      Figured someone would criticize me on this point--I know they release their code in their own license.
    • Re:Waste of time.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Arandir ( 19206 )
      The GNU/Darwin folk have been off in their own little world for quite some time now.

      What's with their name? They aren't affiliated with GNU, the underlying OS is not GNU, and RMS never requested that they change the name.

      The GPL does not prohibit linkage to proprietary libraries if they are part of the system, not even in spirit. There is nothing that is comparable to the core OSX GUI toolkits, not even GNUstep, so there's no moral (in the GNU sense) rationale for forbidding their use.

      Imagine the OpenCD project banned software that linked to win32 or gdi. This is what GNU/Darwin has done. It's silly, spiteful and will ultimately harm only themselves.

      Go Fink and DarwinPorts!
  • by ACK!! ( 10229 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @09:59AM (#4922273) Journal
    it won't help their project much.

    Sure, they can't call the thing GNU if they keep all the proprietary stuff from the Cocoa angles in.

    Apple is NOT ready to go all open-source with their stuff so its an impasse.

    Can't really blame either side. The OSnews folks are plugging this in the commentaries as an example of closed-minded attitude of the GNU folks or either the greed of a silly corporation who has no clue.

    I think that is the wrong response. It had to happen if the Gnu/Darwin project was going to stay true to its ideals. Still, moving Apple to be open-minded to open-source ideas is like moving a mountain with a spoon. It is happening but very slowly. I have worked for too many corporations to just get all knee-jerk and blast them immediately. They act of moving such a huge thing in a new direction is a slow process at best.

    This is especially difficult when Apple is not really sure if it wants to change direction. On one hand it wants to open-source the tech or guts of the OS while at the same time protect its look and feel. It would be easier if Apple was totally sure of what it wanted.

    ________________________________________________ __
  • by scruggs_style ( 624106 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:04AM (#4922280)
    What, the slashdot crowd says that standing on pricipals, even if it's like kicking yourself in the nuts, is a bad idea? How strange...
  • I'll probably get modded or flamed into oblivion for this, but here goes anyway...

    Is this a worthy principled stand, or is it more like Kruschev banging his shoe in the UN?

    No, it's more like a child on the playground at recess sitting down and crying in the middle of a touch football game because the other boys wanted to play with different rules. And then going off to play his own game on the other side of the playground by himself.

    Maybe a bad analogy, but come on. From the statement on sourceforge, nothing in the situation has actually changed; it just seems like the project maintainers had been hoping that Apple would bow down and see the light, but it's been too long and they haven't. So we're taking our ball and going home.

    If the APSL is not free software compliant, why not say that in the first place instead of finding issue with it now? If Apple's "support" of the DMCA was disgraceful, why bring it up now rather than before starting the project? I mean, I'm sure the burgeoning legions of x86 Darwin users will support you, but at the cost of alienanting all the PPC users. Priorities.

    Donning nomex suit andd breathing mask; prepare for flaming in five, four, three, two.....
    • On the contrary, I think it's a pretty damn good analogy on a lot of fronts. Be pragmatic, enjoy the game, and try to convince folks of your view from inside. Or leave the game, play by yourself, get ignored, and never change a thing.
      • Or leave the game, play by yourself, get ignored, and never change a thing.

        Or, stay in the game, play with Apple, get ignored and never change a thing. At least if you leave you're not doing someone else's work for them for free.

        TWW

    • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @11:38AM (#4922873) Homepage Journal
      I'll probably get modded or flamed into oblivion for this, but here goes anyway...

      I've always felt that any post that starts with a line like that deserves to get modded into oblivion, just on principle. If you're going to say something you think will be controversial, just say it; don't spend time trying to impress us with how brave you are for speaking your mind.

      That being said, I agree completely with the rest of your post. ;)
  • The problems are (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:09AM (#4922300)

    Updates
    Apple first released an updated version, 1.1, of the APSL but it remained unacceptable. They changed the termination clause into a ``suspension'' clause, but it still had the same kind of bad effects.

    In January 2001, Apple released another version, ASPL 1.2. This version fixes two of the fatal flaws, but one still remains: any modified version "deployed" in an organization must be published. The APSL 1.2 has taken two large steps towards a free software license, but still has one more large step to take before it qualifies.

    Below, is the original commentary on the first version of the APSL, version 1.0.

    Original APSL Commentary
    After studying Apple's new source code license, the APSL, I have concluded that it falls short of being a free software license. It has three fatal flaws, any of which would be sufficient to make the software less than free.

    Disrespect for privacy
    The APSL does not allow you to make a modified version and use it for your own private purposes, without publishing your changes.

    Central control
    Anyone who releases (or even uses, other than for R&D) a modified version is required to notify one specific organization, which happens to be Apple.

    Possibility of revocation at any time
    The termination clause says that Apple can revoke this license, and forbid you to keep using all or some part of the software, any time someone makes an accusation of patent or copyright infringement.
    In this way, if Apple declines to fight a questionable patent (or one whose applicability to the code at hand is questionable), you will not be able to have your own day in court to fight it, because you would have to fight Apple's copyright as well.

    Such a termination clause is especially bad for users outside the US, since it makes them indirectly vulnerable to the insane US patent system and the incompetent US patent office, which ordinarily could not touch them in their own countries.

    Any one of these flaws makes a license unacceptable.

    If these three flaws were solved, the APSL would be a free software license with three major practical problems, reminiscent of the NPL:

    It is not a true copyleft, because it allows linking with other files which may be entirely proprietary.
    It is unfair, since it requires you to give Apple rights to your changes which Apple will not give you for its code.
    It is incompatible with the GPL.
    Of course, the major difference between the NPL and the APSL is that the NPL *is* a free software license. These problems are significant in the case of the NPL because the NPL has no fatal flaws. Would that the same were true of the APSL.

    At a fundamental level, the APSL makes a claim that, if it became accepted, would stretch copyright powers in a dangerous way: it claims to be able to set conditions for simply *running* the software. As I understand it, copyright law in the US does not permit this, except when encryption or a license manager is used to enforce the conditions. It would be terribly ironic if a failed attempt at making a free software license resulted in an extension of the effective range of copyright power.

    Aside from this, we must remember that only part of MacOS is being released under the APSL. Even if the fatal flaws and practical problems of the APSL were fixed, even if it were changed into a very good free software license, that would do no good for the other parts of MacOS whose source code is not being released at all. We must not judge all of a company by just part of what they do.

    Overall, I think that Apple's action is an example of the effects of the year-old "open source" movement: of its plan to appeal to business with the purely materialistic goal of faster development, while putting aside the deeper issues of freedom, community, cooperation, and what kind of society we want to live in.

    Apple has grasped perfectly the concept with which "open source" is promoted, which is "show users the source and they will help you fix bugs". What Apple has not grasped--or has dismissed--is the spirit of free software, which is that we form a community to cooperate on the commons of software.
  • Could someone explain why the GNU-Darwin people think Apple will care what they do? I'm not against the protest per-se, in fact I think they're protesting some valid issues. But really, why would Apple pay any notice?

    It's great to see people trying to hold companies to account for their actions. This is a bit silly though because they run the risk of becoming irrelevant by not supporting PPC and not including certain packages.

    If this is good for anyone, it's the folks at Fink.
    • I thought its because the darwin people were developing what was the guts of OSX (I will admint I know lillte about that system).
      • That's the Darwin Project, they use the BSD License.

        GNU-Darwin is a GNU-Based ports clone, similar to the much supeprior (It's usable) Fink. This one is known to massively break your system (It replaced BSD binaries with GNU binaries, doesn't do any kind of check to see if the binaries are legit, copies the old ones to /tmp where they will be deleted after 7 days, and breaks gcc's Cocoa and Objective-C compatibility.

        These guys are idiots and fanatics and not even any good at what they're doing (See Fink, which actually doesn't break your system when it installs)

  • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:10AM (#4922313)
    People who actually use computers are done a great disservice by this kind of petty political bickering. It's the open source equivalent of Microsoft's marketing gimmicks: Just noise that wastes my time.

    Some developers appear to be so isolated from the real world of computing that they are convinced that users care about all this trumped up ideological puffery about licensing. As a current Apple user (and a former Linux user), I don't care. What I want is better, more innovative software. Yapping about licensing schemes doesn't get me better software, proprietary or free. These developers should stop pretending to be lawyers and start developing.
    • What I want is better, more innovative software. Yapping about licensing schemes doesn't get me better software, proprietary or free. These developers should stop pretending to be lawyers and start developing.

      Your concern for the principles we software developers hold dear is just so moving. I can't wait to spend 10,000 man hours developing innovative software for appreciative people like you. Why can't every user be this compassionate?

  • For real fun... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pathwalker ( 103 ) <hotgrits@yourpants.net> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:10AM (#4922315) Homepage Journal
    Look at the installer [gnu-darwin.org].

    First they want you to run it by doing curl http://gnu-darwin.sourceforge.net/one_stop | csh as root, allowing them to run whatever they want as root on your machine.

    Next, it downloads a bunch of GNU utilities (wget, killall, tar, and a couple of others) and replaces the standard system utilities with them, without checking checksums, or providing an easy way to back out the changes if something goes wrong ( some - but not all - are copied to /tmp before they are overwritten).

    Then, these unchecked progams, are run as root, to download the rest of the packages. I see no attempt to verify that anything was downloaded correctly, let alone compromised.

    You would think they could have at least used md5 or even cksum to try to make sure that they are downloading what they think they are downloading, or back up the system files they overwrite to some place besides /tmp...
    • Re:For real fun... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Does it really replace them or install them somewhere else? Fink shoves everything into a /sw/ folder so it won't overwrite anything. It won't even be picked up by the system by accident since you must explicitly set paths by sourcing a shell script in your .profile to set it up.


      It still requires you run sudo to install it however, though presumably you might be able to make it install with lesser privileges if you did some chown ground work on /sw first.

    • First they want you to run it by doing curl http://gnu-darwin.sourceforge.net/one_stop | csh as root

      Far more offensive to me is that they use csh [faqs.org] as a scripting language. This is absolutely unacceptable.

  • GPL? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 )
    Like other posters have noted before, Darwin/Mac OS X is actually based on BSD-licensed software, not GPL-licensed software. If you want Linux on PPC, there are other alternatives [yellowdoglinux.com].

    However, that kind of problems only points at a much greater problem. Namely, the fact that a commercial entity (Apple) is heavily using open source in their latest software offering, even though their behaviour clearly indicates they are not interested in the philosophy of open source.

    Finally, honestly, what's the point of Darwin only on x86? If I want BSD-style operating system on Intel x86, I'll use FreeBSD [freebsd.org], or one of the other [netbsd.org] two [openbsd.org], not some sort of bastardized version, which does not offer the reliability, security, or portability for which the other versions are well-known.
    • Re:GPL? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:17AM (#4922357)
      commercial entity (Apple) is heavily using open source in their latest software offering, even though their behaviour clearly indicates they are not interested in the philosophy of open source.

      I am sorry, but I have no sympathy for this sort of political posture. If you want to maintain control of your software and how it is used, why are you using the BSD license? The BSD license allows anyone to use the code you release with very minimal restrictions. If you don't want it used freely like this, then don't use this license.

      • If you don't want it used freely like this, then don't use this license.

        It's not a question of license. As far as I am concerned, it's a question of attitude.

        It's one thing to use BSD-licensed software and contribute back to the community (code, support, hardware, whatever). It's quite another thing to use BSD-licensed code and try to actively stifle innovation by supporting the DMCA and using a license (APSL) which is incompatible with most open source projetcs out there. Read what the Darwin maintainer had to say [sourceforge.net] before accusing me of political posturing.

        I don't think even Microsoft, who has openly admitted using BSD code in Windows -- TCP/IP stack, for instance, has stooped so low.

        I never really liked Apple OS X before (too much eye candy). Now, I have an even better reason to stick to Linux or true-blood BSDs. If Apple supports the DMCA, as far as I am concerned, they are not a friend of open source. If Microsoft supports Palladium, as far as I am concerned, they are not a friend of open source/GPL/BSD operating systems.

        I think I'll go and put on that asbestos suit now... ;-)
  • What a silly policy!


    Oh well, Fink is an extremely good set of Unix tools as I can say from personal experience. It is recommended for building Mozilla too.

  • I can understand them having gripes with Apple, I can understand them moving away from proprietary libraries, although in both cases, I do not agree (me being an OS X user myself). But moving away from the PPC platform for these reasons is rather childish.
    • But moving away from the PPC platform for these reasons is rather childish.

      I think that Apple owns quite a few of software side pattents for the PPC platform. It is not "open source" hardware like the x86 chips. In the early days of computers IBM made a descision to allow anyone to build hardware or program software for their computers. This gave them a much smaller slice of a huge pie instead of a big slice of a small pie. Apple opted for a small slice of a big pie by keeping their hardware and software propriatary. As late as 1997 to write "official" software for a Mac you had to send Apple money.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Surely they knew from the very beginning that Apple had no interest in the GPL or free software licensing. That they should be shocked to discover this now sounds like they were utterly and unbelievably oblivious, and this sounds impossible to accept.

    I suppose maybe they hoped and believed they could "change" Apple by having a GPL/GNU centered distribution of Darwin. If so, that is amazingly nieve. Apple is a company that listens only to it's own evangalism, which is why it remains a minor player where new ideas are created so they can be stolen and marketed more effectivily by others who care less.

    But Apple is also burdened by it's own cult mentality, where they know they can even sell customers crap, and they will continue to buy. So Apple is a small closed market all unto itself, a baby monopoly if you will, and certainly has no interest in outside views of what it should or should not do, or how it should or should not license.

    So what was even the point of GNU Darwin then? I never understood it. It seemed like tilting at windmills at best. Darwin itself is just a BSD licensed kernel, based a bit on older xBSD kernels and some mach stuff, if I recall correctly. And if there is a desire to have a GNU/BSD distribution, why not start out from a current FreeBSD or NetBSD kernel and wrap a complete "GNU" distribution around that? (Debian GNU/BSD anyone?). At least that I could understand the point of...

  • Apple is like... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HBI ( 604924 )
    It seems this company just never can let things get too good for them. At some point, they screw up everything, and i'm not talking recently, but historically, back even to the early 80's with the massive marketing blunders with the Apple II series.

    Why did they even make Darwin open-source? I note M$ uses BSD TCP/IP code and that sure isn't open source. This seems like just bad publicity that they don't need. And what did it buy them, ever?

    Why not use the BSD license for the small number of basic components that are APSL? I mean, who gives a crap - not like they are handing out the Finder or something.

    Why not just use NeXT code rather than BSD? They had a full Unix behind them. Why mess with open source at all?

    If you are going to choose an open-source Un*x, why not choose the most popular one (Linux)? Then you build in gobs of application support.

    They have a wonderful customer base, who will stick to them through thick and thin. They have decent technology at times. Yet, for all this, at the times of their greatest success, they seem to have this weird hubris that causes them to make idiotic business decisions that poison the very landslide of acceptance they seemingly deserve.
    Forever a niche player.

    This is just a tiny example of same. I feel sorry for people who are enamoured of Apple. I really do. Kind of like being a Red Sox fan or something.
    • Apple definitely needs to improve their efforts with their OS<=9 users, but I think they have been making some smart moves with their OS X strategy.

      Think about Apple's position - they needed a new OS that was stable and user friendly. World + dog knew that they were working on a system with a Unix core (via NeXT), so they couldn't very well pretend it wasn't true, although classic Mac users would be very turned off by a "geeky UNIX machine".

      At the same time, Apple is a shrinking company; it's been laying off engineers, and research is minimal. Sales are crap, but improving thanks to the iMac. By opening up at least part of the OS and adopting more and more open source code and open standards, they save engineering time ($), and potentially benefit from a large pool of talent who want open source as a philosophy to work.

      Don't minimize the huge sea-change that Apple made by embracing open standards. They were known for years for creating their own (sometimes superior but seldom embraced) protocols. Now, they're working with the community on those issues, and everyone is benefitting (Firewire, Zero-conf networking).

      So, Apple plays up the UNIX angle, it's part of the promotion: "easiest to use UNIX ever". What does that get them? The ear of current Mac users, plus linux and bsd geeks who have been griping about the *nix desktop forever.

      It's working too. Look at the people who work for Apple now. Look at O'Reilly gushing over OS X.

      Why not use NeXT code? They are. Why not Linux? It's frankly a mess of inconsistency. Plus, as Fink proves, the vast majority of Linux apps are a recompile away.

      I think Apple is playing a very smart long-term strategy. They're working on mindshare, getting the geeks and college students excited. They're staying out of the devil's bargain that Microsoft is making with the record and movie companies, and smart computer users respect that.

      Hopefully for Apple, this will all lead to new software and more users, and potentially, a foot in the door when those new geeks start getting jobs.

      I'm happy to be an Apple fan, but it's more like being a Packers fan. They don't generally win, but here's the thing; sometimes they do. And, they're innovators too (only community-owned team in the NFL).
  • What the hell does this mean?

    Second, APSL is languishing, and it is unacceptable to the free software community. It is now time for an APSL revision, which brings the license in line with the free software definition in accordance with the expectations of GNU Project.

    Since when did GNU define what "free software" is? I don't mind GNU, and I respect their goals, but certainly BSD and Apache software is far more free than GPL. GPL is highly restrictive. They have their social and political goals, which are well and good, but why is it that they expect everyone to agree or support them?

    I really don't see any difference between this and myself whining the GM and MicroSoft don't support my personal political views or send my their source code for free, because I want them too. In my opinion, it's arrogant, petulant crap that this that tarnishes OSS more than anytihng else.

  • The sad thing here is that what's being lost in all this sturm und drang is that Mac OS X is seriously set back by this.

    The Apple installer uses Pax instead of gnutar, and will blow away a link posing as a directory (so you can't mount an extra hard drive w/ full control / convenience).

    http://www.osxgnu.org/ uses it (with extensions) though.

    Fink puts everything in /sw, and so has a hard time playing nicely w/ tools which expect things to be in normal places. Apple didn't help this by using Wilfredo Sanchez's path preferences instead of a more normative default.

    Gerben Wierda has a nice i-installer, but it's mostly used by the TeX community and has a limited number of packages available for it (and of course if one wants up-dates of classes, one must install them oneself using tex docstrip foo.ins or some such)

    Oh for the halcyon days of NeXT when everything came in a .pkg, stored itselsf in /NextLibrary/receipts and it ``just worked''.

    William
  • ...they have a deeply principled development program of little use to anyone. Great: another flavor of Unix. Next?

  • This group starts a project, based on Apple's Darwin, which is released under a particular license. Then this group has problems with that license, so they suspend the project, and raise hell and high water while doing so ?

    Is that what's going on ? If so, who the hell is running that particular ship ? Was that manifesto penned by Stallman ? Why even *get involved* with a project with a license they find philosophically unpalatable in the first place ? Is it because he figures to get a bigger podium and more press by attacking a big company rather than some obscure GPL-violators ?

  • This won't put any effective pressure on Apple; I'm pretty sure they
    don't even care that Gnu-Darwin exists. What it will do is make
    life painful for normal users and reduce the amount of positive
    exposure some people get to open software. Gnu-Darwin is the
    equivalent for the Apple platform of Cygwin on the Windows side.
    Dropping it is like saying "you can't use our free software unless
    you switch operating systems". Huh? I thought it was free?

    Now, if Gnu-Darwin was relying on some libraries that weren't
    properly license-compatible, then that needed to be fixed... but
    _dropping_ Gnu-Darwin entirely isn't the way to do that. They
    could have temporarily pulled it, if they'd announced it in a
    way that said, basically, "we goofed and are fixing the problem,
    it was a licensing issue; we were linking against something that
    isn't license-compatible", but trying to blame this on Apple is
    like blaming the weather for making you cold when you forgot to
    wear a coat.
  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:40AM (#4922498) Homepage Journal
    Lots of people are posting comments here wondering why anyone would use a Darwin system and not just regular BSD.

    I've been up all night doing some Mac OS X device programming. Entirely from userspace code, using the gdb-based ProjectBuilder GUI debugger to debug it. No lockups and no rebooting (although that can happen by programming the IOKit. But it's less common than with kernel space programming.)

    It is quite nice.

    You can write device drivers for OS X, but you often don't need to, there are interfaces exported to userspace to allow you to do a lot of stuff.

    The userspace interface for OS X' IOKit is based on (ducking) Microsoft COM. I've never heard much that's real positive about COM, but the way it's used here seems to make sense, in that you can instantiate C++ objects that talk to the kernel.

    That is, the user code access to the kernel is largely done through C++ class interfaces. There are a few file-based hardware interfaces like in traditional Unix. I think that's mostly for compatibility with legacy code, and you still have to use the IOKit to obtain a file descriptor, rather than opening a file by giving its pathname.

    While the kernel is indeed a BSD-derivative on top of Mach, the driver architecture has been completely replaced. In its place is a system of "kernel extensions" whose code is written in C++.

    If you want to write a driver that extends an existing driver in some way, you subclass the existing one and add your specialization in the subclass.

    Let's see if I can find you some documentation on this...

    I think the IOKit driver architecture is a signficant advance over the driver architecture employed by any traditional Unix or Linux kernel. May I timidly suggest that some of them would do well to adopt it.

    Of course there is the question of license compatibility between the BSD or GPL and APSL. But you could adopt the architecture by rewriting the code, rather than adopting the actual Darwin source code.

    Of course, most Linux hackers aren't into programming C++.

  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:43AM (#4922527)
    Overall, I think that Apple's action is an example of the effects of the year-old "open source" movement: of its plan to appeal to business with the purely materialistic goal of faster development, while putting aside the deeper issues of freedom, community, cooperation, and what kind of society we want to live in.

    This passage made me sick. The notion that any "movement" that is not compatible with FSF philosophies necessarily puts "aside the deeper issues" is so self-important and self-righteous, even coming from Stallman's mouthpiece. Sorry, there are plenty of people who have considered the issue who do NOT feel that our society must engender all the rules and restrictions that you would have placed on us. The FSF's world-view is not the only considered one. Many people who adopt non-"free" (as defined by FSF gospel) licenses do so after careful consideration of all the issues and deciding that non-"free" licenses more closely reflect the world *they* want to live in. Who the hell is the FSF to decide ? Keep your self-righteous ramblings to issues like GPL violations ...
  • I've not followed them much since i dont have a PPC and use FBSD on intel, but without out those 'features' ( and going to i386 only ) is it really much different then FBSD at this point?

    Wouldn't it be more productive use of their time and energy by putting it into something that is more established?

    Why do so many OSS teams keep reinventing the wheel, instead of helping paint the ones we have now?

  • The license issue is only one half of the story.
    First, Apple continues the wall-of-silence with respect to their repugnant DMCA-based legal action, and there is no reason whatsoever for us to think that they will not undertake similar action in the future. It is regrettable that the DMCA was Apple-sponsored legislation, and it is now time for them to disavow it and promise never to employ it.
    C'MON! We sit around and post all day about how evil the DMCA is and when someone has the balls to do something about it we call them stupid?

    Companies don't do open source because of their love of freedom or anything. They do it because it saves them money. Many eyes ... you know it. And we have a right to ask for something in return.

    Coming back to the license issue: It's not about Apple not releasing under the GPL. The point is that the APSL is not an acceptable free software license. [gnu.org]. Where did everyone get the idea from that they're asking for Apple to adopt the GPL???

    Look at it in another way. How do you feel about M$ taking all the networking layer code from BSD? OSS brings a lot of benefits to companies, but they also have some responsibilities if they want to have a useful symbiosis with the free software community. And it is our duty to remind them of this responsibility.

  • by jakobgrimstveit ( 556576 ) <jakob.grimstveit@gmail.com> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:54AM (#4922612) Homepage

    clarifications anyone?
    by proclus on Wednesday December 18, @07:05PM EST

    Sorry, I just couldn't let the story to out this way, because truth is important to me.

    All machines that are currently supported will continue to be supported in their current configurations, so we are not pulling out the rug as it were. The situation could be better than this, but the ball is now in Apple's court. I will say that Apple has been moving in the right direction with respect to these issues over the past few years. If projects like ours can stay engaged with them, there may be a chance. It is not easy, and may be overly optimistic, but there it is. I'd like to give some time for Apple to respond.

    The main source for the Apple/DMCA story is at the following link, although it has been covered extensively on the web as an 'Apple DMCA' googlesearch will reveal.

    http://news.com.com/2100-1023-955805.html [com.com]

    Based on my experience with the Adobe boycott and other anti-DMCA activism, I consider Declan as a trusted source. Here are some good stories about the impact of the DMCA in general and on Apple users.

    http://www.tidbits.com/tb-issues/TidBITS-656.html# lnk3 [tidbits.com]
    http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=06901 [tidbits.com]

    As for the APSL, this has been a long standing issue with the Distribution, which dates back to the founding.

    http://newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=00/12/01/20282 54&mode=thread [newsforge.com]

    Darwin is not free software, because the APSL is not consistent with the free software definition. For more information, check GNU Project.

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/apsl.html [gnu.org]

    You may know Yves@gnu-darwin.org, who is a OSXFaq.com editorial contributor. His most recent installment is highly germain.

    http://www.osxfaq.com/Editorial/open/index4.ws [osxfaq.com]

    Until Darwin is freed, activists such as myself will be leading users away from it instead of toward it. This antagonism towards Apple in the free software community has been aggravated by the DMCA fiasco. For example, Slashdot coverage of Apple has soured considerably since that time. We added the caveat to our Darwin distribution CD's soon after that (see grey box).

    http://www.gnu-darwin.org/order.shtml [gnu-darwin.org]

    Clearly it is in Apple's best interest to repudiate the DMCA, to remove the onerous anti-privacy clause from the APSL, and to meet the standards of GNU Project, so that users can have a truly free OS, and so that activists can support Darwin instead of undermining it.

    The message for users is to educate yourself about software freedom. In this world of economic contraction, the DMCA, RIAA, and the patriot act, that might take some effort, but it will be worthwhile in the event that free software becomes more difficult to maintain. Here is the starting point.

    http://www.gnu.org [gnu.org]

    Regards,
    proclus
    http://www.gnu-darwin.org/ [gnu-darwin.org]

    • by TellarHK ( 159748 ) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {khrallet}> on Thursday December 19, 2002 @12:06PM (#4923128) Homepage Journal
      Until Darwin is freed, activists such as myself will be leading users away from it instead of toward it. This antagonism towards Apple in the free software community has been aggravated by the DMCA fiasco. For example, Slashdot coverage of Apple has soured considerably since that time. We added the caveat to our Darwin distribution CD's soon after that (see grey box).

      Until Darwin is freed? Are you confusing the OS with the dolphin from that lame SeaQuest show? Guy. Here's a clue (take two, they're small): Apple made Darwin as free as they apparently could and still survive. Granted, I sometimes wish Apple would do more, and maybe they can, but calling yourself an activist and taking a pretty weak stab like this at them is not going to help anyone. At all. Ever.

      If Apple changes their stance on the DMCA, or opens more source, you can have your little self-congratulatory wankfest, but you won't have influenced them one little bit. People that run Mac oriented news sites, and people that write for Mac oriented magazines and other publications are the people that have a chance to be noticed. Mac owners aren't blind to these things as much as some zealots like to keep claiming, but they did make the decision they just don't care that much. Make them care without being a whiner and doing something stupid like this.

      Clearly it is in Apple's best interest to repudiate the DMCA, to remove the onerous anti-privacy clause from the APSL, and to meet the standards of GNU Project, so that users can have a truly free OS, and so that activists can support Darwin instead of undermining it.

      You've got your "truly free OS", the HURD. (Hah!) Go play with it and leave Darwin alone if you're a zealot, which is plainly obvious here.

      Now pardon me while I go check my smoke alarm batteries. I think it's getting rather warm in this thread.
  • ..... is what happens when you don't keep pedantic technological politics separated from the technology itself. Now GNU-Darwin will creep further into irrelevance thus strengthening the position of the Fink project.
  • by Tsk ( 2863 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @10:57AM (#4922634) Homepage Journal
    Gnu darwin packages some GNU software around the APSL licenced darwin OS from Apple. So really the benefits of GNU darwin is helping software mainainers to have their code compile straight out of the box on darwin and thus MacOSX.
    OTOH you need to be aware of fink [sf.net] which brings the same kind of software to macosX and thus darwin.
    Then you also have darwinports [opendarwin.org] bringing to darwin the same has gnu darwin.
    Gnu darwin will now only port x86 making the port "just" a little easier then the PPC one which involves endianess issue and other tricky stuff.
    If developers are interested in darwin they should stick with the main developers of the OS (Apple), hence with PPC so interested party should join darwinports instead of Gnu darwin.
  • by NDPTAL85 ( 260093 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @11:02AM (#4922661)
    This comment comes from an AC over at MacSlash. Its hilarious:

    " It's called "grandstanding," and it's one of the few actual skills the GNU bozos have. Their skills aren't in software -- they have yet to create a single program that anyone outside the nerd clique wants to use. They literally can't give their stuff away."
    • Except, for, oh... Apple's C compiler?
    • by tim_maroney ( 239442 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @12:48PM (#4923512) Homepage
      It's called "grandstanding," and it's one of the few actual skills the GNU bozos have. Their skills aren't in software -- they have yet to create a single program that anyone outside the nerd clique wants to use. They literally can't give their stuff away.

      That was one of my comments. See if you can spot the others, and win valuable prizes!

      Just as on MacSlash, somehow various people on /. failed to read or grasp the critical phrase "outside the nerd clique," citing supposed counterexamples that in fact are very much nerd-targeted, and completely unrelated to the desires or requirements of ordinary people.

      Even for nerd-targeted software, GNU hasn't done well. They laboriously cloned a bunch of programs that were mostly written by a handful of actual innovators on PDP-11's a quarter-century ago. Big whoop.

      The only original, which is to say non-cloned, programs from GNU that even nerds use in any significant numbers are autoconf and emacs -- gcc is a cc clone, but way behind commercial compilers in compilation speed and code quality. Autoconf is boring and trivial, while emacs is perhaps the most nightmarish and misbegotten program ever written. Other non-cloned GNU programs have sunk with few ripples for the most part. Not a stunning track record for the "vanguard of innovation and freedom." I have high standards for software, and I don't have much respect for this crowd of cloners and crap artists.
  • Whatever (Score:2, Troll)

    by g4dget ( 579145 )
    I have two Macintoshes. They are nice consumer devices, look sleek, and work pretty well most of the time. I recommend them to friends and family who want a decent personal computer that's a little easier to use than Windows. And the fact that they come with partial support for UNIX APIs makes them easier to deal with than Windows.

    I do appreciate Apple trying to cooperate with the free software community to some extent. But, frankly, I don't expect too much from it. I think there is really not all that much Apple has to offer, and most of the things that Apple has opened up were really forced by licenses or business realities (e.g., gcc was forced by the license, Rendezvous and QuickTime were forced by business considerations).

    Overall, I think it just doesn't matter much what Apple does, either technically or in terms of their business. I don't see Apple winning in a big way: they can't take away much market share from Windows, and, based on my experience with them, I think they are not a major competitor for UNIX or Linux workstations or servers either. Apple doesn't have the power to fight the DMCA or DRM. And technically, I think Darwin and Cocoa are dead ends for practical purposes and it really doesn't matter whether people clone them (GNU Darwin and GNUStep). Open source developers should emulate Macintosh style and simplicity in their; copying lots of low-level nuts and bolts is neither necessary nor sufficient for that.

    So, basically, I gave up getting particularly pushed out of shape about Apple or open-source OS X-related projects either way--there just isn't any point to it.

  • by watchful.babbler ( 621535 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @11:12AM (#4922734) Homepage Journal
    Is section 2.2(c) of the APSL:
    You must make Source Code of all Your Deployed Modifications publicly available under the terms of this License * * * for as long as you Deploy the Covered Code or twelve (12) months from the date of initial Deployment, whichever is longer. You should preferably distribute the Source Code of Your Deployed Modifications electronically (e.g. download from a web site)
    So, basically, their beef is that any derivative version "deployed" ("to use, sublicense or distribute Covered Code other than for Your internal research and development (R&D) and/or Personal Use") has to have its code placed back into public view for public consumption. Yet Proclus (the GNU-Darwin maintainer) also maintains that "I find ... secrecy to be ... distasteful and wrong" when it comes to Apple's software. So, there seems to be a fundamental disconnect: Proclus wants Apple to lift the kilt on all its software, but give other people the right to keep their modifications to Apple's work secret.

    When several people pointed out this problem in his argument, Proclus defended his position by saying, "Consenting adults should be permitted to modify and copy software in privacy," which is an effective soundbite, but no more than a shibboleth; Proclus doesn't explain why this is such a critical public policy issue, and, judging from his replies, I don't think he can. We're not talking about an invasion of the bedroom -- this is a business contract for the use of specific software. If he doesn't like the license, he doesn't have to use the software, but it's tedious to have to listen to someone who insists on turning what is a contracts dispute into an ideological war.

  • Yes, it's time to teach Apple a lesson.

    Let's remove all the unique/useful components of the GNU/Darwin distribution.

    Let's remove any motivation for Apple's customers to have any interest in using or touching GNU/Darwin.

    Let's abandon PPC and remove any motivation for PPC-owners to keep an eye on GNU/Darwin.

    Let's proclaim in ideological rage that GNU/Darwin will abandon its ties to propietary evilness and be reborn as Yet-Another-BSD-on-x86 with Yet-Another-Kernel.

    Surely it makes sense for GNU/Darwin to compete with FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, etc on the same old platform with practically no distinguishing factor or even aim. It's not like that would be redundant.

    Surely Apple will see the light after their customers collectively blink and go on with their lives.

    That will teach them.
  • I don't own or run a MAC OS X, but my impression is that if GNU-Darwin moves to the x86 platform they become simple a FreeBSD distro with a MAC OS X desktop theme riding on an xwindow server.


    Am I wrong? Does GNU-Darwin offer the x86 something more than just a MAC desktop theme?

  • by pgpckt ( 312866 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @11:34AM (#4922843) Homepage Journal
    or is it more like Kruschev banging his shoe in the UN

    For those of you who might not be familar with why a person would do this, I thought I should point out that this is from the bible. A person bangs off their shoes to condemn a place.

    Luke 9:5

    "If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them."

    Luke 10:10-12

    "But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. "

    Acts 13:50-51

    "But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium."

    So you can see that banging your shoes off is quite a big deal in a bibical Just a little background info.

  • Back to Basics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Thursday December 19, 2002 @05:03PM (#4925506)
    Let's see - the original manifesto reads like this:

    * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

    - Yep. You can do this and still have Apple technologies (Cocoa, Carbon, Core Audio) handle the grunt work they were designed for. Pretty good compromise to attach all these ease-of-use goodies to your main event...

    * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    - Yep also. Unless you need to have the control boxes mauve, puce and burnt sienna instead of red, yellow, and green. Or you need to reconfigure MIDI so that all the white keys are black. But really, how often does such low-level tinkering drive an app? This smacks of kids who play with the fonts instead of writing their paper...

    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

    - Absolutely. Linking to core services doesn't stop this in the least.

    * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    - Again - no problem. Gets done every day.

    This amounts to shoe banging.

    As I said over on MacSlash, GNU's Not Unix, and It Ain't Intuit, Either. This sort of behavior will not get a doorstop-style, Jehovah's Wittness visit from Steve. Alienating the platform in question will not get anyone to open-source the proprietary technologies that they get to make money on.

    Don't hand out recipes and then punish me because I need to Cuisinart to make it happen at my house.

    Here's what yiour actions predict: Apple will continue with certain core technologies, make money to buy bananas, maybe never invoke the DCMA again for anything, do quite well in either case, and you guys will be the backwater of open source software for a darn good platform.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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