Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th May 2011 22:13 UTC
Apple We've had an immense hubbub about the delay in the source code release of Honeycomb, which led to a storm of critique being sent Google's way. Turns out there's another company withholding source code, and this time it's Apple. They have stopped releasing the LGPL source code for WebKit in iOS since iOS 4.3.0, released about 8 weeks ago. Turns out - this isn't the first time Apple has refused to release (L)GPL'd code. It took them six months to release the required GPL source code for iOS 4.1.
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It is NOT just as bad, it is worse
by kragil on Fri 6th May 2011 23:17 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

If you ship LGPLed stuff you HAVE TO provide source code. That is what the license says, otherwise you are in VIOLATION and can be SUED.
If you ship Apache code, you CAN provide source code, otherwise you are just a little bit evil and hypocritcal in some peoples eyes, but they can't do shit about it.

Reply Score: 8

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Totally agree

Reply Score: 2

pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

If you ship LGPLed stuff you HAVE TO provide source code.


It's probably worth pointing out that you only HAVE TO provide it if someone requests it. You don't have to make it publically available on your Web Site or anything. But if someone writes you a letter or something, asking for it, you have to give it to them. And of course, you can't stop the person you gave it to from publically publishing it on a Web Site.

Reply Score: 4

WJMoore Member since:
2006-07-27

> this isn't the first time Apple has refused to release (L)GPL'd code

As noted above you don't have to publish the code, just make it available upon request.

Has any one actually made a request for the code and been refused? Like all Apple storm in a teacup issues this will no doubt be rectified at some point and everyone can stop panicking.

Reply Score: 1

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

People asked for it, but Apple refused. They just didn't get sued yet.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

As mentioned in another post this is a storm in a teacup - no more than Thom trying to muddy the waters.


As always, ignoring the big picture, focussing on the little things you can somewhat refute. What about the six month delay in the iOS 4.1 code? What about Xcode 2.5's GPL code never being released at all?

Apple fanatics and double standards - like horse and carriage.

Edited 2011-05-07 13:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

testman Member since:
2007-10-15

Stop feeding the troll.

Reply Score: 2

kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

[q] What about the six month delay in the iOS 4.1 code? What about Xcode 2.5's GPL code never being released at all?

Apple fanatics and double standards - like horse and carriage.


Thom, you are really funny sometimes (or every time when you talk about Apple...) ;)




Edited 2011-05-07 14:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Here is the status on WebCore/JavascriptCore [the only BSD/LGPL parts of WebKit]

http://www.opensource.apple.com/release/ios-43/


How's WebCore-955.66 (coming soon!) under LGPL anything but a violation? If you distribute the object code without offering the source you loose the right to use and distribute the code(LGPL is revoked).

Reply Score: 1

testman Member since:
2007-10-15

So who asked and why was it refused?

Reply Score: 3

testman Member since:
2007-10-15

People asked for it, but Apple refused. They just didn't get sued yet.

"So who asked and why was it refused?

"
I'm guessing then that the answer is, nobody did. Your rant has about as much substance and truth as, "Linux stole Microsoft's code".

But hey, unsubstantiated rants are du jour in these parts, aren't they? ;-)

Reply Score: 2

somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

apple screwing with OSS rules again?

next... movie at 11

it is bigger news to see people who believe in apple being anything OSS friendly didn't go dodo way and extinct

Reply Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Yep.

There are still some people that think of good and bad corporations.

Microsoft, Apple, Google, Intel are on the game for the money. Their affiliation with opensource is only done when it brings them more money.

Or do you think any of the others would be better than Microsoft, if they got the chance to have the same market size?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by SJ87
by sj87 on Sat 7th May 2011 04:14 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

"They have stopped releasing the LGPL source code for WebKit in iOS since iOS 4.3.0, released about 8 weeks ago. Turns out - this isn't the first time Apple has refused to release (L)GPL'd code. It took them six months to release the required GPL source code for iOS 4.1."

LGPL is not GPL. They are two different licenses. Don't mix them up. Neither is 'ice cream' plain 'ice' only because it's got ice in its name.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by SJ87
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sat 7th May 2011 05:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by SJ87"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yes, obviously they are different, but they still have the same requirement to release source code with distribution of binary releases upon request. They only differ on how much source code must be released.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Comment by SJ87
by Vanders on Sat 7th May 2011 22:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by SJ87"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

The only difference are two sentences which related to the concept of "linking" and "whole works". The basic terms are identical.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by molnarcs
by molnarcs on Sat 7th May 2011 06:36 UTC
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

I'm still unhappy about the lack of a source code release for Honeycomb, but this Apple thing is just as bad. I'm just wondering why nobody seems to be reporting this.


A small correction - Google did releases the (L)GPL parts of the Honeycomb stack. They delayed the release of the full AOSP build, but they are clearly in the green as far as (L)GPL compliance goes. IE they released the source to the Honeycomb kernel.

Apple, however, is in clear violation of the (L)GPL. Jobs is too busy convincing people they invented webkit: "Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine"

No, this is far worse than the Honeycomb case. They not only are in violation of the GPL, they also show great disrespect for the hard work of the KHTML team at KDE, forgetting that the first release of Safari was based on an almost verbatim copy of the entire source tree of KHTML.

Edited 2011-05-07 06:37 UTC

Reply Score: 13

RE: Comment by molnarcs
by Large_Whale on Sat 7th May 2011 15:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by molnarcs"
Large_Whale Member since:
2011-05-07

Please go to webkit.org, the KDE/KHTML team is clearly credited in the very top of the page. Even though it is a prehistoric project branch.

Now go to chromium.org that actively uses WebKit. They apparently aren't happy to say they are using Apple's efforts, nor KDE's. Even on their blog post they didn't mention "Apple" or "KDE", let alone "KHTML". http://blog.chromium.org/2008/09/chrome-3s-webkit.html

But why would they? Did Google make any Android/Chrome/Chromium presentation or speech where they credited specifically and openly Apple or KDE for the WebKit/KHTML project?
Nope. To them it's completely homeless and the only brand they like is Google. Google this, Google that. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by molnarcs
by molnarcs on Sat 7th May 2011 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by molnarcs"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

WTF? The linked blog talks about Chrome ffs, not webkit. They mention that it uses webkit and they link to the webkit website, but the post is about Chrome - which is written entirely (and opensourced) by Google. Jobs, however, is talking about webkit.

In fact, Google starts their announcement with this:
Our recent launch of Google Chrome simply would not have been possible were it not for the awesome WebKit rendering engine and the amazing team behind it.

Webkit and "amazing team" are hyperlinks, the latter linking to ALL contributors. What the hell are you blathering about? (and I hope you realize the difference between a browser and a rendering engine).

Edited 2011-05-07 18:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by molnarcs
by Large_Whale on Sat 7th May 2011 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by molnarcs"
Large_Whale Member since:
2011-05-07

Please, read carefully. I said specifically Apple and KDE/KHTML because you specifically said great disrespect and forgetting. And talk about current official project's website. So Jobs said they used "open source project and then made it webkit", well they did that and still who gives a ***. Certainly a major heart attack statement. WebKit is branched from KDE/KHTML and they do credit them very properly on webkit.org.

Does Google say they use "Apple" or "KDE" code? In the blog post? Maybe on the project's website? Nope. But apparently Google writes stuff "from scratch", so now I get it. Now I also get why Google won't opensource Honeycomb.

PS. Even the first comment on the blog post did remind them of crediting KDE/KHTML. Which of course they should've. But that's not how Google rolls. Which is sad. But I don't give a c**p. You do. Apparently just not in Google's case.

I guess bigger problem is Jobs. Let's all cry because he said something, someday ago. He says something pompous so rarely.

Get a grip man. Cheers.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by molnarcs
by saynte on Sun 8th May 2011 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by molnarcs"
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

The problem is that you're making an inappropriate comparison (which the original poster tried to point out above). Webkit is a rendering engine, Chrome is a browser.

Google never claimed to create a new rendering engine, because they clearly didn't.

Webkit, in contrast, is a project directly forked from an open-source rendering engine. Webkit is essentially a modified KHTML, where Chrome uses webkit as a library; different situations entirely.

Also, if you go and look at the contributors to Webkit, about a third are Google employees. So Google does openly support Webkit.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by molnarcs
by molnarcs on Sun 8th May 2011 09:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by molnarcs"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Thank you saynte. Yeah, that's exactly my problem - the two arguments do not fit. On one hand we have a claim that "Apple started with an open source project and created WebKit a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine". That is a blatant lie - and this is not the first time this happens. Can't find the other quote, but I recall them saying that they "opensourced" it - while in fact WebKit (when released, basically KHTML + a few Apple patches) was already GPL, and Apple had no choice but to comply with its terms. One of the reasons I mention this that by now, among fanboys, it's a well known fact that Apple gave the world WebKit - which is total BS.

On the other hand, we have an announcement by Google about their own browser, every single bit written by Google employees that happens to use WebKit as its rendering engine - and as saynte points out (and as I hinted at in my first reply) WebKit is a library. Rendering engines can be swapped out in all modern browsers. Case in point is Google Frame, that swaps out the rendering engine under IE, making it use the WebKit engine instead. Moreover, Google itself is a major contributor to WebKit, but they don't claim they have created it.

I hope this clarifies it for you. And for others who say Apple gives proper credit to KHTML and KDE - yeah, they do in documents only geeks read, but that doesn't get any press time. An open letter written by Apple's CEO does... The result? Apple giving Webkit to the world has become a well known "fact" among fans, and this is becoming harder and harder to dispute. I even heard people say that Google couldn't build Chrome without Apple. They certainly could. NOKIA built their maemo browser on KHTML before Apple forked it. Apple is just one among many contributors to Webkit, and certainly not its creator. And to get back to your google rant - again, that blog you link to is about Google's browser, which was written 100% Google, not WebKit (although they do say a big thanks to WebKit in their opening line).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by molnarcs
by Large_Whale on Sun 8th May 2011 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by molnarcs"
Large_Whale Member since:
2011-05-07

Everyone knows the story. I just don't agree with your point of view. WebKit today is diversified from KHTML, based on years of development pushed first by Apple (with lots of other contributors coming after opening it), with completely new code, etc. It's not the good old KHTML anymore. And it was pushed (and probably still is) mainly by Apple. More so KHTML AFAIR still exists as a completely separate and autonomous engine, I think it may even still be developed, but I'm not sure ATM.

Second thing, Google sports WebKit for Chrome(ium) and that makes it a vital part of the browser. You know perfectly well it's the lungs and heart of Chrome(ium) and they won't drop it. They brag about how they wanted to write their own engine but used WebKit instead. Sure they don't have to use it, but they do and they will, so they incorporated the code in a way. If you stick to crediting KDE/KHTML for WebKit and everything related (which WebKit does), then why isn't Google crediting those guys anywhere? Where is the credit?

All I'm saying is that Apple/WebKit (think of them what you wish) at least credits the original team - the KDE guys who clearly made today's WebKit possible. Not in some internal docs, but on main website, first place you go. A simple thanks from Google would suffice, but it's not there. It's not anywhere.

Even worse - Google likes "WebKit" and they credit "WebKit". If today they have 1/3 of contributors, I guess the story is that Google doesn't need to credit KDE/Apple because Google thanks Google. For people who don't know the whole picture, in a year or so, it'll seem like Google indeed does thank Google for "making all this possible". I'd be afraid of that, not some Jobs usual propaganda who everyone is used to.

Edited 2011-05-08 11:38 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Comment by molnarcs
by molnarcs on Sun 8th May 2011 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by molnarcs"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Hah, ok, I give up. I'm still kinda amazed of how you can spin this:

Our recent launch of Google Chrome simply would not have been possible were it not for the awesome WebKit rendering engine and the amazing team behind it. We want to take a moment to recognize their excellent work (past and present!) and talk about how we arrived at incorporating WebKit into Google Chrome. By the way, that excellent web inspector tool is actually a component of WebKit ;-)

into Google claiming to have created WebKit. The amazing team links to all contributors, including NOKIA, APPLE, the whole KHTML team, everybody. Yes, the list includes Google (in fact, Google now has the largest number of committers) - but they specifically mention the excellent work of the whole team past and present. I think that this announcement about Chrome is perfectly reasonable, and it's nowhere near the same thing as Apple's CEO claiming that Apple created and opensourced WebKit. Yet you are able to spin it in such a way to claim Google does the same. Nice!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by molnarcs
by twitterfire on Mon 9th May 2011 13:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by molnarcs"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

I'm still unhappy about the lack of a source code release for Honeycomb, but this Apple thing is just as bad. I'm just wondering why nobody seems to be reporting this.

A small correction - Google did releases the (L)GPL parts of the Honeycomb stack. They delayed the release of the full AOSP build, but they are clearly in the green as far as (L)GPL compliance goes. IE they released the source to the Honeycomb kernel.

Apple, however, is in clear violation of the (L)GPL. Jobs is too busy convincing people they invented webkit: "Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine"

No, this is far worse than the Honeycomb case. They not only are in violation of the GPL, they also show great disrespect for the hard work of the KHTML team at KDE, forgetting that the first release of Safari was based on an almost verbatim copy of the entire source tree of KHTML.


I heard that Apple even invented BSD and Unix. FreeBSD guys who copied the code from Apple have to thank them. ;)

Didn't Apple invent the iWheel, iFire, iCar, iLight iBulb and iToilet iPaper, too?

Edited 2011-05-09 13:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by t3RRa
by t3RRa on Sat 7th May 2011 07:42 UTC
t3RRa
Member since:
2005-11-22

I reckon not every company has released source code right away, They usually take time somehow. The post says Apple put up "Coming soon" on their website. If they are going to release source code, it won't be much problem at all AFAIK. We will see.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by t3RRa
by sukru on Sat 7th May 2011 08:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by t3RRa"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Six months is a long time in computer area, which might enable real competitive advantage.

Also they need to release the current source code, it's not like they'll have time to clean it up. If they need to clean it up - or something similar - then they're already in violation.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by t3RRa
by t3RRa on Sun 8th May 2011 03:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by t3RRa"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

I think you don't get it. As someone else mentioned already large corporation has to do some internal process before releasing something so they might take time before releasing the source code. So it could be that in this case I mean that nothing more nothing less. I didn't say six months is short period time in computer area. I do not know what is holding back the source code release so it is too early to say that they are in violation. You are going too far too early I think. Let's take a break and see what it gonna happen.

Reply Score: 2

Not released GCC bits in Xcode 2.5?
by tyrione on Sat 7th May 2011 13:38 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21
Timing?
by Brendan on Sat 7th May 2011 14:04 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

As far as I can tell (and IANAL); while GPL says you have to distribute/provide source code, it doesn't say anything about "when" or how quickly.

-Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE: Timing?
by _txf_ on Sat 7th May 2011 17:45 UTC in reply to "Timing?"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

As far as I can tell (and IANAL); while GPL says you have to distribute/provide source code, it doesn't say anything about "when" or how quickly.

I believe that I read somewhere that there is a margin of 120 days after the release of the binary. I don't know if this only applies to GPL LGPL or both.

I know that this stunt is regularly pulled by htc when releasing the android kernel.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Timing?
by mattst88 on Mon 9th May 2011 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Timing?"
mattst88 Member since:
2005-08-27

That 120 days number is totally made up by some company to attempt to delay the release of GPL code.

Relevant: http://mjg59.livejournal.com/135665.html

Reply Score: 3

Other major mobile browsers using Webkit
by Not2Sure on Sun 8th May 2011 04:15 UTC
Not2Sure
Member since:
2009-12-07

I'm sure no one probably cares, OS6+ of the Blackberry browser is based on Webkit and is available for download at: http://us.blackberry.com/apps-software/blackberry6/browser_open_sou...

Also there is an acknowledgement page in the About section of the Options application on devices that credits "the WebKit Open Source project (including the KDE project) and JavaScriptCore Project (including portions from the KJS project)" and lists by name about 100 contributors.

the Symbian/Maemo browsers based on WebKit publishes the source at http://wiki.forum.nokia.com/index.php/S60WebKit

Reply Score: 1

Getting back to the core
by sparkyERTW on Mon 9th May 2011 14:32 UTC
sparkyERTW
Member since:
2010-06-09

Okay, all of the other Google vs. Apple, Webkit vs. KHTML, etc. aside, the point that was being made is this:

1. LGPL and/or GPL-licensed code isn't being released as required (read the license text, there's no 'slack time'), which means
2. the licenses are being violated, which means,
3. the violated company should be taken to task for their violation.

Is Google in violation by not releasing Honeycomb source when Honeycomb products are being released? Yes.
Are licenses therefore being violated? Yes.
Are they being taken to task? Yes (though admittedly it's only taking the form of media scrutiny so far rather than litigation)

Is Apple in violation by not providing LGPL source material for iOS? Yes.
Are licenses therefore being violated? Yes.
Are they being taken to task? Not really, at least nowhere near what Google has experienced.

There's no need to debate which of the two is right and which is wrong: they're both wrong, and to roughly the same reasons and degree. What IS debatable is whether or not Apple is being treated with the same scrutiny.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Getting back to the core
by saynte on Mon 9th May 2011 20:11 UTC in reply to "Getting back to the core"
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

Actually I believe that Google didn't violate any licenses.

They kept their own code back, which is perfectly legitimate, while still releasing the kernel modifications as required.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Getting back to the core
by sparkyERTW on Mon 9th May 2011 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Getting back to the core"
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

Actually I believe that Google didn't violate any licenses.

They kept their own code back, which is perfectly legitimate, while still releasing the kernel modifications as required.


Hmmm... that may be, it's been a while since I last read up on it and I might be forgetting details. If you're right, then we're seeing Google being bashed for a far less serious offense while Apple is getting off relatively scot-free.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's correct. The GPL code (Linux kernel) for Android is available, the BSD-licensed code isn't - which is perfectly acceptable.

Reply Score: 1

Does it break any legal rules?
by martini on Mon 9th May 2011 15:27 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

Thanks sparkyERTW for your post. I understand more about this.

I think that on this kind of cases there are always two questions that need to be asked.

1) Is it breaking the legal rules of an OSS license?
or
2) Is it legal but it is a shift from a behavior that the vendor used to have. ?

Question 1 is almost easy to find an answer.

On Question 2 what may happen is that the author of a software that had developed 100% of the code release it under a OSS license and for the next release he change it and decide not to open it (the new release). In that case (if he is the author of all the code) it is legal, but it is change of behavior that people sometime doesn't like.

But on this case both are breaking the rules so it is...
!!! SOURCE CODE OR LAWSUIT !!!

Reply Score: 1

BFD
by Vinegar Joe on Mon 9th May 2011 15:42 UTC
Vinegar Joe
Member since:
2006-08-16

This is Apple we're talking about here. They're cool!

Reply Score: 1

RE: BFD
by shmerl on Mon 9th May 2011 15:49 UTC in reply to "BFD"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Cool to follow the license? But court might warm them up ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 9th May 2011 15:48 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

I see Apple moving away from open source altogether. Evil empire #2 (#1 being MS) is going to be even more evil ;)

Reply Score: 1

Update
by martini on Mon 9th May 2011 23:15 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

I just saw this update on Slashdot.

"Update: 05/09 21:21 GMT by S : Reader Shin-LaC points out that Apple has now released the relevant source code."

http://lists.apple.com/archives/darwin-dev/2011/May/msg00016.html

Reply Score: 1

OW
by martini on Mon 9th May 2011 23:18 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

ouch... I didn't notice this posts on OSNews
http://www.osnews.com/comments/24717

Apple Releases iOS 4.3 WebKit Source, Still Not LGPL Compliant...reading...

Reply Score: 1