Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 12th Jul 2007 19:23 UTC, submitted by wibbit
Apple Apple has bought the CUPS code base, and has hired it's lead developer. "CUPS was written by Michael R Sweet, an owner of Easy Software Products. In February of 2007 Apple Inc. hired Michael and acquired ownership the CUPS source code. While Michael is primarily working on non-CUPS projects, he will continue to develop and support CUPS, which is still being released under the existing GPL2/LGPL2 licensing terms."
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RE: Apple bought something useful
by archiesteel on Thu 12th Jul 2007 20:21 UTC in reply to "Apple bought something useful"
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Apple gets more printer drivers from companies who would love to use a non-GPL CUPS. It's really a great situation all-around.


Not quite, if it means that Apple will get printers which Linux *won't* get because printer manufacturers will only release it for the non-GPL version...I certainly wouldn't call that a great situation all-around!

Reply Parent Score: 5

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

I agree. However, the provision allowing for this seems to have been in the CUPS license for five years now:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/05/msg00033.html

Reply Parent Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Wow.

At least that was public and in the license.

But the purchase of the open source world's premiere print subsystem by Apple went unmentioned for 5 months.

I can't help but wonder what other surprises they might be holding back, thinking that the community might not be ready to accept them yet.

I'm a bit torn between being cautiously optimistic, and downright suspicious at this point.

Reply Parent Score: 5

melgross Member since:
2005-08-12

What you forget here, is that Linux wouldn't be getting those drivers anyway. But if Apple can get them, as they wouldn't have before, that will inspire them to make more improvements to CUPS, which WILL be released for the use of Linux.

You don't find that to be positive?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Anonumous Member since:
2007-06-13

If everyone was treated equal, Linux would be getting those drivers too. Now, however, the sole copyright owner gets special treatment. I don't find that to be positive. And I gather that the external contributions (i.e. not from Apple) could in theory eclipse the internal ones (if the project was managed properly). But now, all contributors aren't treated equal. If I where a large corporation that wanted to make major contributions to CUPS I would think twice because I would have to give it all up to Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

By providing closed drivers to OSX for a piece of hardware the chances of an open driver for that hardware being developed go down. The "Surface area" of affected users (users who have the printer but no driver) is suddenly much smaller--because, obviously, OSX users are more likely to attach printers than Linux users, given the server/desktop percentages of each)--so the incentive for independant development of an open driver is greatly reduced.

This is teh "Should Linux allow binary drivers?" debate all over again. Binary drivers might get you hardware support in the short term, but in the long run it's better to go without them to encourage development of open drivers--even with poor initial quality.

Would Open Office have as large a development effort behind it if Microsoft Office were available for Linux? No, because there would be much less demand.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Not quite, if it means that Apple will get printers which Linux *won't* get because printer manufacturers will only release it for the non-GPL version...I certainly wouldn't call that a great situation all-around!


Surely if you bought a printer, and it had a closed-source driver for MacOSX, and MacOSX was using CUPs, then that same driver could be used on Linux.

It would be even more attractive for printer manufacturers if they could cover the MacOSX and the Linux market at the same time.

After all, what does it matter to a printer manufacturer what OS users are running?

Reply Parent Score: 3