Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Apr 2011 22:48 UTC
Google Is Android still open now that Google has postponed the source code release of Honeycomb, version 3.0 of the mobile operating system? I've been reading a whole boatload of articles and blog posts on the web claiming Android is no longer open, but it seems like very few people seem to actually understand what 'open' really means when it comes to the GPL and the Apache license. Here's a short primer.
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Comment by t3RRa
by t3RRa on Wed 6th Apr 2011 02:00 UTC
t3RRa
Member since:
2005-11-22

* I mean, really, Gruber, Apple has withheld source code releases in the past quite often, and in fact, the code to the open source components underlying iOS are not made available at all, yet not a peep from you about that - despite the fact Apple regularly touts the open source underpinnings of its operating system. If there is one "hypocrite" here, it's you.

It was a surprisingly good read despite recent much Apple trolling from the author.

However, what are those components underlying iOS that are not made available? Can you let me what they are?

If those components are not modified at all from Apple, they should not really need to provide themselves nor someone would care at all.

However if they are modified by them and if its GPL licensed, GPL crowds would not stay still already. If the components are made by Apple and opened to the masses, Apple could make it dual licensed so that they can keep their own bits for their OS closed. period.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by t3RRa
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 6th Apr 2011 03:53 in reply to "Comment by t3RRa"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

If those components are not modified at all from Apple, they should not really need to provide themselves nor someone would care at all.


Not true. If you distribute, you must comply with the GPL.

However if they are modified by them and if its GPL licensed, GPL crowds would not stay still already. If the components are made by Apple and opened to the masses, Apple could make it dual licensed so that they can keep their own bits for their OS closed. period.


You'd have to be more specific in order to really make a point here. But, in general, if you modify a GPL program and distribute it, you cannot dual licence your changes in such a way as to not comply with the GPL. Your modifications must also fall under the GPL.


Although, I must admit, I am not aware of any recent delays in compliance with the GPL or LGPL by Apple. There were some such cases in the early days of Safari. It was derived from the LGPL based KHTML, and they distributed Safari without making the source immediately available.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by t3RRa
by arpan on Wed 6th Apr 2011 14:34 in reply to "RE: Comment by t3RRa"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

Although, I must admit, I am not aware of any recent delays in compliance with the GPL or LGPL by Apple. There were some such cases in the early days of Safari. It was derived from the LGPL based KHTML, and they distributed Safari without making the source immediately available.


I think you are incorrect here. They did make the code available, they just waited until they released the final version and then released the entire code at a time. Basically they adhered to the letter of the license, not the spirit.

Now, they have changed that, and all development for webkit happens in the open, which also allows independent developers and developers from other companies to contribute to the development and direction. As far as I am concerned, this is what open source is about, not just having access to the code, but being able to participate in the development.

In addition, this means that a user or a developer can download a nightly and see what changes and improvements have been made and not have to wait for the final release. For example this allows web designers to comment on the behavior of new CSS features and allows even non-developers to influence the behavior if it is not satisfactory. In the end, it is the designers who are going to be using these features, and so it is really good that they get to test it when it is developed and when there is still a chance to change it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by t3RRa
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Apr 2011 03:56 in reply to "Comment by t3RRa"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

However, what are those components underlying iOS that are not made available? Can you let me what they are?

Specifically, without touching the UI stuff, the ARM port of XNU. There is i386 and PPC, but no ARM.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by t3RRa
by steve_s on Wed 6th Apr 2011 11:13 in reply to "RE: Comment by t3RRa"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

Current XNU source does come with ARM support. For reference, here's the readme:
http://www.opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-1504.9.37/README

Reply Parent Score: 2