Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th May 2011 21:46 UTC
Apple Apple has released the source code for WebKit in iOS 4.3, which it had been withholding for eight weeks. However, according yo Jay 'saurik' Freeman, they are still not, and never have been, in compliance with the LGPL. "Apple's provided source code (which /is/ heavily modified for the iPhone) [...] isn't even complete enough to compile (it is missing a bunch of code for the WAK* classes), so Apple has simply never been in compliance with this license," Saurik writes. So, it would seem that Apple is still violating the LGPL, and has been doing so for a very long time. Funny how this never makes it to mainstream technology sites. I guess they find their pre-release review devices more important.
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Just relax
by Elv13 on Mon 9th May 2011 22:39 UTC
Elv13
Member since:
2006-06-12

They made WebKit, its 1000x better than the previous yearly code drop that were merged in KHTML before 2006. Apple is usually nice when it come to source code, much more than MS. They have been less and less recently, but who ever used Darwin + X11 as an OS?

They are not nice right now, right but trolling wont help. Sueing and winning against apple will just make things worst, they will sue even more people. It's Apple! Not Oracle or Microsoft. They don't invest in OSS to kill it. They usually do to spread technology (GC, Avahi/ZeroConf/Bonjour/mDNSresponder, CPUS, GCC, FreeBSD (manual backports), ZFS and many more). Even if it don't always end up well and open, I think they do a good job, overall. Remember than WebKit is mostly Apple code. They don't -have- to commit it, they own the copyright, if they want to make WebKit on iOS propriatary fine, they own it. It's ok as all code not owned by them is still available, and it is.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just relax
by metalf8801 on Mon 9th May 2011 23:02 in reply to "Just relax"
metalf8801 Member since:
2010-03-22

Oracle does just as much work on open source projects as Apple so do you think they should also be aloud to violate the LGPL?
http://oss.oracle.com/

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Just relax
by JAlexoid on Tue 10th May 2011 00:31 in reply to "Just relax"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They made WebKit, its 1000x better than the previous yearly code drop that were merged in KHTML before 2006. Apple is usually nice when it come to source code, much more than MS. They have been less and less recently, but who ever used Darwin + X11 as an OS?

They are not nice right now, right but trolling wont help. Sueing and winning against apple will just make things worst, they will sue even more people. It's Apple! Not Oracle or Microsoft. They don't invest in OSS to kill it. They usually do to spread technology (GC, Avahi/ZeroConf/Bonjour/mDNSresponder, CPUS, GCC, FreeBSD (manual backports), ZFS and many more). Even if it don't always end up well and open, I think they do a good job, overall. Remember than WebKit is mostly Apple code. They don't -have- to commit it, they own the copyright, if they want to make WebKit on iOS propriatary fine, they own it. It's ok as all code not owned by them is still available, and it is.


ZFS? You do understand that ZFS is now Oracle's tech?
If WebKit is mostly their code, then they should just find the code that is not theirs and replace it with their own code and be done with the requirement to release any code whatsoever.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Just relax
by Elv13 on Tue 10th May 2011 02:06 in reply to "RE: Just relax"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Apple tried to make ZFS more widespread and adopt it in OSX until Oracle bought Sun and said no. That was OpenSource and more than just a copy of Solaris code.

Reply Parent Score: 2

You mean be apathetic (was RE: Just relax)
by tanishaj on Tue 10th May 2011 01:33 in reply to "Just relax"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

Even if it don't always end up well and open, I think they do a good job, overall. Remember than WebKit is mostly Apple code. They don't -have- to commit it, they own the copyright, if they want to make WebKit on iOS propriatary fine, they own it. It's ok as all code not owned by them is still available, and it is.


It is great that you appreciate their work and that you do not begrudge them their actions but your opinion does not change the facts:

With the LGPL it is not simply enough that all code not owned by them is still available. What you are talking about is the BSD/MIT/X11 style licenses. That may be your preference (I am heading that way) but the license obligations laid down by the original code authors (of KHTML) hold legal and ethical weight. You do not have the personal authority to just waive that away.

"They don't -have- to commit it, they own the copyright...". Well, that is unless they want to distribute their code integrated with code written by other people under the LGPL. Since they do want to, they do in fact have to release (commit) their code. Anything else is distribution in violation of their license which means copyright violation.

I do not actually know but I would be extremely surprised if "most" of the WebKit code was authored by Apple. For one thing, WebKit is also the rendering engine used in Google Chrome. It is also the basis for a bunch of other browsers. Is Apple really carrying all those guys or are they contributing?

If there really is only a small amount of non-Apple code, I would expect them to simply replace that code and move on. The fact that they have not suggests that you are incorrect about the proportions.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Apple is doing much of the work to this day. Chrome have V8 and some commits and it's about it. Nokia have almost none, KDE and Gnome mostly try to port work rather than creating more.

If you read the licence, you don't have to supply all code as long as it is not required to make the application work. You can link LGPLed code to proprietary code, as they probably do.

"5. A program that contains no derivative of any portion of the Library, but is designed to work with the Library by being compiled or linked with it, is called a "work that uses the Library". Such a work, in isolation, is not a derivative work of the Library, and therefore falls outside the scope of this License. "

2. d) If a facility in the modified Library refers to a function or a table of data to be supplied by an application program that uses the facility, other than as an argument passed when the facility is invoked, then you must make a good faith effort to ensure that, in the event an application does not supply such function or table, the facility still operates, and performs whatever part of its purpose remains meaningful"

"6. As an exception to the Sections above, you may also combine or link a "work that uses the Library" with the Library to produce a work containing portions of the Library, and distribute that work under terms of your choice, provided that the terms permit modification of the work for the customer's own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications. "

So they -can- ship WebKit with some classes missing, as long as they are dynamically linked. They are not changing the licence of code that they don't own. They do own, so they can licence it at will in both direction. It can use the LGPL code and can be used by the LGPL code as long as its a separate .so

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Just relax
by spiderman on Tue 10th May 2011 05:59 in reply to "Just relax"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Aside the fact that Oracle releases much more open source code than Apple, you can not justify how Apple behaves by pointing fingers at Microsoft anymore. It's not 1985. You can as well point fingers at Ossama ben laden or Saddam Hussein to make the point that Apple is way better. Why not compare Apple to Red Hat instead?
The fact is that Apple sucks for not releasing the iOS code. It does not bring value to them. We can duplicate their code. Why do they insist on closing it? I sympatize with the guy who complained. He probably got stuck on a bug, tried to fix it and realized he can't because Apple decided not to release the code for no valid reason. You are not Apple PR, let them explain themselves. I for one am waiting for Apple to explain why they do not release the damn code open.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Just relax
by Laurence on Tue 10th May 2011 07:24 in reply to "Just relax"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Remember than WebKit is mostly Apple code. They don't -have- to commit it, they own the copyright, if they want to make WebKit on iOS propriatary fine, they own it.

They *DID* have to. WebKit was a KHTML fork which was licensed as LGPL which dictates that the code must be available.

Apple weren't being nice, they were fulfilling a legal obligation.

Edited 2011-05-10 07:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Just relax
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 10th May 2011 07:33 in reply to "Just relax"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Remember than WebKit is mostly Apple code.


Even if this were true (I think that by now esp. Google have probably contributed a pretty big portion as well, aside from RIM, Nokia, Palm, etc. etc.) - so what? That doesn't give them the right to violate the open source license of the code they built WebKit on top of. You don't have to defend Apple like it's a frightened little puppy - they're a big-boy corporation now, and like everybody else, they must play by the rules. If they don't like the rules, they shouldn't be using LGPL code. As simple as that.

For now, Apple is in violation of the LGPL, but apparently, we all have to be super extra special nice to Apple because... I don't know, why, exactly? Can you imagine if Microsoft made the same violation? The internet would be in an uproar!

But not with Apple, because as usual, its fanbase is the most hypocritical, two-faced bunch of apologists.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Just relax
by Elv13 on Tue 10th May 2011 21:11 in reply to "RE: Just relax"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

I don't think they violate any license here.

-They own the code in question
-They have the legal right to change the license of the code they own, this is part of the copyright -law-
-The code probably in a separated .so, dynamically linked to WebKit and provide non essentials functions to WebKit. As such, this code is not affected by the license as long as it is not mixed with code written by -a third party- without legal authorization to change the license.

By such, they can, legally, distribute that code without giving back the sources as long as they provide the last version of the code released under the terms of the LGPL in their VCS, and they do.

If it was the -GPL- this would much harder because eery single contribution -in the entire project- would need to be explicitly relicensed by the copyright owner of this particular code. But not the LGPL, as the license is viral only in statically linked parts of the code (individual .so).

Sorry folks, but I am quite sure it's how it work. Apple is not in violation if they own every single bit of the unreleased code.

Edited 2011-05-10 21:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Just relax
by molnarcs on Tue 10th May 2011 07:43 in reply to "Just relax"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

"They made WebKit"

Hah ;)

http://www.osnews.com/thread?472230

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Just relax
by _xmv on Tue 10th May 2011 09:26 in reply to "Just relax"
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

you're writing "if they want to infrige GPL, fine, the code is theirs! hey its Apple its ok!"

are you out of your mind?
if you modify Apple's stuff do you think they'll let you claim it yours and even make money on it?
what a joke

Reply Parent Score: 2