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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You mean be apathetic (was RE: Just relax)
by tanishaj on Tue 10th May 2011 01:33 UTC 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

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I don't totally agree with that. Webkit is a library. If they implement a class that interprets or transport web code, they are actually extending the webkit library, and not merely using it, therefore their code must be LGPL'ed.

Anyway, even if that was legal, do you realize why Oracle is criticized so much? Oracle didn't do anything illegal. They are criticized for not commiting enough. When it's Oracle, they are bashed and they deserve it. When it's Apple, don't tell me they have the right to do it. That's double standard and that does not sound right.

Reply Parent Score: 3

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Google has more commiters to webkit than Apple. http://trac.webkit.org/wiki/WebKit%2520Team&btnG=Search" rel="nofollow">http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&q=cache:http://t...

Reply Parent Score: 2