Coffeehouse Thread

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The not so smooth road to OSS.

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  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Well I was just wombling around the Internet and stumbled on this mini-rant from one of the KHTML developers.

    In case you don't know KHTML is where Apple got its source code for the first release of Safari from .. there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of love going on anymore.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Shows that companies can, and will take advantage of OSS. Do the minimum required to satisfy the license. Write code that uses a particular platforms API's. Apple may have written a lot of code, but it is useless, unless you happen to use a Mac.

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    Beer28 wrote:
    KDE sucks. So does Konqueror and the $2000 per license proprietary QPL QT widgets. Long live Gnome & FireFox.

    I personally think that any development with QT besides K3B, which is an exception, is a total waste of time.

    EDIT: If apple is making a boatload on their source and giving them nothing back it's up to them to somehow break apple's code with updates and hold some functionality for randsom. GPL is about sharing, when a huge company like Apple starts breaking that, I say mess with them, bad. Change the code base of konqueror, and rerelease under a non-GPL license that explicitly says Apple corp may never use it. It's what Steve Jobs would do. He just explicitly said Wiley & sons books may no longer be sold in Apple stores because of iConn, which I ordered recently.

    I say fight fire with fire. Don't get stepped on by apple. Be just as childish.


    Apple does comply with the license for KHTML, so what's the problem?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Cairo wrote:
    Apple does comply with the license for KHTML, so what's the problem?


    According to the KHTML blog, Apple was doing the bare minimum for LGPL compliance:

    Zack Rusin wrote:
    What did we get? We get periodical code bombs in the form of them releasing WebCore. Many of us wanted to even sign NDA’s with Apple to at least get access to the history of their internal vcs and be able to be merging the changes incrementally, the way they can right now.Nothing came out of it.

    They do the very, very minimum required by LGPL.

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    Define "reasonable".

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    I can understand the pain of the KHTML developers. I can understand that they would prefer that Apple make all changes to KHTML portable back to the platform(s) of choice of the other KHTML developers.

    Apple could choose to do it as an act of charity. However, they are focused on their problem, which is making Safari and WebCore as good as they can -- not making KDE better.

    I imagine Apple's version of KHTML is full of Apple-specific stuff.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    That's what's so amusing about the whole FOSS scene. KDE is actually much better than GNOME from a technical and usability point of view, but people moan about it endlessly because it doesn't fit into their world view of 'how things should be done'.

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    Let's say I was running the KHTML open-source project. Apple would be a group contributing patches to my project. Because I am developing for QT/KDE, I would consider Apple to be a poor contributor because of their low-quality patches, and would simply reject the patches. After all, they won't cleanly apply and build to my KDE/QT-specific version of KHTML. The same would be true if Microsoft adopted KHTML for IE7, and littered its patches with Windows-specific API references. Bad patches again. Rejected. There may be lots of other people and groups contributing good patches, including people who clean up and organize the good stuff from Apple's bad patches. I could accept those. But I wouldn't whine that Apple is being evil or whatever by not helping me on my project in jsut the way I want. It's their choice, and they're playing by the rules I released the code under (LGPL), by releasing their patches under the same license. It's freedom, not mutual slavery, that Free Software is supposed to be promoting. I think that's happening with the LGPL KHTML codebase.

    I, as the KHTML project manager, could also decide to make an abstraction layer for KHTML to make Mac and Windows-specific code separate cleanly from the core, and encourage the use of that abstraction layer for platform-specific stuff. Maybe people would go for it, and Apple's patches to KHTML-core would apply cleanly, and they would be the primary maintainers of KHTML-Cocoa, while other people worked on KHTML-QT, KHTML-Win32, etc.



  • User profile image
    Cider

    In the blog, the guy is basically complaining about the perception that Safari and KHTML are linked and because Safari can pass the (in my opinion totally pointless) Acid2 test, this will then be quickly synced into Konqueror.

    And this is the biggest problem.  The perception of open source and the reality are very, very different.  I still can't believe people really take IBM, Novell et al (yes, even those untouchables of Google and Apple) at face value and that their "commitment to open source" means anything but that they are going to milk the open source community for all its worth.  For all the praise people heap on RMS, he's nothing to the brains in the corporations.  Ironically, probably the most truthful corporation in their attitude towards open source is Microsoft!

    We will see more and more of this sort of thing happening, mark my words.

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