Much ado about nothing

Like many other computer geeks, I’m a regular reader of web-sites like slashdot, or osnews, not to mention a few technical blogs. It is a good source of news, and there are often good technical links, but politics and ideology have the annoying tendency to come to the foreground.

The kernel of the operating system Mac OS X is open-source, that is the source code can be downloaded and compiled freely. There are a myriad of different open-source projects which are distributed under different licences, with very strong debates about which licenses are more free, better, etc. I must admit that my interest in those debates is very limited.

One of the latest scandal in this online community was the fact that Apple did not distribute the source code for the Intel version of Mac OS X. People reacted very violently, which was kind of strange because Mac OS X’s kernel, Darwin, dit not gather so much interest when it was open. But post were posted, and blog entries written decrying the fact that Apple reneged their committement to open-source, that it was the begining of the end. The closing of the web site open-darwin, which hosted most of the Apple-related open-source project fueling the whole debate…

Nobody seemed to take the common sense approach: Apple had just moved their main OS to another architecture (intel), and their source code tree would probably be a mess. As the OS contains proprietary bits, some licenced from another companies, the lawyers of the company would probably not want anything published until everything had been checked. Not to mention engineers who would like to have some time to clean up things.

Of course, if you took the common sense explanation, the fact that the source code of the kernel is now available for intel and a new web site hosting Mac-related open source projects opened would not be a real surprise…

One thought on “Much ado about nothing

  1. It seems like geeks like psychodramas — and there’s no psychodrama like a good, ol’fashioned war of religions.

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