JAN
8
2003

Apple Announces New "Safari" Browser

In kicking off the Macworld Expo
keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled
a new Macintosh web browser named
Safari. Jobs
said the browser was
"based on standards", "works with any Web site", has much-improved
performance over IE (page-loading speed is "three times faster",
JavaScript performs twice as fast and it launches "40% faster" - comparisons
to Netscape 7.0 shows similar performance gains on the Macintosh platform).
The KDE connection: "[f]or its Web page
rendering engine, Safari draws on software from the Konqueror open source
project. Weighing in at less than one tenth the size of another open
source renderer, Konqueror helps Safari stay lean and responsive.
"
The good news for Konqueror: Apple, which said that it will be
"a good open source citizen [and] share[] its enhancements with
the Konqueror open source community
", has today sent all
changes, along with a detailed changelog
, to the KHTML developers.
Congratulations to the KHTML developers for this recognition of
their outstanding efforts. Update @22:34: Dirk Mueller has
posted
an interesting mail from the Safari engineering manager as well
as his response. Hats off to collaboration!

Comments

Safari1.0 Beta (v51) of 1-10-03: seems like no LiveConnect yet... Tried to call an applet's method from JavaScript and it didn't work...

Bye, Christian


By chr$ at Sat, 2003/01/18 - 6:00am

I think this sucks.

So far most of the comments I've seen have been happy ones. I'm not happy. Let's remember a few things shall we?

1) Apple makes their money selling proprietary platforms. If you think the Mac, or Mac OS X is not proprietary, then you need a serious reality check.

2) Proprietary platforms are bad for software freedom and society in general.

3) Therefore, proprietary platforms are a bad thing, therefore in MacOS is a bad thing for all of us in the long run. Or are you all so blind you have not learnt anything from the past decade? Jobs would be the next Gates faster than you can say "WTF?"

4) This is not "Apple and open source working together". Apple were compelled to release these changes because KHTML is protected under the LGPL. If they had really been "working with open source" they'd have told the KDE developers as they were working, instead of producing an enormous patch dump which will be difficult to integrate (and a few of the items were already done by the kde guys). However they decided to pander to Jobs ego so he could go "tada" as he loves to do at Macworld.

I find this mindless sycophantic Apple-drooling disgusting. Wake up people! Do you not see what is happening? Is Safari open source? No. In fact, Apple have released basically jack all of their own code. FreeBSD has got a few minor patches and some test suites out of them. If you think MacOS is open source go try and fork it. Go on, I dare you. Just make sure you have a large budget for the legal costs.

I think Ian Clarke was right when he said for some people the fad was more important than the philosophy. KDE is working for a free desktop - Apple quite clearly is not. This is a dark day for KDE and free software in general.

Flames are expected. Go ahead, I've seen them all before.


By Mike Hearn at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

Which part of this is going to be bad for KDE? From what I can see, we only receive benefits...


By Hamish Rodda at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

If you look at the situation as: there is only KDE, all that matters is that KDE is good, then this is a positive announcement. I don't.

I see it as: There is a free platform called Linux (s/linux/freebsd/ if you are so inclined). KDE is a component of that free platform. The more people that use Linux the better, because that way computers are finally commoditized and technology is freely available to all again. When a product becomes a commodity, you see profit margins shrink, innovation speed up and companies become more efficient. I want to see this happen, I don't want to see another Gates or Jobs. Technology as key as computing should not be owned by anybody.

So I see this as a bad thing, because it takes peoples eyes off the ball. KDE getting better is good, but not at the expense of also boosting a proprietary platform, otherwise you could wake up to find that nobody uses KDE and everyone uses MacOS. If you think that would be OK, why do you think KDE is GPLd? Why do you think we have GNOME?

It was the "only the betterment of KDE matters" attitude that led to the split in the first place. Think about it.


By Mike Hearn at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

You sound like a control freak trying to tell others what to do.

Do you even understand Open Source? Open Source is about free software, but it's also about better software. Rewriting software is stupid. Rewriting software costs humanity. Reusing software is good. Reusing and improving existing software is better. Reusing, sharing, and improving existing software is good for humanity. Open Source happily gives you freedom to use and improve the software. If you contribute back it makes everybody even more happy.

Apple gave us Open Source software and/or improvements. Be happy that they have contributed and stop being so paranoid. It's freaky. Bill Gates wants to write proprietary software, let him.


By dc at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

I am not paranoid, I am realistic.

Apple is not interested in the good of humanity, it would be illegal for the board of directors in fact to be interested in anything other than the maximization of value to shareholders.

They sell a proprietary platform, and they want to see as many people as possible use it, regardless of what those people actually want. See how they have been buying up companies and scaring their customers witless by making them think they'll drop the Windows/UNIX versions.

In terms of business models, they are identical to Microsoft except at least MS use open hardware.

Therefore, the fact that I am concerned is quite justifiable given the amount of abuse the industry has seen over the past decade. It turned out to be Gates because he bet on commodity hardware and Jobs didn't, but it could easily have been the other way around.

Finally, I understand open source just fine. If a company wishes to improve some free software to solve a problem they have, that is fine. In this case however, their "problem" is that not enough people are locked into their proprietary platform. I don't want to see that "problem" of theirs solved, and I am stating my disappointment at this. Maybe you think all that matters is the code, which is your opinion and that's fine, I think there's more to it than just the code. Feel free to disagree.


By Mike Hearn at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

>In terms of business models, they are identical to Microsoft except at least MS use open hardware.

It is not Open Hardware. It is not free and it is not Open. I you want to produce a PC you have to complay with three sets of definitions. Microsoft, Intel and the BIOS. This thinks are all under properity and has to be followed and this companies do earn a buck each time a PC is manifactored.
So no Open Hardware.


By Lasse Larsson at Sun, 2003/01/12 - 6:00am

Anybody can build a PC, the IBM specs are out in the open and have been for a long time. You don't need to use Windows or Intel products, you can use Linux and AMD for instance. There may be licensing costs at some point, I don't know. Anyway, it's comparatively open.


By Mike Hearn at Sun, 2003/01/12 - 6:00am

KDE isn't "GPLd". Plenty of components use other licenses, like BSD or X11 or MIT.


By Sad Eagle at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

Yes, I'm aware of that. However the bulk of it is under the (L)GPL. I oversimplified slightly to avoid bogging down the post


By Mike Hearn at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

KDE is more than that. KDE works on many many Unices whether free or proprietary.


By ac at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

People like you is what makes the Linux community look really bad to the masses with your immature ideology!

Apple has chosen a path and yes is building a business model around open source... so isn't thousand other companies!

What boils down to is that you have a misguided anti-Mac attitude that just wants to bitch and complain just to hear yourself speak! I'm glad that not all Linux types are as arrogant as you are!

Kudos to the KDE and Apple development teams for brining another piece of positive momentum forth that will only benefit the open source community!


By Pengiun at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

[ Apple has chosen a path and yes is building a business model around open source... so isn't thousand other companies! ]

Open your eyes. Their business model is exactly like Microsofts, except along the way they are using lots of open source software to help them. The end result is still not open source, not free and completely proprietary.

[ What boils down to is that you have a misguided anti-Mac attitude that just wants to bitch and complain just to hear yourself speak! I'm glad that not all Linux types are as arrogant as you are! ]

I guess you could have answered me with well thought out arguments against my position, but presumably you either couldn't or couldn't be bothered, both reasons I simply cannot respect.

You are the one that's bitching and complaining. I stated my viewpoint and have put a lot of effort into making sure it was understood and debating with people who took the time to try and understand what I was talking about. You did not.


By Mike Hearn at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

[ Open your eyes. Their business model is exactly like Microsofts, except along the way they are using lots of open source software to help them. The end result is still not open source, not free and completely proprietary. ]

Apple's business model 'WAS' exactly like Microsoft's, but that failed due to their own arrogance long ago and now they have decided to jump on the open source bandwagon and I like that, especially if it's going to benefit everyone in the Unix/Linux world (myself included)! I don't like proprietary standards anymore than any other open standard advocate, and now at least Apple is headed in the right direction in regards to those concepts!

[ I guess you could have answered me with well thought out arguments against my position, but presumably you either couldn't or couldn't be bothered, both reasons I simply cannot respect. ]

Because I'm not wasting my breath! You have argued with a ton other folks on this thread, so what's the point?! I understood your every word, but you're onesided on this whole debate and have a closed mind about what's going on instead of facing to the reality of things! You're the type to rain on the parade if you see other people happy, of course you're allowed to your own opinion (like everyone else), but you're throwing stones out of a glass house and people can see in very clearly!!

I'm not going to waste another breath, but my advice to you is not to ignore the truth in which you are shadowing!!


By Pengiun at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

[ Apple's business model 'WAS' exactly like Microsoft's, but that failed due to their own arrogance long ago and now they have decided to jump on the open source bandwagon ]

Other people on this thread disagree with you, and for good reason. I suggest you think hard about that one, bandwagon jumping is not the same as actually taking the core values to heart and acting on them. MacOS X is not open source, neither is QuickTime, nor is 95% code that has actually been developed by Apple.

Feel free to argue that point, the evidence is stacked against you however.

[ you're onesided on this whole debate and have a closed mind about what's going on instead of facing to the reality of things! ]

It's perfectly possible to convince me otherwise - I did not reach these conclusions entirely on my own you know. They came about through debates with other people, which made me see "the big picture". So far nobody has presented credible counter arguments to my main points (Apple make proprietary platforms, these are bad, therefore Apple is bad). The economics are quite compelling.

[ You're the type to rain on the parade ..... ]

Getting hysterical over it won't help, you can either attempt to address my points or not. I'm sorry if you were happy about this and now you're not, but that's not "raining on the parade" - it's telling it like it is, and if some people get upset by that, well, they'll have to do some thinking won't they.

[ I'm not going to waste another breath, but my advice to you is not to ignore the truth in which you are shadowing!! ]

The truth should be obvious to anybody who makes an effort to stay neutral and consider all the arguments and all the facts. If you don't want to make the effort, go ahead and flame me some more, I'll continue to reply if I see what I believe are inaccurate characterisations or FUD simply so people reading this thread don't assume I don't reply because you've made a point I can't refute.


By Mike Hearn at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

[ Other people on this thread disagree with you, and for good reason. I suggest you think hard about that one, bandwagon jumping is not the same as actually taking the core values to heart and acting on them. MacOS X is not open source, neither is QuickTime, nor is 95% code that has actually been developed by Apple. ]

Actually it looks like most of the other posts are against your viewpoint in thinking! How do you know exactly what is going through the minds of the engineers and programmers at Apple?! Apple obviously wants to be a part of something great, and that is being a part of the open source community! They hired Jordan Hubbard foir starters to working on the underlying portion of Mac OS X called Darwin, which I might add is an open source project! So you're half right about Mac OS X not being open source!!

You argue that Apple is not helping open source whatsoever, but praise Red Hat, though some KDE developers are not exactly happy with RH's attitude lately:

http://www.mosfet.org/noredhat.html

Of course I have no complaints about Red Hat... just using this as an example. People will always have differing opinions on the subject at hand, but don't go slandering and making false accusation and unproven statements to satisfy your own dislike of something you can't control!

[ Getting hysterical over it won't help, you can either attempt to address my points or not. I'm sorry if you were happy about this and now you're not, but that's not "raining on the parade" - it's telling it like it is, and if some people get upset by that, well, they'll have to do some thinking won't they. ]

I'm not any of the above... helk I'm tickled pink that Apple is recognizing the efforts of OSS and hopefully everyone involved will benefit from it!

[ The truth should be obvious to anybody who makes an effort to stay neutral and consider all the arguments and all the facts. If you don't want to make the effort, go ahead and flame me some more, I'll continue to reply if I see what I believe are inaccurate characterisations or FUD simply so people reading this thread don't assume I don't reply because you've made a point I can't refute. ]

At the rate you're going with this and the past replies you have made to others, I won't worry about how many times you reply, it proves nothing other than ignorance (which is bliss)!

On a side note:

I commend you for your passion and dedication for what you believe in, but at least stick to the hard facts and stay away from bad gossip, you're intelligent it seems so why not put that to a better use than waste space on these kinds of threads preaching about something not all people will agree on!


By Pengiun at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

[ Actually it looks like most of the other posts are against your viewpoint in thinking! ]

I was talking about the "Mac OS is open source" part. Most people do not disagree with this, most of the argument has been about my assertions that what Apple are doing is bad.

[ So you're half right about Mac OS X not being open source!! ]

I seriously doubt Darwin is 50% of the MacOS code, and more to the point even if it was (which it probably isn't) 50% isn't enough for Mac apps to be run on anything other than MacOS, which is basically what this all boils down to.

[ You argue that Apple is not helping open source whatsoever, but praise Red Hat, though some KDE developers are not exactly happy with RH's attitude lately: ]

Yes, a remarkably silly argument in my view. Redhat made some cosmetic changes at best to KDE, and got a kick in the nuts. Apple take some open source code and integrate it into their commerical and proprietary operating system and everybody praises them. It makes no sense at all.

[ you're intelligent it seems so why not put that to a better use than waste space on these kinds of threads preaching about something not all people will agree on! ]

Thanks. I continue to post here because I want people to realise what is happening, that Apple are not actually interested in the long term benefit of open source, they are interested in the long term benefit of themselves, and those two things are mutually incompatable.


By Mike Hearn at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

Its not clear why you believe Redhat is going to continue to provide a free platform. The free download disappears when a sizeable installed base exists and is dependent on future upgrades.

What is the motivation to produce a rock solid reliable platform with excellent documentation when the business model is services?

My opinion is that Redhat and Sun (Java) are seeding the market. What may be free now won't be in the future.


By Joe Anton at Wed, 2003/01/15 - 6:00am

I don't want to live in the shadow.
So what do you want me to do.
You can track me anywhere


By you know me at Wed, 2007/03/14 - 5:00am

I don't want to live in the shadow.
So what do you want me to do.
You can track me anywhere


By you know me at Wed, 2007/03/14 - 5:00am

Well, except from the fact that I believe that this is just yet another act of open source zealotry, Linux monopolism etc., and that I think that you're way wrong, there is also another aspect, and that is that this particular happening is about a web browser. Web browsing is the most ppular usre of a computer today, and it's heavily dominated by Microsoft Internet Explorer (looking at the stats from our 60000 visits/month web server, where Windows IE claim 98.1%). Although Apple's market share is small, the Safari browser really has the potential to make a difference. Not so much in the browser statistics, perhaps, but in the way web pages are created and validated. This is good.

Perhaps there's not a big upside for the open source movement, but there certainly is no downside.


By Gunnar Liljas at Wed, 2003/01/15 - 6:00am

okay just my two cents on Mikes position.

Darwin is NOT 50% of the MacOs... it is actually closer to 80-95% of it. The only thing you don't get is the gui! All the other underpinnings are there, you can even load it on intel and some AMD hardware. There is very limited support but it is there. You might want to check GNU-Darwin and take a look at what they have.

Does Apple make proprietary hardware? Yes! Is as open and transparent as the WinTel side of the planet? No! And we suffer fewer viruses as a result. We have better overall system security and integrity. So, from my POV I would rather have less hassle and more security then what the WinTel people have to go thru. You can still get tons of information about the hardware et al from Apple but you have to register to be a developer! This is partly to keep the riff raff from getting into mischief, because if something suddenly springs onto the scene that is nasty Apple WILL do their damnedest to figure out WHO did it and it will be their ass!

A lot of people want Apple to release their code for a lot of their toys. They won't. And they honestly should NOT be expected to! Those are the products that they sell to pay their employees...you know the guys and gals with college loans to pay off and put food on the table... those people. And they are a bit gun shy about letting people take a peak at the code....hmmm why is that? The last time it was done was by a smallish software vendor who wanted to see the code to make window overlap...oh what was his name? Oh ya BILL GATES!!! He licensed that bit of code and stole an empire! And before you bring up Xerox... they gave Apple NO CODE. Apple did not steal any either. They built from the ground up their own GUI. If you don't think that Microsoft stole code read in detail the judgement of the lawsuit.

The judge declared that all windows products upto something that at the time was codenamed "new wave" were derivative works of the original copyright holder Apple computer. However the licensing of the window overlap code under copyright law of the time gave the licensee access to the whole document. They just could not copyright THEIR work as original. That was one of the prime movers for XP coming out...the copyright for Win95/98 was UP since it was from the date of the originators copyright Apple.

So..... they have been massively anally raped in the past. Why do you expect them to bend over now? We are talking about a man that started in his garage with friends and BUILT that company from the ground up. Sure he acted like a total dickhead for awhile but can you honestly say that anyone you know inclusive of yourself would not have gotten a swelled head from the experience?

Does he like to pull a couple of rabbits out of the hat at MacWorld? Hell yes! That is why there was NO communication between the Konqui team and Apple until after it was released. Will there be good communication in the future? In all likelyhood yes. Will Apple give as much if not more then they have taken? Most likely yes. Have they given to the FreeBsd community? Yes, not as much as some would like but have you asked yourself if the reason behind that is maybe that they are NOT doing things with the code that is usable by the community since it would be tighter integration with their GUI? I would guess from your tone no.

Yes they make money...OOOO what a sin! They also up until a few years ago had a MAMMOTH R&D budget...have firewire? They developed it! Hold the patent. And even though they are only charging a pittance of 50 cents a port for using it you have people like Michael Dell who would rather end run to avoid paying. So what would be the possible insentive to develop new products if you are not going to recover the costs? None.

Apple is a hardware manufacturer first and a software maker second. Many of the shareholders would like them to split the company down those lines and take the apps etc to other platforms....but cooler heads usually prevail.

Its fine that you have an opinion, it fine to voice it. But please don't draw comparisons between a company that is 180 degrees away from Microsoft in the manner you have. Apple is about as close as you are going to get in the modern business world to a "good" guy these days. I am truly sorry that you have only had the experience of dealing with the plunder baron of Redmond and his cronies. But there are some people in business that were raised to be better people then he was.

Btw..... My Dads developer number with Apple is 97.... he was there before Bill G came hat in hand to beg for some help in keeping his floundering little company in business. Excel was the product.


By chris c at Wed, 2003/01/15 - 6:00am

Grow up, Microsoft and intel are guys who popularised the concept of desktops for home user.They did it for profit all right, but it was a lot cheaper than the macintosh. And apple could have easily destroyed them if they hadn't got greedy. If i remember right, u had to pay royalties to even develop an app for the mac. And of course mac clones were out of the question. In contrast no royalties for windows apps, and a pc could be built out of shelf componenets. And atleast microsft made nt for the alpha(ok maynbe not great but i love that platform(alpha), where was the mac os for any other platform other than the mac??) and u have the audacity to call apple a good guy? They are a business with great products, brilliant engineers but had very poor business acumen and no vision atleast until the imac. Hopefully that's changing now.

Wanna rule the world apple? Charge no royalties for making mac clones. In fact try to use the open source community as much as possible, and contribute back, just like u have done now. THEN u will really be the good guys for good, but until then i will just wait and watch.

P.S: I seriously hope that Apple continue being the good guys. Frankly because it would benefit them, as much as it benefits the opens source community.
KOffice for the mac will be a great thing with all its quirks sorted of course..

2)I wonder why they never tried to get fresco working for OS X? Now that would be somehting to see on the mac.


By mendred at Thu, 2003/01/16 - 6:00am

uh I said as close as you can get. As to populurizing the desktop... that is a matter of degree. Apple had the lions share of the desktop market for home users at one point and lost it. That was a bad decision on Steveos part, he could have charged a lot less for the first mac, and gained position. They were very weak on business apps at that point so not much share in that arena as they would have liked, although on a side note what used to be Seafirst bank in MS's home town kept using their Macs for a good 10-15 years and may still be doing so I don't live there any more.

As to fees to build an app... I am not so sure on that one Hoss. Don't recall having to pay squat. Not even for the developer license during the time in question.

Now on to the clone fiasco. Apple did not charge a license fee per se. they charged a QA charge to make sure that the hardware was upto spec. Rather prudent since they have still an industry leading reputation regarding how tight the hardware/software mesh. Any deviation from that would HURT their reputation. The clone license indicated that the clones were to target non exploited market segments and NOT to interfere in the areas that the parent was dominent in for the platform.

Two things changed: Cost of the QA went up (costs Apple made not a drachma on the QA just charged the cloners cost of operation). And the cloners started going after the core business.

the cloners would not pay the cost of the QA and would not cease and desist on the trimming away at the core of Apples business and fulfill their license. So they got their ticket yank.

Apple bought the best of them and kept many of them on as employees. And further went beyond what they had to do in letting the cloners continue selling their stocks until they were out. They also gave them a nice little severence package of a sort. Both of which they were not required to do under the letter of the agreement.

So ya they are good guys... well some of them are. Steve may have some personality flaws but lack of loyalty is NOT one of them. When I had some problems with my Bondi iMac he got wind of it and interceded. Without my asking, he made a call to the repair place and gave them a little talking to. And after that did not fix the machine (turns out the retailer stored it in a non climate controled area and the unit had been hard frozen at one point), he got me a brand new one. Did not have to. I still have that little Grape (and at the time you could not find a grape one anywhere they were a couple weeks backed up on em) 333 (and I had bought the 233) built in Cupertino. Thing is a rock! You can't kill it. I have run classic, OSX, and two distros of Linux on that little puppy. Never a hiccup.

And all because my dad used to be a pretty hot hand with FORTH.

So I may be a little biased. But then again I have a little more insight into the man in charge, not much more but enough more. This may not make much sense to you but it may to others:

Steve is the kind of guy that gives you a firm handshake and looks you in the eye.

Bill G.... I don't the only time I met him he had a hand shake like a wet fart and would not look at you. But that was way back in '85 he might be diffrent, but I am guessing not.


By chris c at Mon, 2003/01/20 - 6:00am

Why is proprietary platforms bad for software? People do need to get paid. I think this is a great idea because not only are Apple developers submitting their source code back to KDE (and yes, I know they are required to by the LGPL license) but they are also interesting in future collaborations. Tell me how this is bad for open source? We are getting the source code (and enhancements) of Apple developers, and are free to use them in a free environment. Just because KDE is working for a free desktop, doesn't mean that there are "moral issues" with using the source code enhancements of a company who are not. And, I don't know about you, but Melton's email sounded like they are all for Open Source, it's just not their primary business. Apple is a company, and they are there to make money by selling software and hardware. That doesn't mean that are an evil empire ready and waiting to squash the "little open source guys".

I am truely happy with these events, and am looking forward to future releases of KDE because of it. How is any of this bad for the development of KDE? It's either they look at the changes and enhancements made by Apple developers and use them, or, they just go on with their daily lives and continue the way they always have. The options are there.


By Corey Quilliam at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

> Why is proprietary platforms bad for software? People do need to get paid.

They can still be paid, just not by writing proprietary platforms. Very few people actually get paid to write platforms, for desktop computers in fact there is Microsoft and Apple. That's it.

The source code is a means to an end, never forget that. The end is a free platform. Why do we need one? It's simple.

A platform is a power magnifier, think of it like a lever. Because on one platform, there are many apps built upon it, that gives whoever controls the platform a large amount of power over everybody who builds upon that platform. See Microsoft, they can make the whole software industry spin around on the whim of Gates. They can extort money from people, because it's either that or lose all your apps.

A proprietary platform is like the feudal land system, where one Lord of the Manor controlled many poor peasants, who had to do as he said otherwise they would lose the land on which they lived. The platform is like the ground in this sense.

The analogy breaks down slightly because we still have land ownership. It's rather different from medieval times though - if your landlord doubles your rent, you can easily go elsewhere. There is very little lockin. If the Lord doubled the rent to his peasants, they could not move, because they were serfs and tied to the village, and they couldn't just move into a new house, they couldn't just take their crops with them etc. The lockin was very high.

> We are getting the source code (and enhancements) of Apple developers

Yes, and at a shallow level that is nice. Take a look at the big picture. Apple contribute back only what they need to. The amount of code that was originally developed by Apple and has been opened up is pitiful - a chess game anybody?

Would you be happy if Microsoft decided to drop JScript and replaced it with KJS? They'd give back any changes they made, probably some improvements, probably lots of patches to introduce all the IEisms and ActiveX integration and whatnot that MS are known for. I wouldn't, because it's still JScript, Microsoft are still extending their platform, they are still using lockin as a lever. The power balance doesn't change. Technology doesn't get any more free.

> Apple is a company, and they are there to make money

It doesn't matter. They make money selling a proprietary platform, that must stop. They can go find something else to do, selling MP3 players or bomber jackets or whatever. Would you feel sympathetic for a hired killer saying "hey, I'm just trying to make money"? No, didn't think so. If you make money doing something ultimately harmful to society, that is a bad thing.

> How is any of this bad for the development of KDE?

I don't care about the development of KDE, point blank could not give a damn. I care about a free platform, period. The KDE project also cares about such a thing, hence I support them. They make a GPLd desktop environment which is a very important component of a free platform, but it's still a means to an end.

If something is good for the development of KDE, but bad for the development of the open platform as a whole, then it's bad. Apple taking code originally developed for a free operating system and integrating into a non-free OS like MacOS for their own benefit hurts us all in the long run.

It's this kind of "who cares about philosophy, the code is there" attitude that led to the creation of GNOME because the wider community actively considered KDE to be a threat. Luckily that changed when Trolltech made Qt GPLd, and all was well again, but remember why people are doing this.

You may only care about how many pages KHTML can render, but to me that isn't so important. What is important is the long term health of the industry. Apple, being merely a Microsoft-wannabe, is dangerous, and I treat this announcement as such.


By Mike Hearn at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

> It doesn't matter. They make money selling a proprietary platform, that must stop. They can go find something else to do, selling MP3 players or bomber jackets or whatever. Would you feel sympathetic for a hired killer saying "hey, I'm just trying to make money"? No, didn't think so. If you make money doing something ultimately harmful to society, that is a bad thing.

Straw man analogy. Murder is an illegal and clearly immoral activity, capitalism is not and you present no compelling evidence to the contrary, merely your own assertions. It is not as clear as you wish to pretend that proprietary capitalism is at all harmful to society or to that portion of it tied to the computer industry.


By Joseph Feld at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

[ Straw man analogy. Murder is an illegal and clearly immoral activity, capitalism is not ]

In fact you'll find the sort of strategies that Microsoft have used to maintain its dominance on the desktop ARE in fact illegal, as well as immoral. Apple haven't been sued, but they use similar strategies - how do you think Omni feel after having spent years support the Mac platform and now Apple turn around and not only give away but bundle a web browser with the OS? I'm sure that's fine by you, just like the IE bundling was fine with most pure users of Windows.

There are lots of things that one can do that are bad, but not illegal. This form of capitalism is about power, pure and simple. There are no laws against it, but it's bad for everyone except the platform owner nonetheless.

[ It is not as clear as you wish to pretend that proprietary capitalism is at all harmful to society or to that portion of it tied to the computer industry. ]

You missed my point entirely. Reread my posts. I am not against capitalism, or closed source software. I am against proprietary platforms, as they distort the balance of power beyond the abilities of the free market to correct. History shows us this all too clearly.


By Mike Hearn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

The response from Omni was:

Ken Case, CEO of the Omni Group, wrote:

"OmniWeb is a browser which provides a very rich browsing experience, and is a very successful product for us despite free competition from the web industry's giants, Microsoft and Netscape. OmniWeb's biggest weakness has been a lack of compatibility with some web pages, and solving this by implementing newer web standards is the focus of our current efforts on OmniWeb.

"Safari appears to be a great alternative to Internet Explorer as a free web browser which ships with the operating system. It seems to be quite fast, small, and easy to use (much like the new 12" PowerBook), and I'm very glad to see Apple basing their product on standards and open source technologies.

"But the most interesting thing about Safari where OmniWeb is concerned is not the application itself: the wonderful news for OmniWeb is that Apple has based it on a fast, compatible (and small!) rendering engine which is tuned for Mac OS X, and which they are making available to the entire Mac OS X development community! (For details, see http://developer.apple.com/darwin/projects/webcore/.) This means that we may be able to reach our compatibility and speed goals for OmniWeb much more quickly than when we were working alone, and then return our focus to doing what we do best: providing a rich browsing experience. Thank you, Apple!"

I found this qoute on Mac Fix It

Mike


By Mike at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

>[ Straw man analogy. Murder is an illegal and clearly immoral activity, capitalism is not ]

>In fact you'll find the sort of strategies that Microsoft have used to maintain its dominance on the desktop ARE in fact illegal, as well as immoral. Apple haven't been sued, but they use similar strategies - how do you think Omni feel after having spent years support the Mac platform and now Apple turn around and not only give away but bundle a web browser with the OS? I'm sure that's fine by you, just like the IE bundling was fine with most pure users of Windows.

You build another straw man. The actions of Microsoft, or even Apple's actions with regards to Omni are irrelevant with regards to the Apple/KDE transaction that was under discussion. Microsoft wasn't even involved and Omni is a business and businesses sometimes loose if they're not diversified enough. Neither have anything to do with how Apple has somehow harmed society by participating in an open source project. Please try and make your point through direct evidence, not allegorical analogies.

Based on the comments I'm reading in this thread with very few exceptions the KDE society sees nothing wrong with Apple's actions.

> [ It is not as clear as you wish to pretend that proprietary capitalism is at all harmful to society or to that portion of it tied to the computer industry. ]

>You missed my point entirely. Reread my posts. I am not against capitalism, or closed source software. I am against proprietary platforms, as they distort the balance of power beyond the abilities of the free market to correct. History shows us this all too clearly.

I understood your posts completely. However, proprietary platforms are simply a subset of free and proprietary capitalism. To seperate one from the other requires artificial restrictions that I would not support. Simply put: I know what you said and I don't agree.


By Joseph Feld at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

[ Neither have anything to do with how Apple has somehow harmed society by participating in an open source project. Please try and make your point through direct evidence, not allegorical analogies ]

I have not said Apple are harming society by participating in an open source project, I said they are harming society in general by doing something that in the long term is bad for the health of the free market, and that just because they choose to use KHTML in order to do this doesn't make it alright, as so many people seem to assume.

[ Based on the comments I'm reading in this thread with very few exceptions the KDE society sees nothing wrong with Apple's actions. ]

That's because most people are unconcerned with what may happen 5 or 10 years from now, and are equally unconcerned with matters of general principle.

Allegorical analogies they may be, but if we ignore the lessons of history, we're just condemned to make the same mistakes over and over. Apple, Microsoft, Be Inc, it could have been any of them. It shouldn't be any of them.


By Mike Hearn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

> I have not said Apple are harming society by participating in an open source project, I said they are harming society in general by doing something that in the long term is bad for the health of the free market, and that just because they choose to use KHTML in order to do this doesn't make it alright, as so many people seem to assume.

The free market does not require that computer platforms be open to maintain it's health, only that there be alternatives available. Proprietary platforms, in and of themselves, are not wrong. Proprietary platforms with no competing alternatives are wrong. If KDE were the only platform available how would this be an improved state of affairs over today's Microsoft monopoly? The average consumer, business or personal, is not capable of contributing to the code base or the steering of the KDE platform direction. They would be stuck with whatever the KDE higher-ups provided, same as they are today with MIcrosoft. The answer to this conundrum is a healthy mix of competing platforms, the ownership or openess of which is irrelevant.

>Allegorical analogies they may be, but if we ignore the lessons of history, we're just condemned to make the same mistakes over and over. Apple, Microsoft, Be Inc, it could have been any of them. It shouldn't be any of them.

The danger of using allegory to bolster an argument is it makes it too easy to ignore important differences between the presented analogies. In any case, you would need to supply direct evidence to support your fundamental claim about proprietary platforms being harmful to society (and before you bother I've heard the argument before from other sources and I think it's altruistic nonsense). Otherwise, your analogies are at best, meaningless, and likely misleading. A.k.a., a straw man argument.

>That's because most people are unconcerned with what may happen 5 or 10 years from now, and are equally unconcerned with matters of general principle.

I'm sorry, but I find that statement to be arrogant presumption. Just because an individual does not agree with your conclusions does not mean that they are unconcerned with principles or the future.


By Joseph Feld at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

[ The free market does not require that computer platforms be open to maintain it's health, only that there be alternatives available. Proprietary platforms, in and of themselves, are not wrong. Proprietary platforms with no competing alternatives are wrong. ]

The very nature of a proprietary platform is to exclude competition:

1) Customer A evaluates OS/A and OS/B.
2) OS/A has slightly more apps, maybe one particular app they want. Therefore they choose OS/A because at the end of the day, the OS is a means to an end, the end being the apps.
3) Developers look at OS/A and OS/B, and see that OS/A has more users, so they decide to write their app only for OS/A because supporting both is too much effort.
4) Goto 1.

Windows is near as makes no odds to a monopoly and it's not because Windows is so good nobody wants an alternative. BeOS was better, but it died, due to that logic above. It's a nasty catch-22 situation that the free market cannot deal with.

[ If KDE were the only platform available how would this be an improved state of affairs over today's Microsoft monopoly? ]

Because KDE is open and not controlled by any one individual or group. If KDE turned into an evil dicatatorship, it'd be forked and things would continue as before. Of course in reality, KDE would never be a monopoly because it can't be all things to all people. I use GNOME2 for instance, I prefer it's feel, but I used to use KDE3 and liked it a lot. So you still end up with choice, and even if GNOME didn't exist there could well be different distributions of KDE.

[ The answer to this conundrum is a healthy mix of competing platforms, the ownership or openess of which is irrelevant. ]

Not in my opinion, because proprietary platforms have an unfair advantage over open ones, open platforms don't have lockin to any great extent.

See fink? See how most open source apps are capable of running on MacOS, on Windows, on Solaris etc. Now see how difficult it is to run Windows apps on Linux (hard) or MacOS apps on Linux (impossible). Proprietary platforms have lockin to a much greater extent, which is why I oppose them, it distorts the free market - open platforms don't.

I once thought the same as you by the way, I thought it'd be great if Linux, MacOS and Windows all had 33% of the market. Then I realised how unstable such a situation would be, it'd all too easily snowball back into one dominant platform.


By Mike Hearn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

>Would you feel sympathetic for a hired killer saying "hey, I'm just trying to >make money"?
I think this statement summarizes your mental health state. You just compared Apple the company to a hired killer. I am glad you are not in any position of power. You are a fanatic worthy of Osama Bin Laden, just as closed-minded and bigoted.


By Anthony G at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

[ I think this statement summarizes your mental health state. You just compared Apple the company to a hired killer. I am glad you are not in any position of power. You are a fanatic worthy of Osama Bin Laden, just as closed-minded and bigoted. ]

Here's a tip - if you take an analogy literally, question somebodies mental health and compare them to an international terrorist, expect them to think you're an idiot.

My point was that saying "Apple are only trying to make money" is not a valid argument. So what? We all want to make money. That doesn't mean we should do something ultimately harmful to society in order to make money. The fictional hired killer was to ram home the point and make it crystal clear what I was talking about.

Instead of responding to my actual points, you insult me. Don't expect people to take you seriously.


By Mike Hearn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

This will make little or no sense, but then your post doesn't either.

Example: The (former) Soviet Union

The Open Source Community and effort is a hugely underappreciated movement, but for zealots to proclaim that companies simply shouldn't exist to sell software/hardware is beyond naive.

We don't live in a vacuum, and the world you hope for (at least in this arena) does not and will not exist. Someone has to make the transistors, chips, etc.

Rolling your own OS and suite of apps? Great.

But frankly I'm willing to pay for an OS/App with a team of people working on it instead of hoping that the nice but not-quite-there-yet app that gets worked on when the team has a chance will work for me.

It's like the idea of collective farming - sounds nice on paper, but eventually someone's going to get tired of pulling taters out of the ground and figure out a way to buy them from the next farm over.


By Joe Millionaire at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

[ The Open Source Community and effort is a hugely underappreciated movement, but for zealots to proclaim that companies simply shouldn't exist to sell software/hardware is beyond naive. ]

This is maddening. Please READ what I have written before posting again OK? I have stated, many times, that proprietary software IS ALRIGHT.

I'll let that sink in. I write it for a living.

PLATFORMS are not, because they screw up the internals of capitalism. The exact what they do this has been explained a million times before if you don't understand.

Apple sell a proprietary platform, the fact that it's made up of software and hardware isn't really relevant.

I am not advocating all software be built by volunteers. It's certainly possible to get paid to work on free software, in fact Linux has many professional coders, artists and now UI designers as well working on it.

[ Someone has to make the transistors, chips, etc. ]

And they still can. Where did I say everything should be available for zero cost? I don't recall saying that. Please find the quote where I said that, or hell let's be generous, even where I implied it.

What part of "platform" is so confusing. That word must apply to about 0.1% of the worlds software.


By Mike Hearn at Tue, 2003/01/14 - 6:00am

Why is proprietary platforms bad for software?
>>>>>>>>>
There is a fundemental difference between platforms and applications. Making money off applications doesn't harm society, because applications really aren't fundemental and not much else depends on them. Borland or WordPerfect being proprietory hasn't stopped valid competitors like OpenOffice from being created. Platforms are different. They entrench the user in a certain base of software and have close associations with a user's data. All closed programs have certain disadvantages for the user due to their closed nature. In an application these disadvantages have a limited scope. In a closed platform, these disadvantages are pervasive.


By Rayiner Hashem at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

*in the light of Safari, possibly making web browsing a somewhat more standards compliant world*

This is old thinking. Sure, making a platform choice is still very important....

[...and have close associations with a user's data]

...and it's that very association that should be addressed, not the existance if the platforms. Any application or OS or whatever that takes us a step towards open standards also brings us a step towards a document centric "computer world", where the choice of platform is *less* important. The choice will never be completely unimportant, but I applaud everything that gives me yet another option.


By Gunnar Liljas at Wed, 2003/01/15 - 6:00am

"1) Apple makes their money selling proprietary platforms. If you think the Mac, or Mac OS X is not proprietary, then you need a serious reality check."

There are open-source and non-proprietary parts of MacOS X (i.e., the Mach kernel), but the real goodies - Quartz, Cocoa, Carbon - are proprietary. Not going to dispute that.

"2) Proprietary platforms are bad for software freedom"

If one looks at proprietary software as being software that's being denied its rights, and that an increase in the number of closed-source programs means an increase in the number of programs being denied their software rights, he might agree with you. However, I have a difficult time looking at closed-source software in the same light as, say, Japanese-Americans held in internment camps during the second World War.

However, users have rights too. One of the rights that the users have is the right to software choice - the right to select the software that best meets their needs. Why should I, a user, be denied the opportunity to (gasp!) pay for software if I feel the commercial software better suits my needs?

" and society in general."

This is a point that is apparently self-evident only to you.

"3) Therefore, proprietary platforms are a bad thing, therefore in MacOS is a bad thing for all of us in the long run.

This point stands up if - and only if - one agrees that all closed-source software is bad. And not just bad for the software industry, but bad for everyone. Uhm...that's quite a statement.

"Or are you all so blind you have not learned anything from the past decade? Jobs would be the next Gates faster than you can say "WTF?""

And Linus Torvalds is different? Or Theo DeRaadt? Or you? Or me? We'd all like to be in a position to dictate terms to the computer software and hardware industries.

Seems like open-source is on really, really thin ice if you have to beat Apple up because they're standing in the way of KDE's world domination.

"4) This is not "Apple and open source working together". Apple were compelled to release these changes because KHTML is protected under the LGPL."

And they fufilled their end of the bargain. I don't see how this somehow magically translates into Apple shorting the Konqueror developers.

"If they had really been "working with open source" they'd have told the KDE developers as they were working, instead of producing an enormous patch dump which will be difficult to integrate (and a few of the items were already done by the kde guys)."

No, instead, they produced an enormous, *well-documented* patch dump. Whether they do it all in one batch, or in a number of small batches, the patches would still have to have been made. It's the difference between making one payment of $100 or four easy payments of $25.

I agree, duplication of effort sucks. But Apple is hardly the only organization that's accidentally duplicated someone elses' efforts. And I really, really, really doubt the Safari developers did it to intentionally slight the Konqueror people.

"However they decided to pander to Jobs ego so he could go "tada" as he loves to do at Macworld."

Let me couch this in other terms - because they liked being *employed* software developers, rather than *unemployed* software developers, they cooperated with Steve Jobs, the CEO of their *employer* Apple Computer, and did their jobs. Excuse me, but this sounds a lot more like common sense than pandering.


By Andrew Blackburn at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

[ If one looks at proprietary software as being software..... ]

Please reread my posts. I am not against proprietary software. Apple can make all the MP3 players they like. I am against proprietary PLATFORMS, because they are an economic abnormality that allows those who own them to exert power and influence beyond what their abilities would normally be. The owners of such things are invariably corporations so platforms (technology upon which 3rd parties build applications, Sky TV is such a platform, s/apps/channels/) tend to be abused, and we all lose.

[ However, users have rights too. One of the rights that the users have is the right to software choice - the right to select the software that best meets their needs. Why should I, a user, be denied the opportunity to (gasp!) pay for software if I feel the commercial software better suits my needs? ]

It's not about software. Think about this. It's about *platforms*.

You have choice in the car market, and most people are happy with this. There are many types of cars for all types of people and situations. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as a private road network that is only accessible to people who buy cars from Pear Corp. Petrol stations will serve people whatever car they drive, there is no such thing as Ford buying up Shell and closing their stations to only Ford cars. You must drive on the side of the road dictated by the government.

The road network is the platform. Cars are built upon it. Nobody "owns" the road network in its entirety, although most of it is usually run on behalft of the people by the government (which is democratically elected, unlike a corporation).

[ And Linus Torvalds is different? ]

Yes. Linus does not control the kernel. He is in charge because the majority agree with his policies and decisions, and believe they are for the best. If that ceased to be, the kernel would be forked. You cannot fork Windows nor MacOS. Jobs and Gates are concerned primarily with making large amounts of cash, whereas Linus has demonstrated repeatedly that he's more interested in a good kernel.

[ We'd all like to be in a position to dictate terms to the computer software and hardware industries. ]

Speak for yourself. I want a future where society itself decides the terms, not one particular individual.

[ And they fufilled their end of the bargain. I don't see how this somehow magically translates into Apple shorting the Konqueror developers. ]

Where did I claim that? I did not in fact claim that, you are putting words in my mouth. I said I was disappointed with peoples reactions, because they are taking their eyes off the ball. This announcement does not move the vision of a free platform forward, it is merely Apple doing what they are legally obliged to do (and in a rather inconvenient way, TransGaming do such patch dumps as well and the Wine core team dislike them intensely).

[ No, instead, they produced an enormous, *well-documented* patch dump. Whether they do it all in one batch, or in a number of small batches, the patches would still have to have been made. It's the difference between making one payment of $100 or four easy payments of $25. ]

Incorrect. Please run your own open source project for a while before you make statements such as this. The process of developing open source software is a collaborative one, decisions on architecture, code style and such must be made as a group. As an example, TransGaming recently did a patch dump of a SHM WineServer implementation. It is supposed to improve performance.

However, despite the existance of good documentation, the patches were not applied, because it was implemented in a way that the maintainers believed was wrong, parts were missing, the bugginess was unknown and such a large patch would have taken large amounts of effort to merge (it was against an old branch) and seriously destabilised CVS head for a long period of time.

Patch dumps are a bad way to contribute to an open source project. When people cooperate, inform each other of what they're doing and how, development is easier and the result is better.

[ Let me couch this in other terms - because they liked being *employed* software developers, rather than *unemployed* software developers, they cooperated with Steve Jobs, the CEO of their *employer* Apple Computer, and did their jobs. Excuse me, but this sounds a lot more like common sense than pandering. ]

This is entirely irrelevant. I am a free software developer and in fact have 2 jobs, one full time and one part time, to insinuate that really they couldn't possibly follow good project practice because otherwise they'd lose their jobs is either inaccurate or a damning indictment of the culture in Cupertino.


By Mike Hearn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

"Please reread my posts. I am not against proprietary software. Apple can make all the MP3 players they like."

Sorry to not have seen your previous rants, but I only became aware of this thread today and haven't had time to properly orient myself with your personal brand of software activism.

"I am against proprietary PLATFORMS, because they are an economic abnormality that allows those who own them to exert power and influence beyond what their abilities would normally be. The owners of such things are invariably corporations so platforms (technology upon which 3rd parties build applications, Sky TV is such a platform, s/apps/channels/) tend to be abused, and we all lose."

"Open standards" can be abused just as easily as closed ones, let's not forget. And the fact that a standard is exposed, or was established through some "open" method (which it usually wasn't, even if we say it was), doesn't mean that it's a particularly good one. NTSC television, for example, has been the standard for television delivery for decades here in North America. In the meantime, the existance of that "standard" has actually acted as a barrier to entry to other, superior methods of video delivery.

"You have choice in the car market, and most people are happy with this. There are many types of cars for all types of people and situations. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as a private road network that is only accessible to people who buy cars from Pear Corp. Petrol stations will serve people whatever car they drive, there is no such thing as Ford buying up Shell and closing their stations to only Ford cars. You must drive on the side of the road dictated by the government."

This is not entirely true - there are large parts of North America where diesel fuel is hard to come by. People who buy electric, hydrogen, or methanol powered cars have even tougher choices. This wonderful "road standard" has actually done a great job of blocking alternative fuel adoption.

"The road network is the platform. Cars are built upon it. Nobody "owns" the road network in its entirety, although most of it is usually run on behalf of the people by the government (which is democratically elected, unlike a corporation)."

Actually, corporations *are* democratically elected, just through a different process. Whereas we have annual public elections to select our political leaders, every day we have corporate elections to decide who our corporate leaders are to be. Every time we buy something, we're voting. (In fact, the corporate election process is truly democratic, whereas most of us reading this (anyone living in, say, North America or Europe) live in a Republic.)

"Yes. Linus does not control the kernel. He is in charge because the majority agree with his policies and decisions, and believe they are for the best. If that ceased to be, the kernel would be forked. You cannot fork Windows nor MacOS. Jobs and Gates are concerned primarily with making large amounts of cash, whereas Linus has demonstrated repeatedly that he's more interested in a good kernel."

And if, in the pursuit of those large amounts of cash, Jobs or Gates or McNealy or Fiorina happens to produce a good kernel too, we should still condemn them because they did it for the wrong reasons?

You certainly can't tell me that a person who names his operating system after himself hasn't involved his ego. But I guess as long as he's not doing it for money, doing it for ego is okay. And I can't believe - for one second - that Linus has not benefitted monetarily from Linux, or that the thought of making a couple of bucks never crossed his mind.

Linus is in charge of Linux because the core developer group has chosen to stay loyal to him. He did personally maintain the kernel for a long time, and relinquished control only because he could no longer keep up with the pace of development needed to keep Linux viable.

"Speak for yourself. I want a future where society itself decides the terms, not one particular individual."

Funny...that seems to describe the present. No one is forcing anyone to buy Windows, or MacOS - even the people who have signed contracts that say they have to have only coerced themselves.

"Where did I claim that? I did not in fact claim that, you are putting words in my mouth."

I sit corrected. You didn't say that Apple shorted the Konqueror developers, you said they left them a mountain of patches to integrate - i.e., that Apple's developers had created a lot of work for the KHTML developers they wouldn't have otherwise had.

"I said I was disappointed with peoples reactions, because they are taking their eyes off the ball."

No, actually, you leveled a personal insult at them. Telling someone he is engaged in "sycophantic Apple-drooling" isn't exactly complimentary, and certainly doesn't invite reasoned discussion about a topic you obviously feel stronly about. How dare we stray for a moment from Stallman's vision!

"This announcement does not move the vision of a free platform forward, it is merely Apple doing what they are legally obliged to do (and in a rather inconvenient way, TransGaming do such patch dumps as well and the Wine core team dislike them intensely)."

You're going to have to stop ranting for a moment and define platform for those of us who aren't indoctrinated into your religion. Where does "platform" end and "software" begin? Is a "platform" an OS (like Linux or MacOS X)? A published technical standard (like TCP/IP or HTML)? A source code base (like KHTML)? I'm a little fuzzy on where you're going with this.

Apple certainly had the option of being much less cooperative with the Konqueror developers than they were. They could have made sloppy changes, documented them poorly, and waited four or five years to return them. I think that Apple has gone beyond compliance with the letter of the law, and has also met the spirit of the law. Dirk Mueller didn't sound too unhappy with Don Melton.

"Incorrect. Please run your own open source project for a while before you make statements such as this. The process of developing open source software is a collaborative one, decisions on architecture, code style and such must be made as a group.

Funny. I work as a commercial developer, and those same decisions are made the same way. I don't want to alienate my employees, or overlook a better design, just because "I'm the boss".

"As an example, TransGaming recently did a patch dump of a SHM WineServer implementation. It is supposed to improve performance."

However, despite the existance of good documentation, the patches were not applied, because it was implemented in a way that the maintainers believed was wrong, parts were missing, the bugginess was unknown and such a large patch would have taken large amounts of effort to merge (it was against an old branch) and seriously destabilised CVS head for a long period of time."

And the people who run KHTML have the right to toss out any code changes from Apple on the same grounds. For that matter, I have to toss out code changes done by my co-workers that I feel violate design principles or are poorly implemented. The fact that I wasn't able to use their work doesn't change the fact that they still need to be compensated for their contributions to the project.

"This is entirely irrelevant. I am a free software developer and in fact have 2 jobs, one full time and one part time, to insinuate that really they couldn't possibly follow good project practice because otherwise they'd lose their jobs is either inaccurate or a damning indictment of the culture in Cupertino."

This is far from irrelevant. Apple's employees behaved in the most responsible manner they could, given their constraints. They have personally pledged further support to the KHTML group, and Apple has come out as a corporation and pledged further cooperation. They could have been far less responsible than they were, but they have every incentive to cooperate with the Konqueror group because it means a better product for them...and for us. The indictment made of the culture in Cupertino is only this - they are a company, seeking profits through competitive advantage, gained by the element of surprise. Heaven forbid.


By Andrew Blackburn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

[ "Open standards" can be abused just as easily as closed ones, let's not forget. ]

Not if they are in fact open. The definition of "open standard" seems to vary wildly between organisations and people. Is .NET an open standard? Arguably so, as some of the relevant specs have been submitted to first ECMA then ISO.

Nonetheless, there is only one defacto implementation, and of course Microsoft themselves have already extended the standards. So Redmond is in the driving seat here, and even though small parts of the technology are available for public reimplementation, for an actual implementation to be useful it has to keep up with the non standard extensions.

[ NTSC television, for example, has been the standard for television delivery for decades here in North America. In the meantime, the existance of that "standard" has actually acted as a barrier to entry to other, superior methods of video delivery. ]

Yes, I know. Nonetheless, having everyone using the not-so-great NTSC was deemed preferable to having some channels only receivable on some TV sets. Otherwise, you could find that TV set manufacturers buy up the most popular channels, and made them only viewable on their particular brand of TV, meaning people are now choosing that brand of TV based on what "apps" are available - ie it's become a proprietary platform and innovation in the TV set industry suffers.

And in fact that is exactly what's happening with Sky TV. The UK TV regulators are not happy, but BSkyB is based in Luxembourg so they are out of legal reach of the regulators.

[ This is not entirely true - there are large parts of North America where diesel fuel is hard to come by. ]

Yes, that's normal supply and demand though. Diesel isn't hard to come buy because a company that makes petrol-only cars has decided to make it hard for you.

[ Actually, corporations *are* democratically elected, just through a different process. ]

That's based on the assumption that customers are:

a) perfectly informed
and b) perfectly neutral

ie classical economics. Obviously in reality none of these things are true. I never "voted" for Microsoft willingly, yet they are most definately in power. That's because customers are not perfectly neutral, they're willing to overlook flaws in Windows in order to get the apps they need/want. Marketing affects the first.

[ I sit corrected. You didn't say that Apple shorted the Konqueror developers, you said they left them a mountain of patches to integrate - i.e., that Apple's developers had created a lot of work for the KHTML developers they wouldn't have otherwise had. ]

Right. If Apple had sponsored the development of KHTML (as other companies like codeweavers sponsor wine) then they'd have assigned some engineers who would have worked with the core KDE team (possibly hiring some original khtml developers) and development would have continued as normal. This kind of business relationship takes place every day, but Apple chose not to do this.

[ No, actually, you leveled a personal insult at them. Telling someone he is engaged in "sycophantic Apple-drooling" isn't exactly complimentary, and certainly doesn't invite reasoned discussion about a topic you obviously feel stronly about. How dare we stray for a moment from Stallman's vision! ]

Perhaps I should have toned down my language in that part. I feel that people are treating Apple specially for no good reason other than good marketing on their part. CodeWeavers contribute huge amounts of code to Wine every single day, yet I have never seen 150 comments of nothing but mindless praise for them. This makes me angry, because when put in perspective Apples contributions to open source are tiny considering their size as a company - Redhat, CodeWeavers et al all run profitable businesses and give most or all of their code away under the gpl.

I'm not saying Apple should do this. I don't in fact agree with Stallman - he wants all software to be free, and I realise this is currently impractical. I just want the platform to be free, because that is a) achievable and b) a good thing for society, as it levels the playing field in the computer industry.

[ You're going to have to stop ranting for a moment and define platform for those of us who aren't indoctrinated into your religion. ]

Now who's leveling insults? An unusual point of view != a religion. From another post:

* I define (for the purposes of this discussion) a platform to be a technology upon which "applications" are built. An application could be a piece of software, or a TV channel on Sky TV, or a series of Word macros etc...

KHTML is not a platform, the web is a platform and web sites are the "applications". KHTML is something you need to access that platform. Another such example would be, the Win32 APIs are a platform, software programs are the apps and you need an implementation of the Win32 APIs to access that platform. Implementions are MS Windows or Wine.

In the case of the web, it's an open platform. Technical standards are set by a neutral standards body which debates its upcoming standards in an open forum, allows public comments and reviews and does not charge for implementations of its standards. Multiple implementations are not just encouraged, they are required.

Win32 is not an open platform despite the existance of more than one implementation, because Microsoft is in control of that platform. I guess if one day everybody used Wine instead of MS Windows they might lose that control, assuming there are no nasty surprises lurking in the form of patents, but for now it's a closed platform.

[ I think that Apple has gone beyond compliance with the letter of the law, and has also met the spirit of the law. ]

Compliance in spirit is like a scale isn't it - they could have done a CodeWeavers or a Redhat and been 100% helpful, or they could have been Evil(tm), they chose somewhere in the middle. Hence my dislike of the seemingly endless positive comments on this forum - often companies that really do try their hardest to work well with open source projects get slagged off not just here but elsewhere, I've seen it. Yet for some reason Apple are infallible. One comment even mentioned a "budding relationship".

[ Funny. I work as a commercial developer, and those same decisions are made the same way. I don't want to alienate my employees, or overlook a better design, just because "I'm the boss". ]

Well, I dunno how you run your projects, but if one of my employees decided to work on their own projects in secret then do a massive patch dump I'd be pretty pissed off. Internally company projects require co-operation from everyone and people have to know who's working on what, there has to be internal consensus on how things will be done. This didn't happen here.

[ And the people who run KHTML have the right to toss out any code changes from Apple on the same grounds. ]

Sure they have the right to - but if these changes had been made in the right way from the start, any mistakes/design decisions/code style problems the Apple developers had would have been fixed from the start.

[ This is far from irrelevant. Apple's employees behaved in the most responsible manner they could, given their constraints. ]

I'm not interested in Apples employees, I'm interested in Apple. If Apple choose to impose arbitrary restraints on their employees, that's still an issue.

[ The indictment made of the culture in Cupertino is only this - they are a company, seeking profits through competitive advantage, gained by the element of surprise. Heaven forbid. ]

The "element of surprise" here is little more than Jobs being able to get ooh and ahhs at MacWorld. It's purely an ego thing - considering it's being bundled with the Mac and is given away for free, they couldn't have lost any competitive advantage by properly cooperating.

Anyway, I'm drifting off topic again - even if Apple had cooperated properly with the KHTML team I'd still be annoyed (perhaps a bit less so), because people are still pretending what Apple are doing is all right, when in my opinion it's harmful in the long term, just as Windows/Microsoft was. But peoples eyes seem to glaze over whenever the word MacOS is mentioned. Daft but true.


By Mike Hearn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

Let me see if I can get this right: Your argument (summarised from your first post) is that -

(1.) proprietary platforms are inherently bad (your considered opinion, to which you are of course entitled).
(2.) Mac OS X is a proprietary platform (irrefutable overall, despite minor exceptions).
Therefore:
(3.) Mac OS X is a bad thing. (valid conclusion, if one agrees with premise (1.)).

Thus far, nothing to do with KHTML and Safari. In fact, you note:
[huge snip]
> KHTML is not a platform, the web is a platform and
> web sites are the "applications".
[snip]
> In the case of the web, it's an open platform.
[huge snip]

I'm having a hard time seeing how the KHTML/Safari news affects your argument. There's currently no evidence that Apple's misappropriating the efforts of the KHTML developers, but even if there were, this wouldn't directly hurt KHTML.

What have I missed?


By Jonathan Sanderson at Sun, 2003/01/12 - 6:00am

[ (1.) proprietary platforms are inherently bad (your considered opinion, to which you are of course entitled). ]

Indeed. I have also attempted to justify that opinion with arguments based on sound economics.

[ What have I missed? ]

Presumably the point of my first post, which in fact didn't talk about KHTML much at all. Apple have done what they are legally obliged to do, albiet in a rather inconvenient way, and that is fine.

My anger stemmed from the fact that I clicked "Read More" and saw 150 comments of nothing but praise for Apple, the only even slightly negative comment I saw was from a self-proclaimed Mac head.

There are companies out there who give more back to the free software movement every single day than Apple has in its entire existance, who instead of doing enormous patch dumps by surprise have hired the coders on the projects they were interested in, and gave them autonomy. Redhat, IBM, Suse, CodeWeavers - the list goes on and on. Yet I have never seen such ridiculous amounts of hyperbole about these companies, in fact when Redhat had the temerity to alter the default artwork and menus this forum iirc was up in arms, yet Redhat have given more back to the community than pretty much anybody else and are clearly interested in seeing a free platforms succeed (they can then make money by being experts in it, not by controlling it).

It's peoples attitude that angered me, the "well we got some patches so why should we care what Apple are doing in the long term" view that if everybody took would make the whole point of KDE (being a free desktop) irrelevant, we might as well all have bought a Mac.

At the end of the day, Apples long term goals involve taking control of the computing industry just like Microsoft did over a decade ago. They won't succeed, their business model precludes that from ever happening, but nonetheless on general principle what they are doing is bad yet nobody here seems to care. That's what angers me. KHTML was merely a catalyst for that particular rant.


By Mike Hearn at Sun, 2003/01/12 - 6:00am

RE: [Redhat] clearly interested in seeing a free platforms succeed (they can then make money by being experts in it, not by controlling it.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by "being experts in it" but it shouldn't be surprising that Redhat is *initially* interested in seeing a free platform succeed because they are working to be the defacto Linux standard that developers target. The moment an installed base of both users and apps reaches a critical # then I would imagine their attitude will change. By that time a brand will have been established and people will pay for it rather than Redhat Clone A or B.

They have shareholders too.


By Joe Anton at Sun, 2003/01/12 - 6:00am

[ I'm not sure what you mean exactly by "being experts in it" ]

They make money from services and support, ie consultancy and the Redhat Network (service).

[ The moment an installed base of both users and apps reaches a critical # then I would imagine their attitude will change. By that time a brand will have been established and people will pay for it rather than Redhat Clone A or B. ]

I think we just entered the realm of total fantasy. Yes, anything *could* happen, tomorrow Apple could decide to open source MacOS X and give it over to a democratic working group, but they're not going to. So far Redhat have shown no inclination towards controlling Linux, and all their code is GPLd. It's about as non-evil as you can get. The RH business model is pretty clearly defined.


By Mike Hearn at Sun, 2003/01/12 - 6:00am

> 1) Apple makes their money selling proprietary platforms. If you think the Mac, or Mac OS X is > not proprietary, then you need a serious reality check.

Yes, Apple is trying to make money. That's quite normal for a company, and what is wrong with that?

> 2) Proprietary platforms are bad for software freedom and society in general.

That's a very simpleminded view in my oppinion. A proprietary platform is not by definition "bad". Lots of people have a need for software that is boring to write, needed only in a special field etc. Chances are that no opensource developer will bother to write such software, but the maker of proprietary software can be bothered since the user will usually be willing to pay for it. Some needs are better fullfilled by a proprietary company.
How does this harm your own software freedom or the society you live in? You a still perfectly free to develop a free equivalent of the proprietary software if you feel it's needed.

> 3) Therefore, proprietary platforms are a bad thing, therefore in MacOS is a bad thing for all of > us in the long run. Or are you all so blind you have not learnt anything from the past decade?

Nobody's forcing you to use MacOS if you don't want to. If Apple is willing to let its developers work on code where some of it is being released back to the OpenSource community I think that's great - that does no harm (but it may do some good).

> Jobs would be the next Gates faster than you can say "WTF?"

Personally I prefer to judge people by their actions and not just by the fact they run a company. How well do you know Steve Jobs? Do you know for a fact that he would behave the same way Bill Gates does? If you don't have concrete evidence, then don't judge. If you do have evidence, then present it and let people make their own judgements.

> 4) This is not "Apple and open source working together".

Have you been paying attention *at all* to the discussions, exchange of idears and code etc. happening on the KDE mailing lists and elsewhere? If what's currently happening is not what you'd call cooperation, then I'd like to hear your definition of the term.

> Apple were compelled to release these changes because KHTML is protected under the LGPL.

Yes, and they actually did that. They could just as easily have stolen the code, the ideas etc. If Apple had just obfuscated the code and incorporated it in their product (or encrypted the binary), do you think anyone would ever have noticed? They could also have just read the code and then reimplemented it a bit differently - would anyone have noticed? I don't think anyone would ever have found out. But they did not do that. They played nice and released all their changes back to the Konqueror people.

> If they had really been "working with open source" they'd have told the KDE developers as
> they were working, instead of producing an enormous patch dump which will be difficult to
> integrate

It's not difficult to integrate. Apple produced a very detailed changelog and the merging of the code is already progressing nicely. I read an email by one of the Konqueror developers a little while ago who said the merging would probably take a few weeks. A few weeks is not very long considering the amount of changes - I Apple had not released such a clean patch and changelog the job would probably have taken months.

> (and a few of the items were already done by the kde guys).

Ok, so a bit of work was duplicated, so what? They also implemented a lot of stuff that was still on the TODO (and who knows when it would have been done if Apple had not done it?). Also a lot of bugs were fixed, that's nice and although they would probably have been found eventually by other people what's so bad about Apple finding and fixing them *now*?

> However they decided
> to pander to Jobs ego so he could go "tada" as he loves to do at Macworld.

So what? We got a huge amount of code to improve KJS/KHTML with - what do you care what he does with the browser his company developed?
OpenSource is about freedom. And if the license permits him to release Safari the way he did (and the license does permit it), then what's so terrible about it?
The developers placed the code under an open license. Thereby they made a choise about how they would allow the code to be used, and they chose to use a license that permits a company such as Apple to do exactely what they have done. The Konqueror people wrote the code, they chose the license - respect their desition and don't blame Apple for playing by the rules *the_people_who_wrote_the_code* defined.
*YOU* are free to choose whatever license you wish for code *YOU* write. But you don't get to choose what license other people should use for their code.

> I find this mindless sycophantic Apple-drooling disgusting. Wake up people! Do you not see
> what is happening? Is Safari open source? No.

No it is not, and it does not have to be. KJS/KHTML is opensource and Apple did the right thing and released their changes to those components back as opensource. The rest of the browser they wrote themselves and since they wrote that, *they* get to chose the license for that bit. What's wrong with that? The abbility to chose the license *you* want for code *you* write is exactely what enables you to write opensource software, if you want to keep that freedom of license choice, then you should let other people have that freedom as well, even if they choose different from what you like!

> In fact, Apple have released basically jack all of their own code.

And what right do you have to require that they do so? Don't they have the right to do as they please with their own code?

> FreeBSD has got a few minor patches and some test suites out of them.

Good for FreeBSD.

> If you think MacOS is open source go try and fork it. Go on, I dare you. Just make sure you
> have a large budget for the legal costs.

The core of MacOS X (Darwin) is released under the terms of the "Apple Public Source License". That license is listed as an approved OpenSource license on http://www.opensource.org/licenses/ .
MacOS X contains more than Darwin, and some of those parts are not OpenSource, but that's Apple's choice to make, not yours. You can go right ahead and fork Darwin if you want to.

> I think Ian Clarke was right when he said for some people the fad was more important than the
> philosophy. KDE is working for a free desktop - Apple quite clearly is not. This is a dark day
> for KDE and free software in general.

As long as Apple is playing by the rules and KDE is bennefiting from that I don't see the problem.
Don't forget that they are playing by the rules that the KJS/KHTML developers defined - it's not like they went and invented their own rules. If you don't like what's permitted by the license that covers KJS/KHTML, then go ahead and write your own HTML render engine and JavaScript engine and release those under whatever license you want - then you can complain if someone don't play by your rules with your software.

> Flames are expected. Go ahead, I've seen them all before.

The above is not intended as a flame, but I guess you will get some since your arguments are very hollow indeed.

/Jesper Juhl


By Jesper Juhl at Fri, 2003/01/10 - 6:00am

[ Yes, Apple is trying to make money. That's quite normal for a company, and what is wrong with that? ]

It is normal for a company, and it is wrong because it's not what is best for society. That is why no country, not even America operates pure capitalism. Instead it's bracketed and controlled, with the profit motive being constrained legally in order to channel it into energy that's useful to everyone.

Unfortunately in this case there are no laws against proprietary platforms, and may well never be. Planned obselesence is something that companies are hardly ever found guilty of, because it's so hard to prove. Nonetheless, it's generally agreed to be a bad thing.

[ That's a very simpleminded view in my oppinion. A proprietary platform is not by definition "bad". Lots of people have a need for software that is boring to write, needed only in a special field etc. Chances are that no opensource developer will bother to write such software, but the maker of proprietary software can be bothered since the user will usually be willing to pay for it. ]

You're confusing platforms and software. They are very different.

Proprietary software is fine. I write it in my main (day) job.

Proprietary platforms (in general) are not, as they artificially restrict competition in ways the free market cannot cope with on its own.

[ You a still perfectly free to develop a free equivalent of the proprietary software if you feel it's needed. ]

On the contrary, if I was to try and replicate MacOS X I would be sued immediately, probably on the basis of infringing the look and feel, even if I used my own original artwork. Such a legal action would be pointless because the courts have long established that you cannot protect look and feel, but they would do so nonetheless (they have done for theme authors for instance).

[ Nobody's forcing you to use MacOS if you don't want to. ]

What, you mean like nothing forces me to use Windows? In fact, I rarely use Windows now, but that itself took a lot of effort and I was always careful to keep my dependancies on Windows to a minimum. MacOS is just the same as Windows in this respect.

Right now nothing forces me to use MacOS because it has virtually no market share, but if tomorrow it had 50% of the market, suddenly I might find that app I need to use to do my job is MacOS only.

If you think people choose their platforms based on which is best, you need to examine the findings of the Microsoft trial more carefully. It's happened once and was bad, I for one am not willing to let it happen all over again with Apple.

[ No it is not, and it does not have to be. ]

Correct. Apple have done only what they are obliged to. Yet I see posts on this story saying that Apple is the friend of the free software movement, that it has benefited us, and now Apple is everybodies best mate. This is ridiculous, their goals are what they have always been, and because they have done once what companies like Red Hat do every single day, people are coming out with the most ridiculous hyperbole.

Read my posts carefully. I state only the facts. I never stated Apple should have released their code, I stated they they didn't - we are getting back only what we forced them to give back. Considering it's MacOS only and already based on KHTML, the code would have been nearly useless anyway practically of course (much like darwin).

Therefore this event is entirely unremarkable, yet people treat it as the second coming. Do people think so highly of TransGaming? I think not. I find it worrying that people are so easily brainwashed in this way.

[ MacOS X contains more than Darwin, and some of those parts are not OpenSource, but that's Apple's choice to make, not yours. You can go right ahead and fork Darwin if you want to. ]

Why bother? Darwin is useless. It's a kernel that supports virtually no hardware, and is lower performance than Linux anyway. If you had Ferrari and I gave you a gift of a Lada, you might be grateful, but you probably wouldn't drive it.

Note that nobody uses raw Darwin in any significant numbers. MacOS itself is proprietary. Nothing can change that. Raw Darwin is not enough to run MacOS apps, therefore it's a closed platform.

[ Don't forget that they are playing by the rules that the KJS/KHTML developers defined - it's not like they went and invented their own rules. ]

I have not forgotten that, I am well aware of it. Stallman created these licenses in his quest for a free platform made of free software. By doing what they are obliged to do and no more, they violate the spirit if not the letter of that agreement.

[ If you don't like what's permitted by the license that covers KJS/KHTML, then go ahead and write your own HTML render engine and JavaScript engine and release those under whatever license you want - then you can complain if someone don't play by your rules with your software. ]

I have seriously considered such a clause in my own project, but fortunately it solves a Linux-specific problem so would be of no use to any proprietary platform vendor I can think of. I do not wish my efforts to go towards the advancement of something that keeps the status quo in place, or replaces it with an identical copy. Such a thing is hard to make legally waterproof however.

[ The above is not intended as a flame, but I guess you will get some since your arguments are very hollow indeed. ]

So far no response has given credible arguments against my opinions IMHO, they are mostly based on confusion of what I actually meant. I put a lot of effort into making that post as precise as possible, but some people still misunderstood. To recap:

* I am not against proprietary software. I am against proprietary platforms.

* I define (for the purposes of this discussion) a platform to be a technology upon which "applications" are built. An application could be a piece of software, or a TV channel on Sky TV, or a series of Word macros etc...

* I am against such things because they warp the natural laws of competition - people choose a product based on what apps are available, not on the quality of the product (when a platform is dominant)

* When that occurs, organisations or individuals gain more power than they should, and they normally abuse that power, so we all lose.

* I am not claiming Apple are doing something illegal.

* I am not claiming nobody should get paid for writing software.

* I am not saying everything would be all right if Safari were open sourced. Even if it were, it'd be another Darwin, nice to have but ultimately useless as it'd only run on a Mac (or not run well on anything else).

* My arguments are based on basic economic and social theory. If you don't understand them, I'm happy to explain them. It's pretty obvious once you know why platforms are economic abnormalities, but I remember I didn't realise until it was explained to me :)


By Mike Hearn at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

> [ Yes, Apple is trying to make money. That's quite normal for a company, and what is wrong
> with that? ]
>
> It is normal for a company, and it is wrong because it's not what is best for society.

So, the only "right" thing to do, is to only do things that bennefit society as a whole? I'm sorry to say it, but the world is not that rosy, and I don't think it ever will be (and I'm not entirely sure I /want/ it to be in all respects).

> Unfortunately in this case there are no laws against proprietary platforms, and may well never
> be.

In my oppinion there should *not* be any such laws. I don't want to live in a society where everything is controlled and regulated. The problem with too many rules and regulations (laws) is that they can never be made to suit everyone. I'm not at all a fan of proprietary platforms myself (don't get that wrong), but I'd rather live in a less regulated society that permits proprietary platforms (and various other stuff I don't like) then have too many laws and regulations that restrict the things I *do* like. How do you deside what to outlaw? If we set the rules by your standards/ethics/morals/etc, then you'll probably be stepping on quite a few of my toes and vice versa - then I'd rather not have those laws and let you and me live by sepperate rules in sepperate locations. I hope you understand what I mean.

> [ That's a very simpleminded view in my oppinion. A proprietary platform is not by definition
> "bad". Lots of people have a need for software that is boring to write, needed only in a special
> field etc. Chances are that no opensource developer will bother to write such software, but the
> maker of proprietary software can be bothered since the user will usually be willing to pay for
> it. ]
>
> You're confusing platforms and software. They are very different.

Yes, I realize that platforms and applications are different, and I don't think I'm confusing them. A platform does not have to be something a lot of people use or even be publicly available to be "a platform". You could have a platform developed for a specific purpose for a specific (possibly closed) audience, and then develop applications for that platform - it's still a platform, and I don't think that it's nessesarily bad that such a platform be proprietary. It *may* be bad, but that depends entirely on if it fullfills the needs of the users of that platform or not, the single fact that a platform is proprietary does not by definition make it bad (at least not in my book).

> Proprietary software is fine. I write it in my main (day) job.

I'm glad we agree on something. :)

> Proprietary platforms (in general) are not, as they artificially restrict competition in ways the
> free market cannot cope with on its own.

If you restrict the, so called, free market, is it then still "free" ?
The restrictions you want to place on the market by outlawing proprietary platforms is just as artificial (or more) as the restrictions the platform itself places on the market.
The restrictions placed by the platform can be broken by developing alternative platforms (proprietary and/or free), restrictions placed by laws are harder to break.
It may not be *easy* to break out of the restrictions of a proprietary platform, but is that an argument for outlawing it? I don't think so, who said anything that's not easy should not be allowed.

> [ You a still perfectly free to develop a free equivalent of the proprietary software if you feel
> it's needed. ]
>
> On the contrary, if I was to try and replicate MacOS X I would be sued immediately, probably
> on the basis of infringing the look and feel, even if I used my own original artwork. Such a legal
> action would be pointless because the courts have long established that you cannot protect
> look and feel, but they would do so nonetheless (they have done for theme authors for
> instance).

You are saying that you would be sued, but that the suit would be poinless. In that case you *are* free to develop it - it's only a matter of resources on your part to be able to win the lawsuit.
And, nobody is saying that you need to replicate every detail of the platform. Linux, FreeBSD, FreeDOS and ATheOS are all alternative platforms to (for example) Windows or MacOS. And their existance is proof that it *is* possible to develop alternative platforms even though proprietary platforms are allowed and in widespread use.

> [ Nobody's forcing you to use MacOS if you don't want to. ]
>
> What, you mean like nothing forces me to use Windows? In fact, I rarely use Windows now,
> but that itself took a lot of effort and I was always careful to keep my dependancies on
> Windows to a minimum. MacOS is just the same as Windows in this respect.

Yes, I mean exactely like 'nothing forces you to use Windows'. Just becourse some specific platform is in widespread use does not disallow you using something else.

> Right now nothing forces me to use MacOS because it has virtually no market share, but if
> tomorrow it had 50% of the market, suddenly I might find that app I need to use to do my job is
> MacOS only.

You would still have the choice of finding or developing an alternative to that app (og pay someone else to do so).

> If you think people choose their platforms based on which is best, you need to examine the
> findings of the Microsoft trial more carefully. It's happened once and was bad, I for one am not
> willing to let it happen all over again with Apple.

I *don't* think that people always base their choises on what's best (I'm not that naive). But I know that I try to base my own choises on what suits my own purposes best. If someone else chooses to use a bad, expensive or unsuited tool then that is their problem, not mine.
To give an example: I personally like using Linux, KDE, gcc etc. and therefor I spend some of my time and money on improving that platform and set of tools. If you also bennefit from my efforts, then that's just great - if you don't, I don't care.

> [ No it is not, and it does not have to be. ]
>
> Correct. Apple have done only what they are obliged to.

I have no problem with that. In some situations I also only do what I'm obliged to even if someone else could bennefit from me doing more. Some times I do something extra just to help someone else out (feel free to search the net for stuff I've contributed to various projects), but not always - I reserve the right to choose when to do so or not and I don't have a problem with Apple doing the same.

> Yet I see posts on this story saying
> that Apple is the friend of the free software movement, that it has benefited us,

The changes they made to KJS/KHTML *have* bennefited us. It *also* bennefited Apple, but personally I don't mind that.

>and now Apple
> is everybodies best mate. This is ridiculous, their goals are what they have always been, and
> because they have done once what companies like Red Hat do every single day, people are
> coming out with the most ridiculous hyperbole.

I'm not saying that they are our best friends or anything like that. I'm just saying that we *did* bennefit from what they did, and I'm happy to just reap those bennefits and move on. If, in the future, we bennefit some more then that's great, if we don't I won't loose any sleep over it.

> Read my posts carefully. I state only the facts. I never stated Apple should have released their
> code, I stated they they didn't - we are getting back only what we forced them to give back.

Yes, I see that, but you are implying that you don't like that they only do what they were forced to. That seems to bother you, whereas it does not bother me.

> Therefore this event is entirely unremarkable, yet people treat it as the second coming. Do
> people think so highly of TransGaming? I think not. I find it worrying that people are so easily
> brainwashed in this way.

Some may be brainwashed, sure. And some may just find it to be very nice that the community got a large amount of code from Apple and try to see the positive aspects of that and not be very troubled by the fact that Apple also got something out of the exchange.

> [ MacOS X contains more than Darwin, and some of those parts are not OpenSource, but
> that's Apple's choice to make, not yours. You can go right ahead and fork Darwin if you want
> to. ]
>
> Why bother? Darwin is useless. It's a kernel that supports virtually no hardware, and is lower
> performance than Linux anyway.

It may be useless (to you), but that's not the point. The point is it's free and available and you *can* fork it, you *can* use it as-is and you *can* use it as a base and develop it into something that you find usefull. If you choose to not use it and use something else like Linux or Windows instead doesn't make it less free (and personally I really don't care *what* you use - proprietary or not).

> [ Don't forget that they are playing by the rules that the KJS/KHTML developers defined - it's
> not like they went and invented their own rules. ]
>
> I have not forgotten that, I am well aware of it. Stallman created these licenses in his quest for
> a free platform made of free software. By doing what they are obliged to do and no more, they
> violate the spirit if not the letter of that agreement.

What you (or I) find to be the "spirit" of the agreement is entirely subjective. I *might* think they don't violate the spirit of the agreement and you *might* think they do. You can argue about that for ages and people will always disagree exactely *what* is the spirit of the agreement. If you want someone to obay the spirit of the agreement, then you should turn that "spirit" into words and make it the letter of the agreement (or accept that it's open to interpretation).

> So far no response has given credible arguments against my opinions IMHO,

Exactely, in *your* oppinion. In my oppinion, credible arguments have been given (if I didn't find my own arguments, for example, to be credible, why would I make them?).

>they are mostly
> based on confusion of what I actually meant.

Maybe some people did understand what you meant but just disagree with you :)

> * I am not against proprietary software. I am against proprietary platforms.

I'm not against proprietary software. I'm also not against proprietary platforms (I just happen to prefer the free ones, but the proprietary ones have a right to exist too).

> * I define (for the purposes of this discussion) a platform to be a technology upon which
> "applications" are built. An application could be a piece of software, or a TV channel on Sky
> TV, or a series of Word macros etc...

I understand that perfectly well.

> * I am against such things because they warp the natural laws of competition

In your oppinion.

> - people choose
> a product based on what apps are available, not on the quality of the product (when a platform
> is dominant)

That may be true for some (even most) people, but not all.

> * When that occurs, organisations or individuals gain more power than they should, and they
> normally abuse that power, so we all lose.

Just becourse power is normally abused does not mean it's *always* abused. I don't agree to impose restrictions just becourse something *can* be abused or *often* is abused. Don't restrict by default - allow by default and then punish when abuse takes place.
And the statement "so we all lose" is not true - those who abused the power usually wins (I'm not saying that's "right" - just stating a fact).

> * I am not claiming Apple are doing something illegal.

I know.

> * I am not claiming nobody should get paid for writing software.

We agree.

> * I am not saying everything would be all right if Safari were open sourced. Even if it were, it'd
> be another Darwin, nice to have but ultimately useless as it'd only run on a Mac (or not run well
> on anything else).

Maybe they'll opensource the whole thing, maybe they won't... whatever they do we already did get *some* bennefit from the thing...

> * My arguments are based on basic economic and social theory. If you don't understand them,
> I'm happy to explain them. It's pretty obvious once you know why platforms are economic
> abnormalities, but I remember I didn't realise until it was explained to me :)

Feel free to explain, but I won't promise I'll agree with your arguments.


By Jesper Juhl at Sat, 2003/01/11 - 6:00am

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