OSS webkit, how much does apple hide from 3rd party developers?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by clevin, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #1
    I won't make link for this story.

    Apparently, altho webkit supposed to be open source, apple actually hides some over 100 private "OS-secrets-only-WebKit-knows" in the library from 3rd party developers. No document, no license explanation. Apparent trying to put 3rd party competitors at an unfair level to start with.

    webkit being OSS is the only good part, at least it was.
     
  2. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 16GB: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I think Apple are playing fast and loose with open source software and I must admit I find it slightly distasteful: they are happy to use open source software but are less keen to give back to the community. I really think they should be better citizens as far as open source is concerned...
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
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    UK
    #3
    link? Maybe I'm being dumb, but I couldn't find it before.
     
  4. clevin thread starter macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #4
    sorry i didn't want to cause traffic there, but now its slashdotted. you can check out easily.
     
  5. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #5
    Here's an article link about this topic: Finding the OS X Turbo Button

    P.S. Pay special attention to Dave Hyatt's response in the Comments section. (Thanks to Daring Fireball.)
     
  6. clevin thread starter macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #6
    I respect Dave' status and I know he is smart. But what he basically saying is "no, its not mature API, it might do more harm than good"

    but hey, the reality is still there, webkit can use some hidden advantages from OSX that other developers can't.

    and he is also assuming 3rd party developers aren't smart enough to avoid the downside of those APIs.

    Think about this, if you are a developer, trying to develop a cocoa app for OSX following apple's documentation, there are chances that you will always be 2-3 years behind and can't take full advantages of the system, no matter how smart you are, unless you debug your app, raise some doubt, reverse engineer some part of OS, and find some "work around".

    Its system bundle, in depth, no matter how you look at it.

    call it normal practice, fine, Im sure M$ does this too (IE6 and Win XP, for an example), But don't call it FAIR.

    OSS is always OSS, with improvement, AND with regression. Not just be OSS when you feel happy with it. if OSS common sense is so hard to accept, webkit can just quit open source.

    I don't see this affects firefox too much, since recent beta 4 indicates that firefox developers already overcame this thing.

    But now I do expect opera developers to get in. Opera for mac never really be as good as it performs on windows. even re-written javascript engine doesn't compete to firefox 3/safari3.1. I dare to speculate there is something to do with this hidden API issue.
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Here is the Arstechnica take.

    Hmm, I'm not sure what I think on this one.
     

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