Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
3,854
571
Not true at all!

I think a fair few oss advocates would disagree :p Apple's history is hardly great, with like two exceptions...

They're just using it to their own advantage as they have done many times in the past - any commits from apple to any oss is a 'positive' in some respects, little more.

This is sad misinformation and unfortunately keeps alive a myth that undermines Apples efforts in this regard. Off the top of my head these are some to the technologies Apple has supported over the years:
  1. gcc, especially the PPC improvements
  2. llvm
  3. clang
  4. cups
  5. webkit
  6. X
  7. ruby

This is just a quick list off the top of my head and thus I urge anybody with more accurate information to add to the list. I'm pretty sure I'm missing stuff. macosforge has a few projects listed there.

Certainly some stuff they do in a way that the open source community objects to. GCD dispatch is an example of a complete project coming to term and no open source involvement. While the open sourcers would prefer to be involved from the get go, it is also obvious that Apple doesn't have that luxury.

Maybe the open source community is upset that Apple doesn't sponsor every project. I'm not sure what the issue is but personally that would be the last thing I'd want to see in the open source arena, we just don't need one company dominating here. There is also the problem of some in the open source community demanding things be done their way or it is not acceptable, that is way to narrow minded and frankly I'm glad we have a plurality of open source licenses to choose from.

In any event I think Apple needs more balanced reporting on this issue.


Dave
 

djmcave

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2002
10
0
Aveiro-Portugal
Pthreads cant dispatch to GPU, unless you build the threads to support GPUs and in that case you need to code for Nvidia and ATI separately.
This works out everything that has to do with threads and will even tap resources you had to custom code for before.
 

larrylaffer

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2009
695
1,307
Los Angeles
This is sad misinformation and unfortunately keeps alive a myth that undermines Apples efforts in this regard. Off the top of my head these are some to the technologies Apple has supported over the years:
  1. gcc, especially the PPC improvements
  2. llvm
  3. clang
  4. cups
  5. webkit
  6. X
  7. ruby

Dave

I completely agree. CUPS is an excellent example of how Apple helped mature a very incomplete and unstable product into something nice and usable.
 

rei-t-ex

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2009
1
0
This is great news. Much as what happened with WebKit (and in contrast with Opera's still technically brilliant Presto), this strongly increases the likelihood of GCD becoming the standard for multicore implementations, strengthening Apple's position as a result. After a somewhat disappointing Music event, this is an excellent development.
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,443
271
Purcellville, VA
Really?? Apple champions open source?
Ever hear of webkit?
I think a fair few oss advocates would disagree :p
Like all corporations, Apple does what's in the best interest of Apple.

For many components of their products (like their decision to use gcc, or release WebKit), they have decided that it is in their best interest to use open source software. For other components, they've decided that it isn't.

With the exception of a few idealistic/altrustic groups (like the GNU people), this is the way everybody operates. Personally, I'm glad that Apple releases as much source code as they do. Companies like Microsoft and Sun/Oracle release much much less, or they release it with really annoying license terms.

What does this do for you that pthreads don't
Based on the descriptions I've read, it appears that GCD's runtime will use pthreads on operating systems where pthreads is the native threading API. (Although I suppose it might actually call the lower-level APIs that pthreads uses on platforms like Linux, where pthreads runs as a part of the C library.)

Of course, if GCD is ported to a non-pthreads platform, then it would obviously use that platform's native thread APIs.
 

Jimmetry

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2009
56
0
This is *excellent* news. This is the best solution to parallelism out there by far, and I'm looking forward to using it in the near future.

Going open source is good for Apple for many reasons, but I think the most compelling is this:
Big developers for the science and game industries don't have a lot of reason to create Mac-compatible software due to the small market share. If GCD is adopted in full by the open source community (I think it will, to be honest), it means that the actual market share is now, essentially, everyone except Windows. With more cores being added to computers, and no easy way to utilise them properly in Windows, it may mean that more projects will become focused on having Linux/OS X as the primary platform rather than the afterthought.

While not directly relevant to the open source nature of GCD, I think it's also worth noting that this technology makes OS X an ideal development platform. It would be much easier to develop a multithreaded game on a Mac, work through all the bugs, and then port it across to Windows than to start from scratch from a messy environment. Parallelism is a huge cost to debugging, and the ability to have that stage isolated (squash all other bugs in the software first, then implement manual threading during the port) is quite a compelling advantage.
 

Jimmetry

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2009
56
0
That is the last thing I want, non-standard language extension being adopted.

Uh... pretty sure adoption of non-standards is how a lot of great things become.. you know.. standard.

'Blocks' is something that C desperately needs in order to move into the parallel world... one of few, though.
 

ldmbouge

macrumors newbie
Jan 4, 2009
15
7
That is the last thing I want, non-standard language extension being adopted.

GCD is useless without the block extension. I, for one, hope that Linux adopts it (both GCD and the blocks extensions). Think of it this way, blocks are just closures (in the functional sense). So it is extremely valuable to have.

What GCD does is dispatch closures of blocks of code on queues that are serviced by a dynamically adapting pool of threads. Without closures (blocks), you can't put anything in the work queue easily. Closures are what makes GCD a good idea.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
14,738
21,396
I don't get it, because its beneficial to apple it somehow takes away from them doing it?:confused:

When does a corporation ever release anything out the kindness of its heart?
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,539
272
This is a good move on Apple's part.

After all, how much money were they going to make licensing GCD, even if they wanted to be in that business? (Retorical question.)

This will encourage GCD development which means faster or more capable apps which makes OS X more desireable which means Apple sells more Macs (especially Mac Pros, I suspect), which is what Apple really wants.

Here's one scenario:

A 3D app developer has a 3D rendering component that is part of both the frontend workstation application and in a backend rendering service. The front end app might run on Mac OS, but the rendering service most likely runs on a server farm with some flavor or unix. Now the developer is more likely to port to GCD because both the frontend and backend apps can take advantage.... users win, developers win, Apple wins... nice :)
 

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
I think a fair few oss advocates would disagree :p Apple's history is hardly great, with like two exceptions...

They're just using it to their own advantage as they have done many times in the past - any commits from apple to any oss is a 'positive' in some respects, little more.
http://www.opensource.apple.com/

I think you are confusing the general oss movement with the foss advocates like Richard Stallman. He has a unique definition of "freedom". :rolleyes:

Open Source software is divided into two camps. There are the OSS group which accept many licences including the GPL and BSD as valid choices and then there is the GNU zealot group who believe that the GPL and LGPL are the only true licenses that all software should be under. They like to preface their movement with "free" much like how communist dictatorships call themselves the "democratic republic of".
 

MorphingDragon

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2009
5,160
6
The World Inbetween
This is sad misinformation and unfortunately keeps alive a myth that undermines Apples efforts in this regard. Off the top of my head these are some to the technologies Apple has supported over the years:
  1. gcc, especially the PPC improvements
  2. llvm
  3. clang
  4. cups
  5. webkit
  6. X
  7. ruby

This is just a quick list off the top of my head and thus I urge anybody with more accurate information to add to the list. I'm pretty sure I'm missing stuff. macosforge has a few projects listed there.

Certainly some stuff they do in a way that the open source community objects to. GCD dispatch is an example of a complete project coming to term and no open source involvement. While the open sourcers would prefer to be involved from the get go, it is also obvious that Apple doesn't have that luxury.

Maybe the open source community is upset that Apple doesn't sponsor every project. I'm not sure what the issue is but personally that would be the last thing I'd want to see in the open source arena, we just don't need one company dominating here. There is also the problem of some in the open source community demanding things be done their way or it is not acceptable, that is way to narrow minded and frankly I'm glad we have a plurality of open source licenses to choose from.

In any event I think Apple needs more balanced reporting on this issue.


Dave

They support Darwin :rolleyes::D *If you dont get it you FAIL
 

Imhotep397

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
350
37
Ultimately Apple needs developers to adopt the standard...

In some respects I think this could be helpful, but as far as Pro applications and the data center market which will benefit the most from these technologies I'm not so sure. A lot of Pro media apps and server technologies were ported to or implemented on Linux in one form or another, before they were on the Mac so this could potentially help Linux extend it's "Benefits" list for those market segments more than help OS X. Conversely, I can see where this may be seen as necessary by Apple, because of the number of entrenched standards that don't use this technology would eventually choose a different set of similar tech and leave the Apple market with another "Legacy Technology" that may have been brilliant but never gained any traction outside of the small Mac market or more importantly outside of a small group of developers. I think the idea of not being quite as closed about some things has really been the well learned lesson that Apple has brought into the 21st century that they didn't have in the 20th century, so this is probably overall a better way to move forward.
 

Spades

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2003
461
0
Ars Technica has a great overview of Snow Leopard, including an excellent explanation of Grand Central and why it's a big deal.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2009/08/mac-os-x-10-6.ars

(Spotted this link on Slashdot earlier today.)

The whole explanation starts at page 8.

This really is exciting stuff. If only my work wasn't .NET centric, or I had a good idea for a home project. I'd love to use the new things in Snow Leopard just for practice and fun.
 

chris200x9

macrumors 6502a
Jun 3, 2006
906
0
I'm a windows to mac to linux convert (I'm weird :p) all I can say is thank you apple, now just let us ssh onto ipod touches without jail breaking! :p
 

Stratoukos

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2008
51
0
Like all corporations, Apple does what's in the best interest of Apple.

Exactly. Even the idealists/altruists you are talking about (the individuals, not the organizations) are probably contributing to a project they like and they are using themselves.

This is the point of open source. Make better something you are using and release it to the community. RMS said so himself when Microsoft GPLed some linux drivers for their Hyper-V platform.
 

thither

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2009
10
0
Well, not to discount Apple's work with webkit, but let's not forget that its origins were in a non-public fork of KHTML (Apple didn't have the best track record of working with the KHTML folks, either, see the wikipedia page for webkit for background).

In terms of this project, it's kind of cool technology but I find extremely unlikely that Linux / Unix types will embrace a non-standard extension to the C language which has been implemented by a corporate entity with an extremely mixed record on openness. Heck, Objective-C is probably one of the most "open" technologies Apple uses, but it's essentially not used anywhere but Apple, certainly not in the Linux world.
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,443
271
Purcellville, VA
Uh... pretty sure adoption of non-standards is how a lot of great things become.. you know.. standard.
As a matter of fact, many standards bodies (including ANSI/ISO, I think) require commercial implementations of a technology as a prerequisite to standardization.
In terms of this project, it's kind of cool technology but I find extremely unlikely that Linux / Unix types will embrace a non-standard extension to the C language which has been implemented by a corporate entity with an extremely mixed record on openness.
You mean like C++ (which began life as an internal AT&T project)?

Don't forget that both C and C++ languages are still works in progress. Both are on the second version of their respective ANSI/ISO standards, and both languages still have active working groups that are developing new features.

I don't think it is hard to believe that a feature like blocks doesn't have a chance of being developed into a feature of the next version of these standards, regardless of what some people in the Linux community might think about Apple corporation.
 

Xapplimatic

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2001
417
0
California
Grand Central Dispatch for Power PC 10.5 Leopard users?

My question to the code gurus becomes thus: Is there a way to make this work then for PowerPC OS X 10.5 Leopard users feeling left out of the 10.6 goody train? There are a lot of dual and quad core users feeling GCD envy..
 

glossywhite

macrumors 65816
Feb 28, 2008
1,120
2
Don't go confusing "open-source" with GPL code - there *IS* a difference. Also it irritates me when people call GNU/Linux "Linux". It's high time people started watching some videos, and learning a little *nix history - GNU & the GPL came a *long* time before Linus Torvalds wrote his kernel... YEARS before!.

If you're going to talk about free software, please TRY and term it correctly :p
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.