Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple opens up open-source effort

Filed under
KDE
Mac

Developers of the KHTML browser engine, which Apple selected more than two years ago as the basis of its Safari browser, in recent months complained that Apple was taking more from their open-source project than it was contributing to it.

Now Apple may have succeeded in mollifying those volunteers with the launch Monday of the WebKit Open Source Project amid a revamp of its open-source practices.

"The Safari team is proud to announce that we are making significant changes in the way we operate, and these changes start today," David Hyatt, an Apple engineer on the Safari project, wrote in his blog on Tuesday. "Going forward we will be engaging actively with the community. Find us on IRC and on the mailing list, jump in, and get involved!"

With the new site, Apple is addressing several complaints from KHTML coders about the lack of transparency in Safari development. Apple launched a CVS (Concurrent Versions System) repository that includes histories of Safari's WebCore browsing framework and JavaScriptCore scripting framework, letting volunteers examine code that was previously withheld from them.

Apple also released the WebCore API (application programming interface) called WebKit into open-source development. Hyatt said Apple would begin tracking bugs in public, and announced the launch of a public mailing list, webkit-dev@opendarwin.org, and a public IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel, #webkit on irc.freenode.net.

When Apple chose KHTML as the basis of Safari--bypassing the better-known Mozilla open-source browser project--KDE developers had high hopes that Apple's involvement and investment would jumpstart the project.

KHTML was originally written to work in the Konqueror browser on top of KDE (the K Desktop Environment), an interface for Linux and Unix operating systems.

But two and a half years later, the comparative obscurity with which Apple coders carried out their work left KDE unable or unwilling to implement Apple changes. As a result, the KHTML and WebCore efforts began to diverge, or "fork," in programming parlance.

KDE developers on Tuesday applauded Apple's open-source reformation and expressed hope it would help bring the original and Apple's version closer together.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Kernel News

  • Linux: Why do people hate systemd?
    systemd has caused an almost unending amount of controversy in the Linux community. Some Linux users have been unyielding in their opposition to systemd, while others have been much more accepting. The topic of systemd came up in a recent thread in the Linux subreddit and the folks there did not pull any punches when sharing their thoughts about it.
  • PulseAudio 10.0 Linux Sound System Released, Offers OpenSSL 1.1.0 Compatibility
    Today, January 19, 2017, sees the official release of the PulseAudio 10.0 open-source sound server for Linux-based operating systems, a major version that introduces many exciting new features. PulseAudio 10.0 has been in development for the past seven months, since the June 22, 2016, release of PulseAudio 9.0, which is currently used by default in numerous GNU/Linux distributions.
  • Linux is part of the IoT security problem, dev tells Linux conference
    The Mirai botnet? Just the “tip of the iceberg” is how security bods at this week's linux.conf.au see the Internet of Things. Presenting to the Security and Privacy miniconf at linux.conf.au, embedded systems developer and consultant Christopher Biggs pointed out that Mirai's focus on building a big DDoS cannon drew attention away from the other risks posed by insecure cameras and digital video recorders.
  • The Linux Foundation Brings 3 New Open Source Events to China
    LinuxCon, ContainerCon, and CloudOpen will be held in China this year for the first time, The Linux Foundation announced this week. After the success of other Linux Foundation events in the country, including MesosCon Asia and Cloud Foundry Summit Asia, The Linux Foundation decided to offer its flagship LinuxCon, ContainerCon and CloudOpen events in China as well, said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. “Chinese developers and businesses have strongly embraced open source and are contributing significant amounts of code to a wide variety of projects,” Zemlin said. “We have heard the call to bring more open source events to China.”

Dell Has Sold ‘Tens of Millions’ Dollars’ Worth of Linux Laptops

So popular Linux personality Bryan Lunduke, who recently took an hour out to talk to Dell’s Senior Architect in the office of CTO — try saying that with a mouthful of doughnut — Barton George. What did he learn? Well, for one, Dell says it has ‘no plans’ to start shipping its Linux-powered developer laptops with anything other than Ubuntu. Read more

Open-source voting is the answer to hacking concerns

Will we ever have a voting system that is completely error-proof and impenetrable from malicious forces? Not likely. But the security breaches that are increasingly a part of daily life serve as a call to action. Every day brings a new report of hacking or suspicious activity, and increasingly with fingers pointing to international actors. Whether it is statewide voter registration databases (Illinois and Arizona; some say more); national party organizations (the Democratic National Committee); utilities (Vermont’s Burlington Electric); or Russia’s state-run television station (RT) suddenly interrupting C-SPAN last week — the incident is still under investigation and not confirmed as a hack — it is all very unsettling and leaves us feeling vulnerable. Read more

The Many, the Humble, the Ubuntu Users

I have never been much of a leading-edge computing person. In fact, I first got mildly famous online writing a weekly column titled “This Old PC” for Time/Life about making do with used gear — often by installing Linux on it — and after that an essentially identical column for Andover.net titled “Cheap Computing,” which was also about saving money in a world where most online computing columns seemed to be about getting you to spend until you had no money left to spend on food. Read more