Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Delays Release of LGPL WebKit Code

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the hey-now-wait-a-minute dept.

Android 209

jfruhlinger writes "Ever since Apple forked the KHTML project to create WebKit, the rendering engine at the core of Safari, the company has been a good open source citizen, releasing the code back to the community after updates. But that suddenly stopped in March, with no code releases for the last two updates to the iOS version of the browser, for reasons unknown. This might remind you of Google's failure to release the Honeycomb source code. But at least Google announced that it was holding the code back, and Android is under a license that allows for a delay; the LGPL'd WebKit isn't." Update: 05/09 21:21 GMT by S : Reader Shin-LaC points out that Apple has now released the relevant source code.

cancel ×

209 comments

fags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072700)

apple is for fags

posted from my droid

Re:fags (-1, Troll)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072724)

Droids are for fags who buy products copied from iPhones.

posted from my iPhone

Re:fags (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072898)

Mobile phones are for fags.

Posted from my telegraph.

Re:fags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073224)

Telegraphs are for fags. Posted from my carrier pigeon.

Re:fags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36074048)

Carrier pigeons are for eating.
Posted the scraps on a deadfall trap.

Re:fags (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074150)

so are Apples (noteworthy : the endresult is the same as with carrier pigeons)
posted using smoke clouds

It's right here (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072722)

http://www.webkit.org/building/checkout.html

Re:It's right here (4, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072954)

No, no it's not. That's WebKit, not Apple's version of WebKit.

Re:It's right here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073036)

Apples version of WebKit is WebKit.

Re:It's right here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073084)

No, it's not.

There are plenty of changes in the iOS 4.3 version that never made it to that repository. Changes that Apple are legally required to publish.

Re:It's right here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073192)

If you read the article this is about WebCore not WebKit. Apples version of webkit is webkit. Webcore is licensed under BSD and LGPL. If apples changes where to the parts that are BSD licensed then they are under no obligation to release anything.

Re:It's right here (2)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073342)

If it is substantially integrated, then they still have to release the BSD (actually dual licensed as part of the whole project) parts.

Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072744)

CUPERTINO, Transylvania, Friday — After bricking unlocked iPhones, kicking applications off the iPhone store that might even slightly compete with iTunes in the far future, "delaying" the release of GPL source code and filing a wave of patents on basic well-known computer science, Apple Inc. today filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission declaring that it was openly adopting Evil [newstechnica.com] as a corporate policy.

"Fuck it," said Steve Jobs to an audience of soul-mortgaged thralls, "we're evil. But our stuff is sooo good. You'll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It's shiny and it's pretty and it's cool and it works. It's not like you'll go back to a Windows Mobile phone. Ha! Ha!"

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft was incensed at the news. "Our evil is better than anyone's evil! No-one sweats the details of evil like Microsoft! Where's your antitrust trial, you polo-necked bozo? We've worked hard on our evil! Our Zune's as evil as an iPod any day! I won't let my kids use a lesser evil! We're going to do an ad about that! I'll be in it! With Jerry Seinfeld! Beat that! Asshole.”

"Of course, we're still not evil," said Sergey Brin of Google. "You can trust us on this. Every bit of data about you, your life and the house you live in is strictly a secret between you and our marketing department. But, hypothetically, if we were evil, it's not like you're going to use Bing. Ha! Ha! I'm sorry, that's my ‘spreading good cheer' laugh. Really."

Re:Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073182)

Google is Evil. So there.

Re:Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (0)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073388)

"Of course, we're still not evil," said Sergey Brin of Google. "You can trust us on this. Every bit of data about you, your life and the house you live in is strictly a secret between you and our marketing department. But, hypothetically, if we were evil, you're fucked and there's nothing you can do about it. Ha! Ha! I'm sorry, that's my âspreading good cheer' laugh. Really."

FTFY

Seriously? (0, Troll)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072772)

Obvious flame-baiting. Apple and Google both delay. Apple is evil, Google gets off scott-free because they use the word "open" with all their crap. Isn't this meme a bit old by now?

Re:Seriously? (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072822)

Not all of us were suckered into Google's "open" lullaby back in 2007, so it's not all a lost cause. Though to be fair, the parts Google was obligated to release have been.

Apple is obligated to release this software and haven't. I suppose this makes my choice to dump OS X from my old Macbook in favor of Ubuntu justified (not that I need justification, but Apple makes it so easy these days.)

Re:Seriously? (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073100)

Are you sure they haven't? From the last couple of change lists I see nothing regarding Safari.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073666)

Apple is obligated to release this software and haven't. I suppose this makes my choice to dump OS X from my old Macbook in favor of Ubuntu justified (not that I need justification, but Apple makes it so easy these days.)

Glad you added that last bit, because for a moment I thought you were a diehard Richard Stallman disciple. Seriously, anyone willing to suffer through the pain of a voluntary OS-and-associated-critical-apps transition just because the company stopped releasing code changes to its web browser either doesn't use their computer for much, or is drowning in the Stallman kool-aid.

Re:Seriously? (2)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072854)

Google doesn't get off scott-free even though the license for Android permits a delay. The license for Webkit absoulutely DOES NOT permit a delay.

Re:Seriously? (0, Redundant)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072972)

On Slashdot Google gets off scott-free all the time. Most of the time it appears to be because people are taken in by their claim to be "open", when in fact they are not open. It's a reoccurring theme on tech sites and it's somewhat humorous to watch. It's like Republican vs Democrat. Each side just sticks to their idealogical talking points and will concede nothing. The brain dead commentary on Google vs Apple stories is usually more interesting than the article itself.

Did you read your own post? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073436)

Did you read your own post? Because you're on slashdot and you're not the only one complaining about Google.

What pisses you off is that Apple don't get off scot free.

Re:Seriously? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073514)

Actually, the license makes no comment on when you have to make the source available, just that you do have to make it available.

I'm fairly certain that could be argued in court by a well paid lawyer. Doesn't matter what the intent was, what matters is how the written words can be twisted to fit the sides fighting the battle.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072916)

Apple and Google both delay. Apple is evil, Google gets off scott-free because they use the word "open" with all their crap.

If you read the article you will see that they explain the reason for this. Google actually explained what was going on and why they were holding back the code. It gives us some confidence that they haven't abandoned their open source license.

I think that Google does do some evil at times, but this is not an example of that.

Re:Seriously? (5, Interesting)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072964)

The d-evil is, as always, in the details.

Google released the GPL portion of Honeycomb (including kernel and userland), as per their obligation. The part of honeycomb they delayed is the part that they have exclusive ownership of. They have no obligation to release it but they claim that they will. People are only accepting that claim because of Google's track record on open source: Google creates tons of open-source projects and code.

With webkit, the situation is more complicated: Apple has added a ton to webkit but their code is based on KHTML and interspersed with other people's contributions. It would appear that they are legally obligated to release the code. The fact that they are holding back is consistent with the fact that Apple only releases what they absolutely must release. Perhaps they are now figuring out what that is?

Re:Seriously? (3, Insightful)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073372)

The fact that they are holding back is consistent with the fact that Apple only releases what they absolutely must release.

All you need to do is recall the shitstorm it took for Apple to release "the preferred form of the work for making modifications to" instead of huge blobs of code that no-one in their right mind would work of off for Webkit in the first place.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073640)

The fact that they are holding back is consistent with the fact that Apple only releases what they absolutely must release.

All you need to do is recall the shitstorm it took for Apple to release "the preferred form of the work for making modifications to" instead of huge blobs of code that no-one in their right mind would work of off for Webkit in the first place.

Not quite - it was KHTML, not Webkit. Webkit is what Apple forked off and released their "huge blobs of code that no-one in their right mind would work of off" for. And for some reason lots people suddenly used that instead of the version from the shit-stormers.

Re:Seriously? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073696)

Not quite - it was KHTML, not Webkit.

Reading comprehension, the blobs their released were for Webkit you state so yourself.

And for some reason lots people suddenly used that instead of the version from the shit-stormers.

The shit-stormers weren't really KHTML people so that one's wrong. Also, "lots of people" started using Webkit when Apple started releasing proper source code, so that one's wrong as well.

Re:Seriously? (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073494)

Or they're just getting their ducks into a row first?

If you remember the first release of their changes way back in the early days of Webkit was received very poorly because it was not well documented and didn't mesh well with the existing project (something they have since changed, and now things are smoother).

Who knows why there's a delay here?

In terms of "releasing only what they have to", I'm not sure I fully buy that - Apple is a pretty good open source citizen in terms of project contributions and has even opened up some of its own projects and put them out there when they really had no need. Their work on things like LLVM while clearly very important for their own success, is benefiting the community at large. Projects like the quicktime streaming server, address and calendar servers, Webkit and Nitro, just to name a few.

I don't buy that they're suddenly turning turtle, especially on something as powerful for them as Webkit. Sure they're not the "do no wrong" golden child and they do plenty that is questionable, but I don't thin they're going to shoot the goose that lays their platinum encrusted eggs - they have been *extremely* successful with a combination of open and closed software with OS X (and by extension, iOS). They have carved out a little niche between the two opposing models (Windows on one side, Linux/BSD on the other) that mixes the benefits of both approaches. I see no reason they'd risk that.

No one has actually got any confirmed information that they are *not* releasing anything, and given the track record with Webkit to date (excellent with a bumpy start) they're not just going to ignore something as obvious as the LGPL code restrictions - they'll definitely release those code changes, since they are legally required to do so.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074116)

Wait a second. Isn't the JavaScript code separate from WebCore? WebCore is the part they have a legal obligation to release. They used to have an obligation to release JavaScriptCore, too, but they've replaced that with SquirrelFish (and now SquirrelFish Extreme, aka Nitro).

We generally call the whole gestalt "WebKit," but it's worth noting the actual licensing is more complex than that. We know that Apple updated Nitro. Did they update WebCore at all?

Re:Seriously? (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074148)

(Don't get me wrong; I think they should continue to release the whole thing. And the fact that they're not is annoying. But saying they've skipped a legal obligation, doesn't *necessarily* follow. If Nitro is not statically linked to WebCore, they'd seem to be fine.)

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073280)

Now don't start throwing your toys out of the pram.

And learn to read.

And if anything which goes scott-free on slashdot, it has to be apple. Apple fanboi army make sure of that.

download page (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072778)

Here's the download webpage. [apple.com] Presumably Apple intends to release it eventually (based on what is written on that web page), who knows why they haven't yet.

Re:download page (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072902)

Seems like jumping the gun a bit. There other FOSS code dumps are current and it is only the beginning of may. For all we know they are searching the source to make sure they don't have any patent issues with the code. Which is just wrong but if I was Apple I would triple check it just to be sure.

Re:download page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072950)

Does it really matter? If they are having patent issues that prohibit distribution, but are doing it under a license that requires distribution, shouldn't they have thought of that ahead of time?

Re:download page (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073080)

No, it doesn't matter. Legally, under the GPL, they are required to distribute (upon request) the source to everyone that receives the binary. At this moment, due to Apple's non-response, someone who has received the binary could initiate legal action against Apple, as could the original authors of the code.

Now, there is a grace period under the GPL (for example, Apple can choose to mail the source code to you, and of course that could take a week or even a month for processing), and if Apple can show intent to release the source code, and actually does it within the next month, it is doubtful there would be any punitive action taken by the court.

The real question is why the delay from Apple. It is unlikely they intend on keeping the code secret (since that would be insanely idiotic). A possible explanation is that the person who was responsible for maintaining the link to the open source code on the Apple website has quit or been fired, and his replacement doesn't yet know everything he was doing. Something like that. Or it could be that Apple hates the open source community and wants to spite them in every way possible. Although I find that less likely.

Re:download page (2, Informative)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073158)

No, it doesn't matter. Legally, under the GPL, they are required to distribute (upon request)....

Has anyone requested it?

Re:download page (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073190)

That is why I said that this is jumping the gun. Apple does say on the website that is is coming soon.

Re:download page (2)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073306)

"Coming soon" = "Not released". As the article says. There is no jumping the gun.

Re:download page (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073568)

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

There are ways to report things that add certain implications that aren't necessarily there in the source - ie, spin. The page says "coming soon" which by definition does mean that it has not been released, but the summary does not say that Apple have said it is coming soon (ie, implying that they are working on it and that they are behind for whatever reason), just that "there have been no updates since March" since the updates "suddenly stopped". The implication is that Apple has decided not to release any more updates, which is just baseless speculation and FUD, given that they have actually said "coming soon".

Now, if it says coming soon in another month then there is something going on, but this is just a non-story looking for some sensationalism.

Re:download page (0)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073710)

Tell me when you are done fapping on Steve Jobs's photograph.

Re:download page (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073954)

I'm almost done. Seemed like a handy thing to do to pass the time, I mean the level of debate is hardly mentally taxing with that level of maturity. Have to level the playing field somehow.

Stay classy, kid.

Re:download page (0)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073476)

phantomfive said... ...due to Apple's non-response, someone who has received the binary could initiate legal action against Apple, as could the original authors of the code.

Ooh, good thing geeks all love Apple so no one files suit.

Re:download page (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073170)

One of the big issues companies have with FOSS is software patients. It falls under the if you didn't see it it didn't happen category. Your code may not infringe but the lawyer sees something and says before you release that let me double check that.

Re:download page (4, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073638)

One of the big issues companies have with FOSS is software patients.

Patents are not relevant here. If there were a patent issue, they couldn't use it at all, closing the source has no effect.

Re:download page (0)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073188)

Indeed. Let's not forget that the whole "iphone tracking" issue came up in the last few weeks as well - it'd be a little foolish to think that dealing with that wouldn't cause some other efforts to get derailed.

From the blog post [gnumonks.org] : "So far, it seems they have always provided the respective source code in a timely manner for each and every release they have made." But then they go on to write, "I think it is time that Apple gets their act together and becomes more straight-forward with LGPL compliance."

So, which is it? Either they have a good record of releasing all the appropriate source code in a timely fashion, and this is a simple aberration which will likely be corrected soon, or they have a long-standing record of not complying with the LGPL terms, and they have to "get their act together and become more straight-forward with compliance." You can't cite their years-long history of compliance, then point to one outlier, and say "OOOOH NEFARIOUS PATTERN, Apple is trying to steal our codez!!!11!!"

My best guess: Apple will have this released within a week or two, and it's likely the iphone tracking issue disrupted their plans to have this stuff posted by now, due to resource shifting to manage the sudden shitstorm-in-a-teacup they had to deal with. I further predict that dozens of Slashdot armchair lawyers will clamor for legal action against Apple to right this outrageous wrong, despite the fact that they have no iOS device, nor any interest in developing code against the ios 4.3.3 webkit baseline.

It's like the open source community is deliberately trying to alienate a large corporate supporter. Curious indeed.

Re:download page (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073382)

"It's like the open source community is deliberately trying to alienate a large corporate supporter. Curious indeed."
Community well probably not. Have we heard anything from the core webkit developers?
My guess is that it is Brian Proffitt trying to stir the pot and drive eyes to his blog in itworld.
But that is just a guess.
Oh and Cmdr Taco doing much the same with Slashdot. Nothing gets people talking like someone to attack.

Re:download page (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073410)

They had a good track record for a while, but they didn't start out that way. Their overall track record is positive, not spotless... And that's not how the license works, there is no permission to delay.

Re:download page (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073590)

there is no permission to delay.

There is no mention of timing at all, there fore, permission is to delay is implicit unless otherwise stated. Consider it a license flaw.

The license simply requires that it be made available, but it in no way stipulates WHEN it must be available.

You and I know what it implies, but from a court room perspective, what it implies is not what matters.

Re:download page (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073874)

Let's look at the license, their options for source code distribution are as follows:
  • a) Accompany the work with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code for the Library including whatever changes were used in the work [..] - accompany doesn't just imply, it means at the same time (as well as the same place).
  • c) Accompany the work with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give the same user the materials specified in Subsection 6a, above, for a charge no more than the cost of performing this distribution. - I'm not aware of such an offer for Webkit, not that it matters since inquiries have been made [gnumonks.org] , there is nothing implying that this can be honored at your leisure, there is an offer you have to honor it, show me precedent that disagrees if I'm wrong.
  • d) If distribution of the work is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, offer equivalent access to copy the above specified materials from the same place. - Meaning, if you distribute the binaries from your website, you can put up the source as well and be in compliance. We wouldn't be discussing this if that was the case. Do you see anything that permits putting the source up a year later or so? No, neither do I, equivalent is pretty clear.

Re:download page (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073776)

As someone else has already pointed out, the license doesn't specify any time frame within which the source must be made available - and if there's no window specified and no evidence that they have some intent to never release the source code, no court is going to do anything but say "you must release this, you already knew that. So provide a reasonable plan, and get to it." Unless you can subpoena some emails from Steve Jobs which read, "Let's close the source for all that webkit stuff starting with iOS 4.3.0, because we r teh evulz and I hate openness," you're going to be hard-pressed to get much out of a court action.

Given Apple's "positive-but-not-spotless" historical record, it's entirely likely that the release of this code to their opensource.apple.com website was delayed due to key people taking vacations, leaving the company, or being pulled off an ongoing project to deal with something unexpected - like say, a media storm around 'iphone tracking,' or perhaps a combination of those factors.

Re:download page (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074012)

As someone else has already pointed out, the license doesn't specify any time frame within which the source must be made available

And as I have said thew language is much clearer then that. Furthermore, the license is quite explicit for what happens if you distribute copies without the source code:

You may not copy, modify, sublicense, link with, or distribute the Library except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense, link with, or distribute the Library is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.

Do you see any expressly provided time windows? No, it's automatically terminated as of distribution without source code or written offer to provide such upon request.

no court is going to do anything but say "you must release this, you already knew that. So provide a reasonable plan, and get to it."

No, they will say: "You are distributing this without a license. Stop it. Now." LGPLv2 doesn't have automatic forgiveness, technically even complying with the license after the fact doesn't clear them. I'll just repeat that, if there is no source code or written offer they have no license to distribute any derivative works.

Re:download page (2)

Jonner (189691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073794)

It would really be fun if Apple decided not to release it and there were a class action lawsuit by all iDevice users, to whom Apple owes source for any LGPL parts of Webkit. Google would definitely back that.

Re:download page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36074280)

Moderated funny, because your statement implies iDevice users know of such a thing called source code and LGPL.

Penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072790)

I don't see any court applying penalties to stop Apple distributing the products in question. Perhaps a big donation to the FSF would be nice.

unkown? (0)

martyb (196687) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072816)

But that suddenly stopped in March, with no code releases for the last two updates to the iOS version of the browser, for reasons unkown.

Is that like an un-koan [wikipedia.org] ?

A koan ... is a fundamental part of the history and lore of Zen Buddhism. It consists of a story, dialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking but may be accessible through intuition.

Does that mean it cannot be not understood by rational thinking? Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one.

Re:unkown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073006)

Does that mean it cannot be not understood by rational thinking? Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one.

Infinite Loop Detected...

Every Safari expedition has to end some day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072832)

Steve giveth and Steve taketh away. Every Safari expedition has to end some day.

Don't be sad, instead buy the latest versions of iRegret and iComfortBlanket, all WebKit developers get a 0,5 % discount!

KDE (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072834)

Erm, isn't KHTML done by the same German computer research scientists who do KDE? Haven't they completely re-worked konqueror to make it compatible with HTML5 (as in explorer 9)? A funny cut and paste exercise if they have, it's a new object model. Hmmm...

DHS to the rescue? (5, Interesting)

hweimer (709734) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072874)

So we have a case of blatant copyright violation, which is even perpetrated for commercial gain. So I guess the DHS will step in and seize the apple.com domain as they have done before in similar cases, right?

Google owns most of Android (3, Insightful)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36072894)

Other than some underlying systems bits that's copyleft (Linux kernel, Bluez, some system utils), or BSD licensed, Google generally own most of the Android code outright. So Google don't ever have to release Honeycomb. It's their code, they don't have to give source if they don't want to. (That said, I reckon their bluetooth stack depends sufficiently on BlueZ that their userspace becomes derived from that GPL code - stuffing IPC between your code and GPL code does NOT, of itself, mean your code escapes from the GPL; but that still doesn't mean they'd have to release their code).

Apple OTOH started WebKit/WebCore as a fork of KHTML, which is LGPL. So it wasn't their code at all to start with and, unless they're rewritten ALL the code since the fork AND gotten appropriate grants from the other contributors to WebKit, Apple are obliged to honour the *other* copyright holders and follow the LGPL licence.

Re:Google owns most of Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073200)

>stuffing IPC between your code and GPL code does NOT, of itself, mean your code escapes from the GPL

Actually, IPC based shims are good enough to bypass the GPL, to the point that the FSF resisted proposals to make GCC more plugin-based specifically because it would make it easier to write IPC based shims.

Re:Google owns most of Android (2)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073406)

It may be in some circumstances, it may not be in others. Note carefully "of itself" in my post. I.e. IPC, of itself - or any other mere technicality - is not necessarily sufficient to affect copyright derivation status. IANAL, but this is corporate, legal advice I've been privy to.

E.g. (And this is just *my* laymans understanding, NB) if the copyright holders of some work go out and deliberately create a well-defined, stable plugin architecture intended for general use, then other works that code to that interface need not be derived of the work providing the plugin interface - particularly so if the functional nature of that plugin interface is demonstrated by a 2nd implementation. OTOH, if you want to extend someone else's work, such that your work would be derived from it, and you think that by putting a bit of IPC in there you escape, think again - a judge or jury need not be impressed by "But, we're not infringing cause we shove what would otherwise be infringing function calls first through some shared memory! But we released the code to the modifications we made to add the ad-hoc IPC!".

IMLU, ICBW, etc.

Re:Google owns most of Android (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073668)

"But, we're not infringing cause we shove what would otherwise be infringing function calls first through some shared memory! But we released the code to the modifications we made to add the ad-hoc IPC!".

You do realize that using that definition means that all GPL code can never be communicated with by non-GPL code since basically every method used by two programs to talk to each other is just a form of IPC ... generally using shared memory ... including things such as network connections.

Do you really want to imply that the only code that can legally talk to a Linux based machine is something else released under GPL? It would effectively wipe Linux off the face of the Earth when you effectively cut it out of functioning as a server pretty much everywhere except a few businesses I can count on my fingers.

Don't get irrational with how far you push the limits of what is derived code, it'll bite you in the ass in the end.

Re:Google owns most of Android (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074084)

How is it possible that you completely missed the point and the benefit of the pro bono corporate legal advice?
He did in fact say much the opposite to what you are saying he said and the narrow definition you picked up was your own.

Let me try to explain how I read it. Simply put, you cannot hijack the GPL license by using technical tricks if your intention is clearly to hijack the license. Doesn't matter how you do it, you throw a jury trial in the mix and when your intentions are recognized you stand a good chance of losing.

When you employ dirty technical tricks to subvert the spirit of the law and the intentions of the generous Free Software hackers, ya might lose in court.

Re:Google owns most of Android (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074168)

(That said, I reckon their bluetooth stack depends sufficiently on BlueZ that their userspace becomes derived from that GPL code - stuffing IPC between your code and GPL code does NOT, of itself, mean your code escapes from the GPL; but that still doesn't mean they'd have to release their code).

"Stuffing IPC" between something under the GPL and something under a different license certainly does isolate the other-licensed code from the GPL. If that weren't the case, it would be nearly impossible to distribute anything under a GPL-incompatible license to run on a GNU/Linux system. Any time you piped output from Bash into the incompatibly-license program, you'd violate the GPL. Thankfully, the GPL is not viral in that way. In fact, it's always been perfectly acceptable to run proprietary programs on GNU/Linux systems, linked with GlibC, which is under the LGPL and communicating with Linux, which is under the GPL.

Of course not, it is perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072912)

The code is finished, it is perfect....

lest we forget... who uses webkit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36072914)

Oh yeah... everybody.

Where was webkit before Apple?

That's right. It didn't exist. Anyone who wanted to could have forked KHTML.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

Re:lest we forget... who uses webkit? (1)

praxis (19962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073096)

Apple could have written WebKit from scratch, but instead they decided to fork KHTML.

What would be more apt would be "don't look an Indian-gift horse in the mouth."

Re:lest we forget... who uses webkit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073300)

I don't think the horses mouth is where you're getting your information from.

Re:lest we forget... who uses webkit? (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073578)

Apple is regifting. How delightfully hipsterish of them. WebKit is derived (meaning made from a copy of) KHTML, the browser component used by the Konqueror web browser.

Make no mistake about it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073062)

Apple has zero interest in open source software, they only are interested in generating revenue and closing their system so that nobody but them can profit.

Re:Make no mistake about it: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073234)

Why have they bothered with all this then? http://opensource.apple.com/ [apple.com]

Most of the packages for Mac OS X are not even GPLed, so Apple would not need to release any of the code for them.

tempest in a teapot. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073066)

Forgive the line numbers, I grabbed it from the webkit Trac [webkit.org]

Here's the license.

1
2 Copyright (C) 2005, 2006, 2007 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
3
4 Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
5 modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
6 are met:
7
8 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
9 notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
10 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
11 notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
12 documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
13 3. Neither the name of Apple Computer, Inc. ("Apple") nor the names of
14 its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived
15 from this software without specific prior written permission.
16
17 THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY APPLE AND ITS CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY
18 EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED
19 WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
20 DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL APPLE OR ITS CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY
21 DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
22 (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES;
23 LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND
24 ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT
25 (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF
26 THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
27
28

In other words, "We'll release the source when we're damn well good and ready."

Re:tempest in a teapot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073118)

In other words, "We'll release the source when we're damn well good and ready."

I don't read it like that. Care to elaborate?

Re:tempest in a teapot. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073204)

The license pasted does not require source to be released with binaries. It only requires that the copyright message is retained in the source and included in some form when released as a binary.

Now the license for WebKit and KHTML is not the license pasted, so this entire discussion thread is pointless. Just because you find a file called LICENSE in with the source code doesn't mean it is correct or covers all of the source code in that project.

Re:tempest in a teapot. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073146)

In other words, "We'll release the source when we're damn well good and ready."

Yeah...

Too bad that's not their choice to make, it's LGPL'd code due to being a fork of KHTML.

Re:tempest in a teapot. (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073162)

Why does that look more like a BSD license than the LGPL?

Re:tempest in a teapot. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073528)

Because WebKit is dual BSD/GPL. Apple & co. are trying to remove GPL entirely. http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2076778&cid=35771286 [slashdot.org]

Re:tempest in a teapot. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073622)

I believe that's the blurb from the Apple open source licence, not the LGPL one on the bulk of Webkit.

Either way, Apple will release the source - they simply have to, and they are well aware of it. They've always done so in the past and there's no reason not to now, so I am sure this is just a storm in a teacup.

Who cares? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073108)

Apple is INSANELY cool and that's all I care about.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073252)

really now? I see apple as a bunch of old people who used to know what cool was, then the 80's ended

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073462)

really now? I see apple as a bunch of old people who used to know what cool was, then the 80's ended

God, will people stop whining about a company that a lot of people simple enjoy their products. What the f*ck do you care what people choose to do with their disposable income? It's not stopping you from buying that awful Android tablet, so go for it and shut the heck up.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073862)

I was 15 years old once, too.

A bit early no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073156)

Don't you think it is a bit early to be worried about this?

Re:A bit early no? (1)

Jackdaw Rookery (696327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073214)

Yes, it is. But why wait, or even ask Apple, when /. can run an anti-Apple piece.

Remember kids, if you want page hits slag off Apple, works every time.

Re:A bit early no? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073328)

Unlike fanbois, I would prefer to slag off Apple, than shag off it.

Re:A bit early no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073464)

Maybe Apple shouldn't willfully violate copyright on KHTML then?

Re:A bit early no? (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073672)

Don't you think it is a bit early to be worried about this?

Yes, it is. But why wait, or even ask Apple, when /. can run an anti-Apple piece.

What is your reasoning for believing it's too early to complain? They have distributed LGPL software without the source code for their changes. That means they are currently in violation of the license, and nothing else gives them the right to distribute the software. They're currently committing copyright infringement.

If they want to delay one of the two steps, they can release the source code first, and delay releasing the binary. They can't really do it the other way around.

Note to Apple fanboys: (3, Informative)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073160)

Saying "Google does it too!", doesn't make it right.

Re:Note to Apple fanboys: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073486)

Especially when Google is NOT doing it.

Apple fanbois don't just lack facts, they are also full of shit lately.

Nitro (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073246)

I seem to recall when this story came out a couple of weeks ago that the speculation centered on the updated JS engine. Apple may be determining if that code needs to be released.

Android Honeycomb's WebKit code (2)

gabriel (2115) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073560)

Can anyone point me to the Android web browser code used in Honeycomb? Seeing it also uses the same LGPL WebCore and JavaScriptCore modules I'd like to have a look. I've tried via the http://source.android.com/ [android.com] but couldn't get any of the updates that may have been introduced in Honeycomb.

Thanks.

Simple Explanation and Jumping to Conclusions (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073566)

Am I the only to see a very simple explanation that the author has missed? To recap here is what the author is saying:
  • WebKit is LGPL so updates should be released
  • Apple has released iOS 4.3, 4.3.1,4.3.2, and 4.3.3 without any updates to WebKit
  • Therefore Apple is holding back WebKit updates.

Am I the only one to see the major flaw in logic? iOS updates may include Safari updates which may include WebKit updates but iOS updates are not necessarily WebKit updates. If you look at the actual 4.3 updates [slashdot.org] that the author describes, the vast majority of changes have nothing to do with Safari. Even if they did, remember Safari is WebKit + Apple's browser code just like Chrome = WebKit + Google's code. The few changes around Safari seem to imply fixes to Safari not WebKit. Also if the author did any deep analysis, in 4.2, Apple updated Safari to use WebKit 533.17.9 whereas the newest stable version if WebKit is 534.20.

Re:Simple Explanation and Jumping to Conclusions (0)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073664)

This is Slashdot. Don't bring logic into an argument when it interferes with people hating/loving Apple/Google.

Re:Simple Explanation and Jumping to Conclusions (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074112)

I think it's important to point out that the Google-authored portion of Chromium is released under the BSD license.

Found it. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073934)

http://www.opensource.apple.com/tarballs/WebCore/WebCore-955.66.tar.gz
Also see:
http://www.opensource.apple.com/tarballs/

Re:Found it. (1)

gabriel (2115) | more than 3 years ago | (#36074186)

Great, JavascriptCore 721.26 is also there in the main directory. So that's it. Pointless linkbait story once again.

Now can you also find the Honeycomb sources for Google's WebKit-based browser?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...