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Apple Gifts Top WebKit Contributors with MacBooks

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the one-good-turn dept.

Programming 270

soundofthemoon writes "Just nine months ago, Apple started the WebKit Open Source Project. In that time, contributors have added some significant improvements to WebKit (and thus Apple's Safari browser). Today Apple gave their open source contributors a big thank-you, including rewarding the top contributors with some nifty goodies: 'As a thank you, we are giving MacBook Pro computers to twelve of our top contributors. We've also invited five of them to attend Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference 2006 on Apple's dime.' Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore."

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Obvious (5, Insightful)

Bombula (670389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685810)

Shoot me for stating the obvious, but this sets a good example for other companies to follow, not just in tech but across all industries.

Re:Obvious (3, Insightful)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685861)

Well, it's not like this is unheard of, but not in THIS specific form :)
Can you say "X-Prize" or "DARPA Grand Challenge" ?
How about "PayPal donate link on Sourceforge" ?
Or, even cuter, "shareware" ? :D

It's on a different level (of commitment), yet it's (basically) the same thing: you work for something you care about, expect no (financial and/or direct) reward, yet, if you do it right, you end up with something.

So, yeah, always a good idea to keep hopes up for those who work for free and/or as a hobby... it's way cheaper (and on a much grander scale) as paying a lot of employees ;)

Re:Obvious (4, Insightful)

weileong (241069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686034)

no it's completely different. they posted the X-prize first in order to stimulate entrants etc.; here, Apple is rewarding the people who contributed *with no expectation of personal gain* (well, beyond things like satisfaction and if they use the code themselves), which is more true to the spirit of the GPL, as a complete surprise. this is much more of a real reward, and not some mercenary kind of thing.

Re:Obvious (3, Insightful)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686047)

It seemed to me that the X-Prize, whilst giving some compensation was only a fraction of the amounts spent. I think the money helped to create publicity and make it look worthwhile.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686059)

which is more true to the spirit of the GPL, as a complete surprise

The GPL is a software licence and not some shity "work scheme". It has nothing to do with giving computers to people who work for free.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686502)

Wait, free as in beer or in GPL? Oh isn't that ironic.

Re:Obvious (1, Interesting)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686333)

which is more true to the spirit of the GPL

How so? The GPL explicitly does not preclude the option of selling the software or of being paid to produce it. Not restricting redistribution is not the same as charging for initial production.

That said, I think this is pretty fucking cool. Apple didn't have to do this, but they chose to do so. Yes, I know it's in their best interests, but so what? A bunch of people got some cool stuff with no strings attached. Sounds pretty cool to me.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686828)

But will Apple allow the recipients to exchange those powerbooks for real laptops? Say, a top-end Dell or Alienware?

Not quite the same (4, Informative)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686168)

Well, it's not quite the same thing. These developers were rewards *after* doing a lot of work. They did the work without any knowledge of any potential "reward". That's what makes this situation a little different. :)

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686256)

Note to self: Parantheses are not (always) necessary.

Re:Obvious (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686768)

"In this form" is key. A large corporation rewarding open source contributors seems to be a new thing.

Also, I don't think X-Prize or DARPA grand prize participants to give their designs away.

Re:Obvious (5, Interesting)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685884)

Good example?

Let me tell you a story about a job I had. This job paid $8.50/hr and I spent my day on the phone blocking, unblocking, and collecting payments from the customers of a certain long distance company. The Company I worked for was in financial trouble, so they started cutting back actual pay increases in favor of contests.

The rules were simple. Produce more than every one else on the floor and get paid closer to what you were worth for that month. "Brilliance!" they must have thought. They could pay us less and increase production at the same time!

Immediately, the entire business fell into two camps:

1) People who decided it was futile to play this game. These people's morale was shattered, and as a result, their production decreased.
2) People who cheated to boost production, often leaving horrified customers in their wake, thus making it futile for anyone with a sense of ethics to play the game.

I do not like the "contest" style of compensation. I believe if Apple really wanted to do something, they should compensate every person who did good work for them. That would be fair. As it stands, for every chosen one, there will be many wringing their hands, angry that their hard work goes unappreciated and uncompensated.

Re:Obvious (1)

Freexe (717562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685921)

Didn;t the royal mail in the uk have a simular, where if you were on time for work and did a good job you got entered into a prize draw to win stuff

Re:Obvious (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686192)

Royal mail have done a lot of crap, such as introducing 'teams' where a group is responsible for mail. Then if one team member goes ill etc, the rest of the team have to do his work, for free, with no overtime.

Re:Obvious (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686506)

How is this different from what happens in every workplace I know of? If someone's out sick, their co-workers have to pick up the slack.

Re:Obvious (2, Insightful)

LootenPlunder (941724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685938)

theres a big difference between substituting prized for salary for contracted employees and giving rewards to people who work voluntarily. if a person is donating their time to an open source project, they obviosly dont need pay as a motivation. they really couldnt start paying a salary to everyone who works on open source projects that end up benefitting them. this adds a precedint of giving something to people in a field that usually offers little or no monatary benefit. theres no comparison to regular employment.

Re:Obvious (5, Insightful)

asliarun (636603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685975)

This is different. Agreed, internal competition can actually damage morale in a company. However, what Apple has done is reward open source contribution for individuals who didn't expect the reward in the first place. This is a good thing, as it encourages open-source hackers by giving them recognition as well as by giving them an unexpected reward. Everybody likes to get recognized and rewarded, especially for something that they take intellectual pride in. Hats off to the people who take the time off from their regular work and participate in such projects, simply because they want other people to benefit and learn from their skills and contributions. They thoroughly deserve such rewards.

Back to your example, where your company screwed up was in the fact that they confused incentive/recognition with unhealthy internal competition. It takes a very good people manager to instil a culture of competitiveness while making sure that it doesn't get degenerated into a political dog-eat-dog culture. The first encourages employees to benchmark themselves against their (better) peers and helps them pull up their socks when they feel they're sliding. The key here is that the manager should balance out the weaker employees' efforts with the company's goals, and make sure that they too are recognized and rewarded, along with the star performers. The second, OTOH, makes the weaker contributors feel a sense of futility, which makes them resort to cheating or give up the race. In my experience, i've met very very few people managers who can pull off this balancing act with success.

You have a valid point that all contributors should be rewarded and duly recognized. However, the key contributors also need to be rewarded more than the others, for that is the essence of meritocracy.

You missed one camp. (1)

douglips (513461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686039)

3) People who realized it was easier to sabotage the other people than to do a good job themselves.

Re:Obvious (4, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686083)

I believe if Apple really wanted to do something, they should compensate every person who did good work for them. That would be fair.

No, that would be employment.

Re:Obvious (1)

funpet (836434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686577)

I believe if Apple really wanted to do something, they should compensate every person who did good work for them. That would be fair.

No, that would be employment.

What's unfair about employment? (I suppose there's a valid Marxist answer to this, but I'm guessing that's not what you were thinking.)

Re:Obvious (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686089)

I can't help but compare this to my own recent situation. I work in a hospital and we are in the process of moving all departments around because the airconditioning is being replaced throughout the entire building. Now since it's a hospital, the patients can't suffer because of it. So this means that most of the moving will have to happen after the medical staff stops working at 5pm ... or later sometimes. Needless to say that every employee made some overtime or did some thing or another to contribute to the moving. Now i've had some things i needed to take care of at home, so lately i couldn't help during weekends. Then suddenly we got the message that several people were invited to go to a dinner party, organized by the hospital. Great! Uhm, no. I was not invited. People who are working at the reception desk were invited though, even people who were on holiday during the moving. All in all i can say that about 500 people contributed to the movings, and about 100 is selected for the dinner. I said the same thing to my boss "either it's everyone, or nobody. because just selecting people at random is unfair".

Not that i would've gone to the dinner anyway, because i'm a vegetarian and they never count on that. Something else to get pissed off about, but okay ... So i've decided that i won't participate after my normal work hours anymore. I don't care if they can't move a department because they don't have enough people. They should've treated everyone the same: either everyone goes to the dinner, or nobody gets invited.

No idea what goes through the minds of our bosses when they come up with such a 'brilliant' idea. I guess they know they can't please everyone, so just let's pick some people that we need a favor from, and screw the rest.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686153)

Oh, come on. You're being self-righteous. Yes, you had something to do at home. That took you out of the top 100 and put you in the next 400. So what? You wouldn't have gone anyway? Please. That's lame. Just because your a veggie, you can't go to be with everyone else? They shouldn't have invited you anyway. Glad they didn't.

Re:Obvious (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686254)

would you honestly have felt the same if you were invited and someone else didnt go-in-your-place? It is rather strange to have a dinner party because of the move, but not recognise those that actually did the work.

Re:Obvious (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686546)

Majorly off-topic here, but I thought I'd share something. My wife works for this dinosaur of a staffing company (she's a full-time employee of the company itself). To give you an idea of the mindset, she still has to wear full "business" attire to work, eg skirts/hose/dress shoes etc, even though there's no customer-facing at all in her role. So one year their holiday party (big fancy shindig, long-winded speeches, rubber chicken, one free drink, etc) got snowed out. It happens, we're in New England. So, rather than accept it under the banner of "stuff happens", they decided not to have the party. Ever again. Just no holiday party whatsoever, because they got snowed out one year. Fell into the "looking for an excuse" category for me, and morale took a big hit.

Re:Obvious (3, Insightful)

Bombula (670389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686111)

I certainly agree with you that what you call 'contest' style compensation is ineffective at best, and immoral and unethical at worst. Take it to the most macroscopic scale: the labor market worldwide. Workers in Bangladesh and the Phillipines are in 'contest' (ie: free-market competition) with workers in the US and Europe, and like you said, it's a brilliant scheme for the corporations who get to pay the lowest possible wages to those who have the highest productivity (productivity here meaning 10-year-old kids working 16 hour days in sweatshops).

Within our own countries, labor laws and unions product workers from such abuses - and I'm guessing you could have easily taken your case to a union with the possibility that you employer's practices were downright unlawful. But international law makes no such concessions, instead favoring the holy grail of 'free trade' and 'free markets', including of course the totally unregulated labor market.

What Apple is doing is quite different. They are showing genuinely generous appreciation for what is an entirely voluntary effort, and they are certainly under no obligation to do so. Comparing the two situations is comparing apples to oranges (pun fully intended).

Re:Obvious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686590)

it's a brilliant scheme for the corporations who get to pay the lowest possible wages to those who have the highest productivity (productivity here meaning 10-year-old kids working 16 hour days in sweatshops).

While that sounds abominable to us westerners, families in those countries actually want their children to work at those sweatshops because the pay and working conditions are so much better than the alternatives. These people see the sweatshops as a good thing, not some horrific servitude. Working for a western corporation is something to be proud of over there. Sure there are some bad apples - who are much more likely to get their factory on 60 minutes - but they're not representative.

If you don't believe me, ask one. I did.

Re:Obvious (2, Insightful)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686174)

Except.. these developers were NOT told "the more 'effort' you spend the more likely you are to get a sweet new Mac laptop"... In fact, they weren't promised any reward of any sort. In this way Apple's reward has gone to what are very likely to be totally deserving contributors, as opposed to cheaters etc. since none of the developers knew beforehand that Apple was going to give such stuff to the top 12 contributors. :)

Re:Obvious (3, Interesting)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686312)

Your job sounds almost like a scam a friend of mine was involved in, and it sucked the life out of him. Basically, he answered an advert in the local newspaper looking for proofreaders and transcribers with guaranteed work. Indeed, when he phoned them they gave him a job on the spot.

Except the job involved bidding money for work, and if you bid the most money for a particular job, you got the work and were paid for it. You were paid good money for it which is why it looked so appealing, I think he was on $45 per hour for transcribing from news broadcasts. The only problem was with such a large pool of "employees" it wasn't unusual to find they were bidding $40 for a job that only involved an hour's transcribing. Do the math and you can see how it works.

That was a scam though, your job sounds like it ended up the same without management quite realising how bad it was.

Re:Obvious (1)

inphinity (681284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686600)

I do not like the "contest" style of compensation.

It's only a contest if they "entrants" have an idea of what they're in store for should they "win". Apple never gave any mention of any prizes, monetary or otherwise.

Re:Obvious (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686130)

BANG!

(I think so too.)

great gift, brings me back (1, Interesting)

conJunk (779958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685815)

I only went to WWDC once, when i was 17, my employer (first IT job) sent me on their dime... it was a blast, really cool, really eye-opening... giving OSS developers a free ride (and a free computer!) is just cool... i don't have much of a point... this just cool, and makes me nostalgic :)

Good for Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14685816)

I see they've found a way to unload all those pre-Intel Macs sitting in their warehouse.

Re:Good for Apple (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14685825)

Except the MacBook is the first Apple notebook with an Intel chip, genius.

Re:Good for Apple (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14685834)

I see they've found a way to unload all those pre-Intel Macs sitting in their warehouse.
As a thank you, we are giving MacBook Pro computers to twelve of our top contributors.
They are giving them intel versions.

Re:Good for Apple (1)

Madjeurtam (101190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685846)

I think the GP refers to the fact that the MacBooks that were shown in January were actually prototypes. Or maybe he was just trolling and that I bit :)

It really is unlucky (5, Funny)

agent dero (680753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685837)

Never before has number 13 sucked so hard.

Sucks to be you, top 13th contributor ;)

Let me point you to what this really is... (0, Troll)

heretog (783228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685860)

Damn cheap advertising. Hell, it works a million ways revolving around good feelings and envy. Plus they get some P.R. with all of those who will praise how great they are for doing it. Not great, smart. Not smart in a good way, smart in a 'Comcast Park Cleanup Day' way.

Re:Let me point you to what this really is... (1)

smallguy78 (775828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686764)

Sadly for you, the people making that praise are also the same people rating your comments

That's what they'd like you to think (5, Interesting)

Sux2BU (20893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685863)

Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore.

Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project. You release it, give some early adopters a thank you gift, and then wait as more people contribute to the project. You leave people with the hopes that they too will get "paid" for their work. Considering the (relatively) small amount of money spent on the gift vs. hiring people to work on the project it comes off as quite a deal. You might even get free advertising [slashdot.org] .

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685898)

Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project.

Well, for one the result is an open source project. Not something Apple can just lock up. Secondly, if you're in this for the money you're seriously not thinking straight. They're giving these to their top developers. It's a trinket for what they've contributed, it's not anything like a lottery where you can "win" and get a decent wage. Apple is simply seeing a way to make people that are already interested in doing an open-source project be a little more motivated. It's a win-win situation for both. That's not a crime or anything.

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (4, Insightful)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686100)

One thing everyone seems to have missed is that with the move over to Intel they would probably like 'their' top Open Source developers to have appropriate hardware to develop on.

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686686)

Not everyone. You didn't miss it. And you earned that "Score 5, Insightful".

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14685910)

So hey Apple, let's keep those laptops in their boxes, and to hell with those top 12 developers. I mean, did 'contributor' meaning change recently or what?

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (4, Insightful)

mister_tim (653773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686015)

I was waiting for someone to say this. Basically, that argument just shows that with the Open Source model you can't please everyone.

If a company doesn't open source, plenty of open source advocates say they should and will complain about closed environment, etc etc
If they do open source, then you get arguments like this - either that they are taking advantage of free labour, or using cheap labour.

If you accept the open source model, then things like this are the outcome. In this case, it is very nice of Apple that they rewarded some of the top contributors, which they were certainly not obliged to do.

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686209)

Oh come on. Please name a single policy/event which affects a large number of people and where everybody has been happy. I can't think of a single thing. It's rather unfair to make it out that open source people are any different. Humans and humans.

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (2, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686030)

Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project.

Considering that the whole point of using an open source project is to get software using free labor -- yeah, you're being pretty cynical.

Apple didn't have to give anybody anything in exchange for their contributions. Nobody ever expected or asked them to. This isn't an incentive to get other people to be in the "top twelve" next year; it's a "thank you" to the people who have already worked hard.

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (2, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686041)

Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project.
Isn't that the goal of all open source projects? (Okay, the vast majority of them?)

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (2, Insightful)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686078)

If you are doing OSS for direct financial reward, you'll be disappointed.

There are some complex reasons for doing it (like getting others using your code can give you feedback, bug finding, or because you are charitable, or to raise your profile).

Re:That's what they'd like you to think (3, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686669)

I don't think you're giving the people working on these projects enough credit. Anyone with the skills to contribute meaningfully to this project should be able to get a job that pays well enough that they could buy a laptop on their own. And I'm sure they all know that.

You see, one of the cool things (although sometimes a weakness) with open source development is that the people doing it are very often doing it for fun. It's a hobby for them, and even without the MacBook, if they weren't getting some sort of a feeling of accomplishment or something, they would've stopped doing it. Apple isn't taking advantage of people any more than the habitat for humanity takes advantage of their volunteers. While writing code is different than building homes for impoverished people, there are a lot of parallels.

In both cases, someone willingly donates their labor, for their own reasons. And in both cases, a lot of people benefit. With Habitat for humanity, the volunteers get the satisfaction of having helped with something bigger than themselves, and often gain knowledge about construction. A family without the means to buy their own house gets a decent home and their quality of life significantly improves. And society in general has one less homeless person to try and support (or if you don't believe that others should be forced to help those lazy bums, there's one less homeless person sitting around in your neighborhood).

With open source webkit, the volunteers get the satisfaction of having helped with something bigger than themselves, they've likely gained some new knowledge pertaining to computers and programming, they've potentially gained some name recognition for their effort and talents, and some of them have even gotten new laptop computers. Apple benefits by having a better piece of software included in their operating system. The rest of the world benefits because they have that exact same better piece of software that they're free to use with their own programs. Oh, and coincidentally, the fact that this particular piece of software pertains to web browsing, it stimulates more competition in the browser market, so the world gets even more better browsers.

But yeah, there are two points. The people donating their labor to this project before must have been getting some sort of happiness/satisfaction/reward for it, or they would've stopped. I've yet to hear of any sweatshops in asia where kids are forced to write code for pennies by their cruel taskmasters who keep any free laptops sent in reward. And secondly, Apple is not the only one benefiting from this. They aren't using laptops to pay people to write code for Apple, they're rewarding people who write code available to anyone. That's approaching philanthropy.

KHTML? (1, Insightful)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685875)

I hope some of the KHTML developers were among those getting rewarded. That's where the code originally came from after all.

Re:KHTML? (5, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685981)

I think that to be the case.

Apple's decision to /open-source/ WebKit was quite controversal. Apple as a big company with lots of customers has to follow some security lines. That was the culprit why WebKit became so distant to its ancesor kHTML.

The problem was that KDE and Apple has very different targets on how to release patches and etc. Some of the changes Apple did to WebKit would never be accepted by kHTML team. That in fact forked development of WebKit and kHTML.

After Slashdot bashing (it was in times of release Acid2 test), when kHTML people said that Acid2/kHTML is a very distant (low-pro) target, Apple promised to come-up with solution to the problem. The solution was to clean-up internal repository and open it up the FLOSS community. kHTML people wanted to bring standardatization work done by Apple to kHTML on one side. And on another side Apple wanted to move to newer improved version of kHTML.

Fork the it was going benefited no-one. The way things everyone wants is to have kHTML clean and strandard compliant and WebKit with some hacks and quirks to deliver top notch performance and compatibility for Apple's Safari. Hacks/quirks has always a potential to evolve into a proper solution.

So I think your guess is right: most contributors would be the kHTML team. Thou I expect some other caring souls would wander the repositories too.

P.S. Story about Apple's WebKit v. kHTML. the problem: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/28/121 5227 [slashdot.org] - and the solution http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/04/144021 3 [slashdot.org]

Re:KHTML? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686286)

P.S. Story about Apple's WebKit v. kHTML. the problem: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/28/121 [slashdot.org] 5227 - and the solution http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/04/144021 [slashdot.org] 3

The problem with kHTML vs WebKit was the Apple zealots who praised how much Apple contributed to kHTML when in fact Apple didn't do that at all. The kHTML developers didn't care if Apple contributed, but they did care that the zealots where shouting (And we all know how high the Apple zealots shout) about the wonderfull relationship beetween Apple and kHTML. There where no relationship, Apple forked kHTML a year before anouncing it, the kHTML developers was not informed about that.

When the kHTML developers enlighted us about the fact that Apple didn't contributed to kHTML (This was when safari passed Acid2) the zealots again as always missintepreted it as if the kHTML developers where jealous about Apples fork of the program. The fact is that all they said is that Apple shouldn't have credits for kHTML because they don't work on the program!

Apple realised they actully benifitted from having some status in the open source world and gave the kHTML developers the tools they needed to bring Apples patches back into the kHTML tree. This had nothing to do with "Apple promised to come-up with solution to the Acid2 problem". Apple realised they had an image problem. Their users (the zealots) where outright lying to the OSS comunity, and they couldn't be stopped because when the zealots have made up their minds on something they don't change it when some "OSS hippies" tells them they are wrong. Apple did exactly what the zealots had been shouting about, and began a relationship with kHTML. Now the zealots could go on with the tales without lying and Apple probably benefitted from loosening the grip a little on WebKit.

Basically all you wrote is just pure bullshit, and has little to no resemblance with what actully happened. But as the zealot you are you again change the truth to fit your twisted world.

Re:KHTML? (1)

RPoet (20693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686365)

"Apple's decision to /open-source/ WebKit was quite controversal."

Abiding by software licenses is "controversal" now? KHTML is LGPL so it's not like they had much choice.

Re:KHTML? (3, Interesting)

buysse (5473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686816)

Poor wording by grandparent. Apple always kept to the letter of the LGPL -- they dumped source when they released binaries. One big chunk of undercommented source.

Nine months ago, that changed when Apple started exposing the VCS for WebKit and actively helping kHTML developers to integrate the WebKit improvements to KDE, and integrate the newer kHTML code to WebKit. In the initial situation, Apple benefited. After opening the repository, everybody benefited, and now Apple is saying "Thank you," in a very tangible way.

NASA Worldwind (5, Interesting)

Llynix (586718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685900)

NASA about a year ago sent gorgeous crystal cubes to the top contributers to their worldwind project. They had a couple of NASA logos etched on them along with our names. When the manager of the project popped into our community chat room I suggested some NASA schwag for the top contributers. I was thinking stickers/pens... something small. I was quite surprised to recieve a heavy box a couple of months later containing the perfect desktop gem.

Re:NASA Worldwind (2, Funny)

Bungopolis (763083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685957)

So THAT'S where the NASA research budget has gone!

Re:NASA Worldwind (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686016)

pic please

Something To eBay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14685914)

Yeech.

Talk about a crappy gift:

1) Run 90% of your software at a crawl through emulation
2) Apple doesn't ever talk about battery life for a reaon...
3) The stupidest name for a Mac, ever.
4) Great SPEC numbers, shitty real world performance - ie. par for Intel

Re:Something To eBay (2, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686536)

2) Apple doesn't ever talk about battery life for a reaon...

I thought they said at the keynote that battery life was doubled for the macbooks ?

Re:Something To eBay (1)

wtmcgee (113309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686716)

No, steve jobs himself said that battery life would be "about the same" - which is actually pretty impressive considering the computer is much faster and has dual cores now.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10853916/site/newsweek /page/2/ [msn.com]

Verbing nouns: Gah. (3, Insightful)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685932)

Off-topic, I know. So mod me. But...

Gah! "Gifting"? Wtf? Gift is a fucking NOUN. What's wrong with "Apple gives MacBooks to top WebKit contributors"?

It seems that the disease of corporate-speak has infected even the minds of Slashdot contributors who (a) should know better and (b) probably think they're immune.

Action this at once.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14685944)

It's also a transitive verb... look it up...

tr.v. gifted, gifting, gifts

      1. To present something as a gift to.
      2. To endow with.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (-1, Flamebait)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685961)

According to the "American Heritage Dictionary", but not according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Tsk.

Frankly, I speak English, and this half-arsed corporatisation of American colloquia needs to stop. It's not attractive, and it makes British ears very unhappy.

Somebody needs to read the Economist Style Guide. It's not just a good idea, it's the law.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (3, Insightful)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685984)

According to the "American Heritage Dictionary", but not according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Tsk.

Frankly, I speak English, and this half-arsed corporatisation of American colloquia needs to stop. It's not attractive, and it makes British ears very unhappy.


I speak English, too.

http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/gift [askoxford.com]

gift

noun 1 a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present. 2 a natural ability or talent. 3 informal a very easy task or unmissable opportunity.

verb 1 give as a gift, especially formally. 2 (gift with) endow (someone) with (an ability or talent). 3 gifted having exceptional talent or ability.


Hey, look at that. Looks like Oxford says you need a refresher course.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (1, Funny)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686020)

Pah.

You can prove anything with facts. I don't like it. No sir, I don't like it.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (1)

SillyWilly (692755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685987)

It appears in the second edition (1989) of the full OED. The earliest reported use is from the 16th century. "1. trans. To endow or furnish with gifts (see chiefly GIFT n. 6); to endow, invest, or present with as a gift."

MOD TEH EURO FAGORT DOWN PLZ KTHX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686452)


Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (5, Insightful)

SurgeonGeneral (212572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686157)

Definitions are interesting, however it is the etymology of the word that will explain to the parent why his anger at the use of "gift" as a verb is a mistake.

Gift is a word that is originally derived from the ancient German word geban - which, incidently, is a verb. The word grew to be a noun, but kept its verb meaning as well.

The word gift has been used for a long time now as a verb in legal proceedings. When a person bequeths objects to people in a will, it generally is referred to as gifting. That meaning of the word has recently raised its head in major media where it seems to be a "new" use of the word, when actually it is only new to you.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686422)


Yep. Most of our modern English comes from German through Greek. As such, we tend to follow a lot of german rules for language. The fact that the quickest way to create new words in English is to "noun-i-fy" verbs is an example of this. It happens all the time.

~Will

As Calvin said (1)

hgavin (259102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685950)

Verbing weirds language

Re: As Calvin said (1)

KURAAKU Deibiddo (740939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686547)

But what does Hobbes have to say about it? This is an Apple thread, shouldn't we want the Tiger's perspective? ;)

All joking aside, it's nice to see Apple contribute to the community.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (2, Informative)

Bungopolis (763083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14685951)

tr.v. gifted, gifting, gifts
  1. To present something as a gift to.
  2. To endow with.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition via http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gifts [reference.com]

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686692)

English. From England. Dickwad.

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686002)

Hmmmm.

ERROR 35 CART/HORSE ORDER MISMATCH.

(I think you might find that "gift" started out as a verb sometime in the 16th century)

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686108)

y r u so dum?

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686215)

"Gift" as a verb? Wow, and I thought "preemptive counter-attack" was bad...

Re:Verbing nouns: Gah. (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686350)

I blame it to bad parenting.

You should pick up a dictionary (1)

sczimme (603413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686472)


Gift is a f*cking NOUN

It is also a verb: go read this [reference.com] . Of course you won't do that, so here is an excerpt:

gift Audio pronunciation of "gift" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (gft) n.

1. Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.
2. The act, right, or power of giving.
3. A talent, endowment, aptitude, or inclination.

tr.v. gifted, gifting, gifts

1. To present something as a gift to.
2. To endow with.


Go with the flow (1)

secretsockpuppet (953391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686482)

'Nice' was once a BAD word. A few hundred years ago, It meant 'stupid'.

Then it segued through some related meanings like 'picky', 'fastidious' etc

Until it began to mean 'GOOD'

Now it's been so overused that it's beginning to be used ironically, with a meaning like revoltingly sweet or cutesy, i.e. BAD...

plus ca change...

Apple has done this before (5, Informative)

sagefire.org (731545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686028)

Apple has supported GIMP-print [sourceforge.net] this way for a while now. Granted, they weren't giving them laptops. But, people working on GIMP-print got iMacs and were given special discounts on buying other macs for personal use.

It's a great model. Hopefully, they will continue to do it for years to come.

Re:Apple has done this before (0, Troll)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686294)

I would rather call it manipulation of lead developers. Apple spents very little money and uses top developers as a advertisement plattform.

Cheapskates (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686092)

Couldn't they give them real PowerBooks instead?

Don't Work for 'Free' (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686272)

A latop?

For hundreds of hours of work?

and you guys are thankful?

You are idiots.

Re:Don't Work for 'Free' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686682)

slashdot is amazing at times. These people didn't get ordered by apple, they work on this or any opensource project for their own reasons. Most of the opensource developers get paid for their work or see it as a way of giving back. The fact that a extra user (in this case apple) wants to give them a bonus for a job well done is nice and also smart (since changes are support for their new machines will be better).

If they see this as 'pay from apple' then they should not have been doing it in the first place they should have applied for a job at apple instead of their current job.

Daniel.

PS: I am a fulltime opensource developer and people pay me (we need to eat too), if someone wants to give me stuff for free as a extra thank you please do.

Intel books... (4, Interesting)

skingers6894 (816110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686273)

This is cool and it puts Intel Macs into the hands of people who contribute. Maybe Apple understands that OSS contributors can't necessarily upgrade to the latest. This makes sure that the top dozen contributors to Safari get "Intellized". Smart AND nice.

Exploitation and charity (-1, Troll)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686288)

Wilful exploitation of developers and Apple donates cynical gifts. I mean, think about what a real manhour of a software specialist costs Apple. And not enough: Apple's peanuts are additionally slashdotted.

hello i am a potato (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686292)

hello i am a potato

Re:hello i am a potato (0, Offtopic)

gnujoshua (540710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686347)

You should be moddedup higher. Give it up for the Potato!

Job? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686297)

Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore.

You know - there is a fine line between receiving gifts from your mate and being a whore.

Re:Job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686380)

In my opinion the difference is:
    Would you do it anyway?

This applies perfectly in this case also.

Re:Job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686533)

Would you do it anyway?

Yes, It's a perfect way to kiss Steve Jobs butt.

A nice, unnecessary PR gesture (1, Insightful)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686336)

So who else thinks that Apple is about to do something really uncool in the eyes of the FOSS community?

Gifts? (-1, Offtopic)

mcleaver (105698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686341)

Why "gifts" as verb instead of "gives"?
Greetings
Martin

Except... (1)

Marthisdil (606679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686503)

Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore

As long as it's to a huge multi-billion dollar company who could technically get rid of their computer line and just ride the IPOD up the market.

Donating your time to something small and REAL open source - you know, the ones where the software is great, but they don't have all this extra money lying about ot "thank" their developers...

Now THOSE are the real devs. Writing a companies software for free, where they could afford to hire the programmers and still give it out for free. Woo...and you thought MS was bad. Way to exploit the "workforce" there Apple! Tossing a few cookies to some of the crowd...yeah...cheapskates.

KHTML (1, Insightful)

Doros (887174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686522)

So, uh, how many of the KHTML devs got MacBooks?

Nice move Apple (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686538)

Nicely done. Like the styling of their hardware, it was classy. I think one lesson that every tech company should learn from Apple is that style is important. Even in development I've noticed an application can look great but not be that terrific from a technical perspective and still be received better than a technically gifted app with plain looks.

Apple GIFTS...??? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686541)

Apple Gifts Top WebKit Contributors with MacBooks

Verbing weirds language.

Contributing has it's upsides (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14686729)

This does not strike me as the least ovbious, working for a large, dominant and very well known software company contributing to open source, we regularaly invite, pay for, and accomodate our community developers at our annual conferences. As you all know, companies are mostly concerned about their share holders, share holders are mostly concernied with how much money the company is making, and that money comes from the consumers in the same community we so generously sponsor. So this is all really just an exercise in PR, but a damn good exercise I might add.

Every person we invite is well regarded contributor, he/she already has the fortitude and passion to help our company, and all we do in return is pay a couple of grand for hotel and flights, and bingo, we have someone who will be a life long devotee to oue cause.

It may seem a tad evil, but heck, if you didn't wake up yesterday, that's how the world goes around!

Uh, it never was. (2, Insightful)

toby (759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686772)

Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore.

How do you think we got this far, if it ever were? This verges on the 'you can't trust programmers who aren't paid' FUD.

One good deed deserves another... Bravo. (2, Funny)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14686811)

Nice to see the civility.

Now can we get back to hating each other? GOSH.
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