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Apple Crippled Its DTrace Port

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the nothing-to-see-here dept.

Programming 476

Linnen writes in to note that one of developers of Sun's open source system tracing tool, DTrace, has discovered that Apple crippled its port of the tool so that software like iTunes could not be traced. From Adam Leventhal's blog: "I let it run for a while, made iTunes do some work, and the result when I stopped the script? Nothing. The expensive DTrace invocation clearly caused iTunes to do a lot more work, but DTrace was giving me no output. Which started me thinking... did they? Surely not. They wouldn't disable DTrace for certain applications. But that's exactly what Apple's done with their DTrace implementation. The notion of true systemic tracing was a bit too egalitarian for their classist sensibilities..."

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And as quick as it is reported (5, Informative)

Evets (629327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145352)

As quickly as the issue is reported, a hack [bikemonkey.org] comes out to resolve it. Gotta love how quickly the community can respond to these things.

Re:And as quick as it is reported (2, Informative)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145424)

The joy of open source--with that many brains working on a problem, odds are that someone already knows how to fix it.

Re:And as quick as it is reported (5, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145572)

Thank god apple has a thriving community that is constantly working to fix apple's design decisions. Someone should try building an OS that's entirely community supported. Imagine how productive they would be without apple working against them.

Re:And as quick as it is reported (1, Redundant)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145610)

Someone should try building an OS that's entirely community supported. Imagine how productive they would be without apple working against them.

You mean like Linux?

Re:And as quick as it is reported (4, Funny)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145750)

wooooooosh

Re:And as quick as it is reported (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145782)

Linux came out before OS X did. Jobs kinda incorrectly linked Linux code to be part of OS X during it initial release.

Re:And as quick as it is reported (0, Redundant)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145804)

WHHOOOSSHHHH!!!!!

Re:And as quick as it is reported (4, Funny)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145838)

Joke --------------------> Thinking Computer

. . . . . . . . You

Re:And as quick as it is reported (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145766)

Someone should try building an OS that's entirely community supported. Imagine how productive they would be without apple working against them.

Yeah, they'd be fixing top, not Sun's DTrace. Imagine!

Re:And as quick as it is reported (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145990)

Yes, the Linux community is very productive. How many distros do they have?

Thanks Community, now fix Quicktime 7.4 (5, Informative)

voidstin (51561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146076)

It's nice that Dtrace works again. But I'm betting a lot more people use After Effects or Premiere. The QT 7.4 update which enables movie rentals from iTunes breaks any render that takes longer than 10 minutes. Thank god DRM is here to protect me from the work I need to do. Wasn't apple supposed to me the machine for media professionals?

http://blogs.adobe.com/keyframes/2008/01/dont_update_to_quicktime_74.html [adobe.com]

Apple is not a monopoly!!!1!!1 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146288)

Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...
Apple is not a monopoly...

If I say it enough times, maybe I'll start to believe it...

DRM? (4, Interesting)

StevisF (218566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145398)

Could this to help prevent circumvention of DRM?

Re:DRM? (1)

StevisF (218566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145420)

Could this help prevent circumvention of DRM?

Rather.

Re:DRM? (0, Flamebait)

phoebusQ (539940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145430)

The most likely reason for this is to prevent circumvention of DRM, the same DRM mandated by the studios for participation in the iTMS.

"A little to egalitarian for their classist sensibilities"? Give me a fucking break.

DTrace is hardly crippled, although these modifications are certainly not ideal. Maybe we could actually discuss the real effects, and potential solutions, instead of spewing sensationalist rhetoric? Of course not.

Headline: Slashbot learns from masters... (2, Interesting)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146050)

Is it just my imagination or is this post a dupe [slashdot.org] ? And a positively moderated dupe at that (twice!).

Not that I mind, but suddenly I feel at least 50% less efficient.

Re:DRM? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146350)

DTrace is hardly crippled,

Apparently not any more. The crippled version from Apple has been, uh, routed around.

Re:DRM? (2, Interesting)

mwsmith824 (638640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145452)

Most likely yes as iTunes is the only app that sets the flag. How quickly will Apple patch around the hack is the interesting question....

Re:DRM? (4, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145460)

That may have been Apple's intent, but as usually happens in such cases, the end result is to encourage people to find out new ways around the 'protections' that have been inflicted.

Re:DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146158)

With people feeling ever more justified in taking as they want while ironically decrying the greed of others, the real end result is that I laugh at the hypocrisy of the self-appointed intellectual elite.

Re:DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145468)

Wouldn't be surprised if Apple did this to cover their arses from any record labels/movie companies. They would know how easy it is to circumvent what they've done, but they probably couldn't get away with including something that might directly be utilised to aid in the removal/avoidance of DRM.

Operating System Tying (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145552)

Could this to help prevent circumvention of DRM?

Of course.

The interesting issue is that nobody can compete with Apple on, say, a music store effectively.

When they add a new iTunes feature, they can change Quicktime to support it or they can disable DTrace so people can't easily reverse it. Nobody else can do that. They're probably not going to get into a DOJ tiff over it, though - Bush [the _ administration] isn't likely to get into it, and Al Gore is on their board.

And so it's probably not surprising that the iTunes DRM defeaters are on Windows, which is where their sales base is anyway. So, spending this effort on OSX is really just a waste of time.

Personally, Amazon is my iTunes DRM defeat. I own a total of 2 iTunes Plus songs - they never have anything I want without DRM.

Re:DRM? (1)

randomProof (1225104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146152)

Not unless they can do this to the Windows version of iTunes.

DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (3, Insightful)

kherr (602366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145428)

Come on, this isn't a class struggle. It's Big Business trying to protect their intellectual property. DRM sucks, this is yet another way in which it degrades computer systems. But Apple's just being a company, and their hack to DTrace is actually good coding. Dislike their choice, sure. But there's no epic struggle for humanity here.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (4, Insightful)

Hsensei (1055922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145458)

Of course if it was MS you would have you pitchfork and torch ready. I forget Jobs can do no wrong.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145704)

Flamebait? That's right Mac sycophants, mod the truth down since you can't debate it.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145480)

Some would argue that the struggle against corporations is the struggle for humanity and that it plays out in seemingly innocuous things like this.

A battle is not the war, but it is part of it.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145686)

And some others would argue that the struggle against corporations -- against the organizations that let us wring ever more value from ever less labor -- is a cynical struggle to return humanity to living in caves and digging for roots to eat, a golden time when the folks with silver tongues and zero conscience (lawyers, politicians, and related rabble-rousers, the kind who dominate in high school) could always be on top, while socially-misfit four-eyed dweebs with good ideas -- the kind who found and manage successful private corporations today -- had to stand guard duty around the toilet pit on the midnight to dawn shift.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145894)

Some people could argue that, but they would be wrong.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (1)

sbenson (153852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145918)

and so began toilet porn.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (1)

try_anything (880404) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146060)

And some would argue that corporations are valuable economic engines that have built-in antisocial tendencies that can never be eradicated, but must be constantly monitored and kept in check. Corporations are powerful entities that resist those efforts, making it a struggle.

The struggle between "good" entities and "evil" ones is a mythical recasting of the everyday struggle between good and evil elements of every person. People are impure, institutions are impure. Corporations are a valuable kind of institution, which is why we have laws enabling their existence, yet it would be foolish to turn a blind eye to everything they do, or assume that whatever they want to do must be right in some way we don't understand.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146470)

And some would argue that corporations are valuable economic engines that have built-in antisocial tendencies that can never be eradicated...

Yeah, I also had a professor make us watch that stupid Michael Moore-wannabe movie. I can't believe how many people quote it like it's some gospel truth. You'd do better to construct your worldview around real Michael Moore movies.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (4, Insightful)

Samgilljoy (1147203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145744)

The struggle against corporations may be an important part of the defense of humanity, but some would argue that seemingly innocuous things are often just small, innocuous things, and that to go ape shit about them and blow them out of proportion is characteristic of small minds and spirits.

Some would also argue that getting hung up on the small things and seeing battles to be won therein is a good way to ensure that people never take on any large and not so seemingly innocuous issues, that they self indulgently imagine themselves to be revolutionaries fighting the good fight and propagating righteous and enlightened rhetoric.

And even if these people are totally wrong, it still doesn't excuse the ideologically loaded "classist sensibilities" bullshit. But I'm sure the original poser, err poster, feels good about his awesomeness.

gcc -ideo ramshackle world.cpp (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145688)

Are you kidding?

This is Slashdot where "paper or plastic" is an epic struggle directly and immediately affecting the fates of billions!

BILLIONS, I tell you! BILLIONS!

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145696)

some day they'll use the exact same excuse when caught monkeying around with ssh, and other crypto.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (2, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146508)

I've not seen any evidence Apple has weighed in on this beyond crippling DTrace. As I understand it, a DTrace user has experimented with the program, determined it to be specifically crippled, and given an educated guess about why it is crippled in that way. However I agree with the bulk of your post; Sadly, there will be a lot of young naive Slashdotters willing to go along with such behavior, even defend the proprietors engaged in that practice (coming up with excuses for the proprietor) as we see in this thread.

It's difficult for some to grasp that a proprietor's (Apple's in this case) interests don't change. With a completely free software system (and yes, I'm not using the term "open source" here to highlight the freedoms the open source movement doesn't want to talk about) this would never be an issue. Someone would release improved versions of any program making it fully traceable and one could get on with studying and improving their entire system as they see fit. Users of non-free software are never going to be in the class that gets the freedom to learn or determine how their own computer works. DRM is simply one modern computer implementation of a class system.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145844)

Good coding my ass.

It BREAKS dtrace.

If iTunes happens to be the process interrupted to run the dtrace probe, that flag being set prevents the probe from running.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145942)

Dislike their choice, sure. But there's no epic struggle for humanity here.

"Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?"

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (4, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146428)

Completely disagree.

"Apple's just being a company" = "Class struggle"

The fact that there are two classes of legally recognized entities, with competing rights allocated to each, is sort of the definition of a class struggle.

Re:DRM bad, but "classist sensibilities"? (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146584)

The fact that there are two classes of legally recognized entities, with competing rights allocated to each, is sort of the definition of a class struggle.

Wow. Please project this in flaming, 3/4 mile high letters in the sky over Washington D.C....

Yet another example of how Apple is not our friend (4, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145438)

Apple is as much the DRM laden threat to open computing as Microsoft is. We may have circumvented this issue this time, but what about the time after that? and after that? Its a cat and mouse game Apple is going to play.

Re:Yet another example of how Apple is not our fri (0)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145540)

As much the DRM laden threat as Microsoft? Hardly. There are no DRM APIs in OS X. In fact, the only DRM I've seen on OS X is in iTunes. (And remember, they had to agree to DRM to get contracts with the labels.) Compare that to MS's pandering to DRM loving CEOs and including it in Vista! And, really DRM is much more an application specific problem so far and has little to do with any OS besides Vista.

Re:Yet another example of how Apple is not our fri (1)

coppro (1143801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145856)

No DRM outside of iTunes... once you get it running on your HP computer, that is.

Re:Yet another example of how Apple is not our fri (1)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146404)

Well compared to Microsoft of course they look wonderful. Now compare it to any open source operating system (which have none of this nonsense at all) and they don't look so good, do they?

Well, Apple is *my* friend! :-P (2, Informative)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145634)

Oh, piffle. Without Apple DRM, iTunes (store) would be impossible due to the idiot record labels. Go grouse at them. Outside of iTunes, what is there in Mac OS X that's DRMed?

When Apple begins sending out legions of hunter-killer robots to take down open source projects and assassinate their maintainers, then you might have a point, Mr. Zombie, sir.

OS-X itself (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146530)

It is DRM'd to only run on Apple hardware. There is nothing technical that prevents it from running on any modern PC since that is indeed what Macs are now. However that won't work, hence there are groups out there that have to hack it to disable that and allow it to run on any hardware.

You can argue till your blue in the face that they need to do this, doesn't change what they are doing. If it wasn't DRM'd, it'd run fine on any hardware that met its technical requirements.

Re:Yet another example of how Apple is not our fri (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146092)

There's no friendship, you're just a fan and Apple rakes in your money. They love this cult like status, some of it is well deserved, their design is unmatched in the computer field. If Mac fans were a little more reserved instead of opening their wallets then Apple would stop and think a bit more.

I'm by no means a fan boy, I own a Mac Pro and I run Leopard. They're just tools and even with Apple's flaws I'll still with them until something better appears.

Right now I'd sooner eat a slightly damaged apple than look through broken windows :)

Re:Yet another example of how Apple is not our fri (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146100)

Letting knowledge of the true Apple out is an offence punishable by harassment by a thousand fanboys.

Apple is a bad company all round, their hardware always has defaults from firehazard magsafe adapters through to discolouring notebooks to easily scratched iPod screens to Safari on Windows being the buggiest piece of software released in the entire history of computing.

Their kit is appallingly expensive and feature lacking, and we keep being told it's the godlike interface that makes it so amazing, yet the iPhone is probably the most unusable phone in the in history of the universe for anyone wanting to send text messages (i.e. 99% of the population of Europe and Asia). MacOS is easy for things you're allowed to do but my god, just hope you don't need to do something like persistent static routes which is a mere one line command in Linux and Windows but has you hacking away at various startup scripts to do properly in MacOS. God at least most expensive manufacturers of items nowadays ensure their products are ethically produced to try and make you feel good about the purchase for some reason or another but it's not like you even get that with Apple's horrible non-green sweat shop produced crap.

There's really no reason to buy Apple kit, it's all round worse than standard PC kit bar one thing, it looks nice when it hasn't discoloured, scratched or died a cosmetic death to fingerprints on it's touch screen. That hardly seems a reasonable factor for purchasing something though unless you're a mindless fashion sheep.

DMCA (1, Redundant)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145442)

Is it possibly they included this so as not to provide a tool capable of circumventing DRM?

Great! (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145444)

So can I apply this NOATTACH flag to my l33t rootkit software to make sure it goes undetected by any system diagnostic tools?


This will be a big help for me in my quest for a legion of Mac zombies ;^)

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145652)

...my quest for a legion of Mac zombies

It might be easier to just attend a Macworld conference.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145760)

they should still need to install it, we've still got a long way to go before we can have the easy malware install functionality of windows. then again even mac users like the idea of a FREE ... BRAAIINNSSS

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146356)

Well, it's either that or just set the Evil Bit.

Alarmist Much? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145446)

From TFA:

To say that Apple has crippled DTrace on Mac OS X would be a bit alarmist, but they've certainly undermined its efficacy and, in doing do, unintentionally damaged some of its most basic functionality.

C'mon, seriously? (1, Insightful)

phoebusQ (539940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145466)

The most likely reason for this is to prevent circumvention of DRM, the same DRM mandated by the studios for participation in the iTMS. "A little too egalitarian for their classist sensibilities"? Give me a fucking break. DTrace is hardly crippled, although these modifications are certainly not ideal. Maybe we could actually discuss the real effects, and potential solutions, instead of spewing sensationalist rhetoric? Of course not.

Re:C'mon, seriously? (5, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145884)

(Note: IANA DTrace user or developer.)

The real effects seem to be that while a process which sets this flag has control of the system, any DTrace events that fire off during this time will not be detected, as if they never occurred, regardless of whether what is being traced has anything to do with that process. It seems to break a few important(?) idioms used by DTrace users, so that the results returned are not what they should be.

The furor seems to be that this subtle breakage has gone undocumented; and although only iTunes currently uses it, that does not stop other software (including software that should not be there) from using it. That a DTrace developer discovered this, combined with that this is in all likelihood being done for no reason other than that of DRM, is what makes this notable. If I were working on DTrace, I'd probably be pissed too.

Re:C'mon, seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146476)

Speaking of sensationalist rhetoric... I just love it how every time news breaks about Apple doing DRM and all the fanboys start screaming "but RIAA MADE them do it! It isn't their fault! Really!". Uh huh, sure.

Luckily... (5, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145476)

From the DTrace source (in an #IFDEF APPLE):
/*
* If the thread on which this probe has fired belongs to a process marked P_LNOATTACH
* then this enabling is not permitted to observe it. Move along, nothing to see here.
*/


Luckily no malicious programmer will mark their malware's process with this flag!

Re:Luckily... (2, Interesting)

crunchy_one (1047426) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145770)

This reminds me of the bozo bit in the early Macintosh file system. Not much protection, but it did force the attacker to take an action that might be later used to demonstrate intent. Perhaps the P_LNOATTACH serves a similar purpose?

Re:Luckily... (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145776)

From the DTrace source (in an #IFDEF APPLE):
/*
* If the thread on which this probe has fired belongs to a process marked P_LNOATTACH
* then this enabling is not permitted to observe it. Move along, nothing to see here.
*/

Luckily no malicious programmer will mark their malware's process with this flag!
Maybe Apple has a few Macs with a modified DTrace version that _only_ observes processes with this flag set...

Evil bit (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145920)

Together with careful use of the Evil Bit by malicious coders, we will have complete security in Apple system software.

Re:Luckily... (2, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146212)

/*
* If the thread on which this probe has fired belongs to a process marked P_LNOATTACH
* then this enabling is not permitted to observe it. Move along, nothing to see here.
*/

So... written by a slashdot reader? Don't know of many other places that displays that message on a regular basis.

Re:Luckily... (3, Interesting)

Hamilton Lovecraft (993413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146358)

Google says Results 1 - 10 of about 91,600 for "move along, nothing to see here" -site:slashdot.org.

Re:Luckily... (1)

Jacked (785403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146552)

You must not leave Slashdot often enough ;)

It's a pretty common phrase in western media, such as TV shows and movies. Usually by law enforcement at the scene of a crime.

Re:Luckily... (5, Insightful)

Hamilton Lovecraft (993413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146308)

So, uh, why don't you open source wizards recompile DTrace without the code that checks P_LNOATTACH?

Freedom Crippled when you use Proprietary Software (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145482)

You of all people should know that you give up your freedom to use your software and hardware as you wish when you use proprietary software. Apple's continuous attempt to stop people from changing software on their home computers is a good example of how they feel about freedom. They only side with freedom when it is immediately beneficial.

Huh? (0)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145524)

Since when was Apple stuff open source?

Re:Huh? (0)

Kasracer (865931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145968)

It's not Apple's stuff. It's Darwin. Darwin is a UNIX variant that is open source and Apple uses it as the foundation for OS X. Since the code is open sourced Apple has to legally share its source code for those specific components (such as DTrace).

Re:Huh? (0, Troll)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146378)

Your post is wrong on so many levels I don't know where to start ... actually ... yeah, I do [freebsd.org] . The shared source license is primarily the GNU family of licenses, the BSD ones are known for the fact that you don't have to share your source. I commend Apple for releasing the Darwin sources, even though they absolutely do not have to.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

drcagn (715012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146468)

Darwin is Apple's stuff. They made it. It is based on BSD, but the BSD license doesn't require them to release the source (does it? IANAL). It is also based on NeXTSTEP, which was acquired by Apple in the 90s.

Apple's record with open source is inconsistent. Sometimes they develop internally and release source (Darwin, Bonjour), sometimes they collaborate with open source projects and share (WebKit with KDE), sometimes they buy out someone's software (Cover Flow), sometimes they steal ideas and never credit original authors (Dashboard).

Apple has its own open source license, the Apple Public Source License, approved by OSI and the FSF. However, they also release under the Apache license as well.

I would say in general, Apple is very open source-friendly, and a lot of open source developers I know have flocked to the Mac. It's just sometimes they have some evil empire corporation actions that make us Apple users shake our heads.

Eagles have nothing to do with this (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145546)

Is "egalitarian" the Slashdot word of the day today?

Classist Apple? Anti-egaliitarian IBM tolls? (5, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145560)

Fuck me, it's like a Student Union bar in here. What next, comrades, do we storm the Winter Palace or just go and sell some copies of Socialist Worker?

it's kdawson day (2, Interesting)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145832)

It's like this every time kdawson takes a turn posting stuff to the front page. Wish he'd join up with his natural comrades at digg.com and take the tired rewarmed leftovers of 19th and 20th century politics away with him.

Re:it's kdawson day (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146540)

Got any radical new ideas for the 21st century then? Because Capital is not going to vanish from the bestseller lists any time soon. Karl Marx was one of the few geniuses who redefines the way we look at the world. He creates the idea of all behavior being economic. The economic models he makes were the first in the world. Sure, he might have been wrong, but the debate he started advanced economics and sociology in a way no other thinker has.

Re:Classist Apple? Anti-egaliitarian IBM tolls? (2, Funny)

martinX (672498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146040)

I say we hold a meeting to draft a resolution. Brian, you take the minutes.

Re:Classist Apple? Anti-egaliitarian IBM tolls? (1)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146128)

Are we the People's Party of Slashdot or the Slashdot People's Party?

Re:Classist Apple? Anti-egaliitarian IBM tolls? (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146420)

SPLITTER!

Subversive programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145566)

I have to suspect this was made to be discovered, otherwise it would stuff some superficially correct looking data into the output instead of simply black holing it. It's not like the person running it isn't going to check.

Sounds like just the sort of executive order that a good programmer would implement to the letter, ignoring the spirit.

DTrace too intrusive (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145636)

I am with Bjarne on this one.
Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of the C++ programming language, claims that C++ is experiencing a revival and
that there is a backlash against newer programming languages such as Java and C#. "C++ is bigger than ever.
There are more than three million C++ programmers. Everywhere I look there has been an uprising
- more and more projects are using C++. A lot of teaching was going to Java, but more are teaching C++ again.
There has been a backlash.", said Stroustrup.

From the Fine Article (3, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145660)

Quote:
"So Apple is explicitly preventing DTrace from examining or recording data for processes which don't permit tracing. This is antithetical to the notion of systemic tracing, antithetical to the goals of DTrace, and antithetical to the spirit of open source."

Diagnostic tool that won't look at all processes is no tool at all.

Re:From the Fine Article (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146576)

The people in these threads who are defending what Apple has done are tools, though.

Slashdot Headline Accuracy? (5, Funny)

aberkvam (109205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145736)

The article says, "To say that Apple has crippled DTrace on Mac OS X would be a bit alarmist..." So what is the Slashdot headline? "Apple Crippled Its DTrace Port"

Nice...

Re:Slashdot Headline Accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22145854)

The article says, "To say that Apple has crippled DTrace on Mac OS X would be a bit alarmist..." So what is the Slashdot headline? "Apple Crippled Its DTrace Port"

Nice...
Lesse... ptrace() calls will fail (sending you a SIGSEGV) for some set of undocumented reasons.
now, right now this is a special (undocumented) request that iTunes and others use.
next step would probably be using something in the process image header or similar for blocking.
How's this not crippling?

It's worse, they have broken DTrace (5, Informative)

mzs (595629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145738)

Basically profile and tick are useless since they will not fire if a thread with PT_DENY_ATTACH is on proc. Perfectly good DTrace scripts simply will not work correctly on OS X.

Isn't this the time... (1)

BSDetector (1056962) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145748)

Isn't this the time where some wise-ass Slashdotter is supposed to make an infantile comment regarding Microsoft and to completely ignore the fact that Apple has been found with their hands in the cookie jar!

One question: (3, Interesting)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145916)

Isn't this a F/OSS program? Couldn't you just recompile an uncompromised version of the source?

Re:One question: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146252)

It's actually the ptrace() call that's misbehaving, so that won't work.

Re:One question: (1)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146472)

Sure, but you can replace ptrace() at run time from within GDB. This has _always_ been necessary ever since the iTunes Music Store was invented, way before DTrace landed.

So what? (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22145994)

I've never seen Apple market OSX as a Unix system or even talk about the shell.

Its main market is for an easy to use home computer and as a creative platform for video editing, graphic design and professional audio.

If you want a command line you're fully in control of, use Linux or a BSD Unix.

It's a commercial OS and Apple will do what they like so long as its legal.

Re:So what? (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146114)

They did advertise Leopard as "Unix certified".... (or something like that)
but no, they don't flaunt the cli to most people.... (at least not in marketing rags or anything I've seen..)

Re:So what? (3, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146258)

I've never seen Apple market OSX as a Unix system or even talk about the shell.

You obviously didn't look very hard. [apple.com]

Its main market is for an easy to use home computer and as a creative platform for video editing, graphic design and professional audio.

And software development. Or where did you think the developers of those video editors work and test their code?

If you want a command line you're fully in control of, use Linux or a BSD Unix.

No disagreement there, but it doesn't hurt to remind people that OS X is not that. People often leave Linux for OS X, claiming that it's basically an easier-to-use Linux than Linux, you still have all your stuff, etc. And you can always ssh to a Linux server to do real work.

It's a commercial OS and Apple will do what they like so long as its legal.

Why is this OK?

Re:So what? (1, Informative)

Stalin (13415) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146500)

No disagreement there, but it doesn't hurt to remind people that OS X is not that. People often leave Linux for OS X, claiming that it's basically an easier-to-use Linux than Linux, you still have all your stuff, etc. And you can always ssh to a Linux server to do real work.

How about some examples of "real work" that can't be done in OS X's shell? Admittedly, I don't so as much via the command line in OS X as I did when using Linux for a desktop OS, but I haven't encountered anything preventing me from doing so. I can't attest to OS X's server version; I don't use it. I, like you mentioned, moved to OS X as a desktop Unix because it is easier to maintain. Instead of spending time keeping the underlying system in order, I can work in a cohesive GUI desktop environment with the comforting option of being able to fall back on traditional Unix technologies. E.g. I can run Xmaxima, or vanilla maxima, if I so choose. In the three years I've been using OS X as my primary OS, I haven't had to "ssh to a Linux server to do real work."

YOU FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146018)

nned to scream thaT man walking. It's

The point of the article (4, Insightful)

aberkvam (109205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146036)

The /. summary and most of the /. posters seem to be missing the point of the article. (To be fair, the author wasn't too clear himself. He's done some clarification in the comments section of his article.)

Sure, it's annoying that DTrace can't "see" iTunes. But that's more of a DRM issue. Whether you agree with DRM and Apple's implementation of it or not, this DTrace feature is merely a logical extension of that issue.

The real problem though is that this feature actually does break iTunes. If DTrace probes while the iTunes application happens to be the application currently running on the CPU, the DTrace probe won't run. (It's technically a thread of iTunes' at that moment.) So not only will DTrace not show iTunes, it won't show ANY information until it happens to fire off when iTunes isn't the app running on the CPU.

It is fair to say that Apple has made a change to DTrace that has introduced a bug that they need to fix. It is possible for them to fix that bug while continuing to block using DTrace on iTunes.

Re:The point of the article (4, Informative)

aberkvam (109205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146160)

Doh! "this feature actually does break iTunes" should have been "this feature actually does break DTrace". My bad.

Stupid question. (1)

DeVilla (4563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146188)

If I make a third party app that and Apple allows my app to be traced and reverse engineered when they don't allow it for their own apps, does that mean they've chosen to assist in the reverse engineering of my app? If tracing is bad for their app, why is it ok with mine? Just asking? Could a court ask them?

Re:Stupid question. (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146518)

You can just set the same flag to prevent dtrace from monitoring your app.

So? (4, Insightful)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146228)

I just don't see what the big deal with all of this is. Smart people don't touch ITunes, because it's just going to help feed the beast. People seem to have forgotten how Jobs ran Apple the last time he was in charge. He's merely a lot more charismatic than Gates. But they are both equally self-serving.

Thankfully there are options which involve neither company.

Apple Fanboy Spin (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22146268)

Apple Fanboy: "Well, you see, Apple had to do this because they were protecting their interests. Yeah, thats right, Apple can do no wrong. Wait, what's that!? Microsoft is implementing DRM in Windows Media Player.. How dare they! Microsoft = EVIL"

One step back (5, Interesting)

bdgregg (744616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146492)

Yes, it's annoying - every time we examine the system we are now looking at everything except for iTunes (and possibly Spy-WaR3 ;-). But this issue is about more than just that.

I've introduced DTrace to many companies. While most people love it, some developers of closed source software are concerned about people DTracing their code. DTrace allows customers to gather proof of bugs that are embarrassing, hard to fix, or that the developers have deny existed. I've been asked many times if DTrace can be disabled for an application, usually to avoid negative publicity from the bugs that DTrace will expose. The answer has always been no. It's been great to see developers accept this reality and escelate bug fixing.

This is expected - DTrace visibility should improve overall code quality in IT. Hopefully it will also encourage employers to hire better programmers - since if customers don't use DTrace to point out embarassing bugs, then competitors may. It also erodes reasons to stay closed source - customers can use DTrace to see the code anyway.

Giving developers another option, to disable DTrace visibility, is allowing a backwards step from the future.

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