Apple and Open Source

Jules Bean jmlb2 at
Wed Mar 17 09:09:51 UTC 1999

This message is not intended to be private.  However, it's posted to
debian-private as a 'heads-up'.  If you care about open source, please
subscribe to spi-general at, as that's the correct forum
for discussing it.

Please remove debian-private from any Cc:s.

Here's my take on the Apple/Open Source thing:

Don't bite the hand that feeds!  It's *good* news.  Slow down, everyone.
Apple releasing the source code to the bulk of MacOS X is really good
news.  MacOS X is an exciting piece of technology, and it would be
wonderful if it were Open Source.

Now, what do we do about the fact that it's not open source?

For the record:  2.2 (c) of the APSL fails point (3) of the OSD, since it
restricts distribution of modified versions (you may not do so unless you
notify Apple).  9.1, and 12.1 (c) whilst not obviously failing any point
of the OSD, are undesirable. 

In many other ways, however, the license is excellent.  For example, it
expressely grants a license for all Apple patents which the work might

IMO, 9.1, which attempts to cover Apple's backs in case of patent
infringement, is adequately covered by 13.6.  12.1 (c) is just plain silly
:-(.  But I'm not a lawyer.

I think we should

a) Send feedback to Apple, expressing pleasure that they wish to open
source their project, and explaining our current problems with the APSL

b) Regain control of the OS mark, and enforce it. should
have a high-profile front-page saying "The APSL is not currently
considered open-source, because..", "The IBM Jikes licenses is not
currently considered open-source, because..."


Jules Bean

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|  Julian Bean   | jmlb2 at        |  TW9 2TF *UK*       |
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