Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple opens up open-source effort

Filed under

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Introducing Gthree

I’ve recently been working on OpenGL support in Gtk+, and last week it landed in master. However, the demos we have are pretty lame and are not very good to show off or even test the OpenGL support. I’ve looked around for some open source demos that used modern GL that we could use, but I didn’t find anything that we could easily use. What I did find though, was a lot of WebGL demos that used three.js. This looked like a very nice open source library for highlevel 3d rendering. At first I had some plans to bind OpenGL to gjs so that we could run three.js, but this turned out to be a hard. Instead I started converting three.js into C + GObject, using the Gtk+ OpenGL support and the vector/matrix library graphene that Emmanuele has been working on recently. Read more

Swiss crowdfund pays for signed PDFs LibreOffice

In just three days, the Swiss open source community Wilhelm Tux reached its crowdfunding target of 10,000 CHF (about 8000 euro) to add support for digital signatures in PDF documents. The feature will be added to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The project is awarded to Collabora, an open source IT service provider, which will deliver the new functionality in April. Read more

Tumbleweed, Factory rolling releases to merge

“With the release of openSUSE 13.2 due in November, we realised this was a perfect opportunity to merge our two openSUSE rolling-releases together so users of Tumbleweed can benefit from the developments to our Factory development process over the last few years,” said Richard Brown, Chairman of openSUSE board. “The combined feedback and contributions from our combined Tumbleweed and Factory users should help keep openSUSE rolling forward even faster, while offering our users the latest and greatest applications on a stable rolling release.” Read more

Fedora 21 Beta to slip

Today at Go/No-Go meeting it was decided to slip Fedora 21 Beta release as we did not have release candidate (RC) available in time. However we will try one day slip. Read more