Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple opens up open-source effort

Filed under
KDE
Mac

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, webkit-dev@opendarwin.org, and a public IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel, #webkit on irc.freenode.net.

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

Linux Mint 18.1 Is The Best Mint Yet

The hardcore Linux geeks won’t read this article. They’ll skip right past it… They don’t like Linux Mint much. There’s a good reason for them not to; it’s not designed for them. Linux Mint is for folks who want a stable, elegant desktop operating system that they don’t want to have to constantly tinker with. Anyone who is into Linux will find Mint rather boring because it can get as close to the bleeding edge of computer technology. That said, most of those same hardcore geeks will privately tell you that they’ve put Linux Mint on their Mom’s computer and she just loves it. Linux Mint is great for Mom. It’s stable, offers everything she needs and its familiar UI is easy for Windows refugees to figure out. If you think of Arch Linux as a finicky, high-performance sports car then Linux Mint is a reliable station wagon. The kind of car your Mom would drive. Well, I have always liked station wagons myself and if you’ve read this far then I guess you do, too. A ride in a nice station wagon, loaded with creature comforts, cold blowing AC, and a good sound system can be very relaxing, indeed. Read more

Make Gnome 3 more accessible for everyday use

Gnome 3 is a desktop environment that was created to fix a problem that did not exist. Much like PulseAudio, Wayland and Systemd, it's there to give developers a job, while offering no clear benefit over the original problem. The Gnome 2 desktop was fast, lithe, simple, and elegant, and its replacement is none of that. Maybe the presentation layer is a little less busy and you can search a bit more quickly, but that's about as far as the list of advantages goes, which is a pretty grim result for five years of coding. Despite my reservation toward Gnome 3, I still find it to be a little bit more suitable for general consumption than in the past. Some of the silly early decisions have been largely reverted, and a wee bit more sane functionality added. Not enough. Which is why I'd like to take a moment or three to discuss some extra tweaks and changes you should add to this desktop environment to make it palatable. Read more

When to Use Which Debian Linux Repository

Nothing distinguishes the Debian Linux distribution so much as its system of package repositories. Originally organized into Stable, Testing, and Unstable, additional repositories have been added over the years, until today it takes more than a knowledge of a repository's name to understand how to use it efficiently and safely. Debian repositories are installed with a section called main that consists only of free software. However, by editing the file /etc/apt/sources.list, you can add contrib, which contains software that depends on proprietary software, and non-free, which contains proprietary software. Unless you choose to use only free software, contrib and non-free are especially useful for video and wireless drivers. You should also know that the three main repositories are named for characters from the Toy Story movies. Unstable is always called Sid, while the names of Testing and Stable change. When a new version of Debian is released, Testing becomes Stable, and the new version of Testing receives a name. These names are sometimes necessary for enabling a mirror site, but otherwise, ignoring these names gives you one less thing to remember. Read more

Today in Techrights