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Boston Globe: Apple turns over new leaf

Sep 16, 2000, 12:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Hiawatha Bray)

"Nevertheless, OS X has been profoundly affected by the free software movement. The most basic part of the operating system, its 'kernel,' is available at no charge to anybody who wants to tinker with it. The kernel, named Darwin, is itself based on free software products similar to Linux. Software developers around the world are being welcomed to study Darwin, and even produce modifications, that Apple may incorporate into future versions...."

"In effect, Apple is placing much of the future development of its core software in the hands of strangers. A few years ago, such a strategy would have been unimaginable. The raw 'source code' from which software is made was regarded as a company's crown jewels, never to be revealed to outsiders. Microsoft is fighting efforts to force the company to reveal the underlying 'source code' for Windows as part of a settlement in its antitrust case."

"The spectacular success of Linux, which boasts publicly available source code, has changed a lot of minds. Apple now welcomes the assistance of smart outsiders in devising improvements to their core software."

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