"Envisioning a bumper sticker saying "FREE Darwin," a long-time
Macintosh fan and developer has launched a project to create a GNU
General Public License version of the Apple-published BSD named
after the father of evolution."
"Michael L. Love, a post-doctoral associate in the molecular
biology and genetics department of Cornell University in upstate
New York, announced the project this week. It's hosted on
"[The Apple Public Source License] is very restrictive compared
to GPL, and the software will not be truly free until Darwin itself
is GPL'd," says Love, known as proclus online. "I am somewhat
negotiable on this point, because the BSD folks have some good
licenses, too." Although Darwin, the BSD foundation for Apple's OS
X, remains under the Apple license, Love hopes his project can work
on porting the vast library of free software to Darwin. "The
business of the [GNU] distribution is to port free software to
Darwin so that the GUI and the tools, such as gtk-gnutella and the
GIMP, will be GPL," he says. "GNU-Darwin will be about having a
Darwin distribution that is as free as possible. GNU-Darwin is
Darwin itself, but overlaid with free software."
"So Love says his project will abide by the conditions of the
Apple license, and he says he'll be an advocate for the Apple
license "until Apple sees fit to FREE Darwin."
"Personally, I consider GPL as the ideal and I think that the
notion of a GNU-Darwin reflects that," he adds. "Free software is
stepping out to the front in so many ways now ... I feel that Apple
must free Darwin in order to keep up in the industry."
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