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Is OSx itself even ethical?


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#1
pinatubo

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Ok, bear with me for a sec, there are many parts to this rant.

Firstly, I have been studying the GPL, LGPL, etc for some time now trying to grasp its real intentions. And let me tell you, I'm even more confused now than I was before.

Part I - Built on Open Source

OsX is built on open source software, licensed under GPL. The core value of the GPL is to ensure Freedom. As in free to use, modify and distribute. As far as I can tell, everything supports this argument, that if you use GPL software to make a derivitave, then the GPL license also applies to that derivitave. Thus, OsX should really be "GPL". I know, that's an oversimplification. But if you look back far enough, BSD, and FreeBSD owe their roots to Berkely, which gets funding from guess who, Federal Government in the way of research grants. WIthout BSD or Freebsd, there would be NO osx in its current shape. There's no way for me to know the percentage of code in OSX that is truly BSD/FreeBSD/GPL/LGPL, but looking at Apple's opensource page, there is a significant amount of source available. So that makes you wonder, is it just the UI that makes OSX "OSX"?

Part II - US Gov vs Microsoft - Internet Explorer and Windows

Recall when the Justice Department bent Microsoft over the kitchen table for tying IE to Windows (among other things)? They literally forced Microsoft to detach IE (before IE6/7) from Windows. They (DOJ) said you Microsoft could not require IE as part of a Windows Install (anti-competitive with Netscape because Netscape lost ground when IE was bundled with Windows). Thus, one could argue that Apple cannot require OSX to be tied to their hardware since they indeed sell OSX separately without said hardware.

Part III - Microsoft's stake in Apple

"In August 1997, the Company and microsoft Corporation entered into patent cross license and technology agreements. In addition, microsoft purchased 150,000 shares of apple Series A nonvoting convertible preferred stock ("preferred stock") for $150 million. These shares were convertible by microsoft after August 5, 2000, into shares of the Company's common stock at a conversion price of $8.25 per share. During 2000, 74,250 shares of preferred stock were converted to 9 million shares of the Company's common stock. During 2001, the remaining 75,750 preferred shares were converted into 9.2 million shares of the Company's common stock."

So that put's Microsoft's ownership at 18 million shares out of 885 million in play. Not a huge stake, not even a controlling one. But Bill G did save Apple's behind and rescued them in the 90's.

Let's pretend for a second that Apple decided to market OSX not to the consumer masses, but the tech elites like those in this forum, those that have the tenacity to install it. Admittingly, I doubt this would carve into Microsoft's pie. But if OSx were marketed as a competitor to Vista, That would be awkard given the previously mentioned bailout of Apple by Microsoft wouldnt u think?

So thats my three points. From your armchair lawyer [no, not a real one, just an imaginary one]

#2
dies

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OsX is built on open source software, licensed under GPL.


Not sure how much of it is GPL, and how much is "other" free licenses. Can't be arsed to look it up either, BUT it will be interesting to see how many of those projects that are GPL move to version 3 forcing Apple to fork and maintain their own version. :rolleyes:

#3
MaaseyRacer

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The operating system is ethical. The idea is that the software is free, unless you are going to repackage and distribute it, then it costs something. Apple pays/paid to BSD. Then again OSX is so much more user friendly than BSD, but that is another topic for another day.

#4
omol

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OsX is built on open source software, licensed under GPL. The core value of the GPL is to ensure Freedom. As in free to use, modify and distribute. As far as I can tell, everything supports this argument, that if you use GPL software to make a derivitave, then the GPL license also applies to that derivitave. Thus, OsX should really be "GPL". I know, that's an oversimplification. But if you look back far enough, BSD, and FreeBSD owe their roots to Berkely, which gets funding from guess who, Federal Government in the way of research grants. WIthout BSD or Freebsd, there would be NO osx in its current shape. There's no way for me to know the percentage of code in OSX that is truly BSD/FreeBSD/GPL/LGPL, but looking at Apple's opensource page, there is a significant amount of source available. So that makes you wonder, is it just the UI that makes OSX "OSX"?


I beg to differ, you should really learn the history of OSX before preaching publicly. In the beginning, there is Mach. Mach is not UNIX. Granted, NextStep is Mach as kernel and BSD userland, but Next could easily go to use SysV userland. So BSD is really irrelevant. Besides, the GUI in Next has nothing to do with BSD. Just like the current OSX, you can rip out the BSD userland, you could still end up with something usable, b'cos majority of the OSX apps relies on Cocoa or Carbon, again, nothing to do with BSD. For the drivers, again, you can't just use NetBSD/FreeBSD/OpenBSD driver code, b'cos the kernel is not BSD! To check how much OpenSource code is used in OSX, just check out with svn or cvs from Darwin project. Of course you won't be able to get Cocoa or Carbon code, b'cos Apple will never open source them. I myself thank Apple for releasing Xnu. Try that with Microsoft will you?

#5
dies

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The idea is that the software is free, unless you are going to repackage and distribute it, then it costs something. Apple pays/paid to BSD.


Really ?

Didn't know that. I assume you mean by contributing code though, because it almost sounds like you mean money. If you mean they actually paid money for it then maybe you have a link?

Besides I think this was more about GPL stuff since BSD is just barely a license



Copyright (c) <YEAR>, <OWNER>
	  All rights reserved.

	  Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

[*]Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

[*]Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

[*]Neither the name of the <ORGANIZATION> nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.	 

 THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

Oh yeah, that's a tough one to comply with... :rolleyes:

#6
pinatubo

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I beg to differ, you should really learn the history of OSX before preaching publicly. In the beginning, there is Mach. Mach is not UNIX. Granted, NextStep is Mach as kernel and BSD userland, but Next could easily go to use SysV userland. So BSD is really irrelevant. Besides, the GUI in Next has nothing to do with BSD. Just like the current OSX, you can rip out the BSD userland, you could still end up with something usable, b'cos majority of the OSX apps relies on Cocoa or Carbon, again, nothing to do with BSD. For the drivers, again, you can't just use NetBSD/FreeBSD/OpenBSD driver code, b'cos the kernel is not BSD! To check how much OpenSource code is used in OSX, just check out with svn or cvs from Darwin project. Of course you won't be able to get Cocoa or Carbon code, b'cos Apple will never open source them. I myself thank Apple for releasing Xnu. Try that with Microsoft will you?


Mach was developed at carnegie mellon - with yet more federal grants I'm sure. Yes, I have done my research. There is more irony to be had in that Jobs was forced out of apple because he was going in a direction the rest of the board didn't like (NeXT). So he founds NeXT. Subsequently Apple starts to have big problems with THEIR direction and he comes back, bringing his NeXT technology with him.

But aside from the irony involved, I'm not disputing your point. Perhaps when I said "based on" I was using the term in the loosest sense possible :rolleyes:

May be "utilizes apis from BSD" would be more like it, but your description fits too.

Besides, I wasn't preaching, so don't be so abrasive.

#7
omol

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Mach was developed at carnegie mellon - with yet more federal grants I'm sure. Yes, I have done my research. There is more irony to be had in that Jobs was forced out of apple because he was going in a direction the rest of the board didn't like (NeXT). So he founds NeXT. Subsequently Apple starts to have big problems with THEIR direction and he comes back, bringing his NeXT technology with him.

But aside from the irony involved, I'm not disputing your point. Perhaps when I said "based on" I was using the term in the loosest sense possible :)

May be "utilizes apis from BSD" would be more like it, but your description fits too.

Besides, I wasn't preaching, so don't be so abrasive.


Unfortnately, for your hypothesis, Xnu is not Mach. Anyone with just a slight knowledge of microkernel can tell instantly Xnu is not microkernel like Mach. Besides, with what you are preaching, does that mean Sun should also fold b'cos, well, you know Bill Joy and Scott McNealy used to be one of those original BSD campers, and how dare they took these "government funded" toy project and turned into a commercial business? And you still get the misconception that NeXT/OpenStep/OSX is UNIX, they are not, and OSX only certified as UNIX with Leopard, though IMO I would call FreeBSD and Opensolaris which I use UNIX rather than Linux or OSX.

#8
Shadrack

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I have not researched the fine details to any of this. Please correct me if I'm wrong. This is my understanding of Mac OS X:

OS X isn't some modified open source/gpl windows manager. Although Darwin is GPL (and BTW freely available), Mac OS X can be considered a proprietary windows manager that runs on-top of the Darwin OS. Just because something runs on a freely available software platform, does not mean that it HAS to be freely available. You could sell software that runs on Linux, for instance. Or you could sell a windows manager for Linux to compete with KDE, Gnome, and the other freely available windows managers.

Further, you are free to license creations from GPL software anyway you (the author/creator) sees fit. For instance, a piece of artwork you design in GIMP would not be considered "open source" or under the GPL. Similarly, software that is compiled with gcc (GNU C Compiler) can be licensed anyway the creator sees fit as well.

Even further, I'm not sure about the GPL but I know that you can have a piece of software that is licensed under GNU AND you can still sell it (w/ the source code).

#9
PainWarlock

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have you ever noticed that when osx 10.5 leopard came out it was 90$ and the so called vista was 400 let me make this clear if it wasnt for the GPL that osx uses they would charge a non ethical price take redhat for example when it first came out it only 120 when microsoft systems were 500 bcus osx is made up of BSD kernel we should be thankful for one thing when it comes to BUYING THE OPERATING SYSTEM that its cheap because of that but in an ethical sense is it really i would say no bcus when you think about it it only works on apple hardware so really osx is like the bible always confusing and contradicting

#10
dies

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have you ever noticed that when osx 10.5 leopard came out it was 90$ and the so called vista was 400 let me make this clear if it wasnt for the GPL that osx uses they would charge a non ethical price take redhat for example when it first came out it only 120 when microsoft systems were 500 bcus osx is made up of BSD kernel we should be thankful for one thing when it comes to BUYING THE OPERATING SYSTEM that its cheap because of that but in an ethical sense is it really i would say no bcus when you think about it it only works on apple hardware so really osx is like the bible always confusing and contradicting


Sorry, but I can just tell you haven't really thought this through... at least not the part about OS X being so "cheap".

The pricing of OS X has absolutely nothing to do with it using Open Source code, and everything to do with release cycle.

How many releases have there been for OS X from the time Windows XP released to the time Windows Vista released?

Are all those releases being supported as long as XP? which still has years of support left btw.

Do the math.

So... which is the more expensive OS again ?

We are not even taking into account hardware costs here.


Besides the issue of cost really doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it's ethical to base your software on Open Source but then use it to "lock-in" your customers every chance you get. ;)

#11
RaiDesu

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We may need to bring in that Apple doesn't sell OSX separately. It's sold with each Mac- The copies on the shelves are upgrade licenses- You'll need to own a OSX License already to be able to legally use those.

That's why pricing in significantly cheaper- It's not a standalone license, it's an upgrade license.

Novell sells a linux distro, and provides a free version. Red Hat sells a linux distro, and provides a free version. Apple sells OS X, and provides Darwin for free.

Look at the next item: How many standard PCs use EFI? It's not only the "lock in", but standard PCs don't necessarily have the components required to run a non-hacked version, or a version that doesn't use some sort of bootloader.

With the Windows/IE issue, MS was integrating IE into Explorer. Thus, Windows would not really function without IE. However, Apple is bundling/integrating OSX into Mac. However, Mac can still run without OSX. Not in violation.

#12
fryke

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There's just so many things wrong with the OP's "facts". Sidenote: Yes, MS invested in Apple, but MS also got quite a bit out of that deal. Apple stopped sueing Microsoft back then, for example. The cross-licensing agreement was certainly not without merit for MS. Doesn't make everything alright, but explains it in less simplified terms.

To say OS X is GPL is plain wrong. But that's been stated already.

When you upgrade to Leopard or Snow Leopard (and no, you _cannot_ get a "full license" per se, because those retail versions are always upgrades to the license that came with your Mac), you decide what you pay for. Some pay it for the new version of the underlying technologies. Most, however (and we're talking more than 90% here), do it for new features on the surface, the GUI - or for compatibility reasons. And whether you think your $ are spent on one part or the other, for the packaging or the service, it doesn't *really* matter.

They're not asking ~100$ for the new versions of Perl or SQL or whatever. If at all, they're asking for their work putting it all together.

#13
InorganicMatter

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OsX is built on open source software, licensed under GPL.


NO! Mac OS X is not license under the GPL, it's licensed under the ASLA (Apple Software License Agreement). Furthermore, you don't understand the GPL.

It is very specific in what part of your software gets opened when you use GPL software. Including Firefox in your OS doesn't automatically make the entire thing totally open source. Very few of Mac OS X's components are free software. The parts that are free (Darwin, CUPS, WebKit, X11, Apache, Ruby, Python, etc.) all have source code available right on Apple's very own website:
http://www.apple.com/opensource/
http://developer.app...urce/index.html

Recall when the Justice Department bent Microsoft over the kitchen table for tying IE to Windows (among other things)? They literally forced Microsoft to detach IE (before IE6/7) from Windows. They (DOJ) said you Microsoft could not require IE as part of a Windows Install (anti-competitive with Netscape because Netscape lost ground when IE was bundled with Windows). Thus, one could argue that Apple cannot require OSX to be tied to their hardware since they indeed sell OSX separately without said hardware.


Forced software bundling cannot even remotely be compared to preinstalling an OS. Like you said, want Mac OS X without a Mac, fine, here you go:
http://www.amazon.co...-...9323&sr=8-1

#14
Kextman

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Ok, bear with me for a sec, there are many parts to this rant.

Firstly, I have been studying the GPL, LGPL, etc for some time now trying to grasp its real intentions. And let me tell you, I'm even more confused now than I was before.

Part I - Built on Open Source

OsX is built on open source software, licensed under GPL. The core value of the GPL is to ensure Freedom. As in free to use, modify and distribute. As far as I can tell, everything supports this argument, that if you use GPL software to make a derivitave, then the GPL license also applies to that derivitave. Thus, OsX should really be "GPL". I know, that's an oversimplification. But if you look back far enough, BSD, and FreeBSD owe their roots to Berkely, which gets funding from guess who, Federal Government in the way of research grants. WIthout BSD or Freebsd, there would be NO osx in its current shape. There's no way for me to know the percentage of code in OSX that is truly BSD/FreeBSD/GPL/LGPL, but looking at Apple's opensource page, there is a significant amount of source available. So that makes you wonder, is it just the UI that makes OSX "OSX"?

OS X is derived from BSD, and BSD is NOT published under GPL. Did you heard about "BSD style licenses" ? Here you go http://en.wikipedia....iki/BSD_license

Unlike GPL, when BSD licensed software is forked, there is no obligation to have the same license as the source. In other words, it can be closed and commercial. Parts of OS X which are forked from GNU are open and their source is available from Apple site, licenced under GPL. Someone above alredy posted the links for that.

#15
vbetts

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Ethical?

To me, an os is just a tool to get some work done.(Or fun, whatever comes first) I don't dig that deep into it now.

#16
gnubeard

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I beg to differ, you should really learn the history of OSX before preaching publicly. In the beginning, there is Mach. Mach is not UNIX. Granted, NextStep is Mach as kernel and BSD userland, but Next could easily go to use SysV userland. So BSD is really irrelevant. Besides, the GUI in Next has nothing to do with BSD. Just like the current OSX, you can rip out the BSD userland, you could still end up with something usable, b'cos majority of the OSX apps relies on Cocoa or Carbon, again, nothing to do with BSD. For the drivers, again, you can't just use NetBSD/FreeBSD/OpenBSD driver code, b'cos the kernel is not BSD! To check how much OpenSource code is used in OSX, just check out with svn or cvs from Darwin project. Of course you won't be able to get Cocoa or Carbon code, b'cos Apple will never open source them. I myself thank Apple for releasing Xnu. Try that with Microsoft will you?


It doesn't matter what userland NeXT/MacOSX/anything COULD use, easily or with great effort - what matters is what it DOES use, and that is BSD. Apple ships BSD. And it isn't just the userland TOOLS either. MacOSX's TCP/IP stack code is BSD licensed. So if you remove BSD stuff, you're back to (snicker) AppleTalk networking, I guess.

The MacOSX GUI is *very* closely tied to NeXTStep. The GNUStep libraries (which provide a code-level measure of compatibility with NeXT on Linux/Unix/X1) also function for Cocoa, because
they are just nearly identical. From gnustep.org, front page first paragraph:

"GNUstep provides a robust implementation of the AppKit and Foundation libraries as well as the development tools available on Cocoa/OpenStep"

Apple re-implemented the Mac GUI - the Finder, Toolbar, and so on using a slightly revised OpenStep (rebadged Cocoa) running on Mach/BSD. MacOSX is Mach, with BSD networking, process communication, and userland tools, among other things. The "core" is all derived from Open Source. Apple layered on a lot of their own code - good, important code - and that is why they deserve to make money.

To see Darwin as a gift from Apple is sillyness. If they had opensourced the Mac core graphics API running on Darwin, so that X11 isn't needed on it, then they would have provided something tangible of their own to the open source world.

Imagine Microsoft doing the following:

Take FreeBSD and turn off the text console support.
Add a closed-source framebuffer driver.
Create their own analog of Wine which runs on this new framebuffer to run "Windows Classic" programs.
Packaged this creation as Windows 10.

It would be Windows in name, only - it would be UNIX underneath. And MS would get harpooned from every side for trying to "hijack FreeBSD" .. this is because MS doesn't do PR as well as Apple.

I dislike MS more than Apple - and MS is probably more guilty of abuses, but Apple gets away with their share too. And they look cool doing it. Darwin is for show. Hell, they aren't even doing standalone binary releases anymore or even trying to give people an actual free, standalone OS.

So how does that koolaid taste, anyhow?





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