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Columnist Who Complained About OS X Source Code Close Meets With Apple

Columnist Who Complained About OS X Source Code Close Meets With Apple

by , 4:50 PM EDT, June 26th, 2006

Computerworld's Tom Yager, who in May wrote a column about Apple closing the source code for the Mac OS X kernel on x86 processors, on Monday reported that a subsequent meeting with the company failed to address his problems with the change.

"To sum up Apple's objections," he wrote, "the company felt I had given a year-old story a fresh coat of paint and sensationalised it for an audience that wasn't affected by it. Yet, no story is more timely, or more broadly relevant, than this one."

While the unnamed Apple representatives were skeptical that many people cared about the issue, Mr. Yager responded by noting the ones that he feels do: "academia, high-performance and high-throughput computing experts, and shops that want to roll in system-level enhancements before Apple gets around to packaging them."

Apple's response to that was to describe those people as "only a 'fraction of a fraction' of the geeks (Apple's word) who are my regular readers," according to Mr. Yager. He continued: "Before consummate wealth and success, Steve Jobs was the poster boy for that misunderstood fraction-of-a-fraction to which my erstwhile handlers referred. Jobs was odd man out for being inventive, curious, tenacious, fearless, opinionated and insatiable."

Mr. Yager added: "The Mac platform is an overflowing basket of raw materials for innovators and creators of all stripes. It's what Steve Jobs would fantasise about if he still worked out of his garage, and you can bet that he'd be livid to find that the vendor had locked some portion of his chosen platform behind a gate, without a word of notice or explanation."

In the end, though, the columnist said: "I'm not so much concerned about the single issue of Apple's sandbagging its open source commitment for six months (and counting). The kernel will open up again, this tempest will subside, and I'll be glad when it does. What concerns me deeply is that Apple thought it would be okay, that nobody would notice or care if it back-burnered its commitment to keep its open source Darwin OS in lockstep and binary compatibility with OS X."

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