Apple Limits Intel OS X Source Code Access to Thwart Hackers

"With the release of Mac OS X for x86 processors, Apple has chosen to not release source to key components of the OS, such as the kernel and all drivers," Rob Braun recently wrote for Daemon News. As fellow developer Peter OiGorman noted, Apple likely did this to thwart the efforts of those who want to hack the Intel version of Mac OS X and get it running on non-Apple hardware.

" I can understand and applaud the goal, but not the methods," said Mr. OiGorman. "By limiting published source code to that which is iinfectedi by the GPL [GNU General Public License -- editor], Apple is, in my honest opinion, scoring an own goal," he added, referring to the soccer term that describes a team scoring a goal in its own net.

"We are going through yet another cycle of losing access that we once had," said Mr. Braun. "This means Darwin/x86 is dead in the water; Darwin/ppc has many closed source components and is a deprecated architecture.

" One has to wonder why Apple even bothers to release non-GPLid source at all, if it is unwilling to cooperate with external developers to increase their return on investment and accept external bug fixes and features."

An article at PC Pro offers more background on the situation.