“Thanks to pirates, or rather the fear of them, the Intel edition of Apple’s OS X is now a proprietary operating system,” Tom Yager reports for InfoWorld. “Mac developers and power users no longer have the freedom to alter, rebuild, and replace the OS X kernel from source code… The Darwin open source Mach/Unix core shared by OS X Tiger client and OS X Tiger Server remains completely open for PowerPC Macs. If you have a G3, G4, or G5 Mac, you can hack your own Darwin kernel and use it to boot OS X. But if you have an Intel-based Mac desktop or notebook, your kernel and device drivers are inviolable. Apple still publishes the source code for OS X’s commands and utilities and laudably goes several extra miles by open sourcing internally developed technologies such as QuickTime Streaming Server and Bonjour zero-config networking. The source code required to build a customized OS X kernel, however, is gone. Apple says that the state of an OS X-compatible open source x86 Darwin kernel is ‘in flux.'”
“Apple is in the unique position of losing hardware sales to software pirates. It faces the risk of cloned Macs being distributed in foreign markets where intellectual property protection is weak. I empathize. But there are ways to address the piracy issue without stripping the critical and defining quality of openness from OS X,” Yager writes.
Full article here.
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