Apple and KHTML, together again

Apple and KHTML, together again

Summary: With all the noise about Apple's decision to switch to Intel chips (in a few years...) there hasn't been much made of the WebKit Open Source Project, including CVS access to WebCore and JavaScriptCore, public bug tracker, public mailing lists and IRC channel to better work with the open source community.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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With all the noise about Apple's decision to switch to Intel chips (in a few years...) there hasn't been much made of the WebKit Open Source Project, including CVS access to WebCore and JavaScriptCore, public bug tracker, public mailing lists and IRC channel to better work with the open source community.  

Apple and KTHML had been in the news just a while ago because of the divergence between the projects, so I think it's worthwhile pointing out that the two groups are making efforts to share code and get along. Apple has put up the WebKit project, and the KHTML/KDE folks have put up KHTML.info, a "portal for developers and users of a set of Open Source implementations of Internet standards like HTML, SVG and JavaScript."

It's also worth pointing out that Apple was painted in a bad light just for strictly complying with the license (LGPL), but not doing more. When you consider that some companies don't comply with the licenses, Apple's behavior isn't something to complain about. Yes, it's great that Apple is doing more -- and they deserve credit for doing so -- but if a company simply complies with a license and contributes the occasional "code bomb," that's much better than companies that have to be hounded into compliance with free software and open source licenses.

A number of commercial companies utilize open source projects without making much effort to do more than comply with the bare minimum requirements of the licenses. Choosing the GPL, for example, only means that a company using your code is required to make changes public when it's distributed -- it doesn't mean that the company has to feed the changes back in easily digestible form. Of course, when companies don't cooperate, they don't get the benefit of having influence within the project. If a project is important enough to a company, it's usually in their best interest to work closely with the project in order to have a little more influence over the direction of development.

Apple's code is being put to good use. Two of the KHTML developers have already merged in changes from Apple and the Konqueror 3.5 branch now passes the Acid2 test. Though the Acid2 test is more of a bragging-rights test, it's still a nice milestone to pass.

Topic: Open Source

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  • Failures

    My Firefox 1.0.4 on Windoze XP fails the acid2 test. I just tried it.
    Roger Ramjet