Open-source guru finds Mac OS X too restrictive

Apple is trying to draw open-source developer interest with its Mac OS X operating system, but Eric Raymond, for one, isn't convinced

Apple may be courting open-source developers with its Unix-based Mac OS X, but it doesn't have all open-source gurus convinced. Eric Raymond, the co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, told ZDNet UK that he, for one, finds Apple's "public source" licence too restrictive.

"I don't see a lot of point in putting development effort into it," Raymond said in a recent interview. "I can work with a system that's completely open, so why should I work with Apple's restrictions?"

Apple makes Darwin, the core of OS X, available under its own Apple Public Source Licence. Darwin is based on FreeBSD, an open-source implementation of Unix, and Mach 3.0.

Raymond, who wrote the key open-source text "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", and developed the widely used Fetchmail software for relaying Internet messages, said he is happier to focus his development efforts on Linux, which uses the broader GNU Public Licence.

"There's enough API (application programming interface) compatibility between BSD and Linux that I can be pretty confident that anything I write under Linux can be pretty trivially ported over to OS X," Raymond said.

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