So Google’s admitted that Android is not open source. Some parts are, some parts are not. That’s the same with iOS. Many parts of iOS are from open source projects (I’ll mention cups, the printer stack on many Linux systems, that is very much supported by Apple, even though it’s GPL). Heck, even Microsoft Windows has components from open source projects (the ftp client being my favourite example). To me, it’s not so much about these projects being open source, as what do they give back to the open source projects.

The kernel and userland of both OS X and iOS is based on various BSD systems, I believe for the most part FreeBSD, and put into their own BSD system called Darwin. Darwin is open source and under the BSD license. Now, I’m sure Apple makes many changes that are so specific for their use and their scenarios that you don’t necessarily want these changes committed back as they may be a diversion from the project rather than something that’s good for the project. However, I’m sure they make great improvements to the OS, and for me the real benchmark of their openness is how fast these changes flow back to the originating changes and thus become a benefit for all parts. Unlike cups which is under GPL, Apple isn’t required to send this code back. I don’t mind that at all, but I still hold that my benchmark for their openness is how much useful code they volunteer back to the originating project.

I’d love to hear how many changes made by the Android development have benefitted the originating open source projects. I have an idea about how much Apple has committed back to the FreeBSD project, but I don’t have any solid facts at the moment, so if anyone does, that’d be great to hear. :-) Hey, even hearing how much Microsoft’s mobile offering has led to improved code being committed back to open source projects not originating at Microsoft would be great hearing about. I’m looking forward to reading your comments


iOS 2011-08-11

I thought I’d give Tapptics a little plug. I love writing nice applications for the iPhone, but taking on a graphics artist for pet projects is sometimes a bit hard to justify. But a while ago I read about Tapptics and saw their site and bookmarked the article so I could come back to it when I had a project where I needed some graphics. That time has come, so I signed up and it’s just a bucket full of resources, both nice tutorials and guides, and a lot of excellent graphics to use in my app. There were, however, two glyphs that I wanted that weren’t there, but no sooner had I enquired about them, had Jen whipped them up: two gorgeous glyphs that will have a prominent position in my app. The price is well worth it, so go check Jen’s site out today. If you’re an app developer and need nice graphics, you’ll love it! :-)

I just quickly want to plug The state of iOS Open Source – and what to do about it! by Fredrik Olsson. It’s a great little piece of advice for all us iOS developers

I’m working on setting up my continuous integration system to work with Xcode. I’m using Jenkins on a separate Mac Mini, and I found this great article by Christian Hedin where he introduces his ocunit2junit.rb utility that converts the output of OCUnit to something looking like JUnit, thus making it easier for Jenkins to pick integrate with the build.

Finally iPad 2

iOS 2011-04-10

When the iPad was announced, we got to hear we had to wait until the international launch date. So before it was even morning on the date of the international launch I ordered mine online, black 64Gb with 3G. I expected Apple to prioritize their own sales channel, but it turned out I had to wait 33 days from I ordered it until Apple expected me to have it!

To reduce the wait, I went by many stores, and finally I came by a Virgin Megastore in Nice, and the salesman there said unfortunately, they only had one model, and it was exactly the one I wanted, so I quickly bought it, set it to update and sync and went about my day.

Later that evening I got to play with it, but the home button really needed to be pushed very hard to work, and that really affected the pleasure of using it. After much thought, I decided to return it. The day after, I went back, and of course the man talking to me was strong and had a habit of pushing buttons hard, so while I reproduced the problem all the time, he managed only once. But he saw the problem, and would love to exchange it for me, but by then they were sold out. So I got a refund.

Luckily, the day before I had tried to cancel my original order, but they were about to ship it that day, so they couldn’t cancel it but asked me to send it back when I got it. So now I’ll have to wait patiently for it, and then hopefully it will have no issues, just like my last iPad had no issues.

Written, unexpectantly, on my iPad 1 ;-)