Open source Stories April 19, 2018

Apple has just released a new open source project on Github. FoundationDB is described as “a distributed database designed to handle large volumes of structured data across clusters of commodity servers”. The database system is focused on performance, scalability and fault-tolerance. Meaning projects that use the database for their backend are faster and less expensive to maintain.

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Open source Stories May 3, 2016

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A new open source project called PieMessage enables cross-platform iMessage support, allowing Android users to communicate using Apple’s iPhone messaging platform.

In the video below, we get a short look at the PieMessage app in action with a still unreleased prototype version of the app.

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Open source Stories February 22, 2016

IBM brings Swift to the cloud, releases web framework Kitura written in Apple’s programming language

Only months after Apple officially open-sourced Swift, IBM today is announcing that they are bringing Apple’s Swift programming language to the cloud. This makes IBM the first cloud provider enabling Swift application development server-side. IBM has also introduced a preview to a Swift runtime and a Swift Package Catalog to help with code sharing, and distribution.

Open source Stories December 9, 2015

Happy Hour 21

This week we’ll get into the finale of our iPad Pro saga, talk about Dropbox’s decision to kill Mailbox, and why Apple has open-sourced Swift. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed. Thanks to Audible.com, get your free 30 day trial at audible.com/happyhour.

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Open source Stories December 8, 2015

MacBook OS X El Capitan

As it’s done with past releases, Apple today released the open source code of OS X 10.11 El Capitan. The release comes after Apple made good on its promise to open source its Swift programming language last week. expand full story

Open source Stories December 7, 2015

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Last week Apple’s open sourcing of Swift naturally saw the spotlight thrown over Apple’s open source pages. This included a paragraph that claimed Apple was “the first major computer company to make Open Source a key part of its strategy”. Unsurprisingly, this riled some members of the developer community as being disingenuous and untrue.

So Apple has since changed the text to retract the rather outlandish statement with something a bit more muted. Although this statement is technically qualitative and open to many interpretations, Apple isn’t exactly known for its open source contributions. The page now reads as follows:

‘Open source software is at the heart of Apple platforms and developer tools, and Apple continues to contribute and release significant quantities of open source code’.

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Open source Stories December 3, 2015

Swift 16-9

As promised earlier in the year, Apple’s Swift team has now posted source code for the Swift compiler and standard library functions and objects. Open-sourcing Swift is a big win for the developer community as it means Swift can now be setup to run on a server and many other use cases, bringing Apple programming talent and expertise beyond ‘just’ making apps iOS devices and Macs.

Making Swift open-source also gives the developer community as a whole more confidence in the language. Theoretically, if Apple ever decided to move away from Swift (which is unlikely), the language could be picked up by others and continue development and existing codebases could continue to be supported.

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Open source Stories November 23, 2015

wordpress-macbook

Today online publishing platform WordPress, which powers approximately 25% of websites on the Internet (this site included), is getting a major redesign with a completely rebuilt wordpress.com and the introduction of a new Mac app. We’ve been getting a taste of the improvements incrementally over the last year, but today is the company’s official launch. expand full story

Open source Stories November 18, 2015

Microsoft’s Android emulator coming soon to Mac as it open-sources Visual Studio Code

During Microsoft’s Connect 2015 event today live from New York, the company announced it is open-sourcing its Visual Studio Code program for developers and in the process bringing its Visual Studio Emulator for Android to Mac users.

Open source Stories July 10, 2015

Google has quietly launched a new iOS app today called Ivy that it describes as an experimental big number calculator. expand full story

Open source Stories October 31, 2014

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As pointed out by Tonymacx86, Apple has released the Open Source code of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, otherwise known as Darwin 10.10.0. This includes the xnu-2782.1.97 kernel.

The update occurred last night and is available to anyone who wants to root around Apple’s open source code.

Darwin is an open sourceUnix-like computer operating system released by Apple Inc. in 2000. It is composed of code developed by Apple, as well as code derived from NeXTSTEP, BSD, and other free software projects.

Darwin forms the core set of components upon which OS X and iOS are based. It is mostly POSIX compatible, but has never, by itself, been certified as being compatible with any version of POSIX. (OS X, since Leopard, has been certified as compatible with the Single UNIX Specification version 3 (SUSv3).

Apple is just about exactly on schedule from last year’s Mavericks release a year and a week agoexpand full story

Open source Stories June 2, 2014

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The code shows that this is a new addition for OS X 10.10 and iOS 8.

Slightly ahead of the keynote later today, Apple has pushed some of its new APIs for developers into the open-source channels. The class in question is a new view that appears to replace the current iOS and OS X WebKit implementations, which enables apps to show webpages and other content inline.

The new framework seems to indicate a focus on cross-platform API compatibility, between iOS and OS X. The leaked framework seems to be fully feature-compatible across platforms. This differs to the situation today, where developers must use the ‘WebView’ class for OS X and ‘UIWebView’ for iOS. This should help developers write more reusable code.

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Open source Stories April 28, 2014

Facebook open-sources ‘Pop’, the animation framework that drives the visual effects in Paper

Facebook has open-sourced a lot of stuff recently, but this is what most developers have been waiting for. Developed originally at Push Pop Press, and refined by Facebook, the company has today released its Pop animation framework publicly. Developers can check out the code from the GitHub repository.

The library enables rapid development of rich animations for iOS (and Mac) apps. Although Core Animation, (Apple’s built-in framework) is well suited to fire-and-forget animations, Pop was created to work seamlessly with modern interactive physics-centric user interfaces.

Open source Stories October 24, 2013

Apple publishes its improvements to the open-source components of Mavericks, as bound by the code licenses

Today, Apple has made available the open-source components of OS X Mavericks’ code to the public. Apple regularly does this for both iOS and OS X as prescribed by the license agreements of the open source code Apple uses.

Open source Stories January 2, 2013

Why it makes sense for Apple to acquire mapping solution Waze

Update #2, Jan. 03: TechCrunch’s MG Siegler just posted a report claiming the rumor of Apple acquiring Waze for up to $750m was little more than a rumor. While citing “multiple sources close to the situation,” Siegler claimed “There is no deal is happening. At least not now or anytime soon.” A little birdie told Cnet the same thing.

That’s huge news for a few reasons: Apple rarely makes startup acquisitions — Waze is a hot startup with good buzz — the Apple Maps fiasco — the list goes on. But there’s just one little problem: the deal isn’t actually happening.

That information comes from multiple sources close to the situation. And while Mike Butcher also claimed multiple sources in his original post, you’ll note that he was quick to qualify the information as a “rumor”

Update: Butcher later updated the post to add that another source confirmed Apple is in advanced negotiations with Waze to purchase the company for a figure ranging from $400M to $750M:

Another source confirms that negotiations are advanced, but Waze wants $750M and Apple is willing to do $400M plus $100m in incentives. Waze had less than $1M in revenues last year (primarily from ads). Negotiations may take awhile.

Following rumors that Apple may partner with Foursquare to better its mapping experience, Mike Butcher of TechCrunch offers a great case as to why Apple may purchase social sat-nav smartphone app Waze. For those unfamiliar, Waze is a popular mapping solution in the United Kingdom, Asia, and Middle East (areas where Apple is having trouble with its in-house Maps). Here’s how Apple could benefit:

Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it’s far more accurate than check-in apps. Outside of Google’s project to map cities with Streetview cars – something which has taken years to complete – and the real-world mapping undertaken by volunteers on the Open Streetmaps open source project, there has been little to match Waze’s approach. 

It would also cost Apple northwards of $500M+ to buy Foursquare (which has raised $71 million is known to be raising another round), and gain, what? The location of restaurants, bars and airports? Given Waze has raised $67 million, Apple could acquire far better mapping data and a real driving app.

[TechCrunch]

Open source Stories February 13, 2012

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VideoLAN, the organization behind the open-source cross-platform VLC media player, is geared to launch VLC 2.0—a total rewrite of the program with new capabilities and an all-new user interface on the Mac platform. Available on Mac OS X, Windows and a variety of Linux/Unix platforms, VLC 2.0 [changelog] includes enhancements such as a native full screen mode in Lion, a redesigned subtitle manager, support for multiple video files inside RAR archives and enhanced video output modes. The Mac version will also support unprotected Blu-ray media, and Windows users will get to enjoy a 64-bit version.

The developers also added support for VLC’s lua-based extensions, letting users get information about movies from Allociné, post to Twitter, fetch subtitles automatically, and so forth. No disc burning features are included because “there are more suited apps for that.” One of the developers on the project Felix Kühne published a series of screenshots (more available on Flickr) highlighting the new Mac interface, credited to designer Damien Erambert. According to Kühne:

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Open source Stories November 2, 2011

Open source Stories October 27, 2011

Apple open sources their Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC)

Apple announced on Mac OS Forge today that they have open sourced their Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). ALAC was introduced in 2004 as OS X’s core audio codec to compress audio files 40-60 percent without losing any quality. The codec is currently supported by Macs and the latest iOS devices. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec […]

Open source Stories September 19, 2011

Not, “put this on my iPhone now” good but “wow, that’s interesting and must’ve taken a lot of hard work” good. Lifehacker explains:

You can now grab the theme via an app on Theme Outlet. Here’s how. (And make sure you have Dreamboard installed, as this is a Dreamboard theme and requires it.)

  1. Open Cydia
  2. Tap Manage Sources
  3. Tap Edit, then Add, then add source fnetdesigns.com/cydia/repo
  4. Go to the Changes section and install Theme Outlet
  5. Close Cydia, go to your home screen, and open Theme Outlet
  6. Browse for OS X Ultimatum and download it from there
  7. Open up Dreamboard, browse for the OS X Lion Ultimatum theme, and install it.

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Open source Stories August 29, 2011

RIM has filed an ‘opposition action’ (via Patently Apple) in Canada against Apple’s trademark application for ‘WebKit’, the rendering platform based on KHTML that Apple help create before making open-source. The move grants RIM more time to build their case before a November 22, 2011 deadline.

Apple originally filed the trademark application in May of 2010 which, while getting a little bit of media attention, kind of flew under the radar of most. After all, WebKit has been made open-source.. so trademark or no trademark this shouldn’t affect Google, RIM, and all other platforms currently relying on WebKit in their browsers. Right?

If Apple were granted the trademark, it would mean other companies wouldn’t be able to associate the “WebKit” name with their products. Something that could potentially become more valuable if the WebKit name was marketed more prominently as a feature of future devices. Perhaps if Apple branded “WebKit” as a feature or technology in future products, other companies inability to do so would give Apple an advantage. Apple’s trademark application asserts the company’s rights to the name based on a “screenshot of Applicant’s website [WebKit Nightly Builds page] showing use of mark in connection with download of Applicant’s software”. expand full story

Open source Stories August 3, 2011

One of the teething problems in Lion is that the operating system does not work well with some third-party network attached storage (NAS) solutions. As we await OS X 10.7.1 update to fix those problems, manufacturers like Western Digital are taking this matter into their own hands. Western Digital, for example, yesterday released a firmware update for the My Book Live series, making it compatible with OS X Lion and Time Machine.

Western Digital uses Netatalk, an open source AFP fileserver. When Apple made changes to AFP function in Lion, it caused major woes as Netatalk had to be updated. According to release notes (PDF document), the software can be downloaded manually or automatically, by accessing the drive via Bonjour or using the WD QuickView app on your Mac.

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Open source Stories October 27, 2008

…what Port25 is to Open Source.

Is it me, or is ‘Azure’ the worst name you possibly could think of for a Cloud Computing initiative? The word Azure reminds people of a cloudless sky, a clear day. A world without clouds.

If you look up Azure in a dictionary, you get ‘cloudless’ over and over again. If you look up ’cloudless’ in a Thesaurus, you get Azure as the #1 synonym. Perhaps this is reverse engineering the Microsoft thought process.

It reeks of Phillip Morris’ nicotine addiction programs or oil companies’ alternative fuel advertising. Blatantly disingenuous.

So, what message is Microsoft, the traditional software company, trying to convey with this naming strategy? I think the answer is as clear as day.

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