Apple trumps up its open source contributions, gets chastised by community

Apple recently made the code of its Swift programming language available to the public, bringing the company's open source efforts to the forefront. One of the pages on Apple's developer site even touted the company as 'the first major company to make Open Source development a key part of its software strategy', leading many among the open source community to call Apple out on its historically antagonistic relationship with open source software.

That's not to say that the company hasn't made large swathes of its code available to the public. Indeed, Apple has been providing the code to its OS X platform since version 10.0 and is also responsible for curating a number of other open source projects - most famously WebKit, which powers its Safari browser.

However, developers have often criticized Apple for significant delays between releases and for its practice of holding back relevant code for new products for weeks or even months - then dumping it on developers all at once, making it harder for them to go through the code at their own pace. This in turn leads to a significant gap between when new software is released and when developers can start making their own modifications to it.

As for Apple's claim, the open source community balked at the display of being an open source success. Although the claim of being the first major company to do so is hard to substantiate, the whole affair resulted in Apple recanting any mention of being 'first' and changing the page 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.

Source: 9to5mac

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