I feel good about Mac open source

2006-10-02 05:21:05 UTC

(I’ve had this brewing in a VoodooPad page for some months now, and have finally gotten around to implementing it.)

I feel good about Mac open source.

Many of my fellow Mac programmers have made reusable source code available under free licenses, such that any other programmer can use it in their applications. This abundant generosity impresses me, and at this point has moved me to build a catalog of this code.

It’s organized by author name and by program name. It’s not just applications, though; plain classes are also listed, as are useful-looking images (such as my own plus/minus button images).

Enjoy.

UPDATE 19:07: This is actually a duplicate post of an earlier draft. I’ll see about moving the comments over to the correct post. In the meantime, if you have any further comments, please post them over there.

UPDATE 19:43: Done. I ended up just renaming this post (dropped “-2” from the post slug; you’ll need to update any links to this post) and removing the duplicate post.

17 Responses to “I feel good about Mac open source”

  1. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Very, very cool. This is an awesome collection of pointers, and I am excited to see it grow. Hopefully just having the catalog in place will also encourage us to contribute more.

  2. Jonathan Wight Says:

    Damn. Daniel beat me to it.

    Thanks for keeping this list. I’m glad to see the software listed in one place.

    I have a lot more code at http://svn.toxicsoftware.com/ but it isn’t well cataloged. I should get on that. ;-)

  3. Joshua Lock Says:

    Peter,

    This is a great contribution to both Mac Open Source and Mac ISV’s!
    I have bookmarked your page so that I can refer to it when developing software, both my own projects and existing ones which I contribute to.

    I’m attempting to keep a list of Mac open source applications over at my website.

    Hopefully between the two of us we can keep FOSS users on the Mac happy!?!

    Kindest regards,

    Joshua

  4. Steve Nicholson Says:

    Here’s a developer that’s not on your list: Snoize. I’ve been using his MIDI Monitor application for years for troubleshooting (and helping others troubleshoot) MIDI setups. He released it as a BSD-licensed open source project a while ago. It’s extremely helpful for programmers getting into interfacing with MIDI gear. He has open-sourced a few other projects that I haven’t used.

  5. Peter Hosey Says:

    [quote comment=”153″]Here’s a developer that’s not on your list: Snoize.[/quote]

    Added both SnoizeMIDI and DisclosableView. Thanks!

    [quote comment=”152″]I’m attempting to keep a list of Mac open source applications over at my website.[/quote]

    Added that too; our lists are complementary (mine is code rather than applications; yours is applications rather than code), so makes sense to cross-link them. (I saw, too, that you already linked mine. Thanks!)

  6. Andy Reitz Says:

    Here is another one for your list: ICeCoffEE. URL:

    http://web.sabi.net/nriley/software/

    Not sure what license Nicholas is going with, but it is definitely open source.

    -Andy.

  7. Robin Says:

    Great job dissing the free software community. Couldn’t have done it better myself. Next step is obviously to get rid of wordpress and replace by some free software, no?

  8. Peter Hosey Says:

    Andy Reitz says:
    [quote comment=”155″]Here is another one for your list: ICeCoffEE. … Not sure what license Nicholas is going with, but it is definitely open source.[/quote]

    It’s good, and I use it already, but it’s not what I’m looking for for the list.

    I’m looking for frameworks or other reusable chunks of source code. It’s possible for some part of an application (or input manager, or SIMBL plug-in, or Mail bundle, or whatever) to be included; AIXMLElement (from Adium) is one example. But a whole application (/input mgr/SIMBL plug-in/Mail bundle) does not qualify.

  9. Peter Hosey Says:

    Robin says:
    [quote comment=”156″]Great job dissing the free software community. Couldn’t have done it better myself. Next step is obviously to get rid of wordpress and replace by some free software, no?[/quote]

    I’m not against GPL’d software. I use WordPress and Adium and VLC and GNU coreutils, and probably some others that I can’t think of right now. Nor am I against any particular community.

    But if the license (GPLv2) of Alice’s software forces software author Bob to adopt the same license in order to include Alice’s source code in his software, then I don’t consider that software to be truly free-as-in-speech, since that license restricts Bob’s right to select the license that he sees fit.

    The source code listed in this catalog can be used in any application. You don’t need to use GPL in order to use the source code listed here. That’s the idea.

    And I do hope that GPLv3 will be less restrictive on this point. I’d like to see much GPL’d software (that which is under the term “GPLv2, or any later version”) opened up in such a way that it can be included in non-GPL’d software. If that happens, then GPLv3 software will be eligible for inclusion here — just not GPLv2.

  10. Robin Says:

    Thanks for replying. GPL doesn’t prevent dual licences for one thing. I wouldn’t hold your breath about GPLv3 – if anything, you’ll consider it worst since it would prevent you from locking the application or its data under DRM and that might come in handy one day.

    GPL is all about building an infrastructure. Writing code and doing our best to garantee it will improve and still be free. It’s the whole copyleft/sharealike concept that enables this. Otherwise, what happens is something like Darwin, where the freedom gets peeled away, bit by bit, until there is nothing left to use.

    My first comment was a little try, obviously. I’m not in a “good place” and maybe I should keep to myself. But I just had to comment and I’m glad I did since you replied and enabled me to explain a little better. I hope you change your opinion on the GPL but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. I still appreciate the list and shared it with a few fellow mac users, which I’m not.

  11. Peter Hosey Says:

    Robin says:
    [quote comment=”159″]GPL doesn’t prevent dual licences for one thing.[/quote]

    That makes them possible, but not necessarily feasible. For example, on Adium, we considered putting AIUtilities under a BSD license. But that would entail contacting everybody who’d ever contributed any code to AIUtilities — in other words, a svn log to find all the commits that ever happened to that code (past and present, since a commit could just be a typo fix or reformatting that doesn’t actually change the sense of the code), followed by inspecting every commit looking for references to patches, followed by contacting every developer (past and present) and every patch author. No small undertaking, with no guarantee of success — if any person was unreachable or refused to un-GPL their code, then we would have to Chinese wall a replacement for all of their code, which could be a lot. It was and is still easier just to stay GPL.

    Anyway, being GPL’d isn’t a barrier to inclusion if the code is dual-licensed, and the other license is free-as-in-speech (as I’ve defined it). The criterion is “free”, not “not-GPL’d”. If the code is available under a free license (even if it’s also available under GPL), I’d be happy to include it.

    [quote comment=”159″]I wouldn’t hold your breath about GPLv3 – if anything, you’ll consider it [worse] since it would prevent you from locking the application or its data under DRM and that might come in handy one day.[/quote]

    Not really worse; it’d be the same thing. A license that forbids you from using the code in an application that creates DRM is no different from a license that forbids you from using the code in an application not covered by the same license.

    My stance is that any license that forbids a software author from doing X with this code (for any value of X) is not truly free. DRM is evil, yes, but if it is to be made illegal, it should be made illegal by statute (or even better, international treaty), not simply by contract.

    And anyway, aren’t all DRM implementations to date closed-source? They wouldn’t be using GPL’d code anyway; if they did, it would already be a violation. Doesn’t seem like it’d make any difference.

    [quote comment=”159″]GPL is all about building an infrastructure. Writing code and doing our best to garantee it will improve and still be free. It’s the whole copyleft/sharealike concept that enables this.[/quote]

    It sounds good, but as I said, it restricts freedom in addition to creating it. Yes, you can audit the code and contribute improvements (freedom created), but you can’t include the code in your own application that is under a license that is free but not GPL (freedom restricted). That is where my complaint lies.

    [quote comment=”159″]Otherwise, what happens is something like Darwin, where the freedom gets peeled away, bit by bit, until there is nothing left to use.[/quote]

    Darwin is still open-source, including the kernel. There apparently were some changes to conceal the DRM, but I blame that on DRM, not the non-GPL license. I predict that the changes would still have occurred if the kernel was under GPLv2.

    [quote comment=”159″]I still appreciate the list and shared it with a few fellow mac users, which I’m not.[/quote]

    Cool, thanks.

  12. Chris Forsythe Says:

    [quote comment=”159″]GPL is all about building an infrastructure. Writing code and doing our best to garantee it will improve and still be free. It’s the whole copyleft/sharealike concept that enables this. Otherwise, what happens is something like Darwin, where the freedom gets peeled away, bit by bit, until there is nothing left to use.
    [/quote]

    This just sounds like you don’t know what you are talking about. The GPL is about forcing folks to do what you want, which isn’t a freedom for them if they can’t give source back (for instance, where I work we can’t even look at GPL code if we are working on code).

  13. Joshua Lock Says:

    [quote comment=”160″]
    And anyway, aren’t all DRM implementations to date closed-source? They wouldn’t be using GPL’d code anyway; if they did, it would already be a violation. Doesn’t seem like it’d make any difference.
    [/quote]
    I seem to remember reading that Sun have an open source DRM implementation …

  14. Peter Hosey Says:

    [quote comment=”162″][quote comment=”160″]
    And anyway, aren’t all DRM implementations to date closed-source? They wouldn’t be using GPL’d code anyway; if they did, it would already be a violation. Doesn’t seem like it’d make any difference.
    [/quote]
    I seem to remember reading that Sun have an open source DRM implementation …[/quote]

    I stand corrected; thanks.

  15. Joshua Lock Says:

    [quote comment=”163″][quote comment=”162″][quote comment=”160″]
    And anyway, aren’t all DRM implementations to date closed-source? They wouldn’t be using GPL’d code anyway; if they did, it would already be a violation. Doesn’t seem like it’d make any difference.
    [/quote]
    I seem to remember reading that Sun have an open source DRM implementation …[/quote]

    I stand corrected; thanks.[/quote]

    Not a problem :)
    For anyone interested the project is CDDL licensed and can be found here: DRM-Opera.

    By the way thanks for linking to my page; I’m already seeing the number of views quadrupled with referrals from this post alone! :)

  16. Peter Hosey Says:

    [quote comment=”164″]By the way thanks for linking to my page; I’m already seeing the number of views quadrupled with referrals from this post alone! :)[/quote]

    Not a problem. :D

    I’m still trying to get awstats online, but according to Webalizer, there have been:

    • 625 hits to the main opensourcelinks page.
    • 293 hits to the by-program page.
    • 74 hits to the by-author page.
    • 51 hits to this blog post.

    All this for the month of October so far (i.e. the past two-and-a-quarter days or so).

    So, yeah. This has been a hit idea. ☺

  17. Joshua Lock Says:

    Cripes! That’s quite some traffic for such a short time!

    The idea is a good one, and one which I was going to try myself (although I had a much smaller list of resources than you started this page with).

    Kudos to you Peter for stepping up to the plate and making this idea a reality. It must have been no small feat.

    Hopefully between our two pages we can begin to develop some canonical resources for FLOSS on the Mac!

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