Apple does not hate GPL... Apple hates freedom...
Posted Oct 13, 2008 8:15 UTC (Mon) by khim
In reply to: I thought it was a rhetoric question ...
Parent article: LK2008: The values of the Linux community
If you think about it then you'll understand principal difference
between kernel and userspace tools. GCC, CUPS, even WebKit are not really
vital for the lock-down schemes. They all can be limited by kernel. Kernel,
on the other hand, controls everythig in the computer: without support from
the kernel side you can not really limit freedom of user. All such tries
can be effectively bypassed by appropriate kernel module. Because kernel
controls any access to hardware it can emulate said hardware. As long as
kernel is free the whole system is effectively free, if kernel is non-free
the whole system is effectively closed! Creator of kernel (even free
kernel) can cripple said kernel (like Apple does), but it's not very
convenient to do with GPL kernel.
Of course choice of kernel was not really up to Apple: they bought Mac
OS X kernel and when the said kernel was in design stage linux was not an
option: that's was done in 1985! Linus was a teenager back then and still
had few years to learn before he'll try to create it's own "clone" of
But today this problem is acute (linux usage is widespread) - and
companies invented few "creative"
ways to solve it:
1. TiVoization - freeze the free software and make it non-free this way.
2. Phone industry way - separate "don't tamper with" parts and put them in
separate hardware box.
3b. IBM's way - put freedom-restricting libraries in a box
and connect this box directly to the user program.
So far only Phone industry way and IBM's approach work (first one - in
huge number of smartphones around the world, the second one - in PS3).
Tivoization (implemented by iPhone and/or PSP) and Microsoft's way of
control do not work very well: if you put big and complex system in the
"forezen state" sooner or later some bugs in it can be used to unfreeze the
system, but as iPhone shows that the approach Apple favors is still classic
"freeze everything" one...
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