APPLE HAS released the kernel of its iOS and macOS operating systems into the open source.
Both are now available on GitHub, representing the first time that Apple has released such integral code into the public domain.
The XNU kernel (XNU is not UNIX) is released under the Apple Public Source License 2.0, a somewhat restrictive beast, and as such the aim appears far more based around giving developers a better understanding of how the infrastructure works, rather than to swipe large chunks of code for projects.
The full list includes every version of macOS 10.x to date, OS X server 2 and 3, Developer tools dating back to the turn of the millennium, every version of iOS and the software development kit (SDK) and a reference library of security, WebKit, daemons & services, porting, I/O kit, Kernel, Frameworks, X11 and Concurrency.
Apple is always looking for ways to get more developers on board, and although historically it has been as proprietary as rival Microsoft, it seems that the time has come to broaden the availability of source code, much as was the case when Microsoft released its .NET library a couple of years ago.
In reality, this is all less of a big deal than it probably sounds. There's a definite feel of "look but don't touch" to all this, and whilst it will give programmers a much better insight, it certainly won't see a raft of forked codebases creating Android-like distros for cheaper alternative Macs and iPhones, much as that would be lovely.
The latter will particularly need some programming know-how brought aboard as the number of devices that are Homekit certified at present is somewhat limited. µ
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