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Programming Businesses Technology Apple

Apple Gifts Top WebKit Contributors with MacBooks 270

soundofthemoon writes "Just nine months ago, Apple started the WebKit Open Source Project. In that time, contributors have added some significant improvements to WebKit (and thus Apple's Safari browser). Today Apple gave their open source contributors a big thank-you, including rewarding the top contributors with some nifty goodies: 'As a thank you, we are giving MacBook Pro computers to twelve of our top contributors. We've also invited five of them to attend Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference 2006 on Apple's dime.' Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore."
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Apple Gifts Top WebKit Contributors with MacBooks

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  • Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bombula ( 670389 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @04:41AM (#14685810)
    Shoot me for stating the obvious, but this sets a good example for other companies to follow, not just in tech but across all industries.
    • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tibike77 ( 611880 ) <> on Friday February 10, 2006 @04:56AM (#14685861) Journal
      Well, it's not like this is unheard of, but not in THIS specific form :)
      Can you say "X-Prize" or "DARPA Grand Challenge" ?
      How about "PayPal donate link on Sourceforge" ?
      Or, even cuter, "shareware" ? :D

      It's on a different level (of commitment), yet it's (basically) the same thing: you work for something you care about, expect no (financial and/or direct) reward, yet, if you do it right, you end up with something.

      So, yeah, always a good idea to keep hopes up for those who work for free and/or as a hobby... it's way cheaper (and on a much grander scale) as paying a lot of employees ;)
      • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by weileong ( 241069 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @06:06AM (#14686034)
        no it's completely different. they posted the X-prize first in order to stimulate entrants etc.; here, Apple is rewarding the people who contributed *with no expectation of personal gain* (well, beyond things like satisfaction and if they use the code themselves), which is more true to the spirit of the GPL, as a complete surprise. this is much more of a real reward, and not some mercenary kind of thing.
        • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Insightful)

          It seemed to me that the X-Prize, whilst giving some compensation was only a fraction of the amounts spent. I think the money helped to create publicity and make it look worthwhile.
      • Not quite the same (Score:5, Informative)

        by necro2607 ( 771790 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @06:59AM (#14686168)
        Well, it's not quite the same thing. These developers were rewards *after* doing a lot of work. They did the work without any knowledge of any potential "reward". That's what makes this situation a little different. :)
      • "In this form" is key. A large corporation rewarding open source contributors seems to be a new thing.

        Also, I don't think X-Prize or DARPA grand prize participants to give their designs away.
    • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @05:05AM (#14685884) Homepage
      Good example?

      Let me tell you a story about a job I had. This job paid $8.50/hr and I spent my day on the phone blocking, unblocking, and collecting payments from the customers of a certain long distance company. The Company I worked for was in financial trouble, so they started cutting back actual pay increases in favor of contests.

      The rules were simple. Produce more than every one else on the floor and get paid closer to what you were worth for that month. "Brilliance!" they must have thought. They could pay us less and increase production at the same time!

      Immediately, the entire business fell into two camps:

      1) People who decided it was futile to play this game. These people's morale was shattered, and as a result, their production decreased.
      2) People who cheated to boost production, often leaving horrified customers in their wake, thus making it futile for anyone with a sense of ethics to play the game.

      I do not like the "contest" style of compensation. I believe if Apple really wanted to do something, they should compensate every person who did good work for them. That would be fair. As it stands, for every chosen one, there will be many wringing their hands, angry that their hard work goes unappreciated and uncompensated.
      • Didn;t the royal mail in the uk have a simular, where if you were on time for work and did a good job you got entered into a prize draw to win stuff
        • Royal mail have done a lot of crap, such as introducing 'teams' where a group is responsible for mail. Then if one team member goes ill etc, the rest of the team have to do his work, for free, with no overtime.
          • How is this different from what happens in every workplace I know of? If someone's out sick, their co-workers have to pick up the slack.
      • Re:Obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

        theres a big difference between substituting prized for salary for contracted employees and giving rewards to people who work voluntarily. if a person is donating their time to an open source project, they obviosly dont need pay as a motivation. they really couldnt start paying a salary to everyone who works on open source projects that end up benefitting them. this adds a precedint of giving something to people in a field that usually offers little or no monatary benefit. theres no comparison to regula
      • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by asliarun ( 636603 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @05:41AM (#14685975)
        This is different. Agreed, internal competition can actually damage morale in a company. However, what Apple has done is reward open source contribution for individuals who didn't expect the reward in the first place. This is a good thing, as it encourages open-source hackers by giving them recognition as well as by giving them an unexpected reward. Everybody likes to get recognized and rewarded, especially for something that they take intellectual pride in. Hats off to the people who take the time off from their regular work and participate in such projects, simply because they want other people to benefit and learn from their skills and contributions. They thoroughly deserve such rewards.

        Back to your example, where your company screwed up was in the fact that they confused incentive/recognition with unhealthy internal competition. It takes a very good people manager to instil a culture of competitiveness while making sure that it doesn't get degenerated into a political dog-eat-dog culture. The first encourages employees to benchmark themselves against their (better) peers and helps them pull up their socks when they feel they're sliding. The key here is that the manager should balance out the weaker employees' efforts with the company's goals, and make sure that they too are recognized and rewarded, along with the star performers. The second, OTOH, makes the weaker contributors feel a sense of futility, which makes them resort to cheating or give up the race. In my experience, i've met very very few people managers who can pull off this balancing act with success.

        You have a valid point that all contributors should be rewarded and duly recognized. However, the key contributors also need to be rewarded more than the others, for that is the essence of meritocracy.
      • 3) People who realized it was easier to sabotage the other people than to do a good job themselves.
      • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mblase ( 200735 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @06:23AM (#14686083)
        I believe if Apple really wanted to do something, they should compensate every person who did good work for them. That would be fair.

        No, that would be employment.
      • I can't help but compare this to my own recent situation. I work in a hospital and we are in the process of moving all departments around because the airconditioning is being replaced throughout the entire building. Now since it's a hospital, the patients can't suffer because of it. So this means that most of the moving will have to happen after the medical staff stops working at 5pm ... or later sometimes. Needless to say that every employee made some overtime or did some thing or another to contribute to
        • Majorly off-topic here, but I thought I'd share something. My wife works for this dinosaur of a staffing company (she's a full-time employee of the company itself). To give you an idea of the mindset, she still has to wear full "business" attire to work, eg skirts/hose/dress shoes etc, even though there's no customer-facing at all in her role. So one year their holiday party (big fancy shindig, long-winded speeches, rubber chicken, one free drink, etc) got snowed out. It happens, we're in New England.
      • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Bombula ( 670389 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @06:34AM (#14686111)
        I certainly agree with you that what you call 'contest' style compensation is ineffective at best, and immoral and unethical at worst. Take it to the most macroscopic scale: the labor market worldwide. Workers in Bangladesh and the Phillipines are in 'contest' (ie: free-market competition) with workers in the US and Europe, and like you said, it's a brilliant scheme for the corporations who get to pay the lowest possible wages to those who have the highest productivity (productivity here meaning 10-year-old kids working 16 hour days in sweatshops).

        Within our own countries, labor laws and unions product workers from such abuses - and I'm guessing you could have easily taken your case to a union with the possibility that you employer's practices were downright unlawful. But international law makes no such concessions, instead favoring the holy grail of 'free trade' and 'free markets', including of course the totally unregulated labor market.

        What Apple is doing is quite different. They are showing genuinely generous appreciation for what is an entirely voluntary effort, and they are certainly under no obligation to do so. Comparing the two situations is comparing apples to oranges (pun fully intended).

      • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Insightful)

        by necro2607 ( 771790 )
        Except.. these developers were NOT told "the more 'effort' you spend the more likely you are to get a sweet new Mac laptop"... In fact, they weren't promised any reward of any sort. In this way Apple's reward has gone to what are very likely to be totally deserving contributors, as opposed to cheaters etc. since none of the developers knew beforehand that Apple was going to give such stuff to the top 12 contributors. :)
      • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Interesting)

        by baryon351 ( 626717 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @08:12AM (#14686312)
        Your job sounds almost like a scam a friend of mine was involved in, and it sucked the life out of him. Basically, he answered an advert in the local newspaper looking for proofreaders and transcribers with guaranteed work. Indeed, when he phoned them they gave him a job on the spot.

        Except the job involved bidding money for work, and if you bid the most money for a particular job, you got the work and were paid for it. You were paid good money for it which is why it looked so appealing, I think he was on $45 per hour for transcribing from news broadcasts. The only problem was with such a large pool of "employees" it wasn't unusual to find they were bidding $40 for a job that only involved an hour's transcribing. Do the math and you can see how it works.

        That was a scam though, your job sounds like it ended up the same without management quite realising how bad it was.
        • That's called a free market, idiot. How is that a scam?

          If you want your car repaired and find that one place charges $100/hour for labor and another charges $90, which one are you going to pick? If you say $90, do I get to yell SCAMMER!!! SCAMMER!!! at you?

          • Well, it is a little different. The company that was 'employing' them made huge profits on each of the jobs, while the people bidding for the jobs made very little. Now, I'm not going to say that this is 'wrong', although it makes me cringe a little. There are just too many middle-men in the world for my taste. Apparently the companies that need the transcribing pay way too much for it if there are people out there willing to do it for minimum wage...
    • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xiaran ( 836924 )
      Over ten years ago a lecturer of mine at uni was, on his own and just for fun, porting Tk(as in Tcl/Tk) to make use of the Motif libraries as noone else had done it. He got about 80% done of it and got too busy to complete it. Months later silicon graphics got in touch with him regardign the libs. Apparently they wanted a Tk for Motif dfor something and were wondering if he was going to finish it and if they could use it(I beleive this was before all the attention to licensing details we have today... I thi
    • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

      Actually they had better be careful. With bullshit lawsuits in the US they could be exposing themselves to liability. AOL was sued by its army of volunteer support and they lost, and Origin was sued for its volunteer support (councilors in Ultima Online) and they lost as well. One of the key factors was that they provided some compensation (free game time in the case of UO). However, I think another key thing was that they had shifts and hours.. which obviously isn't the case here, but the whole thing w
  • I only went to WWDC once, when i was 17, my employer (first IT job) sent me on their dime... it was a blast, really cool, really eye-opening... giving OSS developers a free ride (and a free computer!) is just cool... i don't have much of a point... this just cool, and makes me nostalgic :)
  • by agent dero ( 680753 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @04:49AM (#14685837) Homepage
    Never before has number 13 sucked so hard.

    Sucks to be you, top 13th contributor ;)
  • by Sux2BU ( 20893 ) * on Friday February 10, 2006 @04:56AM (#14685863)
    Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore.

    Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project. You release it, give some early adopters a thank you gift, and then wait as more people contribute to the project. You leave people with the hopes that they too will get "paid" for their work. Considering the (relatively) small amount of money spent on the gift vs. hiring people to work on the project it comes off as quite a deal. You might even get free advertising [].

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @05:13AM (#14685898) Homepage
      Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project.

      Well, for one the result is an open source project. Not something Apple can just lock up. Secondly, if you're in this for the money you're seriously not thinking straight. They're giving these to their top developers. It's a trinket for what they've contributed, it's not anything like a lottery where you can "win" and get a decent wage. Apple is simply seeing a way to make people that are already interested in doing an open-source project be a little more motivated. It's a win-win situation for both. That's not a crime or anything.
    • by mister_tim ( 653773 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @05:55AM (#14686015)
      I was waiting for someone to say this. Basically, that argument just shows that with the Open Source model you can't please everyone.

      If a company doesn't open source, plenty of open source advocates say they should and will complain about closed environment, etc etc
      If they do open source, then you get arguments like this - either that they are taking advantage of free labour, or using cheap labour.

      If you accept the open source model, then things like this are the outcome. In this case, it is very nice of Apple that they rewarded some of the top contributors, which they were certainly not obliged to do.
      • Oh come on. Please name a single policy/event which affects a large number of people and where everybody has been happy. I can't think of a single thing. It's rather unfair to make it out that open source people are any different. Humans and humans.
    • Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project.

      Considering that the whole point of using an open source project is to get software using free labor -- yeah, you're being pretty cynical.

      Apple didn't have to give anybody anything in exchange for their contributions. Nobody ever expected or asked them to. This isn't an incentive to get other people to be in the "top twelve" next year; it's a "thank you" to the people who have already
    • Perhaps I'm just a little too cynical here, but this sounds like a great way to get free labor using an open source project.
      Isn't that the goal of all open source projects? (Okay, the vast majority of them?)
    • If you are doing OSS for direct financial reward, you'll be disappointed.

      There are some complex reasons for doing it (like getting others using your code can give you feedback, bug finding, or because you are charitable, or to raise your profile).

      • If you are doing OSS for direct financial reward, you'll be disappointed.

        That's just not true. Take a look at the developer lists for major OSS projects, such as gcc. There are a lot of people working on these projects for Red Hat, IBM, SUSE, Apple, various academic and government agencies, etc. Plenty of people (myself included) are paid well for OSS work.

    • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @09:51AM (#14686669) Journal
      I don't think you're giving the people working on these projects enough credit. Anyone with the skills to contribute meaningfully to this project should be able to get a job that pays well enough that they could buy a laptop on their own. And I'm sure they all know that.

      You see, one of the cool things (although sometimes a weakness) with open source development is that the people doing it are very often doing it for fun. It's a hobby for them, and even without the MacBook, if they weren't getting some sort of a feeling of accomplishment or something, they would've stopped doing it. Apple isn't taking advantage of people any more than the habitat for humanity takes advantage of their volunteers. While writing code is different than building homes for impoverished people, there are a lot of parallels.

      In both cases, someone willingly donates their labor, for their own reasons. And in both cases, a lot of people benefit. With Habitat for humanity, the volunteers get the satisfaction of having helped with something bigger than themselves, and often gain knowledge about construction. A family without the means to buy their own house gets a decent home and their quality of life significantly improves. And society in general has one less homeless person to try and support (or if you don't believe that others should be forced to help those lazy bums, there's one less homeless person sitting around in your neighborhood).

      With open source webkit, the volunteers get the satisfaction of having helped with something bigger than themselves, they've likely gained some new knowledge pertaining to computers and programming, they've potentially gained some name recognition for their effort and talents, and some of them have even gotten new laptop computers. Apple benefits by having a better piece of software included in their operating system. The rest of the world benefits because they have that exact same better piece of software that they're free to use with their own programs. Oh, and coincidentally, the fact that this particular piece of software pertains to web browsing, it stimulates more competition in the browser market, so the world gets even more better browsers.

      But yeah, there are two points. The people donating their labor to this project before must have been getting some sort of happiness/satisfaction/reward for it, or they would've stopped. I've yet to hear of any sweatshops in asia where kids are forced to write code for pennies by their cruel taskmasters who keep any free laptops sent in reward. And secondly, Apple is not the only one benefiting from this. They aren't using laptops to pay people to write code for Apple, they're rewarding people who write code available to anyone. That's approaching philanthropy.
    • Considering these folks were doing it *anyways*, I don't see how that could be the case.

      I work on Fink and we've gotten little, if any, official support or thank you's from Apple, but that doesn't stop us from making OSX usable by porting *NIX apps to it. ;) ...Not that I would say no to some new hardware, I maintain KDE and it takes me nearly a week to do a full test-build from scratch.
  • KHTML? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pherthyl ( 445706 )
    I hope some of the KHTML developers were among those getting rewarded. That's where the code originally came from after all.
    • Re:KHTML? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @05:42AM (#14685981) Homepage Journal
      I think that to be the case.

      Apple's decision to /open-source/ WebKit was quite controversal. Apple as a big company with lots of customers has to follow some security lines. That was the culprit why WebKit became so distant to its ancesor kHTML.

      The problem was that KDE and Apple has very different targets on how to release patches and etc. Some of the changes Apple did to WebKit would never be accepted by kHTML team. That in fact forked development of WebKit and kHTML.

      After Slashdot bashing (it was in times of release Acid2 test), when kHTML people said that Acid2/kHTML is a very distant (low-pro) target, Apple promised to come-up with solution to the problem. The solution was to clean-up internal repository and open it up the FLOSS community. kHTML people wanted to bring standardatization work done by Apple to kHTML on one side. And on another side Apple wanted to move to newer improved version of kHTML.

      Fork the it was going benefited no-one. The way things everyone wants is to have kHTML clean and strandard compliant and WebKit with some hacks and quirks to deliver top notch performance and compatibility for Apple's Safari. Hacks/quirks has always a potential to evolve into a proper solution.

      So I think your guess is right: most contributors would be the kHTML team. Thou I expect some other caring souls would wander the repositories too.

      P.S. Story about Apple's WebKit v. kHTML. the problem: 5227 [] - and the solution 3 []
      • Re:KHTML? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        P.S. Story about Apple's WebKit v. kHTML. the problem: [] 5227 - and the solution [] 3

        The problem with kHTML vs WebKit was the Apple zealots who praised how much Apple contributed to kHTML when in fact Apple didn't do that at all. The kHTML developers didn't care if Apple contributed, but they did care that the zealots where shouting (And we all know how high the Apple zealots shout) about the wonderfull relati
        • Re:KHTML? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Lars T. ( 470328 )
          Nice theory, but the problem were the OpenSource zealots who complained that kHTML still didn't pass Acid2. Thanks for spreading your FUD, try again next time.
      • "Apple's decision to /open-source/ WebKit was quite controversal."

        Abiding by software licenses is "controversal" now? KHTML is LGPL so it's not like they had much choice.
        • Re:KHTML? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by buysse ( 5473 ) * on Friday February 10, 2006 @10:15AM (#14686816) Homepage
          Poor wording by grandparent. Apple always kept to the letter of the LGPL -- they dumped source when they released binaries. One big chunk of undercommented source.

          Nine months ago, that changed when Apple started exposing the VCS for WebKit and actively helping kHTML developers to integrate the WebKit improvements to KDE, and integrate the newer kHTML code to WebKit. In the initial situation, Apple benefited. After opening the repository, everybody benefited, and now Apple is saying "Thank you," in a very tangible way.

  • NASA Worldwind (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Llynix ( 586718 ) <llynix@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Friday February 10, 2006 @05:13AM (#14685900) Homepage Journal
    NASA about a year ago sent gorgeous crystal cubes to the top contributers to their worldwind project. They had a couple of NASA logos etched on them along with our names. When the manager of the project popped into our community chat room I suggested some NASA schwag for the top contributers. I was thinking stickers/pens... something small. I was quite surprised to recieve a heavy box a couple of months later containing the perfect desktop gem.
  • by minginqunt ( 225413 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @05:23AM (#14685932) Homepage Journal
    Off-topic, I know. So mod me. But...

    Gah! "Gifting"? Wtf? Gift is a fucking NOUN. What's wrong with "Apple gives MacBooks to top WebKit contributors"?

    It seems that the disease of corporate-speak has infected even the minds of Slashdot contributors who (a) should know better and (b) probably think they're immune.

    Action this at once.
    • tr.v. gifted, gifting, gifts
      1. To present something as a gift to.
      2. To endow with.

      Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition via []
    • Hmmmm.


      (I think you might find that "gift" started out as a verb sometime in the 16th century)

    • "Gift" as a verb? Wow, and I thought "preemptive counter-attack" was bad...

    • Gift is a f*cking NOUN

      It is also a verb: go read this []. Of course you won't do that, so here is an excerpt:

      gift Audio pronunciation of "gift" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (gft) n.

      1. Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.
      2. The act, right, or power of giving.
      3. A talent, endowment, aptitude, or inclination.

      tr.v. gifted, gifting, gifts

      1. To present something as a gift to.
      2. To endow with.
    • And we all know that no English noun ever had a verb form before the corporate drones infected the language.
      • A flock of birds : birds of a feather flock together
      • Get some exercise : exercise at the gym
      • Go to the bank : you can bank on it
      • Wash your clothes : lose your socks in the wash
      • A patent : patent a better mousetrap
      • Come to a stop : stop the car
      • Bees wax : wax the floor
      • This thing called love : I love New York

      And if I read "Mod me down for this, but..." one more time, I'm going to scream. Or, if

    • "And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of men who, above all else, desire powerbooks...err MacBook Pros."
    • My intended headline was "Apple Rewards Top WebKit Contributors with MacBooks". But that was over the 50 character limit for headlines, so I had to tweak my word choice to fit within the limit. It's ugly, I'm embarrassed, but I chose that option over leaving out the word "Top" because I felt it was more important to distinguish that not all contributors were rewarded. I blame the editors!
    • >Gift is a fucking NOUN.

      Fuck is a verb, and here you are using it as an ADJECTIVE. And besides which, how could the noun "noun" fuck anything except maybe the odd adverb. We need to take a page from the French and get some well-armed language police in here to kick ass and hand out some jail time.

  • by ( 731545 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @06:04AM (#14686028) Homepage

    Apple has supported GIMP-print [] this way for a while now. Granted, they weren't giving them laptops. But, people working on GIMP-print got iMacs and were given special discounts on buying other macs for personal use.

    It's a great model. Hopefully, they will continue to do it for years to come.

  • Intel books... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skingers6894 ( 816110 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @07:52AM (#14686273)
    This is cool and it puts Intel Macs into the hands of people who contribute. Maybe Apple understands that OSS contributors can't necessarily upgrade to the latest. This makes sure that the top dozen contributors to Safari get "Intellized". Smart AND nice.
    • Yep that's what I see, I read an article that the intel Mac adoption isn't going as fast has hoped, by seeding the cream of the OSS development community with some free Mac Book Pros and admission to the Developers conference, they are probably hoping for some returns on thier investment with some intel-mac projects springing up.
  • Nice move Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @09:26AM (#14686538) Homepage
    Nicely done. Like the styling of their hardware, it was classy. I think one lesson that every tech company should learn from Apple is that style is important. Even in development I've noticed an application can look great but not be that terrific from a technical perspective and still be received better than a technically gifted app with plain looks.
    • Say, I think you may be onto something:

      Even in ... I've noticed an ... can look great but not be that terrific from a ... perspective and still be received better than a ... with plain looks.
  • Uh, it never was. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by toby ( 759 ) * on Friday February 10, 2006 @10:08AM (#14686772) Homepage Journal
    Looks like donating your time isn't a thankless job anymore.

    How do you think we got this far, if it ever were? This verges on the 'you can't trust programmers who aren't paid' FUD.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan ( 730745 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @10:14AM (#14686811)
    Nice to see the civility.

    Now can we get back to hating each other? GOSH.
  • considering that they aren't available to the public yet.
  • Safari for Windows? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by John_Booty ( 149925 ) <> on Friday February 10, 2006 @10:40AM (#14687008) Homepage
    Kudos to Apple for this generous move.

    This is slightly off-topic, but while Apple's feeling generous with regards to WebKit- do you think they'd consider releasing some form of Safari for Windows?

    With OSX's growing popularity, an increasing number of visitors to my websites are using Safari. Unfortunately, there's no way to test on Safari without actually buying an OSX-capable piece of hardware! Now, in *my* case, I actually went out and bought a Mini. :-) But I can tell you from personal and professional experience, a lot of developers and companies don't bother testing on Safari at all. That leads to a sub-optimal web experience for Safari users.

    I realize that maintaining a version of Safari for Windows would represent a significant committment of resources. Perhaps Apple could release some kind of testing tool for Windows that, while not being a full-fledged browser, at least incorporates Safari's WebKit rendering technology. It shouldn't be that hard. I suspect that the Windows version of iTunes uses a port of WebKit to render the iTMS although I can't verify that.

    (There are some online services that will show you what your pages look like in Safari - but those aren't particularly helpful for testing dynamic, data-driven sites. Better than nothing but far from an ideal solution...)
    • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Friday February 10, 2006 @11:04AM (#14687226) Homepage Journal
      do you think they'd consider releasing some form of Safari for Windows?

      You have:

      * The complete source to Webkit.
      * Gtk for Windows.

      What else do you need for a Windows port?
      • I don't quite have the skills or time to undertake a task like that. My skills are centered around database and middle-tier component development and web stuff. Porting a fairly complex GUI application to Windows is not an area I'm versed in and I don't have the weeks/months it would take to get to that point.

        I see the "code it yourself" mentality you're getting at and I think it's valid in a lot of situations.

        In this case, it's pretty valid to ask/hope for a solution from Apple. In general, the overlap
        • I don't quite have the skills or time to undertake a task like that.

          Sounds like an opportunity for an Open Source Bounty then...
          • Yes. But let Apple bear the cost of that. I already bought a Mini for testing and other purposes.

            Really, this isn't a case of me "scratching an itch". This is an attempt by myself and a lot of of other web developers to make sure that sites work with Apple's web browser.

            It's in Apple's best interest to make sure that as many web sites as possible work with the flagship browser that is bundled with their operating system. Apple needs web developers as much as web developers need them (perhaps even moreso
    • BrowserCam (Score:3, Informative)

      by Colol ( 35104 )
      BrowserCam [] has actually evolved beyond its old "here's a screenshot of how your page renders" strategy. You can now, for a fairly reasonable fee (especially if you go the group buy approach), access their systems live via VNC.

      Granted, you'll have to deal with the latency of VNC over the Internet, but it is a solution for people who need more interactivity than old-school BrowserCam but don't want to purchase and maintain another system themselves.
      • Wow, excellent! Thanks for the tip. You're right; they have really evolved. The VNC approach is excellent and just what is needed... it was a screencap-only service when I last checked. Pricing is a bit expensive but pretty reasonable if you can split the cost with a group, as you suggested.

        It would still be nice if Apple could release something to help users test WebKit/Safari on Windows directly, as a lot of developers won't be able or willing to subscribe to a service like BrowserCam.

        But until then B
    • This is slightly off-topic, but while Apple's feeling generous with regards to WebKit- do you think they'd consider releasing some form of Safari for Windows?

      I doubt it, for a number of reasons. First, they have already released the core, all that is really required is the GUI bits. Apple does not really have a lot of expertise for building GUIs for Windows so it is not a casual project for them.

      Second, who would use it? I mean, sure Web developers might use it for testing and maybe some users would li

    • by Phroggy ( 441 ) *
      I suspect that the Windows version of iTunes uses a port of WebKit to render the iTMS although I can't verify that.

      You suspect incorrectly. The Mac version of iTunes doesn't use WebKit either. The iTunes Music Store does use HTTP, but it does not use HTML. This [] might interest you; that's linked from here [].
  • by spicyjeff ( 6305 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @11:37AM (#14687520) Homepage
    I was invited to WWDC on Apple's dime a few times and they do this with student's every year to some extent. It's Apple's way of getting to know you better as you will also meet with engineers and others at events and invited lunches etc. This is Apple's interviewing tactic... you never even know you are being interviewed, until they offer you a job.
  • by cshotton ( 46965 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @11:41AM (#14687562) Homepage
    Apple has been rewarding the open source and shareware community for a long time. In September of 1994, I was one of the recipients of Apple's first "Cool Tools" award. They identified all of the open source, public domain, and shareware authors that were making the Mac one of the best Internet-capable computers of the time. Here's a link to an old TidBITS article [] about the award. All the winners got PowerMac 7100s which helped get most of the Cool Tools ported to PowerPC. Maybe a bit self-serving of Apple, but they were setting the standard for recognizing good work in their third party developer community over 12 years ago. And I got MacHTTP ported to PPC in about 2 days because of it!
  • by DynamoJoe ( 879038 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @02:04PM (#14688903)
    Apple can't even say thanks without getting blasted? How cynical is that? 'Boo hoo hoo, apple didn't do x' or 'apple could easily have done this since they're a supermegacorp and those're eeeeevil'.

    Jesus. Get over it. If you never get "gifted" in life, maybe the problem is you.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.