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Why Is Apple So Well-Liked in Open Source Circles?

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Over on InfoWorld's Open Sources blog, Zack Urlocker is wondering how Apple has maintained such a good reputation among open sourcers given that the company is "more closed than most companies" and hasn't contributed much to open source development. Sure, he says, they used a little open source in OS X and in Safari, but...

 

He asks:

Have I missed the controversy? Or are they contributing more to open source than I've seen[?] Or is Apple so cool that it's beyond reproach?

One reader says Apple has every right to maintain its proprietary approach. The software is there to sell hardware, after all. The reader then suggests the company wouldn't survive if it gave away everything.

 

Another reader, Cesar Diaz, says Urlocker is probably more on the mark with the coolness argument than he realizes, and the fact that Apple isn't Microsoft doesn't hurt, either.

 

I'm not sure how CEO Steve Jobs would answer the question, but his alter ego at Forbes would undoubtedly agree with Diaz.

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