OpenDarwin closing down

OpenDarwin, an attempt to build an operating system around the open-source "Darwin" core of Mac OS X, is pulling the plug.

"OpenDarwin was meant to be a development community and a proving ground for fixes and features for Mac OS X and Darwin, which could be picked up by Apple for inclusion in the canonical sources," project leaders said Tuesday at the site. "OpenDarwin has failed to achieve its goals in four years of operation, and moves further from achieving these goals as time goes on. For this reason, OpenDarwin will be shutting down."

There are several reasons for the shutdown: "The original notions of developing the Mac OS X and Darwin sources has not panned out. Availability of sources, interaction with Apple representatives, difficulty building and tracking sources, and a lack of interest from the community have all contributed to this."

The fizzling contrasts with the hopes Apple Computer Chief Executive Steve Jobs expressed when he announced Darwin in 1999. "If we all work on this together, we can make a better product than any one company by themselves...The open-source community is going to be excited about it," Jobs said.

While OpenDarwin may have been a dead end, some Mac OS X components, such as the FreeBSD operating system, remain active open-source projects.

Tech Culture
About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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