back to article Apple open sources Snow Leopard's multicore code helper

In a surprise move, Apple has open-sourced its Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) technology under the Apache 2.0 public license. Baked into the recently released Mac OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, GCD eases the programming challenges that developers face when coding for multicore processors. You can download a PDF of Apple's half- …


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  1. Chris Peterson 1
    Jobs Horns

    Apple and Linux = Best Frenemies Forever

    Apple open-sources technology that will help Linux community kill Windows on the server (not Apple's biggest market), rest assured that Linux will never (?) be a threat to Mac OSX on the desktop.

    Godspeed and good health, Steve!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Strength of community?

    Yeh-but isn't it also an indicator of (potentially) Apple's appreciation of wider community?

    Maybe the Apps Store has influenced decisions at highest level?

  3. David Walker
    Thumb Up

    Apple has numerous open source projects

    This isn't an app store effect. Apple has open sourced most of its foundation technologies (or uses enhanced versions of open source), Mach/BSD, launchd, WebKit, OpenCL, OpenGL, Clang/LLVM, etc. and now GCD. They have had a pretty consistent business strategy - they sell the Quartz layer and services that make use of the Coca frameworks plugging into that layer. So if you don't mind paying for your window manager (I know that a bit of an oversimplification) then buy Mac OS X - if not then there's always Gnome. With GCD (and eventual ports of OpenCL) to linux - science just got a lot faster for *nix.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Skeletor returns!!!

    Mac OS X, with less than 5% of the market, is not really in a position to kill anything.

  5. StooMonster

    Microsoft Fanboi

    OS X is killing off Microsoft's Mobile OS very effectively, won't be long.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Smart move on Apple's part... means that they're ensuring a flow of nice scalable apps which will be an easy support to their shiny desktop POSIX-friendly LOLcat.

    As a Linux and MacOSX user, who'd already been trainspotting developer docs for blocks and GCD, I'm rather pleased.

  7. windywoo
    Jobs Horns

    When MS "Open Sources" things...

    People are suspicious that MS won't turn around later and sue everyone who used their code for copyright infringement.

    When Apple does it, I would be just as suspicious.

  8. mrweekender

    @AC 00:08

    I think you'll find Apple's share is just over 10%, if one combines the market share for both Macs and iPhones. Macs account for 9.63% of computers online. (Windblows Mobile devices are included in their 88.7% figure.)

    Also I think you'll find that here in Europe, Apple has an education market share of 27.3% - last count.

    So just like the Microsoft pirates you defend, it seems you're full of shit!

    Bravo Apple for releasing this to the community and long live open source!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @AC 00:08

    > Mac OS X, with less than 5% of the market, is not really in a position to kill anything.

    Wrong. As a hybrid of the powerful, robust BSD unix kernel running on Intel CPU architecture, offering one the two best windowing systems, having advanced networking and device stacks that "just work" and with all important corporate samba / exchange interoperability OSX has a great opportunity to become the most popular desktop operating system in the world.

    This is great news that stands to benefit both Apple and the open-source community. Multi-core multi-threading architecture is a complex field that is evolving rapidly and opening their code to participate in advancing research in this area Apple deserve credit and stand to benefit as other r&d groups worldwide work in parallel to push the envelope which in turn will contribute value back to Apple's products.

    It is the way of the Internet and I believe the most appropriate model for success. For use cases see RFC 675, Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974 and "Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)" Internet-Draft by Berners-Lee and Dan Connolly

  10. windywoo
    Jobs Horns


    No the AC you quoted was right, Apple's worldwide share is 5% and in America its nearly 10 but not quite.

    And Steve 116, it doesn't matter how good an OS Apple have if they restrict it only to their ridiculously priced hardware.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge


    I can't let that fatuous bollox pass!

    First of all, the iPhone runs OS X in much the same way as WinMo devices run XP. i.e. not at all. The mobile and desktop OSs share some ancestry, but otherwise they're chalk and cheese.

    Secondly, I'm not sure that the iPhone is doing much damage to WinMo. Personally, I'd much rather have a Mobile OS that can actually walk and chew bubblegum at the same time without its makers having a hissy fit. I reckon it's taken a chunk out of the proprietary stuff, it's certainly dented the high-end Symbian market and seriously queered the pitch of the Android launch (which should have been revolutionary, but ended up as "meh" to the iPhone's "huzzah"). The WinMo market still seems healthy if the number of available and upcoming devices is anything to go by. I'll grant it's taken a knock, but there's life in the dog yet.

    Finally, the iPhone OS runs on an iPhone and nothing else. It's a big fish in a small pond. For it to kill off anything we all have to use iPhones and there are enough other manufacturers out there to ensure this doesn't happen, even if they have to resort to bombing Cupertino to solve the problem. The very existance of companies like Nokia, HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony/Ericsson and such depend on it.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @All the losers commenting on how big there respective dads are...

    Grow the fuck up. Please. No-one here is really that impressed - and market share is a poor measure of how good/bad software/hardware is, and again the only people that actually care are you geeks. Apple and Microsoft should both be commended for their recent contributions to the OSS community.

    @windywoo: When you get home from school, ask your Dad to explain 'value' to you.

  13. mrweekender

    @Simon Banyard

    Agreed but I'm sorry I don't like these fucking constant lies. I'm no fanboi, I just want people to start telling the truth on this site and thus allow people make judgments based on said truth.

    Unfortunately it's not a case of people growing up, it's far more sinister than that, as it always has been with the constant spread of misinformation by the Microsoft shills.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    You missed one ...

    Apple own CUPS, it's still open source and with Apple's acquisition, it has gone on to be a fine upstanding printing solution. (Printing on Linux still has problems, but it's nowhere near the black art it used to be and Windows, well, OS that thinks printer drivers belong in kernel space has a problem all of its own.)

    Making GCD open source is just going to enamour them to a lot of OSS folks, me included, and from where I'm say Microsoft are doing to great job of marginalising themselves.

  15. HFoster

    Apple in actually helpful and useful shocker!

    I nearly fell off my seat when I saw this. Apple (A.K.A Microsoft 2.1) open sources [another] of its projects in hope of bringing a standard for multi-core programming to the C standard.

    At the risk of sounding naive, this is almost altruistic on their part: Microsoft only open sourced code this year to avoid having their drawers pulled down in public by the FSF; Apple are actually doing something that will make life easier for some (if not all) C developers in future.

    I still hate Jobs on principle, but this is definitely worth a pint.

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