Saturday, July 28, 2007

CUPS bought by Apple

It is pretty old news now relatively, but the CUPS printing project was bought out by Apple a couple of weeks ago.

While I am generally in support of commercial support for open-source projects, the outright purchase of the project (since all the copyrights were assigned to a single party and transferred to Apple) is something I typically approach with some skepticism. Sure, it could be a good thing if the company continues to make it publicly available - corporate backing for the open source developers who normally would have to work on something else to pay their bills. It could also be a path to closed-sourcing a project, effectively killing it since all the mainline development gets done on a closed-source distribution and the open source version stagnates.

However, the project just did a new release, and so far it looks very promising:

The project has picked up support for Apple's bonjour protocol, LDAP/SSL, Kerberos, and a host of other features. So while it's still a bit premature, it looks like a best case scenario - Apple paying for developers to add features that benefit the entire community.