Apple releases source code for iOS 4.3 WebKit two months late

Alongside of a two month delay, Apple finally released the source code for WebKit in iOS 4.3. After a few complaints by developers and reports in a relatively popular magazine, the code is now available on Apple’s open source website.

Apple is obliged to release the source code and binary for WebKit because it uses the Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL). Bloggers all over the internet are now speculating about the causes of this delay in publication.

Some say that it was Apple’s plan to wait until developers complained about it all along. Other’s say that the introduction of the Nitro JavaScrip engine for MobileSafari has something to do with the delay.

Blogger Harald Welte is a bit angry with Apple and doesn’t understand how it could’ve possibly taken that long:

It cannot be a simple oversight, as multiple inquiries have been made to Apple by interested developers. However, the source code yet has to be released.
I think it is time that Apple gets their act together and becomes more straight-forward with LGPL compliance. It is not acceptable to delay the source code release for 8 weeks after shipping a LGPL licensed software. Especially not, if you have already demonstrated in the past that you are well aware of the obligations and have a process and a website to release the corresponding source code under the license conditions.

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