Apple's always had this passive-aggressive, parasitic relationship with open source. Darwin, the OS at the bottom of all modern Macs, is an offshoot of FreeBSD, and a lot of what Apple presents to you is derived from other open source projects. But Apple has always downplayed, neglected, ignored, or otherwise distracted most of its consumers from knowing anything about their use of open source. Let's discuss two recent examples.

It's not completely parasitic; Apple's contributions to the LLVM and Clang projects has led to a breakout of new and interesting programming languages (Rust, Zig, and Mojo come to mind), and lots of people are grateful for having a viable and modern alternative to the GCC platform. But even that is "geek stuff," carefully hidden away from the masses.

At the WWDC two weeks ago, there were two perfect examples of how Apple's weird "we depend upon free geek labor, but we don't acknowledge that and we certainly never tell our customers about it" attitude:

Apple announced the drop of a DirectX-12 layer, saying "this will enable you to play Windows games on your Macintosh." DirectX is Microsoft's protocol for 3D rendering for games, and emulating it on Linux is how so many Steam and GOG games now run on Windows. Apple has kept their own GPU interface annoyingly opaque and undocumented; you can use it, but you're not allowed to know much about it's inner workings. By providing a DirectX layer, you can "use" as much of it as DirectX is capable of rendering.

But the way they presented it was just "Here's this new library for game writers." This is a terrible slap in the face to Valve, which has put a ton of money behind ProtonDB and the Wine (Wine Is Not Emulation) compatibility layers for Linux. It's now on the ProtonDB and Wine teams to finish the work Apple started, making sure their tools are compatible with the new layer. Apple decided just providing the library was good enough, now it was up to other people to "do the work" of bringing AAA games to the Mac.

The other example came during the presentation of the next generation of Safari, which included a statement that you would be able to take some web applications and put them in your dock, and if you clicked on one it would behave like a native program without all the tools of a full-on browser; the programmer would use Javascript and HTML and CSS to write the app, and Apple provided a shell to grant the app a canvas on your monitor in which to work, and a variety of permissions and notifications the app could have to, say, store data on your disk or send messages over your network, just like any other native application.

There is a name for this: Project Fugu, which has been around for a while. It's headed by Google, but it's part of the WW3C's vision for the future of web technologies, the idea that apps just... exist. The list of permissions is startlingly large ("Access bluetooth," "Use USB ports," "idle detection," "ambient light levels," etc). Apple's announcement is basically an embrace of Project Fugu... without mentioning Project Fugu or the people who've put countless hours of work into making it a reality.

For Apple, those open source people are suckers. Apple takes what it wants, and then presents it as something miraculous that Apple did for its customers, and never, ever says 'Thank you' to the labor it has taken as its own.