Apple Releases iOS 4.3.3 Webkit Source Two Months After iOS 4.3

Apple has released the iOS 4.3 WebKit source code two months after the introduction of iOS 4.3. The delay has apparently upset developers.¬†We’re not developers, so this means very little to us. Still, it seems that many were upset by Apple’s slowness to release and comply with the LGPL license.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber asked on his blog whether the delay may have had something to do with “the introduction of the Nitro JavaScript engine for MobileSafari, and the security implications of granting MobileSafari — and only mobile Safari — an exception to the system-wide ban on marking memory pages as executable.” So basically, it’s some sort of security thing that Apple was concerned about, at least that was his educated guess.

Still, according to website ITWorld, the publication that ran the original story asking why Apple was taking so long, noted that “To date, Apple has been very good about keeping up with its open source commitments, pushing all of the open source code it uses and modifies back upstream in a timely manner.” So this seems like a first for Apple. That said, Google once held back their Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) source code for a while saying that it wasn’t ready. This also upset developers who were interested in the platform.

Again, we’re not developers. It’s difficult to add our own speculation or reasoning as to how or why it’s a security issue or may be a security issue or whether they have any reason to delay the source code. Perhaps some of our more developer-minded readers would like to chime in?


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