Apple unleashes FoundationDB as an open source project

Secretive company talks up the need for open community


Apple has open-sourced FoundationDB, a distributed ACID-compliant NoSQL datastore, three years after acquiring the company that developed the technology.

At the time, developers who used the database voiced resentment that Apple had taken a useful tool off the market and left companies using the software without support.

For Apple, that's water under the bridge. In a post to the FoundationDB project's newborn blog, the fruit-themed computer maker said, "We believe FoundationDB can become the foundation of the next generation of distributed databases."

To make that happen, Apple is counting on community contributions and support.

apple

Apple takes ACID-compliant NoSQL upstart FoundationDB

READ MORE

Community – aka free labor – turns out to be a crucial ingredient in sustaining open source projects, as Kubernetes has demonstrated.

Apple can get away with casting the press as fact-grabbing profiteers and threatening employees who leak confidential info with permanent unemployment and jail time because it pays employees for the privilege.

But autocratic inquisitions won't convince people to come together to improve FoundationDB; project contributors have to be treated with respect.

Thus Apple has outlined a design document focused on transparency and a governance structure to help participants feel they have a voice in project decisions. There's even a code of conduct as a check against the boorish bro behavior for which Silicon Valley has become infamous.

FoundationDB has been released under the Apache 2.0 license. It takes a seat among the more significant open-source projects released by Apple, a group that also includes the Darwin operating system on which macOS and iOS are based, the XNU kernel, WebKit, and Swift.

Apple's plan for FoundationDB is to release the core functionality – the key-value store – and to encourage the project community to develop software layers (e.g. an SQL layer or a protocol buffer layer for Ruby) that extend core features and expand the software's capabilities.

Those with a deep understanding of databases and a willingness to help Apple out are advised to review the community guidelines. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022