PearPC Developers Attack CherryOS "Code Theft"

 
 
By Ian Betteridge  |  Posted 2005-03-11
 
 
 
CherryOS, the Mac emulator running on Windows, has run into a hailstorm of criticism from developers of the open-source PearPC program, for allegedly copying code from it and other free software projects.

According to Charles Darvy, one of the contributors to PearPC, the released version of CherryOS includes both code and graphics directly taken from PearPC.

Daniel Foesch, developer of PearPCs AltiVec support, claimed to have found particular strings in CherryOSs debugging output which he originally put into PearPC.

Darvy also pointed to a PearPC icon of a CD—used in the original program for ejecting and changing a CD—which is not used in CherryOS, but which is still embedded in the products code.

Many postings on the PearPC development board also highlighted similarities between the projects code and that of CherryOS.

Several posters—including developers working on the project—posted sections of disassembled code from the two projects that appeared identical, while others took debug output from CherryOS and showed it to be identical to that of PearPC.

One configuration file—dubbed AstroAMatro—is also identical in both products, while the developer of PearPCs sound support claimed that he had "confirmed that all my symbols and constants are still present within his build."

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In addition, Darvy claimed that CherryOS incorporated code from two other open-source projects: HFVExplorer, which allows PCs to access Mac-formatted drives, and Tap32, a network driver. Darvy also pointed to the similarities between the features still to be fully implemented in CherryOS and the equivalent in PearPC.

"It is interesting to note that all of the features they promised on October 12—sound support, drag and drop, etc—are not in their release. Coincidentally, sound support and drag and drop development have been moving very slowly in PearPC. We have a sound patch, but is extremely buggy," Darvy added.

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Maui X-Stream Inc., creator of CherryOS, did not respond to a request for comment on the alleged similarities between the two products, although a spokeswoman for the company said that it was currently formulating a response which would be posted on its Web site.

However, in an interview with The Mac Observer, Maui X-Stream president Jim Kartes described the claims as "simply not true. This is an entirely different architecture and code from PearPC. Thats why were able to achieve such higher speeds than they have. These are simply a bunch of lies."

However, Darvy questioned the reasoning behind what he claimed were Maui X-Streams motives. "I just wish I knew their motives or how they expect to get away with this. I am not sure if they just want to test the GPL in the U.S. or what," he said.

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