updated 11:30 am EDT, Mon October 19, 2009
Tech migrates to first non-Apple OS
Grand Central Dispatch, originally introduced with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, has been ported to its first third-party operating system, says the team behind FreeBSD. When it is released, FreeBSD 8.1 is expected to support Grand Central by default. The technology is said to have been harder to adapt than some other Unix-compatible frameworks, due to the need to make kernel modifications. Mac OS X blends elements of BSD and Mach.
GCD lets developers more readily exploit multi-core processors, by offering an intermediate layer to program for; apps otherwise require their own custom instructions. The conversion of the technology for FreeBSD is possible because of a September open-source release by Apple, in keeping with its backing of a variety of open-source frameworks such as Bonjour. Cross-platform support for GCD may ensure a regular stream of command-line tools for Mac OS X.