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Apple publicly acknowledges contributors to iCloud

Apple's iCloud being built. (Scaffolding photo by Malcolm Koo, Wiki Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Apple has published an extensive list of third-party software that it's been using in the making and running of its iCloud service, including contributions from Google and Facebook.

Apple has now publicly acknowledged the many software developers whose work has been used under licence to make iCloud work. At least some of the information has been available before to developers, but now the 116 contributors are acknowledged in a publicly accessible support document.

Running to 39 pages in PDF and some 22,000 words, the new acknowledgements page consists of all the licence agreements allowing Apple to use this software.

The software itself ranges from fonts used in the service to functions such as Javascript libraries, including Google's Closure Library and the jQuery Foundation's separate one. While Apple does not disclose which precise elements it uses from these libraries, Google's one is intended for functions ranging from animation and user interface controls to server communication and text editing.

Alongside predictable names such as Google and Adobe, the new document also acknowledges some surprising contributors. Gaming company Electronic Arts is credited, as is the Financial Times newspaper, and Facebook.

The Facebook elements have nothing to do with the social media site's own services. Rather, it's at least in part another collection of Javascript functions. The JavaScript Infrastructure Team at Facebook has separately described some of its functions as helping developers write efficient code.

Apple publicly published the acknowledgements page this week, some of the software it references pre-dates iCloud. While Apple introduced the cloud service in 2011, certain portions of its tools, such as those by Adobe, date back to 1990.

The publication may possibly have been prompted by Apple's recently joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is a group of companies aiming to improve cloud services and advancing standards across the industry.