Apple has kicked back at critics who had been concerned that it appeared less supportive of the Open Source movement, releasing buildable source code of the Darwin/Mac OS X kernel for Mac OS 10.4.7.

The move follows recent debate which surmised the company was losing its commitment to the Open Source movement, because it had not yet released the kernel for Mac OS X 10.4.

"As of today, we are posting buildable kernel sources for Intel-based Macs alongside the usual PowerPC (and other Intel) sources, starting with Mac OS X 10.4.7. We regret the delay in readying the new kernel for release, and thank you for your patience," wrote Ernest Prabhakar, Apple's Open Source product manager on Apple's mailing list.

The company has also launched a new community website for Open Source developers, "Mac OS Forge".

The site has been created to support WebKit and other open source projects focused on Mac OS X, especially those looking to transition from, which has now shut down.

Prabhakar also revealed that "in order to encourage community participation, source code to the new iCal Server in Leopard Server is now available on Mac OS Forge under the Apache License."

The company has also re-released the source code for Bonjour service discovery and Launchd process management under the Apache License.

Prabhakar stressed Apple's commitment to Open Source, saying: "Apple is more excited than ever about the power of Open Source development to create value for our (and your) products and customers."