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Iphone Software Apple

iPhone App In App Store Limbo Open Sourced 432

Posted by timothy
from the richarded-over dept.
recoiledsnake writes "The author of iPhone prototyping tool Briefs has decided to open source it after the App store submission has been in limbo for over three months. The app had got into trouble for what Apple believes is being able to run interpreted code, though the author denies it, saying all the compiling happens on the Mac. While Rob stays civil, his co-worker blasts Apple for not even rejecting the app. Three months is nothing compared to Google Voice for the iPhone though, which is still being studied further by Apple after more than a year."
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iPhone App In App Store Limbo Open Sourced

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  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday August 30, 2010 @12:41AM (#33412654)

    Can someone explain to me why Apple behaves this way? I fail to understand. What even bugles my mind is the fact that Apple as a company is [still] a darling in many people's hearts. No bad publicity sticks.

    I for one, will not touch an iPhone even with a 10 foot pole for my HTC Incredible does all that want it to and even more. The trouble is Oracle that is threatening to cut off Android's air supply with patent suits against Google.

     

    • by Haedrian (1676506) on Monday August 30, 2010 @12:45AM (#33412676)

      When you've got a market locked down, people think buying your products will make them cool, and you've closed everything off so the only way out is to avoid apple - then you can afford to (mis)treat people anyway you want.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        sounds exactly like cigarettes!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by noidentity (188756)

        When you've got a market locked down, people think buying your products will make them cool, and you've closed everything off so the only way out is to avoid apple

        They've got the market locked down because people choose to buy their products? Kind of like how Google has the search market locked down because most people choose it for searching? I envision a day when we don't get to choose what we use, and instead are treated to a random selection of all the available alternatives. No more locked down market

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Haedrian (1676506)

          I didn't mean that, I meant -

          1. You need to use their hardware (smaller SIM Card, propriatry charger/connector)

          2. You need to use their store to get applications

          2a. You need to obey their rules to get your application there

          2aI. [I'm not going into these, seriously]

          -
          That sort of thing is what I meant. Once you 'buy' apple what you can do with it is pretty much dictated.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          I'm a dreamer I envision a day when the truth is the only acceptable and legal form of advertising. Any time a company falls short of that they pay triple the profits they generated as damages and that goes into a public fund so that victims can make claims against it. In this current day and age I'd expect that fund to be worth a trillion dollars within a couple of years.

          • by paiute (550198) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:52AM (#33413326)

            I'm a dreamer I envision a day when the truth is the only acceptable and legal form of advertising. Any time a company falls short of that they pay triple the profits they generated as damages and that goes into a public fund so that victims can make claims against it. In this current day and age I'd expect that fund to be worth a trillion dollars within a couple of years.

            And who gets to define the truth?

          • I'm a dreamer I envision a day when the truth is the only acceptable and legal form of advertising.

            We can't even get truthful and accurate reviews of products from professionals let alone bloggers, platform fanatics & zealots or consumers who purchased but don't actually understand the products. Even a straight 'specs vs. specs' comparison isn't valid on these devices where applications can be more important than the platform they run on.

            Truth in advertising would be a good start but there's so much other crap to wade through that even knowing the 'truth' about a product won't be enough to make a

    • How about failing to pay homage to SJ?

      But authoring uses a simple language called bs. BS is a simple language written specifically for creating briefs.

      Reading the web site it does look like a new development tool. If apple want to force people to use their tools (because the tool enforces policy) then it seems logical they would want to tie this one up in the approval process.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      Oracle doesn't want to cut off Android's air supply. They want to milk it for everything they can. Larry Ellison is certainly greedy, but even he knows not to kill the golden goose. Patent lawsuits like this rarely result in a product being destroyed.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday August 30, 2010 @01:29AM (#33412800)

      They behave the way they do because they are control freaks. They want absolute control over their platform. Their ultimate vision is that they'll be the source of all your media, all your apps, etc. They'll dictate how you consume stuff. Such a setup would be, needless to say, very profitable.

      As for why they can get away with it, well I'd say there are two reasons:

      1) Fanboyism/zealotry. Apple has had a following for a long time of people for whom they can do no wrong more or less. A non-trivial amount of these people are in the press (Macs are big in prepress work). They just love Apple and everything they do. So when something bad comes out, they find ways to rationalize it away, or ignore it.

      2) For many of the Apple buyers these days, Apple is not a technology company but a fashion company. They largely won't admit it, but they buy them as fashion accessories. They are the "cool" product to own. As such they are purchased based on that alone. Whatever restrictions/costs accompany that are ok because they want to be cool. I see the same thing these days with fixed gear bikes. They are in with college kids (I work on campus and bike to work). They buy brand new, surprisingly expensive, fixed gear bikes. This, of course, makes them harder to ride up hill, but they are ok with that because fixed gear is cool, road or mountain bikes are not.

      • 1) Fanboyism/zealotry. Apple has had a following for a long time of people for whom they can do no wrong more or less. A non-trivial amount of these people are in the press (Macs are big in prepress work). They just love Apple and everything they do. So when something bad comes out, they find ways to rationalize it away, or ignore it.

        So we're in agreement here? This is yet moar evidence of the elite liberal media slant!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by beh (4759) *

        They behave the way they do because they are control freaks.

        What is it with all the hate-mongering nowadays?

        Have you also thought, that the same control also keeps the phone fairly free of malware?
        You might be able to diagnose that - but most of the people outside the geek community can't.
        I have a tough enough time telling people that they need to secure their PCs - you don't believe how many are out there that simply shrug and say "Why bother? I have nothing important on my computer."... The fact that their system could in turn be abused into participating in cybe

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:14AM (#33413376)

          In the case of a bike variable gears are well established and nearly universally used. The reason to own a fixed gear bike is cost. It is simpler and cheaper to build. You sometimes find people who own old ones for that reason, the can be purchased cheaply and maintenance is potentially less as there is no derailleur or internal gear hub to break. However the cost advantage is not present when you buy a brand new, trendy one complete with the "bull horn" handle bars. Many of the trendy fixed gear bikes cost more than my commuter, which features a gear hub.

          Sorry if you don't like the control freak assessment but it is accurate. You can argue that there are benevolent reasons behind it, however that doesn't make it any less true. Apple has always had serious control issues and as of late they've been able to expand that a lot. They dictate to you how the platform goes.

          Something to consider, with relation to that, is would you be ok if Microsoft did the same thing? Suppose Microsoft allowed Windows to only run on Microsoft hardware. Suppose Microsoft wanted to be the sole apps provider for some of their devices. Would you be ok with that? If not then ask yourself why you are ok with Apple doing it. There is no evidence to suggest that Apple has any process in place to prevent them from abusing their power, and several examples of them already abusing it in one manner or another.

          If you are ok with Apple doing something but not MS, that implies that your emotions, like or dislike for the companies, are influencing the decision, not logic.

          Personally, I don't like a system where one person controls everything. I like it when things are more divided, where no one company has the sole deciding power over everything.

          • That is exactly what MS does, although in a more devious manner...

            The xbox already functions much like the iphone, you need to sign up (and pay) to be a developer, you must use their sdk which runs only on their os and any code you release must first be approved and signed by ms and they take a cut of any sales you make.

            They do the same thing in other areas too, not by directly dictating, but through market inertia and various forms of lock-in... This is arguably worse because when people start sending proprietary formatted files around the lock-in extends to people who would prefer not to be customers of ms.
            Apple on the other hand, can be totally ignored should you wish. You may have an iphone and i may not, but i will still be able to access the emails, photos, video, sms and voice calls generated by your iphone either on another type of phone or a computer.

            That's not to excuse apple's behaviour, just pointing out that apple are a minor offender compared to ms here.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by BasilBrush (643681)

            So, you're saying that a company that only offers a fixed gear bike is a control freak company. Even though people can choose to buy a bike from many other companies.

            And that anyone that chooses a fixed gear bicycle must be deluded/a fanboy/a hipster, because you happen to prefer a bike with gears.

            Does that about cover it? Or do you have some more hatred to vent?

            • by dimeglio (456244)

              The way I read all this anger that the iPhone is really the best smartphone out there and some people feel it's a disgrace that Apple has the affront to control it the way it does. Otherwise, they would simply purchase a Samsung, Nokia, RIM or HTC smartphone and be happy with it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by the_womble (580291)

          So if tight vendor control equals security, my Linux laptop must be incredibly insecure?

          I have a tough enough time telling people that they need to secure their PCs - you don't believe how many are out there that simply shrug and say "Why bother? The fact that their system could in turn be abused into participating in cyber-crime?

          The only solution would be to allow victims to sue people who are negligent with security.

          Also, if people do not care about security, why would they buy Macs because they are secure?

          The reason for the hatred is that people find it very annoying to be told what they can and cannot do with their own property.

          As for Mac vs Linux, you are quite right that YMMV: I never really saw what the convenience advantage of MacOS is.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          >> They behave the way they do because they are control freaks.
          >
          > What is it with all the hate-mongering nowadays? ...the Borg Queen rhetoric coming from Steve Jobs.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mgblst (80109)

        You are right, but your two points are just stupid.

        The reason is that most people are not affected by these problems affecting developers. A casual user isn't out screaming for this app. There are already 250,000 apps in the app store, I think most people are happy with that.

        Apple products are purchased because they are great devices, designed well, fantastic support, easy to use. They cost a bit more, but most people do not mind paying a bit more for a better device. Not everyone, plenty of people love sho

        • My thoughts exactly. My big jumping off point to Apple was when I got hired at another ISP doing tech support and we were still resetting the Winsock layer as part of trouble shooting, even in Vista. I thought they would have worked that out back in NT4. My machine had serious OS failure right as I got hired. There had to be a better way.

          Linux/BSD didn't have the vendor support I wanted so I said screw this I'm getting an OSX machine. Now when my friends are botching about various computer problems I just s

      • Add a third option: For some of us, their stuff works, and we're so tired of hearing conspiracy theory crap from extremists that we want to puke. It's a technology company not a religion. Yes, it was funny at first, because we were laughing at the idea. Now not so much. We just want to be able to use the stuff and be left alone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lupu (815408)

        They behave the way they do because they are control freaks. They want absolute control over their platform. Their ultimate vision is that they'll be the source of all your media, all your apps, etc. They'll dictate how you consume stuff. Such a setup would be, needless to say, very profitable.

        As for why they can get away with it, well I'd say there are two reasons:

        1) Fanboyism/zealotry. Apple has had a following for a long time of people for whom they can do no wrong more or less. A non-trivial amount of these people are in the press (Macs are big in prepress work). They just love Apple and everything they do. So when something bad comes out, they find ways to rationalize it away, or ignore it.

        2) For many of the Apple buyers these days, Apple is not a technology company but a fashion company. They largely won't admit it, but they buy them as fashion accessories. They are the "cool" product to own. As such they are purchased based on that alone. Whatever restrictions/costs accompany that are ok because they want to be cool. I see the same thing these days with fixed gear bikes. They are in with college kids (I work on campus and bike to work). They buy brand new, surprisingly expensive, fixed gear bikes. This, of course, makes them harder to ride up hill, but they are ok with that because fixed gear is cool, road or mountain bikes are not.

        or 3) Their market share is sufficiently low to face antitrust investigations for monopolistic behavior.

      • which is reason why, if they filmed the famous 'sledgehammer through the screen' commercial today
        it would bounce right off with nary a scratch...

        and how accurate an analogy it would be as well..

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        1) Fanboyism/zealotry. Apple has had a following for a long time of people for whom they can do no wrong more or less. A non-trivial amount of these people are in the press (Macs are big in prepress work). They just love Apple and everything they do. So when something bad comes out, they find ways to rationalize it away, or ignore it.

        A lot of these people simply cannot conceive that they might be wrong, or that a corporation might change. They have actually made Apple worship part of their identity, and to admit that Apple is evil now would mean they would have to re-examine the very question of who they are. This is what happens when you make fandom of a brand part of your daily life.

        Whatever restrictions/costs accompany that are ok because they want to be cool. I see the same thing these days with fixed gear bikes. They are in with college kids (I work on campus and bike to work). They buy brand new, surprisingly expensive, fixed gear bikes. This, of course, makes them harder to ride up hill, but they are ok with that because fixed gear is cool, road or mountain bikes are not.

        I was just thinking that about one of those "chopper" bikes, which is not only a single speed (though generally freewheeled and not fixie) but which also

      • 3) They deliver better products than their competition, and their customers are too ignorant, uncaring or too trusting in anti-trust legislation to care about their actions.

    • by Michael D Kristopeit (1887500) on Monday August 30, 2010 @01:32AM (#33412806)
      slashdot user: "I fail to understand."
      slashdot mod: "Insightful."

      *sigh*

    • by beh (4759) * on Monday August 30, 2010 @01:41AM (#33412824)

      Like many here you're not getting one thing - developers / geeks do not account for 90% of possible iPhone customers. There is something that is a problem for YOU and a problem for many OPEN-SOURCE type people - but not really something that is seen as a problem by the majority of people out there.

      And it's not even limited to the iPhone - most people still use MS Office, despite how many competitors again? Despite the free OpenOffice?

      You might like Android - and you're perfectly in your right to be. Be happy with it. But please accept, that if I had to buy a new phone for my parents/grandparents, it'd be an iPhone - I think it would be more geared to what she'd need and what she'd be capable of using, simply because it is more streamlined.
      The closed Appstore may be something you hate - on the other hand, as far as non-geeks are concerned, I'd rather have the AppStore than seeing a proliferation of new phone threats (like - wouldn't you hate being spammed by a mobile botnet?). As a developer myself, I also see the stores limitations, but as a normal person, I see the advantages of the store as well in that it gives some more peace of mind to the less tech-savvy user.

      Don't get me wrong - the iPhone has its own set of quirks I don't like. On the other hand - for me (and most people), it was APPLE that made smart phones a lot easier to use - everyone, including Android, is trying to copy that ease of use (with varying amounts of success).

      What annoys me about the whole discussion of the iPhone is this: Noone attacks MS for being a commercial enterprise. MS is commonly attacked for 'innovating' things that have been out there for ages. With Apple it's the other way around - they're being attacked for trying to make money - while it's the 'open source' crowd 'innovating' all the things Apple has done on the phone.

      The same with the iPad - the iPad came out to much ridicule from the tech-savvy crowd - but see how many projects there are out to 'innovate' a tablet computer now that the iPad is out? Some of those may even offer some more eye-candy - but eye-candy alone isn't going to make me buy one of them. It's the usability - the general usability for the majority of people out there (inclusive of all the non-geeks) - that needs looking at, not flashy graphics.

      • by indiechild (541156) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:05AM (#33413198)

        Well said. Apple products tend to be understated and a bit minimalist -- sometimes even conservative in design. It's the competitors' products that tend to be flashy and overdone.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by julesh (229690)

        Like many here you're not getting one thing - developers / geeks do not account for 90% of possible iPhone customers. There is something that is a problem for YOU and a problem for many OPEN-SOURCE type people - but not really something that is seen as a problem by the majority of people out there.

        No, actually, this particular issue is one standing in the way of corporate adoption, not geek adoption. Corporate types don't want to have to hire Objective C developers - who are rare and expensive - to develop

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Stratoukos (1446161)

          No, actually, this particular issue is one standing in the way of corporate adoption, not geek adoption. Corporate types don't want to have to hire Objective C developers - who are rare and expensive - to develop their iPhone apps. Apple, however, won't allow any other language to be implemented (other than Safari's javascript interpreter).

          The language restriction applies only for App Store distribution. Software distributed internally doesn't need to go through Apple's approval process and can be written in any language.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by BasilBrush (643681)

          I agree with most of your post. However a couple of points struck me...

          No, actually, this particular issue is one standing in the way of corporate adoption, not geek adoption. Corporate types don't want to have to hire Objective C developers - who are rare and expensive - to develop their iPhone apps. Apple, however, won't allow any other language to be implemented (other than Safari's javascript interpreter).

          The answer to your problem is the brackets. Most corporate mobile app needs would be satisfied with

      • by devent (1627873)

        Like many here you're not getting one thing - developers / geeks do not account for 90% of possible iPhone customers. There is something that is a problem for YOU and a problem for many OPEN-SOURCE type people - but not really something that is seen as a problem by the majority of people out there.

        That's so true, and really strange. People usually like freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of choice. But if it's computer or digital media, people bend over and take it. For example the EULAs today. If I ever bought a coffee machine with that kind of EULA attached to it, I would be crazy. But people buy software with an EULA that says you don't own anything, you can't do anything, you can't share, you have no rights at all. People buy DVDs that are only playable in special devices, people buy music that t

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          I see quite a lot of prominent android phones being advertised on TV... And they quite often display the android logo and talk about the app market.

      • Yes, all the research into how to "Manufacture Consent" has shown us that a significant portion of the population is indeed cattle which can be easily manipulated, managed and bled without it ever being aware of the fact.

        Why market to the small percentage of thinking humans when the real money is in bleeding cows?

        Advertising and marketing, (essentially global mind-control), is a depressing reality. It works. And it hurts to watch because, even though I eat them, I still think cows are nice animals. They'

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MogNuts (97512)

        Ok people we have to ignore this poster. They're just spouting drivel.

        Say it with me again, "The IPhone HAS MALWARE/VIRUSES/TROJANS/IS INSECURE."

        As to your other points:

        1) If your parents have a problem with an Android phone, then maybe they shouldn't even be using a smartphone. How about a plain old regular cell phone?

        2) MS Office is used because it actually IS superior. No knocks to OO--I use OO as my main office suite. But even I know that MS Office is superior.

        3) No tablet was made because they found no

    • And so does Sony AND Nintendo. I am of course talking about game consoles. Closed platforms where the owner of the platform (not you dear consumer sheep) decides what gets to run on it.

      Apple has made the decision to follow the console model rather then the PC model. That is their choice. Your choice as a consumer is whether you choose to buy it or not. Your choice is NOT to force Apple to go another way other then through voting with your dollars.

      Why has Apple made this decision? One of the many stupid mi

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Runaway1956 (1322357)

      I never trust anyone after they've had their mind bugled. Yeah, I've heard that you can be rehabilitated - but, I just won't ever trust you again. Call me a bugle bigot, it won't bother me. I don't HAVE to be politically correct. I've heard that mind bugling is the gateway to kiddie diddling - not sure if I believe it or not. It sure makes a guy think though. Should we have a no bugling zone around our schools?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rjch (544288)

      Can someone explain to me why Apple behaves this way? I fail to understand. What even bugles my mind is the fact that Apple as a company is [still] a darling in many people's hearts. No bad publicity sticks.

      Not here it doesn't. Less than six months after getting an iPhone (after being unable to find an Android phone at the time that didn't have decent enough hardware that also supported the weird 850Mhz 3G frequency required by my carrier for calls outside the city) my opinion of Apple has completely reversed.

      Yes, the UI is fairly well thought out and it's relatively easy to use. However the outright refusal to give people what they want grates on my nerves significantly. The promises of iOS4 just didn't de

      • by Giometrix (932993) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:05AM (#33413676) Homepage
        I'm in the same boat... I bought an iPad because finally someone made a portable computer in the form factor I wanted. The hardware is beautiful, but the lack of multitasking (yes, I know I'll get it soon... But it will probably still suck), lack of flash (I guess I can forgive that on a phone, but not on a laptop replacement) and subpar browser (even slashdot doesn't work 100% right), with lack of alternatives has really turned me off to apple. Also, after experiencing how android beautifully reflows text, it really makes safari seem archaic. This is not the feeling I want less than 6 months after plopping down $600 for a device...
    • by dimeglio (456244)

      will not touch an iPhone even with a 10 foot pole

      Sorry to hear about your restraining order against the iPhone. Apple has once again gone too far.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Mathness (145187)

      What even bugles my mind is the fact that Apple as a company is [still] a darling in many people's hearts. No bad publicity sticks.

      This is due to the built-in smugness generator that all Apple products (and even some employees) have, one of its effect is that it reduces negative perceptions of itself and Apple within its working radius. The effect is easy to prove, simply lick the Apple logo on a device while in a public place, if people around you start to find the device creepy you have managed to find a device with a non working generator (caution: this will alert the fashion police and you might have to flee to another country just

    • What are there, 250,000 apps in the app store for Apple devices, and you are going to boycott Apple over one unknown app's inability to get into the store?
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Can someone explain to me why Apple behaves this way?

      No problem. I have your answer right here [wikipedia.org].

  • Strange (Score:2, Troll)

    by dissy (172727)

    One would think he could easily cross to the dark side, and release his app in the Rock store, or the Cydia store.

    In fact, I would be surprised if someone doesn't take the code, compile the app, and release it as a .deb anyways.

    But using the Cydia store features the developer could still make quite a bit of money.
    Sure, it limits your app to jailbroken devices, but that is a very large number of devices compared to zero as the current situation goes.

    I'm sure he has his reasons and all, I am just curious what

    • by beakerMeep (716990) on Monday August 30, 2010 @01:02AM (#33412722)
      In his blog post about it he has this "aw shucks, time to go write some apps Apple will approve" attitude.

      It strikes me as the psycho ex gf/bf who cant accept Apple broke up with them and refuses to mail order a new Android companion (or at least get a RIM job)

      /yeah, this post went in a completely different direction from where it started
      • by roman_mir (125474)

        It strikes me as the psycho ex gf/bf who cant accept Apple broke up with them and refuses to mail order a new Android companion (or at least get a RIM job)

        - hey, stop that. What do blackberries have to do with any of this?

      • by dzfoo (772245)

        Perhaps he realizes that there's more money to be made in Apple apps. There have been a couple of articles lately on the tech press to this effect.

                -dZ.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      One would think he could easily cross to the dark side, and release his app in the Rock store, or the Cydia store.

      Or he could re-write the thing for Android and make _some_ money. Some being greater then none, which is what he's making now.

      Eventually this is the kind of behaviour that will drive people away from the Apple ecosystem. Apple gets to decide who does and does not make money, just wait until they start buddying up with big dev houses to push out crappy titles and sequels at $10 a piece.

  • Read the license (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30, 2010 @12:44AM (#33412672)

    I don't know if this technically qualifies as open source, and it's not Free Software, because of this line in the license:

    "The Software and/or source code cannot be copied in whole and
        sold without meaningful modification for a profit. "

  • his product (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387)
    His product is one that creates wireframe prototypes of iPhone apps and allows you to run them on the iPhone. Presumably (from his experience, and others he's shown it to) this allows you to make better apps faster.

    He shouldn't be surprised, he is running into essentially the same trap that was built for Adobe when they tried to create a compiler for Flash that translates onto the iPhone. Apple has said they want to be completely in control of the development environment, and anything that threatens to ta
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As you say, the app allows one to create wireframe prototypes, but those prototypes are not usable in any sense. So it isn't the same situation as Adobe allowing Flash to be compiled into apps.

      The reason the app was rejected initially was for allowing the "execution" of code that could be loaded from outside the app. However, the "code" was nothing but an XML document that was read into the app and used to construct interfaces. In fact, the XML document even used Apple's "property list" format, and was simp

      • by TheLink (130905)
        > However, the "code" was nothing but an XML document

        Ah but XML looks a bit like Lisp with uglier braces.

        Sometimes it seems like many Java (and other) programs are just Lisp interpreters that run huge XML "configuration files" ;).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985)

      "...this allows you to make better apps faster."

      To be honest, this seems pretty subjective. It also misses the definition of "better" - is it "better" as in the app has better performance than a native-built app? Is it "better" as in it can have more features than a native-built app?

      "Apple has said they want to be completely in control of the development environment, and anything that threatens to take away that control will not be allowed. "

      Can't blame 'em in this case, at least from an objective viewpoint

      • by Mr Z (6791)

        Erm... my understanding of Briefs is that it still requires you to make a native-built app. It is emphatically not a framework. Rather, it lets you try on different renderings of things that you could do within Apple's framework in a simple do-nothing environment. A bug in Briefs is highly unlikely to propagate into an app, since it appears mainly to be a "preview app" for UI decisions--a live white-board, if you will. From the description in TFA, it sounds like Briefs gives you a mechanism to quickly m

      • by Cederic (9623)

        Verizon's BOGO deals

        Buy one get one?

        Damn the market's nasty in the US if that's a deal.

    • by Terrasque (796014)

      Now, if only someone would write a decent GUI builder for Android, I would be happy.

      Like DroidDraw [droiddraw.org]?

  • by Professr3 (670356) on Monday August 30, 2010 @01:09AM (#33412736)
    Three months is nothing compared to QA times for the T-Mobile Sidekick. Small teams can't afford to wait a year from submission to first profits, especially when you're writing software on spec (not sure if it'll even be allowed onto the platform). When you outsource your QA and pay them per bug they find, you're going to get a lot of non-bugs and a lot of repeats, and the developer is going to get pissed. I know my team and I did.

    Welcome to the mobile software industry, where your target platform doesn't care about you because there are 600,000 other developers who'll bend over and take it if you won't.
    • Three months is pretty long compared to directly uploading somewhere the user can download immediately.

      Really though, what I mean is that it's a good thing the carrier controlled platforms are going the way of the Dodo. But let's hope they aren't just replaced with equally evil rent-seekers. Hopefully it's enough of a wedge to pry control of the devices away from them over the next 10 to 20 years and make device portability a reality too. I do give Apple a lot of credit though in that they caused so m
  • by Qubit (100461) on Monday August 30, 2010 @02:13AM (#33412928) Homepage Journal

    The Briefs code is now up on GitHub, and yes, you can go look at it, however it's not "Open Source" (per OSI), it's not "Free Software" (per the FSF), and it's not "DFSG-free" (per Debian).

    If you look at the commit history [github.com] for the license, he even explicitly changed the license two days ago to make it less free:

    2010-08-28
    Modified license terms to disallow someone from reselling Briefs without making major modifications. Also protect the Briefs trademark. Still, free source code, huh? Not too shabby.

    Prior to two days ago, the code was under the... well, I'm not exactly sure what license!

    Here's the license (the first paragraph is a dead ringer for the opening of the MIT License [opensource.org]):

    Copyright (c) 2009-2010, Rob Rhyne
    Briefs is a trademark of Digital Arch Design Corp.
    http://robrhyne.com/ [robrhyne.com]
    http://digitalarch.net/ [digitalarch.net]
    All rights reserved.

    Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
    obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
    files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without
    restriction except as noted below, including without limitation
    the rights to use,copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute,
    and/or sublicense, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
    furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

    Here's the non-FOSS part:

    The Software and/or source code cannot be copied in whole and
    sold without meaningful modification for a profit.

    This is more of the MIT license:

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
    included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

    This middle part looks like the BSD license [opensource.org]:

    Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

    Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in
    the documentation and/or other materials provided with
    the distribution.

    Actually, there are only two clauses there, so that's essentially the 2-clause BSD, not the 3-clause one (just a minor point, really).

    Then we get the YELLING-AT-YOU indemnification clause. Lawyers seem to love these things, but they seem so uncouth to me. Anyhow, for 5 points, from which license was this paragraph chosen?

    THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
    EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES
    OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
    NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT
    HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,
    WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
    FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR
    OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

    That's right! It's the indemnification clause from the MIT license.

    I googled around trying to figure out if other people used this same license, but the best I came up with was the NCSA license [opensource.org]. It's unlikely that this license is based off that one, as the phrase to deal in the Software (MIT) is used in this new license instead of to deal with the Software (NCSA).

    One more thing: let's point out exactly why the license doesn't pass any of the most popular FOSS metrics:

    1) "Open Source" (per OSI)

    Per

    • Since this license doesn't force the publication/inclusion of the source code with the binary, couldn't he just have used an Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons License??? Of course, that Creative Commons License doesn't include the YELLING-AT-YOU indemnification clause, but may be that clause should be rewritten anyway, he forgot to include the standard iTunes app store clause: You shall not use my app for the "development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biolo
  • by steveha (103154) on Monday August 30, 2010 @03:55AM (#33413158) Homepage

    How many more people does Apple have to hurt before it starts to tarnish the brand?

    Apple has done a fabulous job of polishing the iPhone and iPad. If you really want the best available phone, and you aren't too choosy about your freedom, you buy Apple.

    Sure, they won't get my money because I refuse to pay a company to tell me what software I may and may not install on my own device. That's okay, they don't care about me. But the more time goes by, the more stories like this one come to light. How much of this before people start to view Apple not so much as the hip, cool company but rather as the controlling, evil company?

    And stories like this one are inevitable, because Apple is exerting such a high degree of control. The approval process isn't a simple rubber-stamp thing. The more innovative and unusual an app is, the harder it is for Apple to decide whether it gives the user too much freedom. In this case, I would guess that the problem is that an app for mocking up new apps is a little too much like an emulator, and Apple can't quite make up its collective mind whether this is a sort of emulator or not. (I can't even guess why Apple approved other app mockup apps while letting this one languish.)

    So, the more time goes by, the more wronged people there will be. I guess as long as the majority of Apple customers are happy, and the majority of app developers aren't mistreated too much, the Apple brand will be undiminished.

    But you know, if he had released his app for Android, it would be on the market now. He could even make an Android app for mocking up iPhone apps! I wish he would, just for the irony value.

    steveha

    • by vadim_t (324782)

      How many more people does Apple have to hurt before it starts to tarnish the brand?

      For me it's already tarnished enough that any product made by Apple is outright not worth considering.

    • How much of this before people start to view Apple not so much as the hip, cool company but rather as the controlling, evil company?

      This will happen right around the same time the NFL starts to lose marketshare for keeping on scumbags like Michael Vick.

      The public really doesn't give a crap about stuff like this. They may show a bit of interest and even agree with you but when it comes down to it they're really not that interested. And those that agree with you do it on the same level as smokers who know
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by khchung (462899)

      How many more people does Apple have to hurt before it starts to tarnish the brand?

      Well, the funny thing is how many people in /. who actually believe that these news will hurt Apple at all.

      Look, to 99.9% of iPhone's target market, these news means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. If anything, these news will be taken as a sign that the App Store is working! "Wow, those guys at Apple are really taking the time to approve the apps and not just let everything pass to boost the number of apps!"

      I do software development for a living, and I own an iPhone. Even I do not care about these news. There are

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