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OS X Programming Apple

Beware the Garden of Steven 580

Posted by kdawson
from the binding-with-briars dept.
theodp writes "With its forthcoming Lion Mac OS and new Apple-curated Mac Apps Store, Apple will be locking down top tier applications on the Mac similar to the way apps are locked down on the iPad and iPhone. Only by submitting their apps to Apple's store and giving up 30% of their receipts will developers get to take advantage of two new OS features. The first is Apple's new 'Launchpad,' a tool for easily opening application; the second is the ability to update apps to new versions with one click. It will be a lot easier to use apps bought from the Mac App Store than ones downloaded in the wild. It didn't have to be that way, says Valleywag's Ryan Tate: 'Apple could have enabled its Launchpad and auto-update features for all applications, sold through the Apple Store or not. For example, an open system for updating applications has been in use for years on Ubuntu... Ubuntu's 'Apt' (Advanced Packaging Tool) lets users install, update, and remove software of their choosing with a single command. There's a central list of apps curated by Ubuntu's maintainers, but users are free to add and install from other lists... But Apple seems to have made a very clear choice not to take the open route.' Longtime Apple developer Dave Winer was also concerned, tweeting during Apple's presentation 'Is this the end of the Mac as an open platform?' The news also prompted developer Anil Dash to call for an open alternative to the Mac App Store."
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Beware the Garden of Steven

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  • Apt is from Debian. (Score:2, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:12PM (#33991218)

    Lets not let the tail wag the dog. APT was created on and used initially with Debian.

    It's been adapted for numerous other platforms.... including to the iPhone/iPod Touch. It's what Cydia uses.

    Fink also uses it for portions of package management.

  • Re:Not yet but.. (Score:1, Informative)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:20PM (#33991318)
    Flash is still available and people will still install it. Apple is passing the ball to Oracle to make the JVM for OS X. Both will still be widely available and widely used on OS X.
  • Re:FUD! (Score:3, Informative)

    by uglyduckling (103926) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:28PM (#33991414) Homepage

    Steve is given preferential treatment and access to core system services to developers that choose to accept his restrictions.

    Uh, what, you mean - like Windows Update - I mean, Microsoft lets anyone use that, right? This article is total FUD. There's no indication that Launchpad will be restriced to App Store apps, I may eat my words, but I would consider moving off the platform if that does become a reality. But, right now, there's nothing from Apple that shows that would be the case. The only 'core' service is the ability to automatically update software, which is something that costs Apple money for hosting, therefore they require you to buy in to their service. Seems like pretty normal business practice to me.

  • by metamatic (202216) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:34PM (#33991490) Homepage Journal
    You apparently missed the fact that you also can't include Flash and Java apps in the Mac App Store. If 90% of Mac users get all their apps from the App Store, then that will quickly kill off Flash and Java on the Mac, even before Apple starts locking down the OS.
  • Re:Not yet but.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by metamatic (202216) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:35PM (#33991502) Homepage Journal

    Stopping to maintain their own versions of this is not even remotely the same as excluding them.

    They're excluded from the App Store, as are any apps built using them. Perhaps you missed that.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kalidor (94097) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:36PM (#33991506) Homepage

    Actually, yeah .. Winsus can be extended for third party apps. And it's trivial to point your Windows update at a different update server. That said, only corporate entities and bored hyper-boxers really do that kinda stuff...

  • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:44PM (#33991582) Journal

    Look at the apps shown in Launchpad in the demo. Notice Mail, iChat, iCal, Time Machine, Dictionary, DVD Player, Automator, the entire Microsoft Office Suite, etc. I can't imagine that any of those are in there because they were downloaded from the App Store....

  • by aukset (889860) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:56PM (#33991704) Journal

    What you might have missed or are ignoring is that apt allows you to specify the location of ANY and MULTIPLE repositories, so its possible for an individual developer to host their own repository for their own stuff that users can acquire and update their software from, without having to touch the official central repositories.

  • by maztuhblastah (745586) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:04PM (#33991826) Journal

    The funny thing is if such a thing already existed Apple would have promoted it.

    Yes, just like they promoted VirtueDesktops instead of rolling their own virtual desktop solution.

    Just like they promoted Watson instead of releasing Sherlock 3.

    Just like they promoted Audion instead of purchasing a competitor (SoundJam) and releasing it for free.

    Just like they promoted the best app from the range of existing iOS e-book software instead of releasing their own.

    Just like they promoted Konfabulator instead of releasing their own widget system.

    No, make no mistake about it -- if Apple wants control of a product space, they *will* make sure they get it, whether that means acquiring, ripping off, or otherwise replacing the existing solutions, they will find a way to do it.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:31PM (#33992094)

    The big difference is that the Linux distros all have a method for including other repositories as well - you don't have to "submit" an app to an official Ubuntu, Fedora, etc, repo. You can create your own repo, or distribute it through many other popular ones for apps that don't get into the official one.

    For example, I have the Nvidia drivers and (GASP, HOLD YOUR EARS STEVE!) Flash plugin set up to auto-update from other repos. It's Fedora, so it still uses yum (or any GUI wrapper for yum) just like all other RPMs intalled on my system.

    To be equivalent, Apple should allow users to configure 3rd party app repositories and allow them to use Launchpad and auto-update as well. Which they won't do, because there would be even less reason for them to collect 30% of any commercial application's revenues.

  • Here's the thing (Score:3, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:32PM (#33992106) Homepage Journal

    I don't know of they are moving to complete lockdown, only the top at Apple knows. But what I do now is that:

    a) Apple has screwed developer before
    b) Apple makes a ton of money with the iPad/iPhone model of walled garden.
    c) Jobs likes to take a boil the frog method in marketing by getting a little wedge towards what he wants, and when it's shown to be valuable, move even farther. He did it with the iPod, he did it with iTunes, he did it with the iPhone.

    So ti's not hysteria to think he might be moving towards a completely locked down system. It doesn't mean they are or aren't moving that way.

  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:32PM (#33992108) Homepage Journal

    In Ubuntu and Debian, you are not limited to using the central repository with apt. You can add any third-party repositories to the list.

    You can do the same with iOS devices.

    Only if you represent a business with 500 or more employees, according to the page you linked.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Informative)

    by gmack (197796) <gmack@innerfir e . net> on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:33PM (#33992122) Homepage Journal

    You can work around the Linux repos on Redhat,SuSE, Debian and Ubuntu by just adding your own repo to the list and whatever software you want can still be centrally updated. It's something I've seen several software installers do.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrgnDancer (137700) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:37PM (#33992148) Homepage

    It's already ported. You can already use apt-get to install software from a number of free software repositories on MacOS. I haven't had a Mac in a couple of years now so I'm a little out of date. I've heard Fink is pretty much much dead, but there's a new app repository now. Typically you can't get Aqua apps this way, it's mostly console apps and X Windows apps, but that appears to have more to do with who's submitting apps to the repo than any inherent weakness in the software.

  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:38PM (#33992152) Homepage Journal

    when was the Mac ever an open platform?

    Mac OS X is not a free software platform, but it is an open platform to the same extent that the userspace of Windows is an open platform: the platform's maintainer lacks imprimatur power [wikipedia.org] over applications on the platform. The userspace of Android is likewise an open platform unless you're on AT&T (which hides the "Unknown sources" checkbox on its handsets). This stands in sharp contrast to closed platforms such as iOS devices and virtually all video game consoles.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:3, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:44PM (#33992220)

    They could allow you to add alternate repositories. Then they are not proving anything other than the package manager to the client with the OS they sold him.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Informative)

    by guruevi (827432) <evi.smokingcube@be> on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:06PM (#33992454) Homepage

    No, it classifies all Apps in your Applications folder (or should we call it Apps folder now) as well as those you downloaded through the Mac App Store.

    The rest of the API's (full screen, instant shutdown/save etc...) are completely open and available and quite transparent to existing apps (no need to recode/recompile existing applications)

    It's basically that they merged Expose, Dashboard and Spaces and made it more the look-and-feel of iOS and added a Store for free and non-free apps. Especially for individual developers this will give more exposure to some really good applications that are now pretty hard to find. Hosting, update distribution and promotion/ranking for only 30% of your revenue is pretty darn good unless you're Adobe or Microsoft or other software makers that can charge thousands of dollars for 4 or 5 crappy apps.

    Hopefully they will also integrate an Enterprise option similar to the iPhone so you can create or package, distribute and automatically update your own set of applications. Currently you still have to rely on third party systems or Apple Remote Desktop for this.

  • Re:Mac... (Score:3, Informative)

    by CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:57PM (#33993174) Journal
    People have been able to freely install software on Apple machines over a decade before Linux even existed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:03PM (#33993204)

    I'm a little confused how you can possibly say there is no evidence when the iPhone is so locked down.

    I'm a little confused how you can possibly equate iPhone to Mac. You may not have noticed that these are very different platforms for very different purposes, but Apple surely has.

    Apple has proven that it is not above lockdown and they tout loud and clear that it is the best way to operate

    They tout it for phones and other appliance-like devices which Apple clearly pursues a strategy of treating as accessories to a 'real' computer.

    and you are seriously saying their is no evidence? Given the number of people worried about and the press it's gotten you would think Apple would put out a clear mission statement stating that they don't intend to lock down the platform, except that is exactly what they want to do.

    You would think that if you hadn't been paying attention to how Apple operates with regards to the press, which is this: they love to maintain a wall of silence. If you call them, they don't respond. They want to control the message. It takes a hell of a lot more than a whiny shitstorm on /. to get Apple PR to say anything at all.

    It astonishes me that people can say there is no evidence for this when it is entirely consistent with Apple for as long as Steve Jobs has run the company going all the way back to Appletalk in the days of TCP/IP coming to the consumer desktop.

    Oh good lord, you're a drooling slashtard all right. Nobody knew in the mid-80s that TCP/IP would become the One Network Protocol To Rule Them All. There were a bunch of competing network protocols and physical layers and it was far from obvious which would win, or if there would even be one single winner (remember IPX??). TCP/IP was something used exclusively on expensive computers not found anywhere near the "consumer desktop". As a matter of fact, AppleTalk was probably the closest thing to a consumer-oriented network protocol and physical layer found in the industry, in the sense that it was vastly easier to use than anything else and had very affordable hardware so long as you owned Macs to begin with, but realistically consumer-oriented networking didn't exist and wouldn't for about another 10 years (AppleTalk itself was truly about affordable small-office networking). And last but not least, Jobs was out of Apple on his keister before Apple even finished fully rolling out AppleTalk.

    Even today CIFS support in OS X is atrocious due to bad default options designed specifically to hinder interoperation with Microsoft.

    What a crock. The entire purpose of CIFS on OS X is to interoperate with Microsoft. If they didn't want interop, they wouldn't support it at all, because they have their own native filesharing protocol (AFP over TCP/IP).

    Look, if you're just totally clueless about everything, try not commenting, k?

  • Re:Mac... (Score:4, Informative)

    by gumbi west (610122) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:21PM (#33993300) Journal

    Dear Anil Dash, let me intorduce you to macports. I can do the exact same things people do on Ubuntu's apt, but I have to type, "port" instead of "apt."

  • Re:Mac... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:28PM (#33993340) Homepage Journal

    Hard to believe everyone's buying the troll.

    OS X has an open-sourced kernel. You can install whatever you want on it. I can type ./configure ;make ;make install or use one of the many apt tools out there
    Apple's Mac App Store announcement is no different than when they decided to make shelves at the Retail Stores.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @11:32PM (#33993742)

    >> Within 2 years from today, we're going to see desktop computers from Apple that can only run software obtained through the app store.

    A small one is already on the market today. It is the iPad. They sell the "Apple iPad Keyboard Dock" that allows you to attach a real keyboard and use it on your desk. It's of course not as powerful as a normal desktop, but it's a small start to convergence. I wonder whether the dock is selling?

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