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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:12PM (#33991208)

    Of course, any developer who is serious about the future of computation, and who has at least some bit of self-esteem, wil not buy into this, and will just leave the Mac alone. Problem is that there will be developers that will fill in the market-gap thus created. It seems the Mac has got to the point where they have so much momentum that they can let the developers fight it out.

  • Re:Cycle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:16PM (#33991274)

    Jobs is turning Apple into the very thing he railed against in the early 80s. The hypocrisy is astounding.

    Well, then again Jobs is an asshole. He was an asshole in the seventies, a bigger asshole in the 80's growing by leaps and bounds through the nineties and now he's completely unmanageable. But, has more money. A LOT more money. That's what makes me nervous, he has the power to do a lot of damage.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:16PM (#33991284) Homepage

    You weren't paying attention.

    The guy makes a good point. Apple has finally decided to implement the Debian apt-get concept in MacOS.

    The only catch is that Steve gets to be gate keeper.

    THIS is an issue.

    The point that the article made was a valid one. Steve is given preferential treatment and access to core system services to developers that choose to accept his restrictions.

    I'm certainly glad that the Ubuntu approach is not like this.

  • by BondGamer (724662) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:31PM (#33991452) Journal
    Developers had 15 years to try and make something. The only thing that has come close is Steam, and that was on Windows until a few months ago. Now Apple is making it easy to find, purchase and update applications it is suddenly a necessity. The funny thing is if such a thing already existed Apple would have promoted it.
  • So What... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:32PM (#33991474)

    Seems pretty simple to me...

    Develop for OSX, iOS and give a certain % to get your application on the largest established marketing and delivery vehicle worldwide or go elsewhere. The app store will draw people to your application from places most likely from areas some will never consider as part of their marketing/sales plans.

    If people didn't see this coming years ago, and are going to continue to cry after the fact about how much apple tax is charged, then go develop your own solution.

  • code-signing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:34PM (#33991492)

    I find myself skeptical of the launchpad claim. I suspect that someone if confusing code-signing here. since 10.4 apple has been ramping up the strictness of code signing for apps. as of 10.6 unsigned apps can no longer open ports on the firewall without explicit user permission and all unsigned apps spew warnings to the system.log when launched. This is actually mildly annoying if you are writing and testing compiled binaries for your own intranet since it means that you need to distribute a key to all the people on your intranet if you want the apps to not spew silent warnings to the system log. (e.g. commands that you want to run millions of times get slowed down by such spewing). But you can self sign things so this does not impede anything and is merely a minor nuiscance and I put up with it because of the obvious benefits to my own security for having signed apps.

    I suspect what is going on for launchpad is that unsigned apps won't work in launchpad. Thus you have to have them signed by some one with a trusted cert for them to work out of the box. It may be that, and I don't know, that you could have the installer self-sign the app at install time as a work around.

    ANyhow thats what I suspect. This is a sedeffect of the highly desirable code-signing and not just a requirement to pay apple to use an OS feature.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:38PM (#33991520)

    If Apple is restricting operating system features to whitelisted applications, then it is, by definition, no longer an open platform. There are degrees of openness, of course, but given Apple's approach to the iPhone, my guess is that the Mac will eventually become a similar prison.

    The logical problem to your conclusion is the 'if' and 'only' parts. So far, it appears that Apple is launching an additional distribution channel for applications, and there is no evidence that Apple will restrict applications to only this channel. Like today you can get music from iTunes, CDs, Amazon, etc. you will be able to get applications from retail, downloads, etc.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by freedumb2000 (966222) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:39PM (#33991536)
    I am expecting this to happen at the latest with 10.8
  • Re:Cycle (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:55PM (#33991690)

    The general belief is that money changes a person. But I think the reality is that money shows the true person.

    With grand success of his walled garden and the money he made since, he is now behaving more true to himself, unlike his earlier pretense.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:59PM (#33991748) Journal
    Actually, it's what I do after an especially fiery serving of Kung Pao chicken...
  • by Going_Digital (1485615) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:07PM (#33991860)
    Currently the new app store is just one of many ways to get apps for your Mac. It has some good points and bad points, but the good one being that it will be easier for developers to get exposure as people will be all looking in one place for apps. The down side is that Apple has realised that taking a cut from other peoples work is by far the best way to make significant profits with minimum investment. The iOS app store has shown Apple that instead having to hire lots of highly skilled staff to build hardware and software it can simply act as a distribution chanel where it has to hold no inventory itself. Just like eBay they are taking a percentage of avery sale without having to make any investment in building the software themselves. Apple has no interest in locking down the MacOS just because of some control freaky, it is purely a profit motive. This is just the first step toward pushing all software sales via apple in order to raise profits. Clearly future editions of MacOS will gradually become more integrated with the App store, so new libraries will only be available to apps that come via the App store, then anything you launch that is not downloaded from the App store will stat displaying dire warnings about "this software has not been approved by apple your computer is at risk'. Untill eventually Apple stop providing development tools for development outside the App store environment until it is only possible to run unsigned apps in some sort of low performance protected sandbox. The more software purchases they can push through their store the more profit they make. Dont make the mistake of thinking that Apple haven't seen that opportunity and will milk it for all it is worth.
  • Don't Worry! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:09PM (#33991874) Homepage Journal

    Windows will follow suit in just one version!

    The Zune store - which SLAVISHLY copies the entire iTunes / App store business and technology model - will be extendaed past Win Phone 7, right down to the desktop.

    Pray that Intel gets here first. Then at least, you will have a federated ecosystem of public, corporate and commercial app stores, with flexible policy boundaries.

    Otherwise, you are 4 years away from Palladium. Your PC is just like XBox 360!

  • Re:FUD! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by camperslo (704715) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:58PM (#33992386)

    Hair on fire? Well I did consider pulling some out... it seems when registering as a developer (updating an ancient ADC account actually), one has to agree to a lengthy agreement. They nicely provide a link to get/read it in a .PDF file (scrolling through a long doc in a web page is a bit much). When I actually clicked to get it all I saw was permission denied. I doubt I can read the one in the web page before being hit by the 10 minute security timeout. Oh well.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ktappe (747125) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:57PM (#33992786)

    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.

    As much as you and I and thousands of others would like such a tool, you know the likelihood of it coming from Apple are nearly nil. Apple has neglected Enterprise for years and I see little reason to think they'll change their pattern of behavior any time soon. There is money in Enterprise to be sure, but Apple is making so much more profit from home users that Enterprise simply isn't profitable enough for them to care at this time.

    With luck, the 3rd party solutions providers such as JAMF's Composer/Casper will be augmented with the functionality you cite.

  • Cornell LaunchPad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:08PM (#33992848) Homepage Journal

    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.

    And guess what Cornell's application updater/downloader/launcher system is called? Yup, "LaunchPad". Since 1993.

  • Re:FUD! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Reziac (43301) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:54PM (#33993140) Homepage Journal

    So... while claiming that Macs need less brains to use, you're also saying Mac users are smarter?? ;)

    In my observation, average Mac users are even less cognizant of the distinction between OS and hardware than average Windows users. But the Mac more actively encourages a "magic box" outlook, what with the history of the OS being tied to Apple hardware.

  • Re:This. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:30PM (#33993350) Homepage Journal

    Au contraire, Apple has over 20% of all PC sales now

  • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:21AM (#33993998) Journal

    Actually, yeah .. Winsus can be extended for third party apps

    I'm genuinely curious now. I've never seen a non-MS application get any updates via Windows Update. Can you give some examples? Better yet, link to e.g. MSDN article/reference on how to add support for that to one's own app?

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