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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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  • Mac... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:06PM (#33991140)

    was never open.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      People have been able to freely install software on Apple machines over a decade before Linux even existed.
    • Re:Mac... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aristotle-dude (626586) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:05PM (#33993224)

      was never open.

      I have no idea how an AC was modded +4 Insightful for that tripe. I can sudo in any terminal to gain root access if my account is an administrator. To gain similar access on windows 7, you have to reboot into a special mode otherwise you cannot alter/replace certain system files. All settings on the machine are in accessible plist file. All graphics can be replaced with modded version. Doing similar changes in windows requires accessing a proprietary binary hive database (registry), hacking resources in dll files and then rebooting into the recovery mode to replace the dlls with your hacked version.

      The core of OS X is open source. Where is the source for windows? Where can I download it?

      Apple released the technology they used to build their pro apps as Core Animation and Core video so I have to ask you, where are the apis MSFT uses for their software for third party devs to use? Why don't they update and use the common controls library for their Office and VS.NET products instead of custom built dialogs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mr100percent (57156)

      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.

  • FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:07PM (#33991154)

    Can we seriously cool it with the 'OMG Lockdown!' claims? Yes, Apple introduced an app store for macs this week, but at the moment there are plenty of other ways to get applications, and use of said app store is certainly not required. When the lockdown is actually in place, then we can complain and move on from OS X to [insert your favorite Linux flavor here]. Let's stop rolling down this slippery slope already.

    • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DrgnDancer (137700) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:12PM (#33991210) Homepage

      This just in, Only by using Apple's central repository can you launch and update your apps through Apple's central repository... Err? Duh?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Okay, so the store itself is locked down, I get that. But I'm not going to get really concerned until Apple starts to make it difficult to install applications outside of said store. At the moment, there are plenty of ways to install applications without the store. I might not like their app store, but I still have a choice not to use it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by freedumb2000 (966222)
          I am expecting this to happen at the latest with 10.8
          • Re:FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Yer Mum (570034) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:46PM (#33991608)

            I'm betting on mandatory code signing for applications outside the Mac App Store, making freeware impossible and shareware only available if the App Store censor allows it by 10.9. All for the customers' own good, you understand (viruses, uncertainty of downloading off the internet, and stuff).

            At that point the web browser starts to become less important as newspapers can be accessed by (paid-for) apps.

            • Re:FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:06PM (#33992838)

              I'm betting on mandatory code signing for applications outside the Mac App Store, making freeware impossible and shareware only available if the App Store censor allows it by 10.9.

              That seems highly unlikely. Rather, they'll likely require code signing for apps in the app store as well as more and more of the code Apple ships themselves. Eventually, Apple will probably start using ACLs to provide more and more vocal warnings to users who try to run an unsigned application for the first time. Eventually, OS X may not even run unsigned apps by default, requiring the user to resort to manually whitelisting unsigned apps.

              And I must say, they should have done it years ago.

              At that point the web browser starts to become less important as newspapers can be accessed by (paid-for) apps.

              Seriously? You really think the whole paid app for newspapers thing is going to work and that newspapers will be making apps for every platform instead of just Web pages? It seems unlikely to me.

            • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by retchdog (1319261) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:17PM (#33992906) Journal

              If so, they're going to need to fork a Mac OS X Scientist Edition and attend to all the confusion that would entail. I know a lot of good professors and post-docs who use Mac as a "friendly unix", and recommend it to their students for that reason. Apple has actively courted this market, and it'd be outright stupid to risk it now. Not that I'd be shocked, but I'd be fairly surprised and it'd be a really dumb move.

              I don't particularly like what they're doing now, since it makes installing free software (like R) from a disk image a "mysterious" thing instead of a commonplace thing, which makes using it in introductory classes more of a burden. Nonetheless it's tolerable. I really hope they don't extrapolate as you're suggesting; as a linux user it's currently slightly easier for me to collaborate with Mac users than Windows users.

        • Re:FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:55PM (#33991696) Journal

          Okay just some random conjecture:

          Imagine you've got a program called "Opera Browser" and you are Not distributed through the app store. That means you won't be able to use the LaunchPad and 1-Click Updates. Wouldn't that tend to make your program less attractive than, say, Apple Safari which DOES have those abilities?

          Just thinking out loud.
          Please don't damage my karma.

          • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by BoberFett (127537) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:00PM (#33991758)

            I seem to remember quite the outrage at a certain company whose founder is sometimes compared to a Borg for doing something similar...

          • Re:FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Tharsman (1364603) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:35PM (#33993004)

            It will indeed be less attractive to get an app from other sources.

            However, I watched the entire keynote and as far as I recall, Steve said "you can add your apps to the launchpad."

            That being told, the Launchapd is just like the Homescreen in my iPhone, and once I got 3 screens worth of apps I found it to be faster to use Spotlight to find the app I want to run. Guess what? Spotlight is already the way I do the same things on my mac.

            I don't think the Launchpad will be the ultimate way to launch apps in the future, at least it wont be for me. I already use the desktop for similar results anyways.

            All that aside, yea, going back to the attractiveness, App Store distributed apps will indeed be preferred. It will be the first spot for many to look up apps before they reach out to the web. I don't think this will bury non-app store apps, though. At least not for popular apps. I see most free software ending up in the app store for easy access.

            Perhaps big software like Photoshop and Office wont make it, mainly because they will refuse to agree with the "buy once, run on any machine you own" policy. At the same time, I look forward for people that start developing small Photoshop alternatives because now they have an easy way to spread their product, selling it for a very affordable amount, and being founded by night-micro transaction income, being able to grow into worthwhile rivals.

        • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:57PM (#33991708) Homepage Journal

          They don't need to make it difficult to install applications outside of the Mac App Store. They just need to re-educate users so that most users will refuse to install applications not from the Mac App Store.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054)

      at the moment...
      When the lockdown is actually in place...

      When even those screaming FUD are lacing their posts with tacit admission of the inevitable its time to run away from this platform like your hair is on fire.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by camperslo (704715)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DurendalMac (736637)
      The problem is the Launchpad. I'm an OS X user, but I can readily admit that most Mac users are Yahoo Answers-grade stupid when it comes to computers. To them, there will be the app store, the launchpad, and that's all they'll need because nothing else is nearly as simple. Jobs doesn't need to lock it down. He knows that he can't but this is probably the closest he can come to it. It may as well be locked down for most Mac users. The more advanced ones will install apps from whatever source they want. The t
      • >> Good work, Steve. Your endless desire for control has likely just cost the Mac a lot of developers. Oh, it may not be immediate, but it'll happen. Goddammit.

        I think the biggest change mac ecosystem will see from this is that there will be small number of corporations selling their apps (for more or less $$) rather than a lot of small time developers releasing their stuff for free for other mac users.

        This comment by Shark was spot on - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1829350&cid=339555 [slashdot.org]

      • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Amarantine (1100187) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:48PM (#33991618)

        but I can readily admit that most Mac users are Yahoo Answers-grade stupid when it comes to computers.

        What, and Windows users aren't? I agree that most Mac users aren't exactly the brightest computer users, but get real, most Windows users don't even know other OS's exist, let alone what an OS is. Mindless flock of sheep, really.

        • Re:FUD! (Score:5, Funny)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:00PM (#33991768) Homepage Journal

          What, and Windows users aren't?

          They just don't pay as much to be stupid.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Reziac (43301) *

          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:FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jugalator (259273) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:54PM (#33991672) Journal

        Good work, Steve. Your endless desire for control has likely just cost the Mac a lot of developers.

        Huh? It's the distribution chains that should be worried, not the devs or the users.

        This is the best thing since sliced bread for many of especially the smaller devs. Apple takes care of the bandwidth costs, Apple takes care of the review and feedback system, Apple takes care of the auto-updating mechanism, Apple takes care of getting your apps closer the users than ever since it's an integrated part of the forthcoming OS. The devs? Well, $99/year and 70% of the sales, and that's it. This is a killer feature for all developers who rely on their website on providing the applications, and are worried that their web host will collapse after getting Slashdotted.

        No gimping here, far from it. No, rather the opposite. This will attract new developers.
        And the users benefit since the updating and exploration part will become a super smooth experience.

        Sure, if you do special things with your apps, like installing things like system components outside the app folder, then you have to rely on the traditional means. However, if you have such special needs, your application is also of a special kind, and your users will *have* to get the functionality through your web site. There's no option. So I don't see the problem, really... Photoshop is among those apps who probably can't be shoe-horned into the Mac App Store, but that doesn't mean Adobe will suffer! Of course people will still want Photoshop if they use these kind of tools. And what about VMware? Well, for advanced virtualization software, you *have* to use other channels. And for the random tiny app that installs a driver to do [insert technical thing here], well, there'll be no competition on Mac App Store taking away your users - there's no competition since nothing there would be granted rights to be there anyway.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DurendalMac (736637)
          Except not everyone wants to make apps that fit Apple's baloney criteria for inclusion in the App Store. Since that means you won't sell as many (as a bunch of users don't know anything outside the app store), they might just give up and stick with Windows.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gumbi west (610122)

            You wrote, "a bunch of users don't know anything outside the app store."

            Did you know that there is no app store on OS X now? Are you suggesting that people just buy a mac and then use Mail/Safari/Text Edit for all their needs now? Well, there are probably some who do that, but they sure as hey won't buy an app from any store, app or otherwise.

    • Re:FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tysonedwards (969693) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:21PM (#33991344)
      Apple showed non-app-store Applications within their Launchpad. However, yes... Apple is saying that for them to distribute Updates on your behalf without you paying for your bandwidth or order processing, than you need to provide them with their 30% figure. Yes, they have bad terms outlined in their Acceptance Agreements. Yes, it is certainly going to be anti-competitive. Yes, it is going to promote more "dumb" apps like we have on the iPhone. Yes, we acknowledge that many of the "useful" apps would be outright rejected from the App Store... The take-away is that for Developers where the new model isn't a good fit, just keep doing precisely what you are doing today.
    • 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.

    • Re:FUD! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:55PM (#33991692) Homepage Journal

      but at the moment there are plenty of other ways to get applications

      Man falling from 75th floor says "So far so good"!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Em Ellel (523581)

      Can we seriously cool it with the 'OMG Lockdown!' claims? Yes, Apple introduced an app store for macs this week, but at the moment there are plenty of other ways to get applications, and use of said app store is certainly not required. When the lockdown is actually in place, then we can complain and move on from OS X to [insert your favorite Linux flavor here]. Let's stop rolling down this slippery slope already.

      And thats, my friends, is how you boil frogs... (erm, make that sheep)

  • by TimHunter (174406) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:08PM (#33991160)

    The battle between the kdawson haters and the Apple haters starts NOW!

  • Not yet but.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:11PM (#33991198)
    Although clearly Apple has not yet closed down OS X - you would still be able to download and install apps from elsewhere I can't help but think this is just the stepping stone to eventual lock down of OSX. The Flash and Java exclusion timings are not mere coincidences. That would be a sad day indeed after Apple took so much from Open Source and used it to build the most closed down system you can imagine. It almost sounds like Apple is asking "Just how much can I get away with?". They will gauge the response, make sure they have enough developer backing to ride on and then one day close it all up. I am sure they will get enough people to both develop and buy apps and that's really going to be the driver to the lock down.
    • The runtimes just won't be provided as part of the Mac OS distribution anymore. That is a good thing because Mac OS used to always ship out-of-date versions of both runtimes, so they lacked features and/or were insecure.

      On iOS you cannot load them if you want to. In Mac OS X you just have to go get the latest version straight from the source. That is a good thing IMO.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        FreeBSD did that years back with Perl. It's problematic shipping things with the base system when you don't need to and which come from outside the project. In this case, I'm not sure why they bothered to include it. Often times it's done because they're using the functionality for something in the base system.
      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Um, no. People will still get those Java and Flash apps from the same place they have always been getting them ... drumroll please ... the internet. This is different from iOS whereby the app store is the ONLY way to install applications. This is just ANOTHER WAY. And come on ... use your noggin ... if Windows created an app store that didn't allow Java or Flash, do you think Java and Flash apps would disappear from that platform as well? It's not like Java is installed by default on Windows machines e
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Yer Mum (570034)

        Has anyone from Apple or Oracle said that Oracle's going to do a Mac JVM?

        Half the Java team have walked, could they even do one by Lion's launch date if Larry told them to do it? And secondly, it's rather difficult to integrate it into Cocoa as well as Apple have done, if Apple haven't handed the source code to Oracle then they'd need to take Apple developers on.

        If Larry is even aware of what's happened he's probably himself how many yachts he can get out of distributing a free JVM for Mac after taking cost

    • Re:Not yet but.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cowscows (103644) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:24PM (#33991384) Journal

      I think it's more like Apple asking, "Hey we've come up with all this new interface stuff that people have really loved, how can we take some of what we've learned and use it to make our other products more similar?"

      The Mac is finally starting to make some inroads on Windows market share, Apple makes the vast majority of their revenue off of selling hardware, and they're selling record numbers of their computers, all with profit margins that any other computer manufacturer would kill for. Why would they be so eager to even risk stomping on all of that momentum in exchange for a 30% cut of a bunch of 99 cent apps?

      It would destroy the platform that developers use to make apps for iOS, it would alienate all of the big software companies that make mac software, and it would turn the technical community entirely against them. I don't think they're that stupid.

      • This. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rsborg (111459) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:00PM (#33991764) Homepage

        The chicken-little fear of OSX becoming "closed" ignores the reality: Macs have barely 10% marketshare, Cross-platform development is common and well understood these days, and if power users (who act as system evangelists) start abandoning OSX, Apple stands to lose LOTS of money.

        The moment it becomes even difficult to do my daily job on a Mac is the day I go to Linux permanently... it's quite easy and usable today, but the Mac is more usable and affords me (with VMWare) the best OS for development for now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The Flash and Java exclusion timings

      Stopping to maintain their own versions of this is not even remotely the same as excluding them. Anyone who currently has Java and Flash on their Mac will still be able to use it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by metamatic (202216)

        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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:11PM (#33991202)

    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.

    Man, this "apt" business sounds amazing. Wouldn't it be great if Debian had something like this? Ubuntu should definitely contribute this "apt" upstream.

    • If you were given a free trip into the past you could fix it so that his "Ubuntu's Apt" statement would be correct.

  • 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.

  • by snowwrestler (896305) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:13PM (#33991232)

    I have not seen any evidence that the Launchpad is limited ONLY to apps from the Mac App Store. What the Apple site says is that apps from the store are automatically added to Launchpad. That's not the same thing as saying "only" store apps are added to Launchpad. In fact what it says is "Your open windows fade away, replaced by an elegant, full-screen display of all the apps on your Mac." All the apps. (If there's a statement I'm not aware, please post a link...)

    Including the apps in the update tool might be useful, but most apps on my Mac check for updates themselves when I start them. It's not like I have to remember to go out and check the Firefox or Adobe sites for patches myself.

  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by No. 24601 (657888)

    If this is true and they do decide to make the Launchpad available only to Mac App Store apps, Redmond shall be very pleased. Very pleased, indeed.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:14PM (#33991248)

    Longtime Apple developer Dave Winer was also concerned, tweeting during Apple's presentation 'Is this the end of the Mac as an open platform?'

    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 news also prompted developer Anil Dash to call for an open alternative to the Mac App Store."

    Rather, pick an open alternative to Apple. It's truly remarkable that Steve Jobs is finally starting to make Microsoft look good. And this comes at a time when Windows is, actually, looking halfway decent and MacOS is starting to look a little dated. If Ballmer has half a brain he'll exploit this to the max.

    I guess Apple is expecting the same mindset that made the iPod and iPhone so phenomenally successful to carry over into the personal computer world. Time will tell, but truthfully I don't think much of the bulk of Macintosh users' hold on reality, so chances are, Jobs is going to be right once again. Enough people will stand for this that it will make a metric fuckton of money. That depresses me, somehow.

    The amazing thing to me, speaking as someone who was in the ground floor of the personal computer revolution, and still has an Apple ][ Standard with the Integer ROM sitting on a shelf somewhere, is that it is Apple Computer that is pulling this crap on its users. It's the kind of thing that one would more reasonably have expected from the likes of the old IBM, or even MIcrosoft. But no, it comes from the company that once stood for freedom in computing.

    No thanks. You've fallen a looong way, Mr. Jobs. What little respect I once had for you just jumped out the window.

    In a world of does, Mac doesn't. How's that for a marketing tagline?

    • 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.

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:39PM (#33991538)

      The article is enormous FUD of the highest order.

      There is absolutely no evidence that LaunchPad is restricted to App Store apps only - in fact, the inference from Apple's literature is quite the opposite. However, no one can actually confirm one way or the other.

      Drawing conclusions on this evidence is... questionable.

      Also, it should surprise no one that autoupdating from an Apple-hosted repository would perhaps be a service that costs money to run (thus, if you want in [as a developer], you need to pay for it).

  • He's a blogger, not a developer.
  • Open alternative? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:19PM (#33991312)

    The news also prompted developer Anil Dash to call for an open alternative to the Mac App Store.

    Wow, what an incredible idea. You mean, like, promoting your app and selling it on your own so that anyone can download it? Like we've been doing for years?

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Yep. Then users can put it in a directory off to the side instead of in /bin with all the other first-class programs that just show up for other users when new accounts are created.

      Jobs didn't invent software bigotry, but he's going to catch heat for trying to get something out of it.

  • by pinqkandi (189618) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:23PM (#33991366) Journal

    There's already an alternative to the Mac app store - it's called the internet.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:25PM (#33991386)

    My understanding that an Apple announced an additional distribution channel using the Mac App store. Apple was not replacing the existing methods of retail, online, etc. Also Apple is not introducing any DRM to prevent installation. He also doesn't understand existing distribution systems today.

    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, a Linux based operating system. Ubuntu's "Apt" (Advanced Packaging Tool) lets users install, update and remove software of their choosing with a single command.

    So the author expects that somehow that apps not submitted to Apple will appear magically appear for auto-update? In the case of Ubuntu, there is a system to do handle updates. However, any code installed outside of the system (i.e. tarball or gzip) does not get auto-updated within the system.

  • 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.
    • 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.

      • Cornell LaunchPad (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

        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.

  • Oh, bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot&stango,org> on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:38PM (#33991524) Homepage Journal

    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

    Where exactly does it say that no apps except those bought from the App Store will be available in the Launchpad? Doesn't say that on Apple's page, and the way it's written doesn't even imply it, unless you're out looking for something to post an anti-Apple screed.

    the second is the ability to update apps to new versions with one click.

    Yeah, because no Mac applications currently have that ability. Oh, unless you count the ~750 listed here [iusethis.com], that use Sparkle [andymatuschak.org].

    ~Philly

  • by onkelonkel (560274) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:49PM (#33991632)
    Anybody remember when FUD used to mean Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. Now it just means "not true". Back in the day something could be FUD and still be 100% true.

    I know, I know, word meanings change, languages devolve over time....blah de blah. Still, I miss the days when English was a tool of subtlety and precision.

    signed - Wistful Grammar Nazi.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nlawalker (804108)

      I remember when "FUD" didn't mean anything, and we used subtle and precise words to explain things rather than catchphrases. :-)

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

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.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 Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:13PM (#33992514) Homepage Journal

    This kind of panic has happened before. I don't understand why so many people freak out any time Apple gets serious about distribution.

    Apple's decision to open its own retail stores nearly a decade ago was attacked as a move that would destroy Apple's retail presence and piss off consumers. One clever analyst told MacWorld [macworld.com]: "It's another case of Apple being Jobs driven and not consumer driven." Guys like him got it completely backwards. Customers didn't actually enjoy having to look all over the place to find Apple products. Apple customers benefited from the stores. Developers benefited. Apple benefited.

    A few years later, Apple created the App Store. It was widely derided as being overly restrictive for developers. There were a lot of statements about how it would strangle the platform. We all know how that turned out.

    As for Winer, I think he'd rather Apple stick with the Mac [scripting.com] as the future of the company. That ain't gonna happen. Consumers have voted with their wallets. They want an easier experience all the way 'round, from finding apps to purchasing and using them, and Apple is providing that. The company has become a global powerhouse over the last few years by giving people what they want; developers can either get on board with that and find ways to profit, or they can develop on other platforms.

    There's a fair amount of snarkiness in the tech community about all those fools in the business world, about all the dinosaurs who can't keep up with the times, but when it comes right down to it, we're often just as attached to the status quo, and just as slow to react.

  • by RedBear (207369) <redbear.redbearnet@com> on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:50PM (#33993484) Homepage

    Good Lord, people, get hold of yourselves...

    Only one problem with this complete nonsense about the platform becoming "locked down" with the creation of the Mac App Store. It's a complete load of crap. The "Mac" and Mac OS X is and will continue to be a general purpose computer system, where you will _always_ be able to install software from any site on the web or install from any boxed CD or DVD or USB stick. The Mac App Store is a brilliant piece of marketing strategy that the Mac users will absolutely adore from day one. When it is in place Apple will have finally succeeded in getting the general public to use something that the Unix/Linux world has been madly barking about for decades: a nearly system-wide package management system. Only Apple will have managed to create a package management system that commercial entities will actually "buy into", so to speak, which has been the major flaw in the package management systems in the Unix/Linux world for so very long. Once again, without even breaking a sweat, Apple is about to something we wish we'd been able to do for the last couple of decades.

    Mac OS X has had a sort of package management system (which works very well, BTW) for system updates for... well pretty much forever. Since its inception, I believe. But now, with a Mac App Store, users will have a single source to browse for and download both free and commercial software, have it _automatically_ install itself in the proper location with a single click*, and then keep dozens upon dozens of large and small apps completely up to date with a system-wide single-click update mechanism. Users will know that software from the Mac App Store has been vetted as being safe, having a certain quality level and not being completely pointless. Currently, most Mac applications are pretty smart about telling you there is an update available, and many of them will do a single-click download and update without much fuss. But this normally only happens when you run the app. Unfortunately, when you're starting an app it's usually because you want to use it, so it's kind of a pain to be constantly having one individual app after another telling you there is an update available. With the Mac App Store the users will have a central place to look for and receive notices of application updates, and a single button that will download and apply all relevant updates.

    The moment the Mac App Store was revealed I immediately saw that it would change the way the typical Mac user will manage software on their computer, and everyone else will once again be stuck trying to cobble something together and catch up. Microsoft will desperately attempt to have something similar in place in the next version of Windows. Of course they will fail horribly, as usual. What will happen is that the Mac platform will continue to accelerate and gain more and more users on into the foreseeable future, because Apple is completely boxing in all market demographics. Between the iPhone, the iPad and now a new mind-bogglingly simple to use Mac platform, the PC world is going to be in serious trouble. Mark my words. Remember, the paying market could not care less about the kinds of "openness" we're always worrying about here on /. They want stuff that's as easy to use as their TV, and Apple is the only one giving them what they want.

    Trust me folks, this is going to be _big_. The few developers who complain that the Mac App Store is too tightly controlled and refuse to use it will unfortunately be completely drowned out by the thundering horde who will be rushing to use it and showering praise on it for the next decade. Those of us "in the know" will continue to download apps from the general internet and use our general purpose computers as general purpose computers. That simply won't change. If it does change somewhere down the line, there's always Linux. Ten years from now I'm sure Linux will be kicking some major ass and still be just as open as ever. And even if the Mac platform keeps growing phenomenally the way it h

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