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Apple In Trouble With Developers 343

Posted by Soulskill
from the aka-those-guys-who-demand-most-of-the-revenue-from-our-store dept.
geek writes "According to Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, Apple may be in trouble with developers. According to Arment, the new sandboxing guidelines from Apple are pushing developers away in droves. 'I've lost all confidence that the apps I buy in the App Store today will still be there next month or next year. The advantages of buying from the App Store are mostly gone now. My confidence in the App Store, as a customer, has evaporated. Next time I buy an app that’s available both in and out of the Store, I’ll probably choose to buy it directly from the vendor. And nearly everyone who’s been burned by sandboxing exclusions — not just the affected apps’ developers, but all of their customers — will make the same choice with their future purchases. To most of these customers, the App Store is no longer a reliable place to buy software.' Arment also comments on the 'our way or the highway' attitude Apple often takes in these situations and how it may be backfiring this time around."
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Apple In Trouble With Developers

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  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:50PM (#40796377)

    Remember, that line didn't even work out for Vader and he had Star Destroyers and millions of clone troopers at his command. If you have the upper hand you can sometimes force people to accept a one sided deal. But if you go beyond that and keep changing the terms on it eventually everyone figures out they might as well take their chances because they are hosed anyway. You have to leave them some hope of survival.

    I especially liked how the article has this:

    "This even may reduce the long-term success of iCloud and the platform lock-in it could bring for Apple. Only App Store apps can use iCloud, but many Mac developers can’t or won’t use it because of the App Store’s political instability."

    Anyone who would write that, in the context of it being a good thing!, is obviously a Kool-Aid drinker. When you are driving those people away it is a warning sign.

    Imagine how badly Microsoft is going to bungle this same gambit. Notice how Valve is already running for the exits? Uh huh, good times ahead for everyone!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:56PM (#40796439)

      But, according to John Romero, Android is a piracy platform and Apple TV will make you his bitch!

      And now! Daikatana 2!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        But, according to John Romero, Android is a piracy platform and Apple TV will make you his bitch!

        And now! Daikatana 2!

        In other news, different developers have different opinions.

    • by exomondo (1725132) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:57PM (#40796453)
      alter, alter! not 'change'...on the other hand maybe George Lucas changed that line in Empire Strikes Back 're-imagined' special edition 2.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170)

      All the more reason for Apple to hurt Android as much as they can, including Samsung, maker of wunnerful stuff Android-ish. If your developers flee to the greener pastures of Android, you must somehow poison those pastures so they have nowhere to run.

    • by Culture20 (968837) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:35PM (#40796793)

      Remember, that line didn't even work out for Vader and he had Star Destroyers and millions of clone troopers at his command.

      No he didn't. By "A New Hope", all of the clone troopers were dead or in retirement homes (they had their aging accelerated). The Storm Troopers were standard grunts hired from a thousand colony planets. Kenobi thinks they're the super precise shooting clones he remembers, but he's wrong. The only surviving clone is Boba Fett.

    • Notice how Valve is already running for the exits?

      You may not have noticed, but the main reason Valve (and specifically Gabe Newell) feels that Windows 8 is the worst thing ever hoisted on humanity may have something to do with the fact that Windows 8 has a built-in facility (the Metro app store) that has ability to overtake the virtual monopoly that Valve has built with Steam for the digital delivery of PC games.

      Win8 is really a shot across the bow of Valve's business model. They'd better have a plan B in place -- and no, Linux is not a viable plan B.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:47PM (#40797879) Homepage Journal

        You may not have noticed, but the main reason Valve (and specifically Gabe Newell) feels that Windows 8 is the worst thing ever hoisted on humanity may have something to do with the fact that Windows 8 has a built-in facility (the Metro app store) that has ability to overtake the virtual monopoly that Valve has built with Steam for the digital delivery of PC games.

        Win8 is really a shot across the bow of Valve's business model. They'd better have a plan B in place -- and no, Linux is not a viable plan B.

        Valve will be fine. They'll just have competition.

        Did anyone ever believe that Valve would never face any challenges from competitors? As long as they keep delivering value, they'll continue to do well.

        The notion that success can only mean you are #1 in your sector is one of the things that's hurting business in what passes for capitalism in the 21st century. Like an old commercial used to say, number 2 has to try harder, and even though most corporations don't like it, "trying hard" is supposed to be part of the deal. We've had too many corporations who have believed "trying hard" means killing all your competition via the legal system instead of the marketplace.

  • they say the meek shall inherit
  • and it's not even Quezovercoatl

    I guess the squeezing of developers & customers has finally come around to hurt Apple, after such a promising start, too. Couldn't happen to a nicer company.

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:55PM (#40796415) Homepage

    These are the things you get with the lack of openness - in favor of the One True Platform where everything must submit to the One True Experience

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      These are the things you get with the lack of openness - in favor of the One True Platform where everything must submit to the One True Experience

      And the fun bit(!) -> When so many people have bought Apps developed outside the sandbox and they won't run on the next i(thingy) so people are less likely to upgrade right away <- thus hitting the ol' Wall Street revenue expectations.

      Ah, what a tangled web the weave. Where's me popcorn?

    • by Kohath (38547)

      These are the things you get with the lack of openness

      Internet whining? You pretty much get that all the time, regardless of openness.

  • App Store (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Lode (1290856) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:55PM (#40796417)

    This summary contains the word "App Store" a few more times than necessary...

    • Since all the usages are part of a quote, there's not a lot an editor can do. Inasmuch as the editors do anything at all, that is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      They didn't App Store it would App Store you so much.

    • Re:App Store (Score:5, Insightful)

      And it missed a line:
      "Disclaimer: Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, is likely more than a bit disgruntled with Apple, now that the functionality of Instapaper has been rolled into Safari."

      Apple has a history of driving away developers by incorporating their ideas into the bundled apps. Not many developers though... only those of really well thought out OS enhancements.

      While Marco does have a point, the timing of the statement smacks more than a bit of sour grapes. As a developer, he's known the sandboxing exemptions were temporary for, well at least a year. He's had more than a month since the sandbox closed its lid. I think he'll find that anyone developing heavyweight applications never even entered the App Store; they're still going strong on their own. The App store does great things for apps that are happy to live within the sandbox though; lightweight apps that have nothing to do with managing the computer but instead accomplish specific tasks.

      What Marco will find is that for every serious application developer leaving the Mac App Store, there are 50 App developers moving in -- some of them migrants from the iOS App Store, who are just adding a secondary target to their development builds.

      In my opinion, the App Store was never the place for non-sandobxed software in the first place. In time, Apple may create more sandbox features that will enable more heavy applications to re-enter the Store, but this will only be after the honeymoon period is over with the "App" crowd -- expect another year of shakedown before anyone doing complex OS tasks can "trust" the store.

      Kudos to Apple though for starting in restricted mode and slowly enabling more features -- and at the same time having a blanket exemption period for more serious developers to play with the store and see if it's right for them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kalriath (849904)

        And it missed a line:
        "Disclaimer: Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, is likely more than a bit disgruntled with Apple, now that the functionality of Instapaper has been rolled into Safari."

        Apple has a history of driving away developers by incorporating their ideas into the bundled apps. Not many developers though... only those of really well thought out OS enhancements.

        What you really mean is that Apple has a history of outlawing functionality of a popular app, then promptly rolling the feature they outlawed into their own software. They make Microsoft's history of steamrolling ISVs look positively friendly. In fact, Apple does exactly what everyone here complains about Microsoft doing - except they do it much more frequently.

  • I figured a year or two before Steve being gone would doom the Appleistas. Happened a lot faster than I thought.

    Perhaps they'll have less profits to hide in tax structures in other countries so they don't have to pay Uncle Sam.

  • Agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bhlowe (1803290)
    I agree, sandboxing has been a bitch. Should be able to turn it off for apps the user trusts...
    • Re:Agree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:14PM (#40797613)

      If you go back to the article Ament links to [postbox-inc.com], their complaints are:

      No free trials
      No discounted upgrades
      No free upgrades if the prior version was purchased after a specific date
      No way to provide license keys that could be used on Windows (many of our customers use both platforms)
      No volume discounts or site licensing
      No access to customer information, which prevented us from validating orders, offering discounts, running promotions, newsletter signups, etc.
      Unclear refund policies
      Most importantly, we had to create another version of Postbox for the Mac App Store that removed features such as iCal support, iPhoto integration, and Add-Ons in order to comply with Apple’s Application Guidelines

      None of these, save the last one, have anything to do with sandboxing. The last one does, but I don't understand it, because access to the user's calendar and photos are explicitly-defined entitlements that you can access, all you have to do is check a box in Xcode. A sandboxed app cannot access the filesystem of the computer, except for paths specifically named by the user in an Open or Save dialogue (the dialogue boxes are run by a separate daemon that passes the paths to the client application over IPC, so you can't futz with it to pick open more of the user's fs than they specifically let the application see.) Obviously this is deadly to bulk renamers, but I don't understand the complaint in the context of document creation, utilities or accessories, games, or really anything but document indexers -- which would have to just be sold the old fashioned way, on a website.

    • I agree, sandboxing has been a bitch. Should be able to turn it off for apps the user trusts...

      The user can choose to install and run applications that are not sandboxed. Apple just doesn't sell or distribute such apps on the app store. Once an app works sandboxed, there is no point in being able to turn the sandbox off.

      But sandboxing is not only about the user trusting an app. I may trust that an app is not intentionally malicious. That doesn't mean it can't have bugs that could be exploited by a hacker, and at that point sandboxing means that the hacked application is _still_ restricted by the s

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:56PM (#40796441) Homepage Journal

    not the App Store most people are thinking of (the iphone/ipad one). TF summary is misleading.

    The mobile App store's always been restrictive, and it seems to have done okay... nothing to see here.

  • Uh huh... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    According to Arment, the new sandboxing guidelines from Apple are pushing developers away in droves.

    Though nothing in his blog post actually says or even hints at this. But it's fun to pull things out of our ass, eh?

    • by v1 (525388)

      Though nothing in his blog post actually says or even hints at this. But it's fun to pull things out of our ass, eh?

      I try to check out all the comments before posting a reaction to a summary, to make sure someone else hasn't already raised the point. And you have.

      "This is horrible, everyone hates it!"

      Who hates it? why?

      "Because it's horrible and I hate it!"

      Oh. I see. (clicks "ignore")

    • According to Arment, the new sandboxing guidelines from Apple are pushing developers away in droves.

      Though nothing in his blog post actually says or even hints at this. But it's fun to pull things out of our ass, eh?

      This also misses the points that there are no "new sandboxing guidelines" -- they've been the same since the App Store opened. The only difference is that now they're not just guidelines; they're being enforced -- and that after two extension periods.

  • by twocows (1216842) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:58PM (#40796459)
    I loathe Apple. They are probably one of the most detestable companies in the technology sector right now. I see them as a modern version of 90s Microsoft.

    But this? I think this is a move in the right direction. The added security benefits sandboxing brings far outweigh any negative consequences a few developers too lazy to implement something Apple's been telling them they need to implement for the better part of a year might experience (at least according to the OS X review a few days ago from Ars Technica). And it's not like these developers have no recourse; as long as they register with Apple or whatever, the default OS setting will allow users to go download those products from the vendor's website.

    There are plenty of reasons to hate Apple. Their push toward better security practices is not one of them.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:06PM (#40796553)

      Until Apple decide it wants your software's market share and removes your App from the App Store because Apps that compete directly with official Apple products are not allowed.

    • by robmv (855035)

      Security enhancements should always be welcome. For now they still provide an option to install applications that do not follow the Apple signing requirements and that is good. The problem is when Apple is forbidding APIs to be used if you do not distribute the application on the Mac App Store. I am pretty sure if Google or Microsoft start blocking APIs and make the exclusive to their applications on their store, some people will get mad (with justification)

      • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:51PM (#40796933)

        The problem is when Apple is forbidding APIs to be used if you do not distribute the application on the Mac App Store.

        These are APIs that allow the user to store things on servers that Apple is paying for. So it's not just "using an API", it is "using infrastructure that is paid for by Apple".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ewieling (90662)

      I loathe Apple. They are probably one of the most detestable companies in the technology sector right now. I see them as a modern version of 90s Microsoft.

      Apple will not reach Microsoft's level of evil until they have a monopoly. They don't. Not even close. I don't like Apple all that much, but the level of Microsoft's evilness in the 90's cannot be underestimated.

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      It's a move in the right direction, but the way Apple are going about it is harming developers and confidence in the App Store unnecessarily.

      I completely agree that sandboxing is a valuable requirement, and regardless of anybody's opinions on Apple's control over the ecosystem, they have used that control to cut out a lot of really shitty practices by software vendors, and this is another example of them using that control to push vendors in the right direction.

      The problem, though, is that the entitlem

    • Some programs are pretty much useless in a sandbox. Should I have to bundle together an editor, source control, and an interpreter in order for those programs to use the same files inside the sandbox? Should I do this for every language I want to develop in using that editor? Without the runtime, the files I'm editing are useless. Perhaps I could get away with just the editor and the source control, using the source control to escape the sandbox. Would Apple close that hole, or reject me from the app store

      • by jasomill (186436) on Friday July 27, 2012 @07:56PM (#40797481)

        Should I have to bundle together an editor, source control, and an interpreter in order for those programs to use the same files inside the sandbox? Should I do this for every language I want to develop in using that editor? ... Would Apple close that hole, or reject me from the app store for that reason?

        No, no, and no. Sandboxed applications have free access, forever, to files and folders you explicitly select, where "forever" can even include subsequent versions of the same app. Many vendors are running away from sandboxing "to improve user experience" in ways that directly conflict with the whole notion of sandboxing: accessing the user's SSH private keys without confirmation, using Apple Events and/or the Accessibility API to control arbitrary third-party applications, and so on. Apple's goal seems to be to maximize the number of applications that can be reasonably sandboxed without undermining the whole idea of sandboxing, using the App Store and iCloud as "carrots", because they're trying to address a problem Microsoft never did: most developers don't give a damn about the mitigation of security vulnerabilities in their applications. It's a hard problem, and discussions like Marco's will ultimately contribute to a better solution, but "give up sandbox requirements" isn't an endgame I'd like to see.

    • by laffer1 (701823)

      Except there are whole classes of programs you can't buy. For instance, many popular disk utilities are not available on the app store or if they are, they only work on removable media. If I want to defragment my boot disk, I have to buy from the vendor directly. Few antivirus applications are available on the app store for the same reason.

      Most games on the app store are crippled too. The online gaming component is disable or similar restrictions are put on the games. Duke Nukem Forever or Rage are exa

    • by GrahamCox (741991)
      a few developers too lazy to implement something Apple's been telling them they need to implement for the better part of a year

      What, like Apple themselves? Sure, they have sandboxed some of their apps that are fairly self-contained, but the more complex ones CANNOT be sandboxed (i.e. iPhoto, iTunes) because they share data with each other.

      As an Apple developer, we are not "too lazy". Have YOU actually tried making a real-world app work with sandboxing? I have, at very, very great length. I eventually
    • by thoth (7907)

      Loathe? Detest? For what, building products people are willing to buy?
      They arent in the same solar system of evil as Microsoft in the 90s. They'd need to stifle competition through illegal methods... get some perspective and make your claim AFTER they get sued by the government and are found guilty and criminal.

  • Like Walmart..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:01PM (#40796495)

    Apple probably doesn't care. When one merchandiser leaves, another one will gladly take its place.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      And I doubt the customers will care either. If Walmart stops selling HTC televisions, do people just quit walmart? No they buy whatever brand is available. Same with the Apple Store; people will just buy what they can. So I disagree with the comments below: http://www.marco.org/2012/07/26/not-just-geeks [marco.org]

      BTW instapaper's "read later" doesn't work in Opera.
      Would be nice if he fixed that.

      QUOTE: "My argument was more nuanced: many previously-acceptable apps have been effectively kicked out of the App Store

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:04PM (#40796525)

    As a developer I see what he is saying.

    But as a user the changes only make it MORE likely I would look in the app store first for something. I know something from there will work along with the system security restrictions.

    With more people looking in the app store, the simple truth is more developers will have to service that market somehow or lose users (or at least not grow at the same rate as the mac install base does).

    Apple has already changed some ways in which sandboxing works, to accommodate some application needs. And they will do more of that going forward - but historically Apple implements overly strong security to start with, and then whittles it away as required instead of letting users get used to an overly permissive model.

    • The problem is... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:09PM (#40796587)

      Developers think "Great, I can release an App Store version... I just need to remove x and y." So they do that, and people buy the App Store version. Then the developer realizes his App Store version now can't do Z, which makes it much harder to keep making in parallel with his native version. So he stops updating the App Store version. App Store customer sees non-App Store version getting updates and gets angry.

  • Many, MANY people buy Macs because they believe that they are better/more stable/more secure than the Windows machines they've used for the past decade. Whether they are or are not is an endless Slashdot debate that is completely tangential to my point, because what's at question here is the perception, not the reality.

    If people perceive the Mac to be the stable part, software that doesn't work will likely be blamed on the developer, not Apple. To them, a sandbox is a place young children play in, not a computer security model. A developer trying to explain this to someone who truly doesn't understand the security model will make himself look foolish to the customer, not enlighten the customer.

    The App Store will still be used by many Mac users in the same way Origin is used by EA customers. Few (if any) EA customers desired Origin, it's just necessary for Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, and The Sims. Similarly, even if many Apple developers ditch the App Store, the fact that Final Cut Studio, Logic, and Aperture are available through it will keep a huge demographic begrudgingly using it. Adobe is probably the one company who can likely keep a working trigger finger on Apple preventing conventional software installations, but their pushing their 'Creative Cloud' model may weaken their grip on said trigger. Ableton and Serato may be in a position to help pick up the slack a bit, but they definitely don't have the same level of clout.

    Finally, long time Mac incumbents may be wary of the Mac App Store, but newcomers who love their iPhone/iPod/iPad may be more inclined to start at the App Store since that's "where software comes from". It's part of the vertical solution that they feel they bought from Apple. The question will be whether developer A's FOO_APP skiddishness in being included in the App Store will be the golden opportunity for similarly-functioning FRA_APP to eat its lunch. Again, Adobe may be able to keep itself afloat with selling stuff through adobe.com/journeyed/cdw/staples, but searching the App Store through functionality puts developers on much more even levels for those that would be affected by the sandboxing and not having a legal team at their disposal to go RIAA on their posteriors.

    • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Friday July 27, 2012 @10:09PM (#40798453)

      I just upgraded my MacBook Pro from OS X 10.7.4 Lion to 10.8 Mountain Lion. Unfortunately this change brought a new version of OpenGL (great!) but Apple removed the PBuffers they had deprecated some time back. That broke the software I've been working (using th JoGL OpenGL bindings). While on one hand you can argue that Apple deprecated PBuffers on their platform so tough luck to me. On the other hand both AMD on Windows and Ubuntu Linux still have working PBuffer implementations and my software still works on those platforms.

      As a developer it makes me a bit unhappy Apple brought in a lot of Cloud stuff (that I personally have zero interest in) while removing small but useful features that are actually widely used. Backwards compatibility matters a lot, which is one of the great strengths of Windows but Apple are less keen on it. As a developer (the point of this article) it now means that until the JoGL library catches up OS X has moved from a first-class target for my game to second class behind Linux and Windows (where I know the development effort won't be slowed by fairly needless breaking changes). This is because I can't guarantee that the effort I make to get things going again on OS X won't be nullified with further (IMHO unnecessarily strict) changes as new OS X versions are released on their yearly cycle. Sure, I have the technical chops to patch JoGL myself, but it is something I don't have to do for Windows and Linux, and is a diversion of effort for me actually *getting the important stuff done*.

      nb: I must be a luddite. I'd much rather get my software directly from the vendor rather than the straightjacket of the App Store. I just know getting stuf through the App Store will be problematic whenever Apple decides that it is in their interest (not mine) to replace the App Store with something else. All technology changes, eventually, but Apple's timescale for change is probably much faster than mine since I just want to get stuff done => future trouble, so I avoid using App Store where I have alternatives.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:19PM (#40796669)
    Apple hinted to sandboxing being mandatory at WWDC11, they announced it would happen later that year, then forced everyone to a few months ago. So, where does this "new" come from exactly?
  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:21PM (#40796691)
    They're just realizing this now? A walled garden controlled by one single company that gives you zero control whatsoever might maybe have some undesirable results? Did they think Apple wasn't in complete control when they bought their iOS device or something?
  • What I've seen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jbolden (176878) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:24PM (#40796711) Homepage

    What I've seen is that many apps are starting to have 2 versions:

    a) The internet version
    -- designed the way the developer wants
    -- paid upgrades
    -- weak or weaker tie to iOS version

    b) The app store version
    -- designed the way Apple wants
    -- free upgrades (or rarely 100% rebuy upgrades)
    -- strong tie to the iOS version via. iCloud

    That's a really interesting choice. So far I've always gone for the internet version because the app store worries me. I like the idea of iCloud integration, but most of what I want I could get though dropbox and sym/hard links. I could get the update management the more traditions way (http://www.macupdate.com/desktop/) but frankly all the apps check by themselves at this point mostly.

    But I don't know the App store is "in trouble". I think there is likely to be a fork in what you get where. The App store might have lots of inexpensive simple applications, free demos, desktop support for phone apps and other apps that are single purpose while the retail side focus on the $20 on up apps which are more versatile. I don't think it is good that the market is forking creating two software ecosystems with different tastes.

  • Only on Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Starteck81 (917280) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:27PM (#40796729)
    I love that people on here bitch endlessly about how insecure OSes are. Then Apple makes a move to require devs to code in a more secure manner, result? They freak out. Did I miss anything?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kergan (780543)

      +1000. Arment's comments and the OP's summary are utter bull crap.

      Moreover this is a one-time thing, one long in the making, postponed several times in the past two years or so, and Arment knows it more than any other -- being the author of an iOS app.

      There's really nothing to see here. Consumers are basically told: "We're improving security by requiring stuff in the app store; we're dropping apps that aren't secure enough by our standards as a consequence." Period, end of story. Move along, nothing to see.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:28PM (#40796741)

    Problem is, I read the linked post and can't tell if he's right or wrong. He refers to developers leaving, he refers to customers being burnt, he refers to sandboxing exclusions... but he doesn't give a single example to illustrate his point!

    So what exactly are you talking about, Marco Arment?

    • by Kohath (38547)

      Without more specifics, it's just random internet whining.

    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      The best example is Growl. They were an open source project for notifications developers needed. They saw Apple building the App Store and buttoned ( and closed) up their project to be a "team player" for the Apple team. The whole saga of the App Store, then the Sandoxing, then Apple copying some of the features.

      Now they're stuck in a place where they can release a version on the App Store but it is so narrow that it doesnt get many more features than the notifications built into Mtn lion. Non-app store app

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:33PM (#40796775) Homepage

    Will iTunes run in the "sandbox"? QuickTime? Safari? Keynote? Numbers? FinalCut "Pro"?

    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:46PM (#40797871)

      A lot of those do. Mail does, the mothership process of Safari does not, but it's "Web Content" processes, the ones that present URLs, do. Quicktime Player does. Facetime and the Reminders app do, the Calendar does not, TextEdit does, the productivity apps don't -- it's pretty much hit or miss, I don't think there's any agenda to it, they just update the apps when they get around to it. I know they'd rather have most of their user-facing apps in a sandbox, so they can't be used as an exploitable surface to their underlying services (the camera API, the filesystem, the sloppy blob that is Quicktime...). Several OS processes run in a sandbox as well, like the metadata indexer and the pasteboard daemon, because they have to crunch through gobs of roudy and arbitrary data and are rather intimate with the underlying system.

      But the sandbox and entitlements are about maintaining a chain of trust. If you don't trust the developer, in this case the organization known as Apple Inc, you shouldn't be running anything they make, starting with their OS and hardware, so the question is sorta mute.

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:34PM (#40796789) Homepage

    As a newcomer to the Mac, I was not at all interested in the App Store. Maybe I'm too cynical, but goddamn it, I'm proven right too often to change my ways. The App Store does not solve any existing problems for me, as a user. If I can find some app in their, then I could have Googled for the author's web site just as easily. I actually prefer apps that self-update, rather than having to open the inflexible App Store client. I don't need a 3rd party getting between me and the developer, isn't that the whole point of a global network ? We don't need no stinkin' middlemen!

    Another peeve is how their delivery method makes it difficult to back up the installation files. I don't want to redownload the dumb thing every time I set up a test box, or follow their annual OS upgrades (from scratch - fuck inline updates!) For regular users, I'm sure the experience is seamless, but as soon as you start messing in a terminal, the messy parts become painfully apparent. It's kind of like that last bit in Portal, where you break out of the test area and run around the broken-down maintenance hallways.

    It's a fine model for the iPhone/iPad, but desktop/laptop computers have a long legacy that predates this sort of integration and far greater diversity in how people use them. Tell me how to use my computer and I'll tell your company to go fuck itself.

    • by am 2k (217885)

      Another peeve is how their delivery method makes it difficult to back up the installation files.

      Uh, just copy the applications from /Applications to somewhere else? Mac App Store apps aren't allowed to ship with anything else than what's lying there.

  • I've had the iPhone since shortly after they first introduced it to the market. In that time I purchased many apps, but few paid apps have failed to disappoint. Making things worse Apple allows developers to convert a 10$ app into a "free" app with in game purchases. Particularly disappointing was Oregon Trail. The only thing I found appealing on early Apple computers (I had a PC so I was spoiled) when I found them in my school. I payed almost 10$ for that iPhone app, and it was worth it when I bought it as

  • by rabtech (223758) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:47PM (#40796899) Homepage

    Right now the Mac app store makes no distinction between system/developer utilities and regular consumer applications. As a result, the list of available entitlements are too narrow. Regular users are baffled by the file system and getting it out of their faces is a great idea. Locking down apps is also good from a security perspective for most apps and users.

    Apple just needs to make a special more rigorous review process for these sorts of apps and only allow those apps to request admin access or touch the file system outside the sandbox. In fact only the Developer and Utility categories need allow this sort of thing.

    On a related note, Apple needs something like Windows' contracts so apps can specify the types of data they can provide or accept and let the system manage the interaction. This gives a safe clean way for apps to share data... The primary drawback of Apple's current "share nothing" model.

  • He seems to be butthurt over something called "Sandboxing," but throughout his entire rant, he fails to actually explain to his readers what this Sandboxing thing is and how it affects developers. All he offers is some jargon about "incompatibility with the current set of sandboxing entitlements" whatever the heck that means.

    He might as well be ranting over Apple's "leafbowl" restrictions or their policy of "chicken frying" developers. Without some background, who knows what he's talking about with his jarg

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      Sandboxing is a standard security term. And it's a fairly stupid one at that. It's more like you're in prison. But the prison warden doesn't want you to talk with other prisoners and plan a riot, so you're put in solitary confinement and there's limited input/output (food through a hole, mail is censored, talk to your lawyer once a week, etc). That's sandboxing. (I guess whoever came up with the term had a bad childhood that involved bing locked in a room with sand on the floor). A normal app can read
    • If you're reading Slashdot, you're expected to know what "sandboxing" is in general, or at least be able to look it up on Wikipedia etc. And the guy's blog is obviously meant for readers of that blog and should be taken in context, which is OS X software development.

  • NOT ABOUT iOS (Score:3, Informative)

    by mj1856 (589031) on Friday July 27, 2012 @07:09PM (#40797097)

    The summary is misleading. The article is about the MAC app store for desktop applications. Was anyone else left scratching their heads about how the heck they would deploy iPhone apps to the public without the app store?

  • Man, what's Apple going to do when all these developers leave them to go develop applications to put in Ubuntu's repository and the mobile Windows 8 store?

    Last time I checked, Apple's app store is where the money is. Developers don't work on what's convenient unless they're hobbyists. If they're in it for the money they go where the money's at. Does Manager X care that Developer Y has a philosophical disagreement with Apple? Nope.

    Personally, I like the idea of sandboxing. It provides stability and security,

  • No one forces you to use the Mac app store and sandboxing is a good thing. I hate to tell him it's only going to increase across all systems. Sandboxing apps isn't going away.

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