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Apple, open-ness, and Section 3.3.1 an objective view.

The Apple update to the iP(ad|hone|od) developer agreement 3.3.1 has caused quite a stir in developement communities all over.  The change is summarized quite adequately here: http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/iphone_agreement_bans_flash_compiler. Queue the posturing and legal bullshit from all sorts of people and companies. Rather than posting comments to all of the different articles I am just going to writhe my thoughts on each here. I am not hiding my opinions on my blog that very few people read I have responded to the tweets via Twitter linking back here were appropriate.

Starting with: http://blog.joa-ebert.com/2010/04/09/what-apple-just-did/ and http://twitter.com/joa/status/11845234511

This is completely not the same thing as the change made to the developer agreement. In the case illustrated by the author the app creators are the musician and Apple is, of course, Apple, however, this situation isn’t the same because Apple *wants* all styles and sorts of music because music doesn’t carry viruses or other problems for their mobile platform. If the situation were corrected to be like the change to the developer agreement the musician would be trying to submit his/her song as an MP3 ripped from a .WMA file which means that the quality is far inferior from a non-converted MP3. Who’s going to catch the blame for the music quality being terrible? Apple, that’s who. Customer’s are not going to blame the musician for the sound quality (viruses, crashes, and other shit) they are going to blame Apple.

This author doesn’t seem to be able to make logical connections between things without obvious fallacies of composition. Correcting his second example: “apple forcing people to develop in obj-c is as if microsoft would tell you to use mspaint for your design work if you want Microsoft to sell it for their Windows Mobile applications.”

Second: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=aiTiUZWa.uGw (brief aside, Bloomberg’s Web site is fucking horrible)

Just this line: “In a filing with the SEC in January, Adobe said that it wanted to work with Apple on the iPhone, though it needed Apple’s cooperation to do so.” Adobe, Apple doesn’t want you on its mobile plat form, get over it.

Third: http://www.mobileorchard.com/goodbye/

Wow, quitting one’s entire life and job because of 3 lines added to the contract? It doesn’t even seem that the addition would have affected the author at all. I completely support his decision because, its his; he can make whatever fucking choice he wants…just like Apple did. I do wish him the best of luck.

Fourth: http://twitter.com/Hvilela/status/11891058025 & http://twitter.com/Hvilela/status/11900260520

The Market (Apple) just did. “Us” being Flash developers, no they don’t care about you…isn’t that quite obvious?

Fifth: http://www.wolfcat.com.au/randomrants/2010/04/postid-1023/

This author seems to have the players switched (Apple being beta and Adobe VHS) when it should be Apple is VHS and Adobe is beta. Apple is not the one about to have its flagship product replaced by HTML5, CSS3, and a little Javascript, that’s Adobe. Apple will be around long after Flash has been replaced with something else.

Sixth: http://whydoeseverythingsuck.com/2010/04/jobs-bans-non-c-libraries-insane.html

This author fails for not being able to read the WikiPedia page that he links to. The contract is between the developer and Apple not Apple and anyone who wants to user their products to make money. It will be a sad day when companies who produce products for other companies’ products have a say how the product can be created. This is something similar to what would happen to all of the iPhone twitter applications if Twitter released their own application for iPhone or drastically changed their policies about client applications. (this was written before the announcement here: http://blog.twitter.com/2010/04/twitter-for-iphone.html with Twitter doing exactly that, releasing their own application)

Seventh: http://twitter.com/sirobertson/status/11897793015

Uh…sorry you were dumb and didn’t see this or something like this coming?

Eighth: http://twitter.com/troygilbert/status/11874702606

Dangerous indeed…at least to security and stability of applications not to Apple’s platform.

Ninth: http://twitter.com/skiller/status/11874379899

If you threaten to go to Windows that should be your punishment; going to Windows.

Tenth: http://twitter.com/markive/status/11880506004

Looks like your team isn’t made of the right people then. Small development teams such as Massively Overrated have been kicking ass in releasing applications that not only work, fast they are beautiful as well.

Eleventh: http://twitter.com/uliwitness/status/11869629162 & http://twitter.com/uliwitness/status/11870024049

What? & It is *clearly* not a bug, I hardly think the Apple legal team let bugs through.

Twelfth: http://twitter.com/pauliusuza/status/11890230741

Can they tell you to use a different platform that won’t tell you that then?

Thirteenth: http://twitter.com/aral/status/11881304099

It seems to me that this is ALL about the UX and making it consistent.

Fourteenth: http://theflashblog.com/?p=1888

This is perhaps the most frustrating as the guy is an evangelist for Adobe who can’t seem to see that Adobe does the exact same stuff to a worse degree in some cases. Starting with his 3rd paragraph I will answer each of his points.

“What they are saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe.”

Can I write Flash applications is Python? What about Ruby? Java? Can I use some other program or IDE to build Flash applications? No, wait isn’t this the exact same thing? Adobe actually added a an export for iPhone feature to their newest product CS5 just trying to invite themselves to a party they weren’t invited to. “Tyrannical control over developers” has this guy seen the price of Adobe CS4? http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/design/?promoid=DTEMS $1800 fucking dollars, that is 18 years of the iPhone Developer Program…at least Apple is classy enough to provide the entire development suite and tutorials for the price of $99 (1 year of the the iPhone Developer program).

“I am positive that there are a large number of Apple employees that strongly disagree with this latest move. Any real developer would not in good conscience be able to support this. The trouble is that we will never hear their discontent because Apple employees are forbidden from blogging, posting to social networks, or other things that we at companies with an open culture take for granted.”

As opposed to the jackassery you have here? Apple has those rules so that exactly what you have done here doesn’t happen to them.

“Adobe and Apple has had a long relationship and each has helped the other get where they are today. The fact that Apple would make such a hostile and despicable move like this clearly shows the difference between our two companies. All we want is to provide creative professionals an avenue to deploy their work to as many devices as possible. We are not looking to kill anything or anyone. This would be like us putting something in our SDK to make it impossible for 3rd-party editors like FDT to work with our platform. I can tell you that we wouldn’t even think or consider something like that.”

Adobe has helped Apple get where? You wouldn’t consider anything like that because you NEED to be on every platform to make money. Apple doesn’t NEED you, in fact, it has been made pretty clear Apple doesn’t want you…on their mobile platform at least.

“Many of Adobe’s supporters have mentioned that we should discontinue the Creative Suite products on OS X as a form of retaliation. Again, this is something that Adobe would never consider in a million years. We are not looking to abuse our loyal users and make them pawns for the sake of trying to hurt another company. What is clear is that Apple most definitely would do that sort of thing as is evidenced by their recent behavior.”

Once again you wouldn’t consider this because you need to sell those CS4 units at $1800 a pop to everyone who will buy it otherwise you are not going to make money. You don’t make changes, not because you wouldn’t hurt another company but because you NEED Apple and other computer manufacturers or you don’t have a business. What Apple has shown by their behavior is that they want absolute quality with no exceptions for their platform. I believe this tweet sums it up: http://twitter.com/nikf/status/11881871981 I won’t use TweetDeck because of Air.

“Personally I will not be giving Apple another cent of my money until there is a leadership change over there. I’ve already moved most of my book, music, and video purchases to Amazon and I will continue to look elsewhere. Now, I want to be clear that I am not suggesting you do the same and I’m also not trying to organize some kind of boycott. Me deciding not to give money to Apple is not going to do anything to their bottom line. But this is equivalent to me walking into Macy’s to buy a new wallet and the salesperson spits in my face. Chances are I won’t be buying my wallets at Macy’s anymore, no matter how much I like them.”

Back to another fallacy here, this one is a false analogy. Apple didn’t spit in your face, Apple changed their policy…as is their right to do, and you disagree with their change because you don’t want to learn how to do development their way. This would be more like your job telling you if you don’t have skill x you will be fired and instead of learning skill x you learn how to get around learning skill x, don’t be surprised when you get fired. People have obviously seen this coming: http://iphonedevelopment.blogspot.com/2009/10/sue-me-i-think-developers-should-care.html and Adobe announcing that they are going to circumvent Apples wishes is like being spat on.

This pretty much sums up the entire Adobe complaint: http://twitpic.com/1ecnga

There are some people who are incredibly happy about this because it takes a while to develop games in Objective-C rather than drag-n-drop Flash applications that can just be converted or compiled into binaries it is easy to understand their happiness: http://twitter.com/fishermen21/status/11888110483.

This is ultimately going to make the entire CocoaTouch platform better because of the larger number of developers using and creative native tools instead of the crap they are using now.