Apple Nixes Adobe's iPhone 'End Around' Scheme
To Valdes, the decision to limit developers makes sense from Apple's perspective, even though it has already riled some programmers. "Clearly, Apple is trying to make sure its platform is the only platform for developers for the iPhone, and that's its prerogative," he said. "But some developers are finding this odd, even bizarre, and will have a negative reaction. Apple, of course, is counting on the fact that most developers may not care."
A development lockdown like this on a general computer platform, say Windows or Mac OS X, would certainly raise a ruckus, Valdes added. But it's in line with the control game console makers once maintained over their developers. "It's not without precedence for gaming platforms," said Valdes. "Nintendo once not only approved every game, but in some cases actually inspected the source code."
Flash Professional CS5's Packager isn't the only development framework now out in the cold. Others, such as MonoTouch , which compiles C# and .NET apps to create native iPhone software, will also be banned, both Valdes and Gruber said.
"Since iPhone 4 is still in beta, both the APIs and the Terms of Service are covered under NDA [non-disclosure agreement], so we cannot speak to specifics or Apple's intent with its proposed language," said Jeff Haynie, the CEO of Appcelerator, in a post to the company's blog yesterday. Haynie held out hope, however. "These terms are subject to clarification and change by Apple up through its official launch, which looks to be mid-summer. Until iPhone 4.0 is actually released, we will work with Apple to ensure that we abide by any updates to its Terms of Service, just as we have done successfully in the past."
An Appcelerator spokeswoman declined to comment beyond Haynie's blog posts.
"Some people were unpleasantly surprised by Apple's decision," said Valdes. "They view Apple's development platform as one that has its own set of problems that were addressed by others, whether it was Ruby or Python. Now they're going to have to recalibrate their thinking. Some will find it repugnant to be asked to give up this level of control.
"And I think some will abandon the platform because of it," he concluded.
Apple did not reply to a request seeking additional comment on the SDK licensing language changes.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld . Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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Apple Nixes Adobe's iPhone 'End Around'...