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Beware the Garden of Steven

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the binding-with-briars dept.

OS X 580

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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Mac... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991140)

was never open.

Re:Mac... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991500)

True.

The major reason why peope buy them.

There are obviously other things available for people who want "open."

But Will Steve: ( +1, Helpful ) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991146)

blend [youtube.com] ? That IS the question.

Cheers.

Yours In Vladivostok,
Kilgore Trout

FUD! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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! (5, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991210)

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:FUD! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991296)

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:FUD! (3, Interesting)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991536)

I am expecting this to happen at the latest with 10.8

Re:FUD! (4, Insightful)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 3 years ago | (#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! (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991696)

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! (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991256)

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:FUD! (1, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991284)

You weren't paying attention.

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

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

THIS is an issue.

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

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

Re:FUD! (3, Informative)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991414)

Steve is given preferential treatment and access to core system services to developers that choose to accept his restrictions.

Uh, what, you mean - like Windows Update - I mean, Microsoft lets anyone use that, right? This article is total FUD. There's no indication that Launchpad will be restriced to App Store apps, I may eat my words, but I would consider moving off the platform if that does become a reality. But, right now, there's nothing from Apple that shows that would be the case. The only 'core' service is the ability to automatically update software, which is something that costs Apple money for hosting, therefore they require you to buy in to their service. Seems like pretty normal business practice to me.

Re:FUD! (5, Informative)

Kalidor (94097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991506)

Actually, yeah .. Winsus can be extended for third party apps. And it's trivial to point your Windows update at a different update server. That said, only corporate entities and bored hyper-boxers really do that kinda stuff...

Re:FUD! (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991582)

Look at the apps shown in Launchpad in the demo. Notice Mail, iChat, iCal, Time Machine, Dictionary, DVD Player, Automator, the entire Microsoft Office Suite, etc. I can't imagine that any of those are in there because they were downloaded from the App Store....

Re:FUD! (1)

Masterofpsi (1643965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991552)

The only catch is that Steve gets to be gate keeper. . . I'm certainly glad that the Ubuntu approach is not like this.

Me too. I know I wouldn't want Steve Jobs deciding what Ubuntu applications I can and can't install.

Liability? (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991640)

I wouldn't build an anyone-can-use-it-autoupdater into my operating system, either. What if a developer "goes rogue," and intentionally puts a Trojan in their update? Certainly the developer is to blame, but does Apple hold any liability for downloading and installing this malicious update? And I'm not talking about where blame should be placed in an ideal world, I'm talking about legal liability. Proving you're not to blame is a nightmare in the legal system, and even if you're 100% in the right, someone is going to sue you and waste your time and money anyway.

I'm no fan of Apple's walled garden, but this is clearly a CYA move, rather than a misguided attempt at preserving "experience".

Re:FUD! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991288)

Can we seriously cool it with the 'OMG Lockdown!' claims?

Um, nope.

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.

That's nice.

When the lockdown is actually in place,

From Steve's behavior lately I'd say that's not too far off.

then we can complain and move on from OS X to [insert your favorite Linux flavor here].

The question is why any sane person would use an Apple to begin with when Linux (of any type) exists? Answer is they wouldn't.

Let's stop rolling down this slippery slope already.

Tell that to Steve.

Re:FUD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991622)

>>The question is why any sane person would use an Apple to begin with when Linux (of any type) exists? Answer is they wouldn't.

You're comparing hardware with software. People choose Apple because the hardware is awesome, the OS, not so much. I have a client who runs Vista on a MBP. Well, ran anyway. She's seen the light and upgraded to 7.

Re:FUD! (3, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991308)

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 thing is, this just SEVERELY gimped developers who don't make apps that will fit Apple's ludicrous standards, and I think they know it.

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.

Re:FUD! (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991458)

>> 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=33955544 [slashdot.org]

Re:FUD! (5, Insightful)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#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! (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991672)

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:FUD! (5, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 3 years ago | (#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 (3, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:code-signing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991574)

You are completely correct. Apple has not said no other apps in launchpad, just that they will auto-add apps from the app-store to launchpad. Any developer could have his installer install these into launch pad. As for other claim that you can't auto-update without paying this is also wrong. APT, the very system mentioned in the article, works fine on mac (see fink). Now the last time I checked, APT does not do system updates for either Apple's OS, or Macports, or GNU-darwin. Likewise Macposrts does not update fink or the system OS. And the System OS update does not auto-update Fink or Mac Ports. So this article just has it's head up it's open source.

Re:FUD! (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991692)

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

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

I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991156)

I can think of an open alternative to the Mac Store. I can think of a couple actually.

Re:I have an idea (0, Flamebait)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991392)

Yeah, and I can think of dozens of open alternatives to MacOS X. MacOS X, the choice of a new generation, of idiots. Guess I won't need to save as much for my next "Mac" as it will be an entirely non-Apple, open system that caters to the folks who can go without a fucking mouse. So long, and thanks for all the fish, Steve. You just lost a faithful Apple customer and a long-time advocate of your systems. I hereby only support REAL Unix; Linux, Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, BSD, and every other non-Crapple Unix that isn't hobbled by the fucking pope of iPods. Get cancer and die already, asshole.

Re:I have an idea (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991596)

Except that of those only Solaris, HP/UX and AIX are actually "real Unix". And OSX is a BSD.

-uso.

The battle is ON! (4, Funny)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991160)

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

Re:The battle is ON! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991192)

I hate Apple more.

FTW.

Re:The battle is ON! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991244)

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

Dude, forget that! I'm surprised that, at the time I wrote this, the Debian hivemind hadn't stopped by yet to murder the writer of the summary for calling it Ubuntu's "apt"! Give it a few more minutes, then the REAL fun begins!

Re:The battle is ON! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991278)

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

*leans over, then steps forward in time with snapping fingers*

Re:The battle is ON! (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991684)

When you're a Mac,
you're a Mac all the way
from your first Mac SE
to your last dying day.

When you're a Mac,
if your app hits the fan,
you got geniuses 'round,
You're a Macintosh man!

You're never offline!
You're never disconnected!
No viruses found,
no spyware was detected.
You're well protected!

Then you are set
with a capital A
which you'll never forget
'til they cart you away.
When you're a Mac,
you stay a Mac!

With apologies to Leonard Bernstein et al.

Not yet but.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not yet but.. (1, Informative)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991318)

Flash is still available and people will still install it. Apple is passing the ball to Oracle to make the JVM for OS X. Both will still be widely available and widely used on OS X.

Re:Not yet but.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991400)

Oracle hasn't announced any plans for a Mac JVM. Neither has Apple. Java apps are specifically banned from Mac App Store on ground that it is "deprecated". Flash would not be a default install in current and future OSX releases which gives Apple a way to reject Flash / AIR based Apps.

Flash and Java not excluded from OS X (1)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991358)

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.

Re:Flash and Java not excluded from OS X (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991394)

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.

Re:Flash and Java not excluded from OS X (5, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991490)

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:Flash and Java not excluded from OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991532)

You assume though that Oracle will build and maintain a JVM for Mac when they have no financial incentive to do it and when Steve just declared Java as deprecated and disallowed it from Mac App Store. That's a big assumption I think.

Re:Flash and Java not excluded from OS X (2, Insightful)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991670)

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 costs into account, and the answer is probably less than one.

Re:Not yet but.. (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991384)

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.

Re:Not yet but.. (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991426)

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:Not yet but.. (2, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991502)

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.

"Ubuntu's Apt"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:"Ubuntu's Apt"? (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991286)

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

Steve just lets the developers fight it out (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991208)

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

Cycle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991212)

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

Re:Cycle (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991274)

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

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

Re:Cycle (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991690)

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

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

Apt is from Debian. (1, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991218)

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.

Re:Apt is from Debian. (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991352)

Lets not let the tail wag the dog. APT was created on and used initially with Debian.

The distro that makes a no-frills version of Ubuntu? Props to them for sending it upstream.

open alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991230)

many developers have been using sparkle to handle updates. Yes, it would be nicer if the OS checked and listed updates in one fell swoop (I use Coruscation [bitbucket.org] to do it), but the existing situation isn't bad.

Launchpad not limited to App Store (5, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Launchpad not limited to App Store (2, Insightful)

aaronrp (773980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991542)

Yes, as near as I can tell this article made up the bit about Launchpad only working with App Store apps out of whole cloth.

I don't blame people for being worried that Apple wants to turn Mac OS into a walled garden. We've seen it with iOS (and, for the record, I think it's unconscionable). But it does appear that, at least for now, that's not the case. I'm not very worried about it myself, because I think people use Macs very differently than they use iOS devices, and Apple knows that. But it's not unreasonable to have that fear. I think it's a mistake for Apple not to make it very clear, from the start, that an iOS-style lockdown for the Mac is not part of their plans, now or ever.

Incidentally (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991236)

Wow (1)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991246)

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.

Funny stuff, Mr. Jobs (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Funny stuff, Mr. Jobs (3, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Don't apply logic and reason to this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991590)

...we're emotionally hating on apple here over what we imagine will happen, not what actually has happened, please don't interrupt us.

This is what we do while we reinstall windows to get the cruft out.

Re:Funny stuff, Mr. Jobs (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#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).

Re:Funny stuff, Mr. Jobs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991556)

Except this is all just BS playing into the minds of the rabid Apple haters. Launchpad isn't only for App Store apps; one-click update isn't disabled for apps not in the App Store, it's just that Apple isn't going to supply tools for apps not sold through the App Store to be updated through the App Store update mechanism. They're not suddenly going to disable Firefox's updater, or anyone else's.

If I wanted to make money, I'd just write a short book on how much Apple sucks and then get it reviewed here. So many of you guys are getting to be as indiscriminate as Fox News viewers.

Apple does closed systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991272)

It's in their DNA now, so many advantages to run things (and money) their way. I would not be surprised to see Macs diverge even further to fully closed systems that run only approved AppStore software. Not entirely Apple's idea, they actually copying Sony style, Sony stores and Sony's Playstation closed software model here.

"developer Anil Dash"???? (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991282)

He's a blogger, not a developer.

Really? (1)

uncholowapo (1666661) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991310)

Why did Ubuntu get the credit for using this "open system" you speak of. Why not instead give credit to the other package managers that actually don't suck.

Re:Really? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991360)

Why did Ubuntu get the credit for using this "open system" you speak of. Why not instead give credit to the other package managers that actually don't suck.

Because Ubuntu is about the highest-profile Linux distro out there right now. People I know who barely grasp the idea there is operating system other than Windows, or (if pressed) the Macintosh, seem to equate Ubuntu with Linux. Mention Mandriva, Opensuse, Mepis, etc. to these people, and they go "What?"

Open alternative? (3, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Open alternative? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991390)

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.

Re:Open alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991470)

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?

It's more than a little scary that this "App Store" concept seems to have taken on a life of its own, with even seasoned developers buying into it. Given all the grief that Apple has given developers over the iPhone, it's amazing that any developer would even consider coding for an operating system whose vendor controls app distribution. Yes, I know, this isn't that ... yet, but it's definitely Jobs trying to get his foot in the door, get developers and users to accept a gradually expanding level of control until your Mac is nothing but an extension of your iPhone. Screw that. Go ahead, fanboys, tell me that I'm being paranoid. But you know what? If it were any other company (even Microsoft) I might agree. But this is Apple Computer, the current reigning champion of corporate thuggery in the software world.

And I will bet you dollars to doughnuts once the Mac has been locked down tighter than a drum, the media cartels will get be involved (if they aren't already.) Put it this way: how can you possibly play back "unauthorized" content if you can't even install software that will play it?

Thanks, but no. I'll stick with my Linux and my Windows and leave Apple in the same place I left it about twenty-five years ago.

Re:Open alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991694)

"all the grief Apple has given developers over the iPhone" = $1Billion.

Re:Open alternative? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991496)

MacPorts [macports.org]
Fink [finkproject.org]

Re:Open alternative? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991658)

no.
Like a open central repository for the apps.

As for 30%, that's a good deal.

Their platform, their rules. (1)

fahlesr1 (1910982) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991324)

Apple isn't in the business of selling computers, they are in the business of selling a "user experience." That necessarily demands that His Jobsness controls as much of the platform as possible. This shouldn't be a surprise for anyone.

If you don't like it, don't use or develop for macs, pretty simple. Its Apple's platform, they are free to do with it as they wish. The rest of us can just ignore it and use whatever we prefer.

Re:Their platform, their rules. (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991398)

My dollars. My rules.

I think I bought a discount iPod nano, once. It melted itself. And it was hard to copy music to. Enough of that.

No dollars for Steve.

Re:Their platform, their rules. (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991406)

Apple isn't in the business of selling computers, they are in the business of selling a "user experience." That necessarily demands that His Jobsness controls as much of the platform as possible. This shouldn't be a surprise for anyone.

Who said it's a surprise? Why does everyone on slashdot think you can only criticize things you're surprised at? I just don't get it.

Devices vs Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991362)

Does anyone remember people saying it was okay for Apple to lock down the iPhone because it's a device/gadget instead of a computer (whatever the hell that means)? I don't understand how people couldn't see this coming.

There's already an alternative to Mac app store... (3, Insightful)

pinqkandi (189618) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991366)

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

Re:There's already an alternative to Mac app store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991642)

You mean thepiratebay?

Re:There's already an alternative to Mac app store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991668)

Downloading software from the internet is how you get trojans, the main threat to operating systems that don't completely suck. I encourage all of my clients to NEVER EVER install anything that's not in the iOS App Store, Ubuntu Software Center, Mac App Store, or Android Market. With the new Mac App Store, OS X has become the second desktop operating system I can recommend to people for regular use.

E.A. ~team contact, ubuntu NE LoCo

Then don't buy it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991374)

There's plenty of freedom from Apple policies if you don't use them. And it's not like the current system is being replaced by the new one. Some people just like to get upset.

The thing I find interesting is that the new features are mostly just applications. I don't know of any real improvements to the operating system itself. It really does seem like it's done.

Did author read any details of the App store? (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Did author read any details of the App store? (3, Insightful)

Gnavpot (708731) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991588)

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.

In Ubuntu and Debian, you are not limited to using the central repository with apt. You can add any third-party repositories to the list. Applications from those repositories will be automatically upgraded on equal terms with the distribution's own applications.

Re:Did author read any details of the App store? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991664)

In Ubuntu and Debian, you are not limited to using the central repository with apt. You can add any third-party repositories to the list. Applications from those repositories will be automatically upgraded on equal terms with the distribution's own applications.

Yes you can add additional repositories but any software will have to be placed within those repositories by someone. If the developer of an application released only via tarball or gzip, someone has to do the work of putting the application into the correct package and put it into a repository. If no one does it, then it doesn't happen. The author seems to think that all of this happens by magic in Linux and Apple is uniquely excluding software from being updated that hasn't been submitted to them.

Re:Did author read any details of the App store? (4, Informative)

aukset (889860) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991704)

What you might have missed or are ignoring is that apt allows you to specify the location of ANY and MULTIPLE repositories, so its possible for an individual developer to host their own repository for their own stuff that users can acquire and update their software from, without having to touch the official central repositories.

Suckers (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991440)

Doesn't Apple know who they are messing with? We're computer programmers! If they mistreat us, we can just recreate the system with an Open Source clone and put them out of business. I propose a new project to do just that. We need to put the Apple clone on a firm foundation, so let's build it on a UNIX foundation. The BSD kernel is lighter than the Linux kernel, so we should start with that. Because this new UNIX core of an Apple clone is a new creation, we can give it a catchy name like "Creation" or maybe we can use the name of the guy who invented evolution. And we should use open source compilers. The GNU compilers have an objective C front end, so I propose that we use a GCC based compiler to build our system, the GUI, and tools.

Who's with me?

Open Alternative to the Mac App Store (3, Interesting)

BondGamer (724662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991452)

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.

On open platforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991454)

"'Is this the end of the Mac as an open platform?"

It was open?

So What... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991474)

Seems pretty simple to me...

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

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

Open platform? Since when? (1)

menkhaura (103150) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991504)

"Is this the end of the Mac as an open platform?"

Praytell, when was the Mac ever an open platform?

Oh, bullshit. (4, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991524)

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

APT whut? (1)

pr0nd3xtr (702443) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991550)

You mean apt from Debian? Since a mac is BSD based you might want to do a little research on the ports system too. Please dont feed the Ubuntu fanboi's

Lame (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33991558)

I've frequented this site for years but this latest bullshit Apple phobia in the community is driving me away. You guys are way out of touch with the real world. Software is business and this app store idea is good business for developers. You're incredibly dumb if you think Apple are interested in "locking down" their platform. If they lock it down we can't develop for it, end of story.

And what's more, if we care so much about getting software more open and free, where's our Ubuntu Software Center equivalent for the Mac platform? The reason there isn't one is because the state of play on Macs is plenty open enough for the actual developers using it. Pretty much all the free stuff works and will continue to work, because if Apple start fucking people around locking stuff down they'll lose the developers that actually create the value in the platform. If I couldn't run a customized Apache / PHP / MySQL stack on a Mac they'd lose me as a developer. My employer wouldn't buy Macs for the dev team and we would no longer make iPhone versions of our shit and neither would anybody else. If Apple genuinely tried to kill p2p apps as a whole their sales would die overnight and they know it just like the ISPs who tacitly allow the traffic know it.

This whole issue smacks of self-reinforcing groupthink no different from miscarriage moms dressing up their dead fetuses and gathering online to convince each other their views must be right because hey here's a bunch of other people who agree. Honestly, if you're a band who wants drug references in their Ping profile or a fan of that band then you damned well already ought to be accustomed to expecting businesses to not be interested in helping you out with that shit and that's coming from probably one of the heaviest drug users you'll find posting on this damn site. You go try getting your fucking stupid fart app accepted into Debian for some poor bastard to waste their time maintaining, it's no different, they're not censoring you you self-important fucks, they've just got other more important priorities than stupid shit like that.

As far as Apple cares, you'll always be perfectly welcome to write a porn-themed bittorrent client with a built-in skype app to phone your local drug dealer right from your Macbook Air. What possible reason can you have for imagining they might care? Just don't expect them to want to go into business with you distributing it.

Anil Dash (0, Redundant)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991580)

Anil Dash is a developer? Uh, no he's not. From his own website [dashes.com] , he's "a blogger, entrepreneur and geek living in NYC." Nothing about being a developer. So, a blogger posted something about Apple that will get the geeks all a-tizzy and it made it to the front page of Slashdot and will drive viewers to his site, generating ad revenue while being based on nothing informative and wiping people into a flamewar frenzy on slashdot. In other words, business as usual.

Please, feel free to discuss this FUD and base your thoughts on this Anil Dash fellow. He is, after all, a blogger "who's written over half a million words" so his opinion must be really important.

Feature?!? (1)

Lanir (97918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991604)

If this is implemented as described I expect it to go over about as well as proposing a Wrist Slitting Barbie doll would. The simple fact is Microsoft has already tried something similar to this with their extortion masked as a security service that nags at the install when software isn't signed. It's not like launching an application from the Dock is terribly difficult now and a lot of apps have their own built-in check for updates anyway. Those two features simply won't matter. If anyone uses the app store it will be to distribute their app not to get features of questionable usefulness. And on top of that, this is just the sort of idiot move that would segment their userbase into people who think they need those features to use apps and those that are technical enough to do without.

Since segmenting their userbase wouldn't get them anything but less people using their new app store and providing new barriers to developers who might want otherwise consider porting their projects to the mac, I don't think they'll go that way. In both the long and short term it would just flat out be a bad move for them.

As a 4th month Mac user (0, Troll)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991606)

Guys. I've been an Amiga/PC/Red Hat person for years and got my first Mac Book Pro four months ago. The platform is "the most innovative and best platform" I have EVER USED. I have a new high end Windows 7-64 bit box sitting here collecting dust. The MAC is innovative right down to the power connector that is attached magnetically so it doesn't crack the solder joints in the motherboard when I trip over the laptop cord.

Based on what I have seen and the value and productivity increase I get from using the Mac, I am willing to let them be the gatekeeper. The Apple product is solid, stable, and (secure???) and by providing a gatekeeper to the store and features it limits the damage to the platform and (I hope) upholds standards.

There is a place for Open-ness and a place for megalomania, but I can get nearly any open source package for the Mac and any hooks to the "offlimit" API's will be worked around to make all the interface features available. I say let Apple keep growing and providing value and innovative products. If Apple fumbles the ball, we can revolt, but right now it's a very good platform on which to work extremely efficiently.

fud FUD fud FUD fud FUD fud FUD (5, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Expect more of this (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991676)

Given the success of Stream as well as Apple's own success with its mobile stores why would they not want to carry this over to the desktop? I can imagine someone somewhere in MS HQ is being chewed out for not having integrated something like this in Win7.

Exactly how well it will work with a software pool as big and diverse as what Windows supports is questionable. In addition to the trust factor for MS's image. So maybe for end users it might be meh but if there is one thing MS does well it is cater to larger scale implementations.

In fact for say a small office being able to manage your licensing in such a way would be better than the paper trail that one has to keep in case the BSA/MS/etc goons come around.

Two things? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#33991678)

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

Huh. Someone didn't tell that to all of the developers that have been using the Sparkle framework [andymatuschak.org] for the last however long in their applications [iusethis.com] . While it's great that Apple is finally rolling this functionality into the OS as a native component, it's not like Mac applications have been without it up until now. Most of the decent ones have been using Sparkle for a few years, and it does this just fine. Now, if only they would buy out Growl, I'd be a happy man.

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