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Will Developers Finally Start Coding On the iPad?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the changing-the-way-things-are-done dept.

IOS 463

An anonymous reader writes "It's not so long since Apple silently dropped the restriction about iOS apps for programming — iPad owners can now code in Lua with Codea or with Python for iOS. Yesterday, a new app called Kodiak PHP brought another IDE to the iPad, this time for PHP coders. Pandodaily's Nathaniel Mott describes it as a full-blooded software development tool with comparison to other iOS apps. Cult of Mac reports that the demise of the Mac might be closer than we think, but are developers really ready to use the on-screen keyboard to do some serious work?"

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463 comments

bluetooth keyboard (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207639)

my iconia tablet + bluetooth keyboard is all I carry around these days. Plenty of good ide's, can host a webserver on the tablet, and so on and so on.

Whatever, ipads. . lol

Re: bluetooth keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207669)

Let me guess, you work for Nvidia (those were only ones that brought the iconica).

Not enough screen pixels (5, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#41207811)

A couple of years ago I finally got an external monitor for my work PC that had more pixels than the Sun 3 I'd used back in the 1980s. (We mainly worked with laptops, and our IT department always thought that having more color depth was more important than more pixels, even though most of us work with text and simple graphics and 16-bit color was plenty. Some years they also thought portability was important, which was nice of them, but had the price of only getting 1024x768.)

Back when I was younger, 1280x1024 pixels was annoyingly small to do development work in, because it limits how much text you could fit on a screen. Now that I need reading glasses, I not only want more pixels than that, but I want a bigger screen to put them on, and holding the latest generation iPad/MacBook close to my face just means typing is awkward.

Re: bluetooth keyboard (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41207891)

my iconia tablet + bluetooth keyboard is all I carry around these days. Plenty of good ide's, can host a webserver on the tablet, and so on and so on.

Whatever, ipads. . lol

than again, on an android tablet you can(cumbersomely) develop a real android app.
on an ipad not, unless you use it essentially as just as a dumb terminal to some full mac somewhere.

it's essentially apples rules about not having a second app store that keep the whole developing fully on an ipad idea at bay for foreseeable future for non-jailbreakers. so it's a matter of politics, not practicalities.

Re: bluetooth keyboard (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41208027)

Do "full blooded software development" and "PHP" belong in the same sentence?

Seriously? (4, Insightful)

trifus (1576365) | about 2 years ago | (#41207667)

No.

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 2 years ago | (#41207739)

Oh they will. As soon as Tim Cook does this. [google.com]

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

dclozier (1002772) | about 2 years ago | (#41207753)

This.

If you don't have a real keyboard you don't have a real development tool - regardless of the IDE. Sure you can do some programing and you can even use a real keyboard with an ipad - but if your going that far then why not just use a laptop? If portability is an issue then try an ultrabook. The conclusion I have come to though is that most of my development time does not happen while being "mobile" - I'm at a desk somewhere.

Tablets are a media consumption device. Using them for developing software is like pounding a screw into wood with a hammer.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41207797)

If you don't have a real keyboard you don't have a real development tool - regardless of the IDE.

Someone else pointed out a more fundamental problem: you cannot write iPad software using your iPad. Even if it had a keyboard, that problem would kill the iPad as a software development platform.

Today. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41207825)

you cannot write iPad software using your iPad

. . .today. Tomorrow, who knows?

Re:Today. (2, Interesting)

MogNuts (97512) | about 2 years ago | (#41207853)

True. For other companies. So normally I would agree with you.

But this is Apple. They don't care about developers. They don't care about users. It's their way, or the highway.

But of course the media will always put, at the end of the article, "but Apple will have it in the next version!" as they always do. Even though they don't. Yet they never do this for any other company

Re:Today. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowardus (2720909) | about 2 years ago | (#41207927)

But this is Apple. They don't care about developers. They don't care about users. It's their way, or San Jose's courthouse.

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:Today. (3, Interesting)

sideslash (1865434) | about 2 years ago | (#41208151)

But this is Apple. They don't care about developers. They don't care about users. It's their way, or the highway.

OK, I agree that they don't care about developers. Apple treats developers like trash. But Apple does care about users an an aggregate sense, in that their products and marketing are designed to achieve real resonance with hundreds of millions of users and turn them into passionate evangelists. Treating developers badly is actually part of the latter goal. But it is only about money, though. Beyond that, Apple doesn't care about users either.

Re:Today. (3, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#41208233)

But it is only about money, though. Beyond that, Apple doesn't care about users either.

And beyond money, does any business care about its customers?

Re:Today. (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41207877)

Is there any reason to think that the situation is going to change? I have seen Apple become increasingly restrictive about their products over the past few years; if anything, I have to wonder how long it will be before the iOS MacBook line comes out, so that only Apple's highest-end systems will allow people to write software (and even then, for a fee). What reason does Apple have to loosen the restrictions on the iOS software ecosystem, when they are making so much money?

That makes no sense. (0)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41207967)

There's no reason apple couldn't write an iOS IDE for the iPad. You seem to think Apple has some kind of nonsensical vendetta agains developers simply because they won't let you install software from a source other than the App store. FYI, apple makes their developer tools available for free, and they only charge $100 per year to be a part of their developer program (which allows you to submit apps for approval). You seem to be taking that and extrapolating it to a world where Apple actively works to prevent software development on their platform, which makes no sense because the apps are such a large part of their product's appeal.

Re:That makes no sense. (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41208053)

There's no reason apple couldn't write an iOS IDE for the iPad

Except that it would violate their own terms of service, and that it would be a complete 180 for them in terms of their recent behavior. There is also no reason that Apple couldn't remove the restrictions on iOS and allow anyone to write software for it -- but no sane person can think that is going to happen.

You seem to think Apple has some kind of nonsensical vendetta agains developers

No, they just want developers to pay them for the privilege of writing software for Apple products. See, for example, the $99/year fee for permission to write iOS applications.

they only charge $100 per year to be a part of their developer program

If you do not pay, nobody can run your iOS software. You make it seem like developers are paying Apple because they like the service; in reality, they are paying Apple because the only other way to distribute iOS software is in a legal grey area.

which allows you to submit apps for approval

Or to have your application rejected because it might offend some people:

http://www.juggleware.com/blog/2008/09/steve-jobs-writes-back/ [juggleware.com]

You seem to be taking that and extrapolating it to a world where Apple actively works to prevent software development on their platform

No, I said that Apple would require people to buy a high-end laptop or workstation, and that they would charge a yearly fee to develop software using that system. Which is only one or two steps away from the situation we have today: the development tools are only available for Mac OS X, you have to pay Apple to sign your software or nobody can run it, and Apple is creating more laptops that are not user serviceable. It makes sense for them, because this model for iOS has basically turned them into the most valuable company in the entire world. Why would they even stop doing something so profitable?

the apps are such a large part of their product's appeal.

Apps created by professional developers who use expensive workstations and have little problem paying Apple are part of the appeal. It is rare for an individual developer to make a popular iOS app; we are not talking about the Ubuntu repositories, we are talking about a store designed by and for corporate developers.

At no point did I say people would be forbidden from writing software for Apple devices, all I said is that users will not have such freedom; you will need to pay for the privilege.

Re:Today. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#41208239)

The awkward summary doesn't make it clear but Apple does now apparently allow some scripting to be done on the iPad in the languages it mentions. Not proper app development by any means, but some very limited automation via scripting perhaps. There are other serious restrictions though, such as not having access to a proper file system or any useful APIs to allow the script to do interesting stuff.

Apple only made this decision to allow things like emulators to exist on iOS. They are popular on Android and Windows Phone but were banned on iOS if they allowed the user to write software in any way, meaning any kind of programmable computer or even advanced graphic calculator was out. Anyway, the point is that scripting is just a side effect of this, not the goal and Apple certainly have not made any effort to encourage or even allow any real development on the device itself.

In what way can you not do that? (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41208033)

Someone else pointed out a more fundamental problem: you cannot write iPad software using your iPad.

They are wrong.

Once you jailbreak an iOS device, you can also compile [stackoverflow.com] on it. Why would you not be able to?

The developer of the alternate Cydia app store used to ssh to his iPhone in from his netbook (yes, really) and compile software on the device.

You can do all GUI creation in code; you do not ever have to use Interface Builder or other GUI tools if you do not wish to. There is no limitation on what you can do.

If you mean something along the lines of "it's not possible to type long on an iPad", the same keyboard I am typing on now attached to my computer can also be attached to the iPad.

But even going outside Jailbreaking, there are already ways to develop subsets of iPad applications - using an app called Codify [twolivesleft.com] . In fact it even represents a crude start at thinking about how you would realistically have a good code editor work on a touchscreen. They have a video, you should watch it.

Re:In what way can you not do that? (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41208107)

Once you jailbreak an iOS device

That is a non-answer; you are saying that we need to attack our own computers just to write software for them. If "jailbreak" was something you could do using some official, built-in function of the software, maybe this would be worth considering.

there are already ways to develop subsets of iPad applications

This is also a non-answer; being able to develop for a platform means being able to develop for it, not being able to develop some approved set of macros or scripts. My mom used to program her cable receiver to turn on and change to a particular channel at a particular time, so that her VCR could record a show; would you say that she was able to "develop software using her cable box?" How is this any different?

Answering your non-response (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41208169)

That is a non-answer

Someone says "You cannot develop on an iPad".

I tell them how they can in fact develop on an iPad.

You call that not an answer. Hmm.

This is also a non-answer; being able to develop for a platform means being able to develop for it

Which Codify allows you to do. Codify allows you to develop for the iPad. Hmm.

My mom used to program her cable receiver to turn on and change to a particular channel at a particular time, so that her VCR could record a show; would you say that she was able to "develop software using her cable box?" How is this any different?

I am not sure how the equivalent of going into Settings and altering a timer is the same thing of writing code capable of arbitrary logic and UI interaction, which again Codify allows you to do.

Yes. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41207845)

I use my keyboard less and less for programming. And as others have pointed out, you can get a keyboard for an iPad. People who think this can't happen simply lack imagination.

Re:Yes. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41207917)

Get back to me when you can write "hello world" for iOS using your iPad, without first having to get Apple's permission and without having to connect to the Internet.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207999)

Get back to me when you can write "hello world" for iOS using your iPad, without first having to get Apple's permission and without having to connect to the Internet.

You didn't mention knee-pads and K-Y - why?

You mean I really didn't need those?

Awe shit!

Re:Yes. (0)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41208017)

without first having to get Apple's permission and without having to connect to the Internet

Those are an odd set of requirements. You have a very narrow definition of "software development."

Re:Yes. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41208129)

OK, you have fun with your little walled garden; the rest of us will be over here, developing our software without having to pay fees, without having to wait for some unrelated company to approve of our code, and without having to connect to any network or system.

Re:Seriously? (0)

eexaa (1252378) | about 2 years ago | (#41207899)

You can still have iPad, keyboard and a SSH app.

Re:Seriously? (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41207955)

In other words, your iPad is now a middle man between you and the system you use for developing software. Why not cut out the middle man, and save time, money, and sanity by just using that system to begin with? You can get a small, lightweight netbook running whatever OS you were connecting to over SSH if you do not like the size or weight of a typical laptop.

Someday iPad apps will be developed on an iPad ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#41207965)

No.

Yes, seriously, someday iPad apps will be developed on an iPad.

That day will be when the iPad plugs into a "docking station" and acts as the "cpu" and an external keyboard, mouse, display and storage (HDD, SSD, etc) connect to it through the docking station.

Re:Someday iPad apps will be developed on an iPad (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 2 years ago | (#41208075)

That day will be when the iPad plugs into a "docking station" and acts as the "cpu" and an external keyboard, mouse, display and storage (HDD, SSD, etc) connect to it through the docking station.

Doesn't iOS have a sandboxed architecture where applications are restricted to their own private workspace? How's that going to work for a developer toolchain?

No... (3, Interesting)

tangent3 (449222) | about 2 years ago | (#41207675)

..but if they were serious enough about coding on a tablet, there are plenty of portable hardware keyboards that can be connected to it.

But really, the IDE apps mentioned don't seem to allow development of actual iOS apps on the device, unlike https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aide.ui&hl=en [google.com]

Re:No... (4, Funny)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#41207883)

Please, we need programs not apps. Stuff doesn't get done in crippled wooden UI half baked apps. Developers need things like functioning file system, interoperating programs, real task switching, stable kernel, yes, kernel that doesn't crash your 6 hour hard work without even flashing an error. On Linux or Windows you at least get an error and 1st party programs do not hard crash there. Can't really wait for Windows 8 and some solid hardware company like Lenovo or Sony to give me a real system worth coding on - a real tablet experience.

Nope (4, Funny)

majesticmerc (1353125) | about 2 years ago | (#41207689)

are developers really ready to use the on-screen keyboard to do some serious work?"

Speaking for my people, No.

Re:Nope (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207697)

are developers really ready to use the on-screen keyboard to do some serious work?"

Is slashdot ready for their next Appledvertisement? Apparently so.

Is it just me? (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41207695)

or when the rest of you see one of these stories predicting about the demise of desktops, laptops and every other device with a precise user interface and non-negligible computing capacity, do you just want to shoot yourself?

Re:Is it just me? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207713)

Yes, it is just you who wants to shoot yourself.
Rational people merely want to shoot the authors of such stories.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41207803)

do you just want to shoot yourself?

Shoot myself? Why... it's not me that makes moronic predictions.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207865)

Most people aren't predicting the utter demise of desktops and laptops, they're just predicting (quite correctly, I think) their decline to a more niche and more expensive kind of product. Desktops/Laptops have been riding on the coattails of Joe Sixpack, who never really wanted to do all the things those boxes can do. Joe wants to get onto his Facebook, share some photos on his Tumblr, and maybe watch some Youtube videos. He can do that far easier on a tablet, so the rather accidental mass-market status the traditional PC got is not going to last. PC type systems will be for the very few who do things like CAD, programming, and other tasks that actually need such a device.

That doesn't mean the PC will die utterly. It just means a return to the days where you had to spend $15-20,000 to get that sort of a machine, because it will only be in demand from a niche, rather than from a billion average people around the world who can get by just fine with a tablet and smartphone, and actually prefer that to the complexity and insecurity of an open PC. You were riding on the economy of scale that never really made sense. It's that economy of scale that's going away, not the PC itself.

So don't worry, open computing platforms won't die. They will just fall back to their natural niche. There's little way to pretend that won't happen, because it's already starting to happen now. Barring a pretty damn sudden shift in rates of change, tablets will outsell traditional PCs within the next two years, maybe even sooner. It IS going to happen, and it is going to become the dominant consumer platform, but you'll still be able to buy PC-like systems, just not as cheap.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#41208189)

That doesn't mean the PC will die utterly. It just means a return to the days where you had to spend $15-20,000 to get that sort of a machine, because it will only be in demand from a niche [..] So don't worry, open computing platforms won't die. They will just fall back to their natural niche.

I don't know about you, but I *like* the fact that powerful computers are available for very little cost compared to the days when they cost "$15-20,000", and I certainly *would* consider it a "worry" if it meant returning to that situation.

And how would open computing retreating back into a niche- along with general-purpose computers- with the vast majority of computing devices out there being closed and shut off be nothing to worry about? It's only that if you didn't care about it all in the first place.

I can understand (though not agree with) the appeal of closed, walled-garden devices for the general public, but that doesn't mean it's something I have to be happy about.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

MogNuts (97512) | about 2 years ago | (#41207893)

Yes.

But I really do wonder. Do all these plant articles and thinly-veiled advertisement "news articles" actually translate to sales? Apple probably because Apple-lovers are morons at this point. But aren't Android tablets dying sales-wise, regardless of the media push? I truly wonder.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208035)

myself? no
the author? yes

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 2 years ago | (#41208049)

No, but when one of the guys that I game with on Fridays does the same thing, I'm tempted to throttle him until I remember that he wouldn't feel a thing through the neck fat...

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208137)

Mrs. Betteridge's Corollary:

The answer is always "Yes, it's just you".

Simpler question: Can it write apps for itself? (1)

aaron44126 (2631375) | about 2 years ago | (#41207699)

Can I use the iPad to develop fully featured iPad apps? No? I don't think you can bill it as a development platform, then.

Exactly (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41207775)

I think we can use the word "bootstrapping" to describe that: a PC can be "bootstrapped" in terms of development, an iPad cannot be. If Apple wants to open up the iPad so that we can write software for it without requiring some other computer, maybe the answer will change.

Re:Exactly (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41207907)

The walled garden is more appropriately described as being 'boot-heeled'. I'm very disappointed with software developers rewarding a company putting forth a 'platform' with this kind of restrictions in place. If this had happened 30 or 40 years ago, the vast majority of them would note even have computers on their desks, and even fewer would be 'allowed' to write software for them.

Re:Exactly (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41207981)

The irony is that Apple is part of the reason that we have personal computers, and not just terminals we use to connect to the local computation utility.

Re:Simpler question: Can it write apps for itself? (1)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#41208009)

Of course you can develop iPad apps on the iPad. Haven't you seen the link to Codea in the summary? That app does exactly that. In fact I have a game coded in Codea right here on my iPad, and I haven't even bought Codea.

Yes, actually, that is patentable... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41208069)

Since you can compile on an iOS device [stackoverflow.com] , you can write fully featured apps for it.

Editing? You could always grab one of the iPad code editors [readwriteweb.com] , use the FTP support to read and write local files on your device, and switch to a terminal to compile.

It's all a bit primitive now if you were insistent on doing the whole thing on an iPad, but it can be done.

Sorry, meant to say "possible", not "patentable" (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41208095)

Not sure what autocorrect was thinking there.

Wonderful but... (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#41207707)

Wonderful news to have real programming available on iOS however my Mac is a lot more than just a keyboard. I see a time when the iOS and MacOS will merge and there will be varying pieces of hardware that runs the new AppleOS (aOS). But just adding a keyboard (which I have) to my iPad does not make my iPad as functional as my Mac. The Mac has a lot more storage (iCloud is not available here in any reliable fast mode) and a lot more ports. My Mac can also play CD's (remember those - sort of like envelopes for music) and DVDs (envelopes for movies). The iPad has a long ways to go before it's as good as a Mac.

Comprehensive List of Computing Advantages in iPad (5, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41207711)

* It fits in my purse.

Re:Comprehensive List of Computing Advantages in i (2)

pipeep (2106308) | about 2 years ago | (#41207813)

See Also: Netbook

A physical keyboard is all well and good (2)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about 2 years ago | (#41207715)

But what keeps me using a computer over a tablet, at least so far, as the ease of use — navigation, switching between browser tabs or between applications, ability to split screen and have documents side by side and so on. My coding is minimal, but I do a huge amount of research and writing up my thoughts, and, whilst a tablet has worked its way into my life despite me initially pooh-poohing them as pretty much pointless for the way I tend(ed) to use computers, I cannot see it replacing a computer for the time being.

Re:A physical keyboard is all well and good (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41208091)

And yet for every person like you there's 100 who only ever use a computer for Facebook and email and gave been waiting for something as simple and useful as the ipad for the past 15 years. Most people have no interest in using a computer to actually accomplish anything and are perfectly happy consuming music books and itsvideos. I probably spend half my time doing the same. And with the price of these things its getting very easy to own both a laptop and a tablet. I've already decided my next phone will be the cheapest available with tethering and opt to spend the difference on a 10 inch tablet

Suuuuuurvey says... "No"! (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#41207741)

Why the hell would I want to target a platform that limits devs to basically writing toys (no system level apps, no "arbitrary code execution", no duplication of "useful" apps that would compete with Apple-flavored)?

And then, even if I did have a great idea for the next "Angry Birds"... Why the hell would I want to target a platform known for giving devs the boot for reasons ranging from "editorial" to "petty" to "borderline illegal vindictive"?

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll target iDevices as soon as they tear down the wall around the garden, and not before.

Re:Suuuuuurvey says... "No"! (1, Interesting)

elabs (2539572) | about 2 years ago | (#41207977)

If the tablet runs a "real" OS then it starts to make more sense. Enter Windows 8.

No. (2, Interesting)

Alkonaut (604183) | about 2 years ago | (#41207757)

I wouldn't even use a MacBook Pro keyboard for coding more than a few minutes. Nor would I code on that kind of screen size. Similarly, if I'm writing an email longer than a few sentences, I put my iPad down and reach for the laptop...

Re:No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207937)

It's easier to balance an iPad rather than a laptop on your butt-buddy's back while you're cornholing him.

So I'm told.

Probably not (2, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 2 years ago | (#41207769)

Let's face it, when writing a significant app you do a lot of typing. So. Are the iPad's keys roughly the size of a normal keyboard's? That size is significant because it's a comfortable size for human fingers. Much larger and it's awkward to reach between keys, while much smaller and it's awkward to hit just the key you want. Does the iPad's screen allow for keys to be depressed and provide gradual resistance? Those mechanical aspects are important because they provide tactile feedback and avoid having the typist hammering the tips of their fingers on a solid surface (which hurts after a while). Can I keep the iPad's on-screen keyboard only slightly inclined (so it's in line with the plane my fingers occupy while typing) while angling it's display 45 degrees or more up (so it's perpendicular to my line of vision)? That's so I can type comfortably without having to crane my neck or maintain an uncomfortable position to see the screen clearly. As far as I can tell the answer to all of those is "Not without external devices.". So if I'm going to tie myself down to a stand to hold the iPad itself plus a big keyboard and mouse to do my typing on, why wouldn't I go for the conventional desktop with it's larger monitors and more horsepower so I can run builds faster?

Re:Probably not (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41207829)

... and so you don't have to deal with arbitrary restrictions about applications and content, nor reward those selling a platform with those restrictions in place.

Re:Probably not (1)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#41208241)

Are the iPad's keys roughly the size of a normal keyboard's?

Yes, they are the same size as Apple keyboard keys. Have you ever actually used an iPad to type anything?

Not Likely (3, Insightful)

MLCT (1148749) | about 2 years ago | (#41207771)

Unless coding applications are much much improved from general text input applications, not likely is my answer.

I can barely be hassled "typing" any more than 3-4 sentence email on an ipad before I get annoyed. In addition to the difficulty of typing, the lack of cursor control (touching to move the cursor is just down to luck as to where exactly it goes) means the entire experience is a retrograde step. Fine for 140 character input, useless if you want to type any lengthy piece of text.

Tablets are great for some things (content consumption primary amongst them). But honestly, any time I am told that tablets represent a "post-pc" world for content creation (whether professional coding, or simple word processing), I just laugh.

Re:Not Likely (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41207855)

I can barely be hassled "typing" any more than 3-4 sentence email on an ipad before I get annoyed.
Tablets are great for some things (content consumption primary amongst them). But honestly, any time I am told that tablets represent a "post-pc" world for content creation (whether professional coding, or simple word processing), I just laugh.

Laugh? You can't be serious [theonion.com] , can you?

Actually, I don't what a laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207793)

I want my company to provide a really powerful virtual machine that I can access from my ipad w/ a logitech keyboard. That way, if I need more power, I just get a different virtual machine. I'd also like my logitech mouse to work with that VM, but one step at a time. As it stands, my corporate IT services are pitiful compared to existing cloud services. Both evernote and onenote work better from the internet. My corporate email is space constrained (unlike my gmail). Lastly, I can access my dropbox and google drive files from anywhere, as compared to my corporate documents, which are locked into my laptop. I would fire my corporate IT if I had a choice. They don't provide as good service. The lack of service creates corporate security risks, as my fellow employees eschew corporate IT services in favor of cloud services.

That depends (1)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#41207795)

A simple game or a visualization of some data? Sure, you might program that on an iPad.

But for serious work it just lacks the tools. You need more than just an IDE to create a real application. The fact you can't easily work with files or open up a terminal is a serious deal breaker there.

And of course there's the fact there's no way to share screen space between different apps on an iPad. The fact every app always takes up the entire screen is great for a lot of people, but I don't think developers are amongst those who appreciate this level of user friendliness. At least not for work purposes.

Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207805)

I'm not sure i'd want to develop a fully fledged app on a locked down single-task, single 10" display device with no physical keyboard.

It's a bit like asking "Will developers finally start coding on their internet-connected Fridges?"

Just No (2, Insightful)

MogNuts (97512) | about 2 years ago | (#41207821)

Seriously. Just no. Journalists--stop it. Stop it already.

I wonder what will happen when all the hype dies down and people actually use their tablet for more than casual BS. Right now it's The New Shiny (TM). But when the world over finally realizes it's collecting dust, will they buy another?

My guess--only the $200 tablets like the Nexus 7 will survive. Though the only thing that has peaked my interest would be *laptops* or convertible tablets (like that new Sony one with a slide out KB) with Win 8. Because as it stands now, unless you attach a mouse or use the nipple on the Thinkpads, Trackpads are quite possibly the worst thing ever to use.*

With Win 8 on a touch-screen laptop, I could for serious work use the mouse--but for casual stuff, using the touch-screen on a laptop would be a god-send. And no, I don't want iOS or even my preference--Android. I want a REAL computer to do REAL things. Like the simple act of being able to load SouthParkStudios.com or browse a company's job board.

* And no, don't listen to what the world's most biased site, the Verge says--the Mac's trackpads are not worth switching entire computers, ecosystems, or preferences for.

Re:Just No (3, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41207975)

> Though the only thing that has peaked my interest

The word is piqued, you poor benighted heathen.

Re:Just No (0)

MogNuts (97512) | about 2 years ago | (#41208109)

Really? Wow. I forgot to check my grammer.

Asshole.

Re:Just No (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41208203)

Nah, obviously his interest tends to "peak", if you catch my drift...

Re:Just No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208025)

I wonder what will happen when all the hype dies down and people actually use their tablet for more than casual BS

The vast majority of potential customers NEVER do more than "casual BS". That's all that want a computer for: media consumption, and checking their facebook. Tablets work fine for that. They don't want a PC for doing that. PCs are a pain for them and far more complicated than they need.

The rest isn't a big enough market to matter.

Re:Just No (2)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#41208031)

But when the world over finally realizes it's collecting dust, will they buy another?

Yes.

Maybe that's because I never used my iPad for any bullshit. I always knew what I wanted it for and that's what I'm using it for. It's a great device for many things while I'm on the road or otherwise not at my desk. If I just want to check if I got new mail, the iPhone will do. When I actually want to process my mail, with replies and all, iPad is great.

Coding? Please. Be serious. Nobody sane would do that, except for emergencies.

Re:Just No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208083)

Actually the iPad has opened up a golden age of user created content. People are doing all sorts of things with them - shooting and editing their own movies, creating music, and more. Just because YOU don't use your iPad for more than "stupid shit" doesn't mean everyone else is the same. There is more content being created on iPads now than on PCs. But have fun in the past, gramps, and we will be sure to get off your lawn.

No (4, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#41207831)

Look, I'm an iOS & web developer. I use an iPad all day long, often off-site. If anybody is the target market for this, it's me. And I think developing on an iPad is an awful idea. It's a case of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should". Is it possible to pull up a code editor on the iPad? Of course. But that doesn't make it a better choice than, well, just about any other option. The only redeeming aspect of this is if you already have an iPad with you, it's better than nothing at all. But really, how often is it that you need to do some coding unexpectedly and you only have your iPad with you? This is what laptops are for.

iPad + Linode + VIM (1)

krslynx (1632027) | about 2 years ago | (#41207833)

I read this a while ago, back when I had an iPad, and decided to attempt the same:

http://yieldthought.com/post/12239282034/swapped-my-macbook-for-an-ipad [yieldthought.com]

Bottom line; if you don't have a decent internet connection all the time (which I don't) -- it's really not a great solution. However, the article does highlight a lot of the benefits of developing on an iPad (such as long battery life, no heat, quick standby / wake up) etc

As there are IDEs appearing it could be something I look to again, but probably not for a long time.

Betteridge (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 2 years ago | (#41207857)

No.

Next up: "Does Betteridge's law ever work?"

For all the nay-sayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207869)

I enjoy coding on a 10in screen, with half of it occupied with a keyboard, and the other half covered in greasy finger prints. I find selecting text much easier with my super precise finger tips than a primitive mouse. In addition I do not need another window next to it for reference as I already know everything there is to know, nor do I need a second window as I code once and my application is perfect. I also love clicking on several combinations of soft-keys to locate brackets and colons. On a positive note it is much easier to add emoticons when commenting my code. :-)

Windows 8 will run Eclipse, Visual Studio, etc. (0)

elabs (2539572) | about 2 years ago | (#41207939)

When Windows 8 tablets come out next month anyone running the "Pro" (i.e. x86-based) versions will be able to run anything they can run on a PC. That includes, Visual Studio, Eclipse, Netbeans, you name it. I'm sure it won't be long before more touch-friendly versions of these apps will surface making the experience even better. Since coding makes up about 99.9% of what I do on a computer, I may actually find a tablet useful for the first time.

Re:Windows 8 will run Eclipse, Visual Studio, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208143)

Good thing Apple already released the Macbook Air years ago to cover exactly this space...

Fuck Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207941)

Who are they to decide whether or not you can run development tools on your own device? Just the other day they banned an app that provides information about drones. Consumers need to stop putting up with this.

Apple should be split up and forced to allow third party app stores access to their phones. This is just ridiculous.

Re:Fuck Apple (1)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#41208029)

Who are they to decide whether or not you can run development tools on your own device?

The designers, developers, maintainers and owners of their platform.

It's their system and their rules apply. Don't like their rules? Get something else. Simple as that.

Re:Fuck Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208181)

The app didn't "provide information about drones". You're a fucking moron.

Furthermore, you can run ANYTHING YOU WISH on your own iOS device. You can write ANY program and run ANYTHING you want. You just aren't guaranteed to have it on the App Store unless you conform to Apple's guidelines.

Emacs (5, Funny)

gentryx (759438) | about 2 years ago | (#41207959)

Not until there is an Emacs version available from the App Store.

Re:Emacs (3, Funny)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41208227)

How am I supposed to type C-x M-c M-butterfly on an iPad keyboard?

Re:Emacs (1)

gentryx (759438) | about 2 years ago | (#41208243)

Touché!

Betteridge's Law of Headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207963)

No.

nonsense (3, Informative)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#41207991)

I do a lot of PHP coding, so I've been kind of waiting for something like that, thanks for the link.

That said, there is no way in any of the seven hells that I would do my day-to-day coding on my iPad. Try writing a few thousand characters on it, in a non-linear form, and you'll understand why.

What I definitely would love is an editor that I can use for some quick fixes or updates while I'm on the road. That way the testers can get crunching already and I might be able to send it live when I get home.

First, we need a port of X and icewm (1)

Richard_J_N (631241) | about 2 years ago | (#41208155)

I was given an iPad3, which I managed to jailbreak. Nevertheless, the device is pretty useless: I'f I'm on the move, I have a smartphone. If I'm travelling and needing to seriously work, I take a laptop. If at home, I have a desktop. There's no situation in which the iPad is the preferred tool for the job. That *might* change if we could run a decent window manager on it, do proper multi-tasking, plug in a USB keyboard (the iPad3 only supplies 20mA, not enough). We's also need proper support for rooted iPads: for example, I can transfer my photos onto the device by scp, but iPhoto won't actually "see" them even if I put them in the right directory.

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208159)

Textastic.

You can even do local Javascript stuff and preview it, also with Firebug Lite, if you're connected. The FTP is excellent too.

I don't see the FTP options in Kodiak, I think that's what it's missing.

AppleScript Studio? HyperCard replacement? (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#41208005)

Until you can chain apps together so as to get real work done w/o being limited by what an app developer has chosen to do, the iPad is a very limited tool.

We need AppleScript, support for it in apps, and we need a HyperCard replacement (why not allow Runtime Revolution, the nicest HyperCard clone I know of to run?)

I'd like to see Python on Android... (1)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#41208041)

I've done a tiny amount of dabbling in Android code and it reminded me of how much I miss Python. It's a shame that a walled-garden setup like iOS is actually friendlier to alternate languages than Android.

I've coded on worse (3, Interesting)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 2 years ago | (#41208061)

I love how some of the comments are of the vein, "No way! How can I code without an IDE and a debugger and my 3 massive monitors and 16-core processor? What a joke!" I've coded on the console, in vi or emacs. If people couldn't write software without modern amenities, we'd never have had the modern amenities.

The reason why we won't be coding on the iPad for quite a while to come is because that's not what Apple wants you to use it for. Light work, maybe, but it's mostly a consumption device, not a creation device. Besides, if you're that hot to code on your iPad, you're a lot better off coding remotely through SSH on a machine with that 16-core processor and 8GB of RAM. (Just because I've worked on those old machines doesn't mean it's the best way to do it. :)

Maybe one day, when this kind of device is effectively all anyone wants to use. But for now, Apple would rather that you bought more hardware, not less.

Re:I've coded on worse (1)

Richard_J_N (631241) | about 2 years ago | (#41208173)

It's probably a fair bet that, even in the days of DOS, you had a decent keyboard on which to type. Even the VT100-era machines (pre arrow-keys) were preferable to a soft-keyboard that takes up half the screen.Of course you can get a keyboard adapter for the iPad, but then you might as well have a real laptop.

They won't bother (1)

maroberts (15852) | about 2 years ago | (#41208063)

They'll all get Asus or Samsungs in protest at the patents decision and code on those instead.

thin-blooded (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#41208093)

full-blooded software development tool

Yeah, right.

I've taken a lot, and I'm underwhelmed.

No support for git or Subversion, i.e. revision control. Is anyone on this planet seriously still writing software without a revision control system?

No database, not even sqlite. Every non-trivial PHP application I know uses a database. How do you want to work on it if you can't at least fake DB queries?

Direct execution instead of webserver emulation. Very few PHP apps are standalone, the vast majority are written for a web environment. Frameworks and libraries do rely on webserver features for parts of their functionality (such as URL rewriting). Another major thing you can't test.

If they tried selling me this as an IDE for my Mac, I wouldn't even test it even if it were free.

Re:thin-blooded (1)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#41208153)

taken a *look*, of course.

Isn't it just that you need a touch optimized IDE? (1)

wuuf (2589663) | about 2 years ago | (#41208121)

If I had an IDE with a high degree of content assist and good touch integration, I would do small projects on my Pad. It's just that the current IDEs suck.

Scripts? Pfft! (2)

rhysweatherley (193588) | about 2 years ago | (#41208135)

Lua, Python, PHP? All scripting languages, useful for their purpose of quick one-off glue tasks, but not anywhere close to "real programming". Call me when you can write a 300,000 line C++ or Java monster on the thing without ending up with debilitating eye or wrist strain injuries.

Hell no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41208219)

Why should I? Compared to the Android environment, Apple is actively hostile towards developers. For the Apple, you HAVE to buy a costly computer (since Apple's development environment is non-portable), pay yet another fee to Apple, develop your app, then can be told that your app was rejected without being given a reason. I mean, hell, they JUST started allowing programming languages onto the IPad? WTF. If you are serious about this, just get an Android device, laugh all the way to the bank with all that cash you are saving, and have a device that encourages this kind of thing. You'll be happier you did.

          That said, trying to do significant programming without a keyboard WILL drive you spare (no a touch screen does not count), and you probably don't have enough screen real estate -- I do some development on a Dell Mini and the screen (almost double the size as on the Ipad) is really not big enough once you get past the "typing lots of code" part of development and to the part where you want to glance at a nice block of code all at once, or look at stuff side-by-side, or whatever.

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