[Esug-list] Re: [squeak-dev] Re: [Pharo-project] Talking to Steve Jobs about Scratch.

Lawson English lenglish5 at cox.net
Thu Apr 22 21:15:13 UTC 2010

Stephen Pair wrote:
> It's hard to argue that Apple is a monopoly when they have ~7% of the 
> PC market and there are 3 significant competing platforms in the 
> smartphone market (RIM, Android, and Windows).  Now, I'm not defending 
> Apple's stance on alternate languages, but I do think these decisions 
> are based mostly on engineering compromises in an effort to constrain 
> the problems they will face as they evolve the hardware and software. 
>  I mean, Objective-C itself is just about the epitome of a language 
> born out of engineering compromise (an early attempt to get a 
> Smalltalk inspired OO system running in a C based environment).
> It's a much simpler problem if they only have to worry about breaking 
> Objective-C and web apps all using official, documented and published 
> APIs moving forward than if they have to worry about a mixed bag of 
> apps all using various idiosyncratic technologies accessing 
> undocumented APIs.  As for the AppStore, it's a practical solution to 
> the problem of viruses and malware (there is certainly demand for 
> computers that just work, where viruses and malware are not an 
> issue...the virus problem in Windows has been quite successful in 
> fostering an appetite for that).  The AppStore not an ideal solution 
> to that problem, but they are having to work with 40 year old 
> operating system technology here.  The AppStore has also been quite 
> successful in dealing with some of the peripheral problems software 
> publishers face (like distribution and payment processing) and in so 
> doing has created a viable business model for thousands of small 
> software publishers.
> I don't mean to come across sounding like an Apple apologist, but the 
> arguments here seem to be very one sided.  I simply want to express an 
> alternative view.
> Of course, having said all of this, I would still like to be able to 
> use Smalltalk to write apps for my iPhone.
> - Stephen
All of what you say is quite possibly true. HOWEVER, Scratch on the 
iPhone isn't really Squeak on the iphone, but a very tiny subset of 
squeak's capabilities exposed to grade school programmers. As far as I 
know, there's no way in scratch to directly access ANY iphone 
capability. Its all done in the scratch programming sandbox, so the ban 
on Scratch is just an overly literal reading of Apple's ban on 3rd party 



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