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

stephen at pairhome.net stephen at pairhome.net
Fri Apr 23 03:52:11 UTC 2010

> On 23 April 2010 02:44, casimiro barreto <casimiro.barreto at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2010/4/22 Stephen Pair <stephen at pairhome.net>
>>> 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).
>> They have monopoly over platform (iPhone and iPad) and until other tablets
>> reach market they have monopoly over tablet market.

The iPhone is their platform, they have every right to restrict it in any way they want.  As long as there a viable alternatives (Android, Blackberry, Windows), they do not have a monopoly.  Nothing is forcing you or me to buy into that platform or have anything to do with it.  And, there are plenty of alternatives coming to market for touch tablets.

>> Suppose Job's idea flourishes and Microsoft decides next version of Windows
>> will load applications via MicrosoftStore only and that they decide which
>> applications are fit for Windows and which aren't and, more than that, what
>> content is appropriate for Microsoft attendance and what is not (like
>> well... no P2P, no Flash, multimedia only via ... you got the picture).

Well, I would say that the idea already is flourishing and I would be surprised if Microsoft didn't copy it.

>> Suppose everybody let this frog go down our throats and Jobs think: "well,
>> it would be nice if all MacOS X applications could only be loaded through
>> AppleStore..."

This is a very likely possibility...I think there are a lot of people that are so paranoid about viruses, identity theft, malware and the like that they would welcome such systems.  In fact, I believe Google recognizes this and the ChromeOS and its security model is evidence of that fact.  My own parents were so scared to death about identity theft that they wanted me to setup a dedicated Linux system for them that they could use exclusively for their online banking activities.  They wanted Linux because they knew it wasn't the target of so many viruses, keyboard loggers and botnets like Windows.

>> The trouble with the iPhone/iPad marketing model goes far beyond Apple
>> controlling things that can crash iPhone/iPad. It means that us, as
>> developers, have to beg blessings to have the applications we develop
>> available for a given platform; that we submit ourselves to the scrutiny of
>> someone else than the customers or each country legal system and even so,
>> "platform god" is free to decide that your application is not "appropriate"
>> to his platform anymore and just throw you out of market.
>> But it is really worse than that because, if your application let you upload
>> something "filth" like Kama Sutra (wtf) then both your application and
>> content can be banished from god's own store. Btw, Bukovisky works were
>> banished from AppleStore (among many other authors).
>> But it goes beyond: as was discovered, Apple have ways of remotely nuking
>> iPhones and iPads (OS feature). Then, according to license, if you keep
>> "unsuitable content" on your device you're prone to have it nuked. So...
>> yeah I think iPhone/iPad market model is a big problem.

I view Apple as a trusted third party in a trust network.  Unfortunately, they are just about the only trusted third party for native applications.  That needs to change, and I believe it will change (whether Apple likes it or not).  Such third parties that review and certify applications will become increasingly important.  As a software publisher myself and someone that has never (to my knowledge) had any real problems with viruses and malware, I find myself increasingly reluctant to install any software that someone (a trusted third party) hasn't thoroughly vetted for any malicious payloads...it's simply too risky not to take such precautions.  I wish it weren't the case, but it is the reality in which we find ourselves.

What we desperately need are operating systems and languages that give first class treatment to these issues of security and that democratize these kinds of trusted third parties (the AppStore is a good idea, but there needs to be hundreds of them, not one or a few). 

- Stephen

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