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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
First link, SDK. Free. Knock yourself out.
You should see what it's like making apps for other phones (Android and iPhone aside). Things have come a LONG way in the past year in this market.
Posted Feb 16, 2009 22:38 UTC (Mon) by bojan (subscriber, #14302)
"Apple's iPhone, now the best-selling cellular phone in the U.S., has been designed with restrictions that prevent owners from running applications obtained from sources other than Apple's own iTunes App Store."
Posted Feb 17, 2009 6:01 UTC (Tue) by tgall (subscriber, #217)
Posted Feb 17, 2009 10:52 UTC (Tue) by bojan (subscriber, #14302)
So, a regular iPhone owner is going to use the SDK to get an application running on it? Please!
The point is that Apple are worse than Microsoft. They'll use any monopolistic practice in the book to exclude others from interoperating without paying rent (in this case the ugly DMCA - possibly the ugliest of all private monopolies). And all that while using open source software for the basis of all this. Pathetic.
Posted Feb 18, 2009 0:12 UTC (Wed) by rickmoen (subscriber, #6943)
First link, SDK. Free. Knock yourself out.
Let's see: Downloading the SDK requires first signing up as a "Registered iPhone Developer", right? That's what it says on the download page, and I see no other download options offered.
iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, section 5, requires that developers' licensing "not purport to require Apple (or its agents) to disclose or make available any of the keys, authorization codes, methods, procedures, data or other information related to the Security Solution, digital signing or digital rights management mechanisms utilized as part of the Program". Sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2, and 3.3.4 impose severe limitations (1, 2) on what developed apps are allowed to do.
Consequently, it seems to me, all iPhone apps are required to be proprietary (and doubly so under any copyleft licence with an anti-TiVoisation clause such as GPLv3) -- which explains why, among other things, even though there are four implementations of SSH for the iPhone, all of them ports of BSD-licensed code for *ix, not a single one of them is itself any type of open source whatsoever.
Seems to me that denies "the possibility of running independent software on that platform" in any meaningful sense of that phrase (if that software is developed using the SDK). Am I missing something, or are you excluding open source from "independent software on that platform"?
(using a Freerunner Neo, thanks for asking)
Posted Feb 20, 2009 4:31 UTC (Fri) by tgall (subscriber, #217)
You're entirely right the iPhone is not friendly to GPLv3, but neither are all open source developers friendly to GPLv3. <shrug>
Your links as to SDK limitations were spot on accurate a year ago. Life has evolved, significantly which was part of why I piped up on this business in the first place. The momentum appears to be that things are opening up and getting more reasonable. Perfect? Heck no. Better? Yes. Getting worse? No.
Now will Apple plunk people over the head with the DMCA? Who knows. If it's going after those cracking apps, I really don't have a problem with that. Average random tinkerer on the street different story. Like I mentioned, Apple did get the music labels to drop drm. Gotta give credit where credit is due.
Does any of this detract from getting rid of the DMCA? I sure hope not. These are the times for that kind of effect to get going. That's the far more interesting conversation.
Posted Feb 20, 2009 11:34 UTC (Fri) by rickmoen (subscriber, #6943)
I'm not sure that the authors of the GPL would consider themselves an "Open Source
License" as compared to a "Free Software License".
That and $1.50 will get you a ride on Muni. Even as a friend of Richard's, I'm not impressed
at he and others at FSF spewing up clouds of rhetoric every time someone refers to one of their
licences (or codebases) as "open source", when it is simply a fact that they are such (among other
things that they are).
You're entirely right the iPhone is not friendly to GPLv3, but neither are all open
source developers friendly to GPLv3.
This seems entirely and in fact flamboyantly irrelevant to the discussion, unless you can
show that those "open source developers" are placing legal bars to anyone's development of
GPLv3 software on an entire class of hardware devices. More to the point, Apple, Inc.'s legal
restrictions appear to bar Registered iPhone Developers from releasing pretty much any iPhone
application under any open source licence. Thus, for example, my
observation about the SSH ports. I really don't think that's coincidence.
Your links as to SDK limitations were spot on accurate a year ago.
I'm unclear on whether you're saying that those various points about the SDK (and about the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement) are no longer applicable. Are you? Which ones?
I'd be grateful to hear a rundown on the current situation -- with citations.
Now will Apple plunk people over the head with the DMCA? Who knows
Um, why don't you ask the PlayFair / JHymn developers? They have a long record on this
matter, and it's not good -- without even counting their very recent, already infamous testimony
before the Library of Congress DMCA regulations committee.
Like I mentioned, Apple did get the music labels to drop drm. Gotta give credit where
credit is due.
I notice you keep changing the subject from what I spoke of, which was Apple's active
measures to prevent third party development of open source apps on iPhones and iPod Touches
(at least using the SDK). Now, you say there's been some... change? Improvement? It's
"evolved", anyway, and I look forward to hearing what that means, specifically.
But, to address your gratuitously changed topic, yes, after making a ton of money retailing
DRMed music tracks from the labels, they "got" some (hardly all of) the labels to
allow them to make a ton more money selling upgrades to "iTunes Plus" variants of the same
tracks, this time without the DRM. I expect that they did this not to save the world, but rather to
increase shareholder value. So, if you're going to try to argue that they're on the side of the
angels on account of one of their highly successful upgrade sales offers, you really should try
that line, instead, on someone who can't read SEC reports. ;->
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