[Openmcl-devel] Mac App store: will CCL apps fly?

Ron Garret ron at flownet.com
Sat Oct 23 00:36:53 UTC 2010


On Oct 22, 2010, at 4:35 PM, Sudhir Shenoy wrote:

> 
> On Oct 23, 2010, at 2:58 AM, Ron Garret wrote:
> 
>> Exactly.  The simple fact of the matter is that Apple does not care about its developers.  It has never cared about its developers.  It doesn't need to.  It cares about its retail customers.  It serves the needs of its retail customers.  By doing that it creates a market in which enough developers are willing to put up with Apple's shit to produce more than enough product to keep the app store well stocked.
> 
> I think this is really unfair to Apple. For years, they've been providing a nice development environment for the Mac (Xcode etc.) along with a wide variety of programming languages (including Java, Python, Perl, Ruby etc.) installed with the developer tools. This was all done at no cost so hobbyists like me could continue to write code with no commercial objectives in mind ...

Oh dear.

Do you know what a feedlot is?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedlot

The cows that inhabit the feedlot probably think they're getting a sweet deal.  Free food, no obligations.  XCode is a feedlot.  Developers are the cows.  The app store is the milking shed.

> Of course, there have been some changes of late e.g., charging $100 per year for iOS devs and deprecating their JVM a few days ago so the old philosophy is in the process of modification. I think this is driven purely by financial considerations, though, rather than out of a desire to screw an inferior race of developers (which is what your comment implies).

Apple's motives are not to "screw an inferior race."  They don't dislike devs.  Devs are dandy.  They make apps, which Apple needs.  But the app store has been too successful.  There are so many apps that the approvals process has been overwhelmed.  They're not charging $100 to make money, they're charging $100 to weed out some developers and stem the tide of apps.  They need to cull the herd.

> As opposed to the i-devices, the Mac still retains the capacity to install programs from any source whatsoever

Sure, for now.

> so I don't see what the problem is.

The problem is that things change.  And the writing is on the wall.

> Everyone is assuming that people will not buy applications that are not in the Mac App store. But is this really true?

I'm certainly not assuming that.  People clearly will buy apps that are not in the app store if they can.  For now they can.  Whether they will still be able to five years from now is far from clear.  Five years from now the only machine that will let you run non-app-store apps (and XCode) might very well be a Mac Pro.  As long as enough devs are willing to put up with it to keep the app store full of fresh content Apple will have no incentive to do anything else.  To the contrary, as long as people are beating down the doors of the app store Apple will be incented to make devs lives less pleasant precisely so that some of them will go away.

rg




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