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iPhone SDK Agreement Shuts Out HyperCard Clone 610

Posted by Soulskill
from the equal-opportunity-rejection dept.
Halo1 writes "Demonstrating it's not just about Flash, Apple has officially rejected for the first time another alternative iPhone development environment following its controversial iPhone SDK Agreement changes. Even though RunRev proposed to retool its HyperCard-style development environment to directly expose all of the iPhone OS's APIs, Steve Jobs still rejected its proposal. The strength of RunRev's business case, with a large-scale iPad deployment project in education hinging on the availability of its tool, does not bode well for projects that have less commercial clout. Salient point: at last February's shareholders' meeting, Jobs went on the record saying that something like HyperCard on the iPad would be great, 'but someone would have to create it.'"
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iPhone SDK Agreement Shuts Out HyperCard Clone

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:25PM (#32242602) Journal

    Just imagine the outcry if Microsoft banned all other development environments than Visual Studio and .NET from Windows. It would be hit with lawsuits and there would be tons of stories and tens of thousands of comments dissing MS on slashdot.

    People also always cry about how consoles are locked down. Slashdotters cry about DRM, restrictions and not giving them control of the devices they buy.

    But suddenly when it's Apple it's all ok. Why the hell?

    • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:31PM (#32242706)
      It was a similar situation with 3G, copy and paste, and a plethora of other features that were added well after the fact. The fanboys claimed that they didn't want all of that. 3G drained the battery, copy and paste complicated the UI, etc. It's all about the Reality Distortion Field being pumped up to levels of recockulousness.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BasilBrush (643681)

        The fanboys claimed that they didn't want all of that... copy and paste complicated the UI, etc.

        Actually the "fanboys" said Apple would add cut n paste when they'd worked out a good UI for it. And they did. The best cut n paste UI of any mobile device.

        • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:48PM (#32245268) Journal

          "The best cut n paste UI of any mobile device."

          That must mean cut and past on everything else is horrendous. I don't have an iPhone but I now have an iPod Touch and I use it around the home mostly for web stuff over Wi-Fi. Every once in awhile, when I am trying to scroll around on the display, the 'copy' mechanism kicks in and grabs some text instead. A minor annoyance and usually I can deselect it without hitting a hyperlink and Safari flitting off to some other web page.

          Yesterday for the first time, I wanted to cut and past something. I've installed QuickOffice on the thing and I wanted to save some text from a web page.

          Nothing that I could do, or figure out how to do, would trigger the 'capture text for copying' function that I've inadvertently triggered in the past.

          That is NOT my definition of a good cut/paste user interface. There's nothing intuitive about it. I guess I should go out and find an O'Reilly manual for the iPhone OS. They publish the 'Missing Manual' series after all.

          Apple's interface design decisions are always highly political and steeped in dogma. It's been that way since the launch of Macintosh.

          It's good that you've stepped forward to be the spokesperson for 'the fanboys' Baselbrush... but this is developers.slashdot.org not your usual apple.slashdot.org. Don't you feel kinda out of place here??

      • by Animats (122034) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:41PM (#32244156) Homepage

        The fanboys claimed that they didn't want all of that.

        That goes a long way back. For the original Mac, the fanboys were saying "The Mac has resolution; it doesn't need color." (IBM had color. Sun had color. Apple was strictly black and white. Not even greyscale in the early models. Fortunately for Apple, they had Susan Kare [kare.com], who made the Mac interface look good under those limitations.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mattack2 (1165421)

          Apple was strictly black and white.

          (I know what you mean, but...)

          No, the *Mac* was black and white. *Apple* had color since introduction in 1977.

    • by Amarantine (1100187) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:35PM (#32242784)

      Just imagine the outcry if Microsoft banned all other development environments than Visual Studio and .NET from Windows. It would be hit with lawsuits and there would be tons of stories and tens of thousands of comments dissing MS on slashdot.

      Well, good thing this isn't about desktop OS's, then, isn't it? In fact, coding for OS X is free and unrestricted, just as with Windows. On the other hand... You know that for Windows Mobile 7, apps need Microsoft's approval, don't you?

      People also always cry about how consoles are locked down. Slashdotters cry about DRM, restrictions and not giving them control of the devices they buy.

      But suddenly when it's Apple it's all ok. Why the hell?

      Actually, i find it's the other way around. Nobody blinks an eye when Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo brings out a new line of consoles, vendor locked-in to the max, only running apps that require their approval and signature, a process which costs tens of thousands $$. But if Apple does it for their iPhone, bring out the tar and feathers!

      • by BlueKitties (1541613) <bluekitties616@gmail.com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:47PM (#32243010)
        The problem is that the iPhone and iPad are becoming more or less general computing platforms. This isn't a matter of locking down a single, narrow media device, but a broad multi-purpose system. The iPad is a hell-ouv-lot more than a game console -- it has the potential to completely replace a laptop, depending on the user's needs. Apple is getting a foot-hold on our everyday computing needs, so when they lock down such devices they gain an unbelievable amount of control. If tomorrow, we all switched to Apple devices, we would literally have a technology Big Brother. It's not just a buzz phrase at this point, it's how Apple operates. They think they know best, and they are willing to use their power to get their way. Now, that doesn't mean it would be the end of the world or anything, but it would be a sad day for the tech industry. But hey, we can argue all we want online, I vote with my wallet (i.e. I will never buy anything with an Apple logo.) That is, at least, until I don't have much choice.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 517714 (762276)

          The problem is that the iPhone and iPad are becoming more or less general computing platforms. This isn't a matter of locking down a single, narrow media device, but a broad multi-purpose system. The iPad is a hell-ouv-lot more than a game console -- it has the potential to completely replace a laptop, depending on the user's needs. Apple is getting a foot-hold on our everyday computing needs, so when they lock down such devices they gain an unbelievable amount of control.

          They are not becoming general computing platforms. They might have that potential if Apple were not intent on shutting that down. You have confused multi-purpose (Apples's intent) with omni-purpose (your desire).

          By all means vote with your wallet, but quit acting as if Apple has done something evil. If Apple is making such obvious errors in their handling of these products, then surely some other manufacturer will fill the void, but no one is going there yet.

      • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:55PM (#32243188)
        I don't give a damn if I need Apple's permission to sell apps in their store. As has been beaten to death here, it is their store. My problem is with them restricting 3rd party installations. If Windows takes the same route with Mobile 7 and doesn't allow manual installs then they'll be just as evil as Apple. This is tantamount to you being told that you can only purchase MP3s from iTunes despite the fact that your device is perfectly capable of handling music from a variety of sources. Jobs is simply afraid that if he gives consumers a choice it will undermine the lock-in that he is trying so desperately to complete.
        • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Monday May 17, 2010 @05:41PM (#32246002)

          If Windows takes the same route with Mobile 7 and doesn't allow manual installs then they'll be just as evil as Apple

          We used to say "just as evil as Microsoft". Funny how times have changed.

        • by initialE (758110) on Monday May 17, 2010 @07:24PM (#32247236)

          I have a problem if Apple had explicitly given permission for me to develop my app, and then pulled those permissions after they changed their minds, and oh, by the way, after I've already spent valuable time, effort, and development dollars on making that app. Isn't this what happened? Steve Jobs basically asks someone to develop this HyperCard. Then he turns around and says it is not allowed. Did he do it before? I seem to recall that Google Voice for the iPhone was a done deal, up to the part Apple rejected it in the approval process. Again, development dollars gone to waste.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Stick32 (975497)

        Actually, i find it's the other way around. Nobody blinks an eye when Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo brings out a new line of consoles, vendor locked-in to the max, only running apps that require their approval and signature, a process which costs tens of thousands $$. But if Apple does it for their iPhone, bring out the tar and feathers!

        Yeah, tell me about it!!! And just like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo I can't use cross-platform development to.... oh wait...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by edxwelch (600979)

          Of the 4 Apple is the most cross platform friendly. It supports OpenGL ES, c++ and OpenAL. Sony and Nintendo have c++ and a api similiar to OpenGL ES. Microsoft just has c++.

    • by rsborg (111459) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:36PM (#32242834) Homepage

      Just imagine the outcry if Microsoft banned all other development environments than Visual Studio... But suddenly when it's Apple it's all ok. Why the hell?

      First, Apple is not a convicted monopolist like Microsoft [albion.com], second, I don't think this move is cool either, but it's totally legal.

      • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:57PM (#32243226)
        Would I be allowed to drive slowly down a street taking pictures of kids at a park as long as I wasn't a convicted pedophile? I don't care about Microsoft's past, what I care about is the frightening path that Apple is trying to force technology to follow in the present and the future.
      • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:14PM (#32243562)

        First, Apple is not a convicted monopolist like Microsoft [albion.com]

        Neither is Microsoft a 'convicted monopolist' - the case against them was a civil action, you can only be convicted of something in a criminal court. The term 'convicted monopolist' is nothing more than a slashdot marketing term.

      • by manekineko2 (1052430) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:01PM (#32244522)

        I hate it when people trot out that tired convicted monopolist argument.

        So if tomorrow the Supreme Court found Apple to be a monopolist with regards to smartphones (setting aside all plausibility arguments as to such, this is a hypothetical), I presume that would make you say what Apple is doing is wrong?

        I somehow doubt that would be the case for most people that raise the convicted monopolist argument.

        Legality is not the same as morality.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mjwx (966435)

        First, Apple is not a convicted monopolist like Microsoft, second, I don't think this move is cool either, but it's totally legal.

        Neither were Microsoft back in the 80's. I love the knee jerk fanboy response "but Microsoft is a Monopoly" argument as it completely ignores that Apple is doing the same things that Microsoft did before it was convicted as an abusive monopoly. Fanboys, you must also include the word "abusive" as that is the operative word, MS wasn't convicted of being a monopoly, that is 100%

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:38PM (#32242854) Journal

      See, I think (and I think some people on here might agree) is that yes: We don't like the business practices of Apple. But somewhere deep down inside, we want to see what will happen when Apple does these kinds of things. We're silently hoping that it shuns developers to other platforms, thus weakening Apple's product as a whole, and we can finally say "I told you so" when their stocks drop from bad ideas such as this.

      On the other hand, we also like the idea of "Apple has the freedom to do what they want with their product" (notice that I cannot purchase a Microsoft Desktop, they don't have the full verticle control thing going on). It seems if we press on locking them down, the whole system will be locked down, and thats not good for everyone.

      So we give them a bit of leniency because they are kind of our guinea pig. Big enough to try things out, but we don't have to depend on them.

      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:03PM (#32243336) Homepage Journal

        Actually I don't really care.
        Apple isn't a monopoly and makes some really good stuff.
        As a developer I don't care as I can pick what platform I want to work on.

        I gave up passionately caring about a platform when the Amiga failed to get any traction when it was better in every way than the PC was.

        Apple, Microsoft, Google, HP, Intel, and AMD are all just companies that I buy products from when I like them. They do not pay my bills.

        Software patents "There should be no such thing" I care about.
        The DMCA "stupid and harmful" I care about.
        The RIAA and MPAA acting like an arm of the government I care about.

        Apple telling people they can not sell iPorn or write in Flash for the iPhone? Who cares? Pick a different platform folks. These rules do not have the force of law and really have nothing to do with your rights or freedoms.

        • Long view (Score:5, Insightful)

          by manekineko2 (1052430) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:07PM (#32244600)

          If we were all guaranteed with a crystal ball that Apple would forever remain a niche player and that the iPhone/iPad mobile ecosystem would not become the dominant paradigm of mobile computing, then I would agree with you. However, given Apple's current trajectory, this conclusion is by no means clear to me. So in the meantime, I am trying to prevent that from happening, but raising attention to the bad things that would happen if Apple's current growth continues unimpeded.

          This is about rights and freedoms. Freedom of choice is meaningless if when the time comes to make a choice, there is only one thing to choose from.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LWATCDR (28044)

            Then they would have a monopoly and then it would be illegal.
            Until then everything they are doing is very legal.
            It is not all that different than a movie studio saying that it would only produce g and pg movies.

            But frankly having a smart phone isn't a right at all. And right now the best way to keep Apple from having a monopoly is to not buy an iPhone.
            Anything else is just really flopping about.
            Everybody that buys an iphone even if they don't like the restrictions is just saying "it doesn't really matter to

            • You say you don't care about Apple's draconian actions in your original post.

              You then respond to me and imply that you would care if they had an illegal monopoly.

              So would it be accurate to characterize your belief as you only care about things, and think they're bad, if they're illegal? For example, if it were legal to have a monopoly, you would not care if a company had a monopoly and exercised it in an anti-competitive fashion?

              Personally, I find things good or bad, generally irrespective of what the law s

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:40PM (#32242896) Homepage Journal

      You mean like they do on the XBox and the Zune?
      And we really do not know what they will do with WIndows Phone 7... Hey they took out copy and paste and multitasking to copy the iPhone so who knows.
      And yes people are crabbing to high heaven about Apple. The thing is the answer is simple. Buy and Android phone or a Palm WebOS phone like my wife and I did.

    • by abigor (540274) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:42PM (#32242944)

      You can develop however you like on OS X, which would be the analogous case to developing on Windows.

      This article is about what are essentially embedded devices, which Apple (for better or worse) sees as a different set of use cases for consumers and, as a consequence, developers.

      • No MacBook mini (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        You can develop however you like on OS X, which would be the analogous case to developing on Windows.

        Find me a 10" MacBook on Apple's web site. The closest thing is iPad.

        • Re:No MacBook mini (Score:4, Insightful)

          by abigor (540274) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:29PM (#32244924)

          Eh, nowhere in my post do I reference individual Macbook models, or Macbooks in general. There is also no "rugged Macbook" (which I would love), etc. I guess I don't understand your argument here.

          Regardless of what hardware they offer, when it comes to developing for OS X it's like any other operating system, and that will never change.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      To be fair, Microsoft, like Apple, has one platform of each type(actually, two of each type; because "monolithic and slightly confused" is how MS rolls).

      You've got your PCs running Windows. With the exception of kernel driver signing requirements on 64-bit Vista and later, you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want.

      Then you have the Xbox360. Here, you can either pay nontrivial money to be Microsoft's special development buddy, and do native development and have your binaries cryptographically b
    • by Karlt1 (231423) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:38PM (#32244102)

      Just imagine the outcry if Microsoft banned all other development environments than Visual Studio and .NET from Windows.

      Actually, Microsoft is banning all other environments other than .Net from WinMo 7. That was the reasob cited for FireFox not to create a port for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by toriver (11308)

      Why compare apples to oranges? Windows and Mac OS X are comparable, and neither sets any restrictions on what tools you use.

      iPhone OS and Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7 Series is comparable, and both set such restrictions in place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by daBass (56811)

      Uhm, I hate to say this, but that is how Windows Phone 7 will work - no native code, Silverlight only. And only apps approved by MS, thought the MS app store.

      Like Microsoft with Windows, Apple does not place any of these restrictions on OS X, just iPhone OS.

      Wrong or right, each can have their own opinion, but you can not compare iPhone to Windows. Compare iPhone to WinMo7 and Windows to OS X. Looks like the two companies are not so different in their policies after all.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:28PM (#32242634)

    product which pretty much everyone knew wouldn't get approved with the changes ... and now we're surprised?

    This might have been news when the changes were introduced, now its just:

    Duh, you knew you were treading on thin ice before you even submitted it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sopssa (1498795) *

      I'm quite sure it took longer time to create that product than 2-3 weeks. That was when Apple announced the change. Adobe didn't know anything about it either, since they just before released their new Flash suite that allowed you to cross-compile to iPhone. Those who bought Adobe's product for that reason must love it now, and theres nothing Adobe can do about it.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      This isn't just some random product that disobeys the new rules imposed by St. Steve. This is a re-implementation of a key piece of early Apple desktop software.

      This is much like Apple stabbing Adobe in the back but without any of the alleged acting out from the relevant 3rd party.

      Minding your manners won't help. Don Jobs will whack you too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BarryJacobsen (526926)

      product which pretty much everyone knew wouldn't get approved with the changes ... and now we're surprised?

      This might have been news when the changes were introduced, now its just:

      Duh, you knew you were treading on thin ice before you even submitted it.

      No, this is a company with a business plan that said they would re-do their product to output ONLY for iPhone/iPad (read: not be cross-compilable for other platforms), use 100% CocoaTouch (meaning they look and function like every other app on the platform), guarantee they'd keep pace with the SDK 100%, and have the apps be literally indistinguishable from apps written in Objective-C. And Steve Jobs said no to this business plan.

      To recap: they had a product before that was acceptable; with no notice, Ap

  • Do you actually believe that Steve Jobs personally does all rejection......really?

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:38PM (#32242848)

    Jobs went on the record saying that something like HyperCard on the iPad would be great, 'but someone would have to create it'.

    This being the same Steve Jobs that effectively killed the original Apple Hypercard back in 2000?

    Maybe that should have read, "something like HyperCard on the iPad would be great, but we would have to create it, otherwise it clearly would not be insanely great..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by supremebob (574732)

      I'll bet that HyperCard app would look cool on an Android phone if the developer decided to port it over... hint, hint.

  • "...Steve Jobs still rejected its proposal..."

    I am wondering whether it was at Steve Jobs' sole discretion to reject the app. If it is indeed the case, he must be a busy man these days looking at every app because I understand the iPhone has 200,000 apps. Right?

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:46PM (#32242994) Journal

    Steve is really trying to sell himself short, here. His reality distortion field has gone to his head, and he thinks he's bulletproof. And you know what? When he was the only game in town, he was bulletproof.

    But he's not the only game in town. In fact, as of 1st Q 2010, he's not even the biggest game in town! [npr.org] As an application developer myself, the recent shenanigans around dictating to developers like me how we can or can't do our job and/or what tools we can use make the iphone a non-starter.

    Sorry, too hostile for me, too much lockin for my clients, and not enough benefit. Android it is!

    Isn't it ironic that the company responsible for opening up the smartphone market is now offering the most closed platform?

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:47PM (#32243016)

    Apple are already struggling, and widely criticised, for their slow and inconsistent 'approvals' process.
    Imagine the explosion of apps that would happen if multiple, and easy, development paths were opened up on the iPad/Phone.
    They'd drown...
    I

  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:48PM (#32243036) Homepage

    Then perhaps the question should be phrased as:

      - how would this app need to be created so as to meet the requirements of the license?

    William
    (who is quite fond of Runtime Revolution as it was originally called and developed a ``ProportionBar'' app in it:

    Windows: http://mysite.verizon.net/william_franklin_adams/portfolio/interfaceconcepts/proportionbar.zip [verizon.net]

    Mac OS X: http://mysite.verizon.net/william_franklin_adams/portfolio/interfaceconcepts/proportionbar.app.sit [verizon.net] )

  • by minniger (32861) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:47PM (#32244262)

    And I'd like it if Apple would be at least a bit more open about any number of things (like java 6 being two years behind)... But Apple's been pretty clear about at least a few points:

    1. Don't ship crap. Say what you will about the iPad/iPhone... the hardware and software is definitely not crap.
    2. Write once run anywhere always has issues (abstraction layers too). I'm a long time java swing guy and >I know that java apps are not ideal for normal end users.
    3. Badly performing apps create a stink that gets on everyone.

    #3 is ultimately what apple wants to avoid. A bunch of apps written on some third party abstraction layers that ALL break when apple does an update (apple can't QA everything). Then people think the iPhone/Pad suck... not the hidden abstraction layer.

    And like it or not they are now at least being consistent about it. No abstaction layers for anyone!

  • by mbourgon (186257) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:12PM (#32244660) Homepage

    What's to stop them from making an enterprise deployment? Or have the rules for that changed? Looking at Chapter 5 of the guide (http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/), you can use the iPhone Configuration Utility to deploy a signed package, the only thing you need to do is get a signature via Apple, then send out a config that includes instructions on how to get the app.

    What am I missing?

  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @04:25AM (#32250272) Homepage Journal

    So Apple sees this Hyper-Card clone that already has a good sized institutional market lined up and decides not to approve it. Rather than hyperventilate about DRM and lockin, why not just go with the simpler explanation of greed.

    It would be so simple for Apple to come out with their own Hyper Card for the iWhatever; they've got the background and the copyrights. With an already existing market this would be a easy win; I'll bet that there's Apple developers at work on this right now.

    It's not all about control, guys - it's about money. If you follow the money you won't have to pull out that old "reality distortion field" handwave to explain what's going on.

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