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Google Leaves App Inventor In Limbo 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the fare-thee-well dept.
theodp writes "Google took some heat for pulling the plug on App Inventor for Android, but all was good with the announcement that App Inventor would live on at MIT. But try to run the App Inventor Java test today and you'll be told that 'as of December 31, 2011, Google ended support of App Inventor', even though the Google-funded Center for Mobile Learning at the MIT Media Lab won't be able to provide a large scale App Inventor service for general public access until 'sometime in the first quarter of 2012.' Until then, schools offering App Inventor classes and others who desire continued access to the easy-to-use mobile development environment are advised to try to run their own App Inventor Services on Google App Engine using MIT's test JAR files, a seemingly daunting task, especially considering App Inventor's target audience. Any thoughts on why Google would unplug the old system before the new one was ready?"
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Google Leaves App Inventor In Limbo

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  • or... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Capitaine (2026730) on Monday January 02, 2012 @12:47PM (#38564020)
    Include flamebait targeting Apple here
  • by omar.sahal (687649) on Monday January 02, 2012 @12:49PM (#38564040) Homepage Journal
    Because they don't give a shit about app inventor!
  • Re:Because (Score:4, Informative)

    by nitehawk214 (222219) on Monday January 02, 2012 @01:32PM (#38564414)

    They're evil?

    I wouldn't call continually starting projects they have no intention of finishing evil. It is more like the corporate version of ADD. People ask me why I dont use more Google services even though I have an android phone. Unless a google service is funded by an external entity, you never know if it is going to be around once you start to rely on it.

  • Re:Because (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2012 @01:33PM (#38564422)

    They were required by law to do that, otherwise they'd have to stop offering their services in France and Germany.

  • Re:Because (Score:5, Informative)

    by itsme1234 (199680) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:06PM (#38564682)

    Why don't you quote the rest?
    "Google has complied with these laws by not including sites containing such material in its search results. However, Google does list the number of excluded results at the bottom of the search result page and links to Chilling Effects for explanation."

    To put it shortly: out of 57634762346346 sites google was legally forced to remove 113 sites from the index and despite this you can still learn what URLs had the removed sites from the takedown notices.

    Doesn't sound evil to me.

  • Re:Because (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:34PM (#38564888)

    Your Windows Mobile, Zune or Kin device keeps working today. What's ended is "support", which doesn't preclude you from keeping using it. But when Google pulls the plug, it's just gone - the wonders of online services.

  • by wembley fraggle (78346) on Monday January 02, 2012 @04:12PM (#38565636) Homepage

    Relevant: http://appinventoredu.mit.edu/faq-app-inventor-transition-mit [mit.edu]

    I've been involved with the App Inventor community for a while; anyone who has been using AAI has known this time was coming. The hard deadline was set by Google a while back, the target from MIT was to get an analogue to the appinventorbeta.com service up and running by 12/31. They're a little short of that goal for a few important reasons.

    Most importantly, the original App Inventor engine (at google) ran on top of google-proprietary internals. That is to say, it was not possible to spin out the App Inventor backend (which handles building and packaging an APK file from the blocks program) onto MIT servers without doing what amounted to a complete rewrite to enable it to run on App Engine. Google supported this effort and handed it off to MIT, who have been working hard to get an up-and-running system ASAP. As for right now:

    If you absolutely rely on App Inventor, you can now run your own parallel instance of the backend by deploying the system as linked in the OP. This works nicely, because now the system is completely under your control (and you can hack it if you choose). This is useful for people teaching classes that use AAI as a platform (as I will be doing later this semester), but isn't so great for hobby programmers.

    If you want something that runs like the old appinventorbeta.com site, allowing you to write apps but not have to worry about putting up your own backend server, wait a few weeks. There will be something up on appinventoredu.mit.edu fairly soon.

    The reason why this transition is taking so long is nothing so nefarious as Google or MIT being evil or bad citizens. It's simple, really: there's not that many people actually doing coding for the project, and there's been a lot of coding to do. It'll be out soon. Patience, young apprentices.

    App Inventor isn't going away, and as a matter of fact, the list of new features and useful extensions that are targeted for the coming few years is exciting and compelling.

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