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IOS PHP Programming Python

Will Developers Finally Start Coding On the iPad? 463

An anonymous reader writes "It's not so long since Apple silently dropped the restriction about iOS apps for programming — iPad owners can now code in Lua with Codea or with Python for iOS. Yesterday, a new app called Kodiak PHP brought another IDE to the iPad, this time for PHP coders. Pandodaily's Nathaniel Mott describes it as a full-blooded software development tool with comparison to other iOS apps. Cult of Mac reports that the demise of the Mac might be closer than we think, but are developers really ready to use the on-screen keyboard to do some serious work?"
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Will Developers Finally Start Coding On the iPad?

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  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by trifus ( 1576365 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:34PM (#41207667)
  • Is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:38PM (#41207695)
    or when the rest of you see one of these stories predicting about the demise of desktops, laptops and every other device with a precise user interface and non-negligible computing capacity, do you just want to shoot yourself?
  • Re:Nope (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:38PM (#41207697)

    are developers really ready to use the on-screen keyboard to do some serious work?"

    Is slashdot ready for their next Appledvertisement? Apparently so.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dclozier ( 1002772 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:45PM (#41207753)

    If you don't have a real keyboard you don't have a real development tool - regardless of the IDE. Sure you can do some programing and you can even use a real keyboard with an ipad - but if your going that far then why not just use a laptop? If portability is an issue then try an ultrabook. The conclusion I have come to though is that most of my development time does not happen while being "mobile" - I'm at a desk somewhere.

    Tablets are a media consumption device. Using them for developing software is like pounding a screw into wood with a hammer.
  • Probably not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:46PM (#41207769) Homepage

    Let's face it, when writing a significant app you do a lot of typing. So. Are the iPad's keys roughly the size of a normal keyboard's? That size is significant because it's a comfortable size for human fingers. Much larger and it's awkward to reach between keys, while much smaller and it's awkward to hit just the key you want. Does the iPad's screen allow for keys to be depressed and provide gradual resistance? Those mechanical aspects are important because they provide tactile feedback and avoid having the typist hammering the tips of their fingers on a solid surface (which hurts after a while). Can I keep the iPad's on-screen keyboard only slightly inclined (so it's in line with the plane my fingers occupy while typing) while angling it's display 45 degrees or more up (so it's perpendicular to my line of vision)? That's so I can type comfortably without having to crane my neck or maintain an uncomfortable position to see the screen clearly. As far as I can tell the answer to all of those is "Not without external devices.". So if I'm going to tie myself down to a stand to hold the iPad itself plus a big keyboard and mouse to do my typing on, why wouldn't I go for the conventional desktop with it's larger monitors and more horsepower so I can run builds faster?

  • Not Likely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MLCT ( 1148749 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:46PM (#41207771)
    Unless coding applications are much much improved from general text input applications, not likely is my answer.

    I can barely be hassled "typing" any more than 3-4 sentence email on an ipad before I get annoyed. In addition to the difficulty of typing, the lack of cursor control (touching to move the cursor is just down to luck as to where exactly it goes) means the entire experience is a retrograde step. Fine for 140 character input, useless if you want to type any lengthy piece of text.

    Tablets are great for some things (content consumption primary amongst them). But honestly, any time I am told that tablets represent a "post-pc" world for content creation (whether professional coding, or simple word processing), I just laugh.
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:48PM (#41207797)

    If you don't have a real keyboard you don't have a real development tool - regardless of the IDE.

    Someone else pointed out a more fundamental problem: you cannot write iPad software using your iPad. Even if it had a keyboard, that problem would kill the iPad as a software development platform.

  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:50PM (#41207811) Journal

    A couple of years ago I finally got an external monitor for my work PC that had more pixels than the Sun 3 I'd used back in the 1980s. (We mainly worked with laptops, and our IT department always thought that having more color depth was more important than more pixels, even though most of us work with text and simple graphics and 16-bit color was plenty. Some years they also thought portability was important, which was nice of them, but had the price of only getting 1024x768.)

    Back when I was younger, 1280x1024 pixels was annoyingly small to do development work in, because it limits how much text you could fit on a screen. Now that I need reading glasses, I not only want more pixels than that, but I want a bigger screen to put them on, and holding the latest generation iPad/MacBook close to my face just means typing is awkward.

  • Just No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MogNuts ( 97512 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:51PM (#41207821)

    Seriously. Just no. Journalists--stop it. Stop it already.

    I wonder what will happen when all the hype dies down and people actually use their tablet for more than casual BS. Right now it's The New Shiny (TM). But when the world over finally realizes it's collecting dust, will they buy another?

    My guess--only the $200 tablets like the Nexus 7 will survive. Though the only thing that has peaked my interest would be *laptops* or convertible tablets (like that new Sony one with a slide out KB) with Win 8. Because as it stands now, unless you attach a mouse or use the nipple on the Thinkpads, Trackpads are quite possibly the worst thing ever to use.*

    With Win 8 on a touch-screen laptop, I could for serious work use the mouse--but for casual stuff, using the touch-screen on a laptop would be a god-send. And no, I don't want iOS or even my preference--Android. I want a REAL computer to do REAL things. Like the simple act of being able to load or browse a company's job board.

    * And no, don't listen to what the world's most biased site, the Verge says--the Mac's trackpads are not worth switching entire computers, ecosystems, or preferences for.

  • Re:Today. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:55PM (#41207877)
    Is there any reason to think that the situation is going to change? I have seen Apple become increasingly restrictive about their products over the past few years; if anything, I have to wonder how long it will be before the iOS MacBook line comes out, so that only Apple's highest-end systems will allow people to write software (and even then, for a fee). What reason does Apple have to loosen the restrictions on the iOS software ecosystem, when they are making so much money?
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @03:56PM (#41207891) Homepage Journal

    my iconia tablet + bluetooth keyboard is all I carry around these days. Plenty of good ide's, can host a webserver on the tablet, and so on and so on.

    Whatever, ipads. . lol

    than again, on an android tablet you can(cumbersomely) develop a real android app.
    on an ipad not, unless you use it essentially as just as a dumb terminal to some full mac somewhere.

    it's essentially apples rules about not having a second app store that keep the whole developing fully on an ipad idea at bay for foreseeable future for non-jailbreakers. so it's a matter of politics, not practicalities.

  • Re:Today. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Cowardus ( 2720909 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:02PM (#41207927)

    But this is Apple. They don't care about developers. They don't care about users. It's their way, or San Jose's courthouse.

    There. Fixed that for you.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:13PM (#41208027) Homepage

    Do "full blooded software development" and "PHP" belong in the same sentence?

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:17PM (#41208053)

    There's no reason apple couldn't write an iOS IDE for the iPad

    Except that it would violate their own terms of service, and that it would be a complete 180 for them in terms of their recent behavior. There is also no reason that Apple couldn't remove the restrictions on iOS and allow anyone to write software for it -- but no sane person can think that is going to happen.

    You seem to think Apple has some kind of nonsensical vendetta agains developers

    No, they just want developers to pay them for the privilege of writing software for Apple products. See, for example, the $99/year fee for permission to write iOS applications.

    they only charge $100 per year to be a part of their developer program

    If you do not pay, nobody can run your iOS software. You make it seem like developers are paying Apple because they like the service; in reality, they are paying Apple because the only other way to distribute iOS software is in a legal grey area.

    which allows you to submit apps for approval

    Or to have your application rejected because it might offend some people: []

    You seem to be taking that and extrapolating it to a world where Apple actively works to prevent software development on their platform

    No, I said that Apple would require people to buy a high-end laptop or workstation, and that they would charge a yearly fee to develop software using that system. Which is only one or two steps away from the situation we have today: the development tools are only available for Mac OS X, you have to pay Apple to sign your software or nobody can run it, and Apple is creating more laptops that are not user serviceable. It makes sense for them, because this model for iOS has basically turned them into the most valuable company in the entire world. Why would they even stop doing something so profitable?

    the apps are such a large part of their product's appeal.

    Apps created by professional developers who use expensive workstations and have little problem paying Apple are part of the appeal. It is rare for an individual developer to make a popular iOS app; we are not talking about the Ubuntu repositories, we are talking about a store designed by and for corporate developers.

    At no point did I say people would be forbidden from writing software for Apple devices, all I said is that users will not have such freedom; you will need to pay for the privilege.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:20PM (#41208091) Homepage
    And yet for every person like you there's 100 who only ever use a computer for Facebook and email and gave been waiting for something as simple and useful as the ipad for the past 15 years. Most people have no interest in using a computer to actually accomplish anything and are perfectly happy consuming music books and itsvideos. I probably spend half my time doing the same. And with the price of these things its getting very easy to own both a laptop and a tablet. I've already decided my next phone will be the cheapest available with tethering and opt to spend the difference on a 10 inch tablet
  • thin-blooded (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:20PM (#41208093) Homepage Journal

    full-blooded software development tool

    Yeah, right.

    I've taken a lot, and I'm underwhelmed.

    No support for git or Subversion, i.e. revision control. Is anyone on this planet seriously still writing software without a revision control system?

    No database, not even sqlite. Every non-trivial PHP application I know uses a database. How do you want to work on it if you can't at least fake DB queries?

    Direct execution instead of webserver emulation. Very few PHP apps are standalone, the vast majority are written for a web environment. Frameworks and libraries do rely on webserver features for parts of their functionality (such as URL rewriting). Another major thing you can't test.

    If they tried selling me this as an IDE for my Mac, I wouldn't even test it even if it were free.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:28PM (#41208169)

    That is a non-answer

    Someone says "You cannot develop on an iPad".

    I tell them how they can in fact develop on an iPad.

    You call that not an answer. Hmm.

    This is also a non-answer; being able to develop for a platform means being able to develop for it

    Which Codify allows you to do. Codify allows you to develop for the iPad. Hmm.

    My mom used to program her cable receiver to turn on and change to a particular channel at a particular time, so that her VCR could record a show; would you say that she was able to "develop software using her cable box?" How is this any different?

    I am not sure how the equivalent of going into Settings and altering a timer is the same thing of writing code capable of arbitrary logic and UI interaction, which again Codify allows you to do.

  • Re:Today. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by colinrichardday ( 768814 ) <> on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:35PM (#41208233)

    But it is only about money, though. Beyond that, Apple doesn't care about users either.

    And beyond money, does any business care about its customers?

  • Not anytime soon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @04:43PM (#41208297)
    My development machine has 24 GB of RAM, an Intel 8 core 3.4 GHz x64 CPU, and the ability to run multiple applications at once on multiple monitors. One of those applications is a virtual machine where I host running copies of other operating systems. I'm accustomed to waiting maybe 5 or 10 seconds for a compile of my current iOS app to complete, which of course is in my virtual Hackintosh, since I chose an OS other than OS X for my main OS. (Relax, I have an official Mac, I just leave it off a lot of the time.)

    So let me get this straight. I can drop down to 1 GB of RAM, and 1 GHz dual core CPU of the ARM architecture, which equates to maybe a 200 MHz x86 or something. I sacrifice freedom of choice of main OS in addition to all my virtualization abilities. I have to stare at one lonely monitor running one lonely app at a time. It will likely take 10 minutes simply to compile small to medium sized apps in Xcode, assuming I have enough memory to compile them.

    Maybe someday? That's the best I can say at this point.
  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @05:05PM (#41208473)

    pitifully small development registration fee

    Which is enough to keep people away. If I had an iPad in high school, and no other computer access, I would not have been to afford that fee.

    Apple has never required the purchase of a high-end desktop or workstation.

    No, they have only required a system running Mac OS X, and now it is starting to look like Mac OS X is going to be locked down as well, or that Apple is going to start installing iOS on their consumer laptop / desktop lines.

    Wrong. Outside of games it is in fact common.

    Hm...what are the most popular apps in the App Store... []

    Well, if we delete the games from that list, what do we see? Google, Facebook, Skype, Microsoft, and a smaller company called TapTapTap. Where are these popular apps from individual developers? I guess maybe they are just not popular enough to make it into the top ten, but here is the top 100 for free apps, and I am not seeing too many individuals even when games are excluded: []

    So, let me reiterate my question for you: where are those individuals who supposedly write all of this popular software?

    Users have that freedom if they want it. attacking their own computers.

    If they want to be in the App store they must pay the App Store owner, one way or another.

    ...and if they want to distribute their software without going through the app store, they can only give it to people who are also willing to attack their own systems. Nice choice.

    You are envisioning some odd world were Apple is making tons of money on DEVELOPERS.

    No, I am envisioning a world where Apple makes tons of money by controlling their products long after those products were purchased. That would be called "the world as it exists today."

  • Re:Yes. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @05:19PM (#41208601)
    Developing for smartphones isn't a particularly good way to make money regardless of platform.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 02, 2012 @05:29PM (#41208651)

    This article is all about Apple loosening the restrictions on the App Store, but you keep telling everyone that they are just making it worse. Do you lack reading comprehension skills or are you just a fanboy trying to lie about the company you don't like?

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Sunday September 02, 2012 @05:41PM (#41208719) Homepage Journal

    If I had an iPad in high school, and no other computer access

    Then you are an edge case who is probably not worth serving. If you are in high school, it's far more likely that you have access to at least the high school's computer lab, the city library's computer lab, a user account on the family PC, or at least an Android tablet owned by another family member on which to run AIDE.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Sunday September 02, 2012 @05:44PM (#41208747) Homepage Journal

    Plenty of people develop on a Mac mini.

    Which still increases the price by requiring the purchase of either a second (otherwise unnecessary) computer for $650 or the purchase of a $200 second operating system to run in Boot Camp if you instead decide to make the Mac your primary machine. And you have to replace this computer every four years; otherwise you risk not being able to run the latest Mac OS X []. And if you're not on a recent Mac OS X, forget about being able to run the latest Xcode needed to target devices running the latest iOS.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @06:40PM (#41209089)
    OK, great, and the DMCA does not restrict anyone from ripping DVDs, it only prevents people from distributing their method of doing that. That argument is crap and you know it. That argument is a direct attack on open source development (which depends on the ability of others to run your code, including people who are not developers), and it is based on the notion that having Apple approve the software that people install and use is somehow acceptable (and nevermind that they are not just refusing to allow malware, but also any political cartoons, and that developers are at Apple's mercy).
  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @07:32PM (#41209369)

    Maybe try reading for comprehension, this little bit might have answered you query: "I not only want more pixels than that, but I want a bigger screen to put them on".

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:18PM (#41210097)
    There is no shortage of mathematicians, so why do we bother with math education? There is an overabundance of people who can read and write, so why bother with English classes? Let's just have the bare minimum vocational training, right?

    The last thing we need to do is to teach kids that they should just mind their own business and focus on the things their superiors tell them are important. Telling kids that they are not allowed to hack is telling them that programming is just a day job, with rules set by their superiors, and that they should only be doing it during their assigned work hours. That is precisely the wrong message to send, it is as bad as telling them that they shouldn't read unless it is part of their job.
  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@ g m a i l . c om> on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:01PM (#41210253)

    What's the difference between an Android tablet docked to mouse, keyboard and 1080p screen and a "bigger computer"?

    Much like the difference between a plastic seat nailed to a wooden frame with some wheels and a "real car".

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.