[racket] iPhone

From: Jim Wise (jwise at draga.com)
Date: Fri Jun 18 13:32:19 EDT 2010

Neil Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> writes:

> There is also anti-free-speech territory, with Apple prohibiting
> "objectionable" content.  Although sometimes they have disingenuously
> used the "family values" line for anticompetitive purposes, such as
> prohibiting a Project Gutenberg e-book viewer because that competes
> with big-business selling e-books, or prohibiting independent apps
> with bikini pictures but selling a Playboy app.)

I'm not sure how Apple's decision as to what they sell in their own
store can be construed as a free speech issue.  It may be an argument
against shopping at that store for you, but surely that's a different

Remember, this isn't even a question of what you can run on your iPhone
-- the (free!) iPhone developer kit lets you download software you
compile yourself from your computer to the iPhone.  What you can't do is
upload that software to Apple's store.

I think the only real confusion comes in when you look at the iPhone and
think of it as a general-purpose computer -- an environment where you
are used to downloading your own software.  A better comparison is to a
game console like a Nintendo Wii or a Microsoft XBox, where it has
always been the case that only software sold under a license from the
console manufacturer was available.  In comparison, it's worth noting
that Sony experimented with allowing third-party OS software to run on
the PS3, and has since backed away from doing so.

> I believe that this is relevant to any Racket developers considering
> whether or how they want to be investing in and supporting the iPhone
> platform.

This is clearly true -- the effort to port Racket to the iPhone as an
officially supported platform is probably not justified, considering
that only iPhone developers will be able to use it.  I would hope that
Apple would see some benefit in loosening this policy in the future, but
if they don't, it's one more factor to consider when deciding if you
want an iPhone.

				Jim Wise
				jwise at draga.com
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