[racket] iPhone

From: John Clements (clements at brinckerhoff.org)
Date: Fri Jun 18 13:41:55 EDT 2010

On Jun 18, 2010, at 10:32 AM, Jim Wise wrote:

> 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.

To bring this closer to home: This reminds me of the rumor going around about two months ago, that Apple was going create an "App Store" for macs, meaning that only apple-approved applications could run on macs. It was just a rumor, but my thought at the time was that for a large class of users, this would be a welcome change.  At the same time, it would completely hose Racket, and any other development group that didn't have a legal and marketing team to get their development environment approved.

I think it's a good idea to be aware that the ability to compile and run arbitrary programs on the computers sold to us by Apple (or any other company) is not a constitutionally protected right, and that many if not all OS vendors would be delighted to move to a world where all applications required licensing fees and prior approval.  My guess is that when this becomes feasible, it will happen. 

John Clements

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