[racket] iPhone

From: Raffael Cavallaro (raffaelcavallaro at mac.com)
Date: Fri Jun 18 14:23:05 EDT 2010

On Jun 18, 2010, at 1:41 PM, John Clements wrote:

> 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.

I won't say that Apple isn't foolish enough to shoot themselves in the foot in this way, but I think it's unlikely. Jobs himself compared laptops/desktops to trucks (as opposed to passenger cars) - very necessary, much more general purpose and more powerful machines, with a concomitantly limited user base. In this view there's no need to lock down the MacOS since it is no longer going to be targeted at consumers, but only at a restricted range of professionals - developers, professional content producers in film & publishing, research scientists, etc. - who don't need or want either the hand-holding or the content-filtering-nanny features of a consumer OS.

If what you hypothesize were to happen, my guess is that open source OS usage among developers will skyrocket. I know I'd move to linux-intel from MacOS or Windows in a heartbeat if Apple and Microsoft ever restricted the apps I could run on MacOS and Windows to those approved for sale in an Apple or Microsoft App Store. To a certain extent, this is already happening in the smart phone market. Many developers feel as Neil Van Dyke does:

On Jun 18, 2010, at 1:46 PM, Neil Van Dyke wrote:

> The smartphone is a key ubiquitous computing device, and I believe that the app selection for iPhone/Android/etc. constitutes "general-purpose."
> I believe that keeping these platforms open is extremely important.

So devs are voting with their feet - many are buying android phones, not iPhones or iPads.

To bring this more on topic, I think a good approach to all these issues from a Racket perspective is to develop an HTML5 web-app framework that intelligently adjusts content for the device making the request. This way Racket apps could run across all platforms with a decent HTML5 browser, and we wouldn't have to worry about the restrictions of any mother-may-iOS.

warmest regards,


Raffael Cavallaro
raffaelcavallaro at me.com

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