Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

WTF, Apple?

Apple's license agreement for the latest release of the iPhone SDK includes this gem:

L3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

That's right, Apple now restricts which programming languages you may use to develop on the iPhone. Cross-compilers already exist for C#/.NET. Platforms which execute JavaScript in an app wrapper might be in trouble. Heck, there's even a Lua implementation for the iPhone. The composition of the iPad's "The Elements" made heavy use of Mathematica (although it's not clear any Mathematica-generated code, as such, is part of the app.)

Suppose my application includes some automatically-generated code whose source is a Python script. Or uses the Guile interpreter for initialization or scripting. It seems that both could violate the terms of the agreement.

The conventional wisdom appears to be that this is an attempt to scuttle Adobe's ActionScript-to-iPhone development kit. Seriously, Apple? Your little walled garden isn't safe unless people develop in a C variant? It's bad enough having programming language flamewars without getting the lawyers involved.
Tags: apple, programming, rant
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