05.10.09

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A Lesson for Developers: Why Support GNU/Linux?

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: GNU/Linux puts developers in charge, whereas Apple and Microsoft treat them as guests

IN TWO previous posts we showed that Apple and Microsoft share something in common. They both deny (some) developers access to their platform; it’s a form of censorship. See the details in:

Here are a couple of updates on the subject:

Wait, So The iPhone’s Browser Can Access The Sun’s Page 3… But If Another App Does, It’s Obscene?

But, of course, anyone with an iPhone could just as easily use the web browser to surf right over to the website for Page 3 and see the exact same photos. So why is it suddenly “objectionable” when the very same functionality comes in a separate app?

Microsoft to forbid VoIP, rival stores at mobile market

Voice-over-IP applications will be forbidden from Microsoft’s Windows MarketPlace for Mobile store, along with programs that are larger than 10MB or that change the default browser on a device.

They are among 12 prohibited application types that Microsoft listed for developers who register to create software for the store. Marketplace for Mobile is due to launch in the second half of the year, along with Windows Mobile 6.5, the next version of Microsoft’s mobile OS.

In case it’s not obvious, both Apple and Microsoft don’t secure users; they basically secure their monopolies by denying competition. Apple says “no” to something which is still accessible anyway (even without any additional software) and Microsoft plays ball for carriers by denying VoIP and also by blocking rivals to its own Web browser and store (cash cow).

Why would developers even give those two companies the pleasure of being served for free?

Speaking of developers, Duke Nukem is Dead Forever.

Veteran games developer 3D Realms has closed down because of a lack of funds.

It has been dragged on for so long, just like Vista/Longhorn. At the end came nothing of substance; 3D Realms went out of business and Windows users went back to XP or switched to platforms like GNU/Linux or Mac OS X.

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A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    May 10, 2009 at 8:58 pm

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    There may be “deep linking” and quality control issues for the page three app. I’m happy to say that Gnash on Iceweasel can deal with the site’s nasty javascript and flash. The site has obviously gone to pains to obscure their images and bombard users with ads. Any application sold to access these images directly would be subject to technical and legal interference.

    I can not condone Apple’s non free software, but I can understand them minding the store by removing this particular app. Apple’s pruning of applications from the store has more in common with GNU/Linux application choice by distributions than it does with anti-competitive behavior. This can be done for quality control and ethical considerations and should not be compared to technical sabotage as practiced by Microsoft. It is only when Apple gets in the way of users running software of their choice by other means that people should have a problem. There is plenty of room for improvement for Apple when it comes to cooperating with free software developers and users but their app store is not the place to push for it. The place to push is in licensing, patents and hardware specifications. Software freedom is always limited on a non free platform, even when there are means to get various commercial applications. Apple would do well to have a larger community around their interesting hardware and they can get it without compromising their controlled environment. All they have to do is cooperate and give people who want it a clearly defined way out of the Apple environment.

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