Steve Jobs Responds To Section 3.3.1

Posted Apr 11, 2010

Steve Jobs responded to a few more e-mails about the iPhone developer rules. The rules are that developers are prohibited from using Adobe Flash on the iPhone. Adobe has created a package called Packager for iPhone in CS5 that allows you to create applications in Flash and then cross-compile them into a standalone iPhone application.

This means that Flash developers would not be expected to learn a new language to make an iPhone app. But then Apple decided to change their iPhone OS 4 SDK terms of service. In section 3.3.1 of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, it now reads:

3.3.1 ? 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).

Many developers have been protesting and there is now a Facebook group called I’m With Adobe. It almost reminds me of the I’m with CoCo campaign.

Greg of had an e-mail conversation with Apple CEO Steve Jobs about the changes in the terms of service.

Below is the first e-mail Greg sent out:

Hi Steve,
Lots of people are pissed off at Apple?s mandate that applications be ?originally written? in C/C++/Objective-C. If you go, for example, to the Hacker News homepage right now:
You?ll see that most of the front page stories about this new restriction, with #1 being: ?Steve Jobs Has Just Gone Mad? with (currently) 243 upvotes. The top 5 stories are all negative reactions to the TOS, and there are several others below them as well. Not a single positive reaction, even from John Gruber, your biggest fan.
I love your product, but your SDK TOS are growing on it like an invisible cancer.

Jobs responded:

We think John Gruber?s post is very insightful and not negative:


Greg read Gruber’s post and then sent a response to Steve Jobs by saying:

Sorry. I didn?t catch that post, but I finished it just now.

I still think it undermines Apple. You didn?t need this clause to get to where you are now with the iPhone?s market share, adding it just makes people lose respect for you and run for the hills, as a commenter to that article stated:

?So what Apple does not want is for some other company to establish a de facto standard software platform on top of Cocoa Touch. Not Adobe?s Flash. Not .NET (through MonoTouch). If that were to happen, there?s no lock-in advantage.?

And that makes Apple evil. At least, it does in the sense that Google uses the term in ?don?t be evil? ? I believe pg translated ?evil? as something along the lines of ?trying to compete by means other than making the best product and marketing it honestly?.

From a developer?s point of view, you?re limiting creativity itself. Gruber is wrong, there are plenty of [applications] written using cross-platform frameworks that are amazing, that he himself has praised. Mozilla?s Firefox just being one of them.

I don?t think Apple has much to gain with 3.3.1, quite the opposite actually.



The conversation ended by Jobs saying:

We?ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.

[ via Techmeme]