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Just under a month ago, an iPhone developer from Australia — one who’s previously defended Apple’s approval process — had his own app suddenly dis-approved by Apple. According to his blog post about the sudden revocation of approval, “I had convinced my company to take a gamble and make some apps for Apple’s Store. Tennis Stats had been a great success and we wanted to get on the iPad train with My Frame. Things were going well, new features were being planned money, real money was being invested. Then Apple pulled the pin”.

I could say all sorts of things about schadenfreude, or how the developer — who goes by the nom de plume “Shifty Jelly” — should have seen this coming. But the guy’s already having a bad enough month, and there are broader issues to examine. Among them the thought raised by commenter Erik K. Veland:

Remember when Apple cracked down on Podcast downloaders? It was because they themselves were introducing this very feature in iTunes.

[I] would surmise [that] Apple is now bringing “widgets” to their dashboard in the near future, and that they are pre-empting any apps conflicting with the “duplicate functionality” clause. [historical links, added by Kai]

Once you’ve considered Apple’s penchant for banning apps that compete with features that are built in to the OS, you’ve got to consider how this compares against other companies’ competitive practices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Coyote Tracks. You can comment here or there.

kai_mactane: (Default)

I went to find a package to install Git. The page at http://www.slackware.com/packages/ still says that the Slackware Package Browser has been moved to http://packages.slackware.it/ — it’s said this for years, and I keep wondering when they’re going to move the package browser back onto the main Slackware site.

But this time, when I followed that link, I found a page that’s so short, I can reproduce it in its entirety here:

The Slackware Package Browser

The old package browser was broken — instead of trying to fix it I am creating a new one from scratch. I’ll be using the Django framework. I’m also looking into Solr and Haystack to see if they can be of some use here.

It’s not going to take a lot of time and I will publish the working portions of the Package Browser as I finish and test them. Also, we’ll have some other thing to announce in a few days, so stay tuned ;-)

You should follow us on Twitter here.

The cherry on top of this sundae of fail awaits at the Twitter feed: the last tweet in it is from October 23rd, 2009. As of the time I’m writing this, that’s four months ago.

The one saving grace is that that last tweet includes a link to a web-browsable repository where I was able to download the package I needed. And yes, I do realize that Slackware’s essentially a volunteer project in Patrick Volkerding’s spare time. And I really do appreciate and love the distro’s commitment to remaining Unix-like.

But I need something that’s a little more rigorously maintained.

(Now I need to figure out what to migrate to. That’s likely to be quite a headache.)

Originally published at Coyote Tracks. You can comment here or there.

kai_mactane: (Default)

I’m at a one-week contract this week, and the client uses only Macs. So I’m using an unfamiliar Mac keyboard — the kind with the transparent plastic casing, and the really stiff keys (by my standards, anyway).

I am starting to get used to the propeller key already, and getting sort of used to using Meta-K instead of my usual Meta-E to access the search bar/field in Firefox. But one nice thing…

Because of the weird keyboard, I’m hoping that I can avoid transferring these habits back to my normal, PC-keyboard typing. Maybe I’ll be able to turn this drawback into a minor advantage. (Which would be nice, because reaching for the propeller key on my home computer would be seriously annoying to me.)

Originally published at Coyote Tracks. You can comment here or there.

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