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Apple Eases Up on Restrictions on Interpreted Code in iPhone Developer Agreement

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Apple Outsider's Matt Drance reports on another change made to Apple's iPhone developer terms earlier this week that should please certain developers, a change which allows game developers in particular to continue to use interpreted languages such as Lua in their App Store applications.

The change eases up on restrictions implemented along with Apple's more highly-publicized prohibition against Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone compiler as part of Apple's broader effort to keep third-party meta-platforms from eroding the user experience and stifling innovation as developers become reliant upon them to roll out support for new features introduced by Apple. Drance notes:
I've said before that Apple's aversion to interpreted code and external runtimes is the potential for someone else to take the platform over. That's not the whole story, though. Games in particular tend to use engines and libraries that leverage interpreted languages such as Lua. Many of these applications pose no threat, neither implicitly nor explicitly.

While explicit approval from Apple is still required, these new terms seem to acknowledge that there's a difference between an app that happens to have non-compiled code, and a meta-platform.
The change comes alongside Apple's further modifications of its iOS developer terms that again allow for limited analytics data collection to aid advertisers and developers, but appear to shut out non-independent companies such as Google's AdMob from receiving the data.

Article Link: Apple Eases Up on Restrictions on Interpreted Code in iPhone Developer Agreement
 

R2D2 xx

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2010
79
10
That's some good news. What's the status of using Microsoft's Visual Studio to develop apps? Is that going to happen?
 
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macsmurf

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,200
879
Good news for the platform. Apple made the right call here. Unity and MonoTouch still seem to be out in the cold, though. Baby steps, I guess.
 
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Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,310
32
Some of the interpreted software are completely and utterly awful and should not belong in the App Store.

They are used by lazy programmers who don't want to write native apps for the largest & most rewarding app store in the world.

They are also used by suits who want to save a buck at the expense of user satisfaction.
 
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macsmurf

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,200
879
Some of the interpreted software are completely and utterly awful and should not belong in the App Store.

They are used by lazy programmers who don't want to write native apps for the largest & most rewarding app store in the world.

They are also used by suits who want to save a buck at the expense of user satisfaction.

So you're saying Apple is wrong to allow this? Blasphemy! :D
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
19,715
20,636
California
Some of the interpreted software are completely and utterly awful and should not belong in the App Store.

They are used by lazy programmers who don't want to write native apps for the largest & most rewarding app store in the world.

They are also used by suits who want to save a buck at the expense of user satisfaction.

This is more about using scripts to define game levels, instead of having to code each level entirely in Objective C. Instead you define routines that, based on scripts, know how to draw objects, move them, handle collisions, walls, etc.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,499
5,366
Canada
A step in the right direction. However, Apple should make the rules more specific and *stick* to them. Developers need to know where they stand, but at the moment the gray area continues.
 
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rumplestiltskin

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2006
273
93
Some of the interpreted software are completely and utterly awful and should not belong in the App Store.

They are used by lazy programmers who don't want to write native apps for the largest & most rewarding app store in the world.

They are also used by suits who want to save a buck at the expense of user satisfaction.

Exactly. Just look at all the one-star native apps available at the App Store. Wait a minute...never mind.
 
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dmarcoot

macrumors member
Dec 21, 2007
36
0
Emulation & MAME

Does this mean we can perhaps start to see some game emulators such as MAME ported to iOS?
 
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shervieux

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2010
355
0
ok, all this back and forth has be confused at what I can and cannot use. I wanted to join the ADC and get the SDK to start developing apps. specifically for the ipad, but maybe some for the iphone (yes there are some things I have in mind that has not been done yet - very little though all my other ideas were taken already).

Anyway, I was looking to also utilize FM touch. they have an enterprise wizard your can submit to, that will turn your database to an independent app (and yes that would be another cost). So would Filemaker and FM touch violate these restrictions or not?

http://fmtouch.com/

Any current developers with any info would greatly help.

Also, as for those wanting Visual Studio. i think it would be great, since I still work in the VS world for my job. However seeing what happened with J++ and J# (Visual Java) I would not not hold my breath on it coming anytime soon, lasting for any amount of time. Also there are rumors about discontinuing Visual Basic (all ASP books now have C# code and you have to download of find the VB code on the CD). MS is planning on making C# their main language in the future (but it is going to be a long long time due to all he current VB and C++ users still out there).
 
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mamcx

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2008
204
23
S
They are used by lazy programmers who don't want to write native apps for the largest & most rewarding app store in the world.

No, they are used by the smartest developers that understand that languages have different capabilities & power and leverage them.


And that not mean a resistance to work in the app store.

Also, is very nice have the option in code in a language less prone to make crashing app, buffer overruns, bad memory acces, manual memory managment, etc (like c and all other their bastard childs like obj-c).
 
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Daringescape

macrumors regular
May 7, 2003
152
0
CA
ok, I'm a little confused. Does this mean that theoretically, I could get Apple's permission to have an app that was built using the flash compiler into into the app store?
 
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masterlimp

macrumors member
Jun 2, 2010
81
1
Some of the interpreted software are completely and utterly awful and should not belong in the App Store.

They are used by lazy programmers who don't want to write native apps for the largest & most rewarding app store in the world.

They are also used by suits who want to save a buck at the expense of user satisfaction.

Obviously, you
A. Have never programmed in your entire life
B. Have no idea what your talking about (well, that goes without saying, LOL)
 
Comment

r00fus

macrumors regular
May 23, 2009
128
8
ok, all this back and forth has be confused at what I can and cannot use. I wanted to join the ADC and get the SDK to start developing apps. specifically for the ipad, but maybe some for the iphone (yes there are some things I have in mind that has not been done yet - very little though all my other ideas were taken already).

Anyway, I was looking to also utilize FM touch. they have an enterprise wizard your can submit to, that will turn your database to an independent app (and yes that would be another cost). So would Filemaker and FM touch violate these restrictions or not?

http://fmtouch.com/

shervieux,
Is this for a company internal app?

If so you're not going through the app store, as you can setup your own internal enterprise app server.

If yes, then I'd suggest talking to fmtouch... I'm sure their business model is quite impacted by AppStore rule changes and they're on it.

Strangely none of their "apps" have itunes links, so I'm guessing their market is for internal apps.
 
Comment

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
584
74
A step in the right direction. However, Apple should make the rules more specific and *stick* to them. Developers need to know where they stand, but at the moment the gray area continues.

Easier said than done when there are new Apps submitted all the time that don't fit into the existing rules or do things that were never imagined. I did site classification/analysis for a large search engine company once, and the rules were rewritten almost weekly for that reason.
 
Comment

mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,281
1,015
Pacific Northwest
Some of the interpreted software are completely and utterly awful and should not belong in the App Store.

They are used by lazy programmers who don't want to write native apps for the largest & most rewarding app store in the world.

They are also used by suits who want to save a buck at the expense of user satisfaction.

Lua is an intricate part of the Nitro Javascript engine.

http://webkit.org/blog/189/announcing-squirrelfish/
 
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kerryb

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2003
139
0
Men from the boys

Apple, incase you have lived under a rock these past ten years, is all about the user experience. They take it REALLY seriously and i believe it might have the reason so many Mac users stuck with the platform through the lean times. Jobs understands this and is constantly saying it in interviews that they want to make the best product they possibly can. You do not see this dedication from many other big tech companies. Microsoft has given up years ago when their dominance in desktop seemed to put the whole company into a coma. Adobe has paid the Mac little attention outside of the 18 month cycle money grab they call CS (X)... Think about this, when you are using an iPhone and an app craps out on you, then another performs badly you might think, "Apple has made a bad phone". The reality is a developer has made a crappy app and Apple gets the blame. Steve wants the best of the best for the iOS platform and keeping junk code off of it is the best way to assure that.
 
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4nNtt

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2007
325
35
Chicago, IL
That was my very first thought. I hope someone takes the effort to apply for permission from Apple and see what happens.

Doesn't the C64 emulator do this? I think for a lot of emulators there are other legal problems. Like if you want a Nintendo emulator you need both permission from Nintendo and the companies that own the games you want to distribute. This is especially true because many of these emulators require a ROM of the consoles operating system to be loaded. This will probably remain in Jailbreak territory.

The good news is that there is a lot of ports of these old games to the iPhone. If you have the original content holders permission, why not port it instead of writing an emulator? In many cases the original developers are doing the ports.

BTW, it is good that they are starting to make this distinction. That is the way I thought it should be. It still doesn't mean it is always the right decision for a particular app. Running Python or Ruby inside your app for misc. scripts may be too much to ask for an iPhone that should load apps quickly and act responsive. Look at how slow GameSalad based apps are. They use a Lua based interpreter.
 
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