John, do you have Sophie running on this thing yet?

Stephen Pair stephen at
Wed Jan 10 21:09:13 UTC 2007

It's hard to imagine that they'd close the device down to 3rd party
development given that it runs OSX...there might be some limited benefits
from the patent perspective that Joshua mentions, but seeing as the device
is covered by 200 or so patents already, competitors aren't going to be able
to come remotely close to this thing for years (unless Apple chooses to
license the technology).

I can imagine them developing certain quality standards and certification
schemes to ensure that the average user has a high quality experience with
any third party apps meeting the requirements (and buyer beware for any that
don't)...but a total lock out would be a mistake I think.

It was the availability of a wide variety of apps on DOS that held the Mac
back from wider adoption.  We could be in a similar situation today...people
might be willing to accept a more awkward device if it's running a Palm or
MS OS that has a large ecosystem of third party apps.  Especially when you
consider that people will inevitably develop killer niche apps that appeal
to small segments of the population, but for those segments, such an app
would be an absolute must and any device that doesn't run it would be
worthless.  I think the iPhone is incredible and I've wanted a miniaturized
device capable of running OSX for a long time, but a locked down device is a
serious handicap that would give me second thoughts (after all, half the
reason I'd want one is to tinker around with it and write my own software
for it).

- Stephen

On 1/10/07, Howard Stearns <hstearns at> wrote:
> Good point. This highlights the question of "what's a platform?"
> Consider, as just one example, (which I mention because I
> have friends there). Their fat-client Web-delivered apps "compile" to
> Flash or AJAX.  Will iPhone Safari support Flash? Will it support DHTML
> as much as the standard Safari does? If so, then it's hard for me to
> technically or legally understand why a Laszlo kind of third-party app
> would be supported, but not a "native" third-party app?  Flash and AJAX
> have an API for applications to receive gestures and to display output,
> and so does the operating system. What's the difference?
> I tend to think of Squeak as just another one of these kinds of
> platforms, on which apps can run.
> I wonder when they'll support the Parallels VM...
> If the reasons for the distinction are just arbitrary, we could make a
> Flash or Java VM for Squeak, in which the .image/.changes/.sources files
> all come over the Internet (hopefully with caching!)...  I have no idea
> how to estimate the performance.
> -Howard
> Darius Clarke wrote:
> > I suspect they'll make 3rd party development go the Web 2.0 route.
> >
> > You develop with their tools on their hosted server (for a fee) and
> > then they control what can go to which phones (for a fee that scales
> > with the number of targeted units).
> >
> > Just a guess. Such a scenario lets them keep user experience uniform,
> > predictable, and fewer disabling side effects. The scenario also keeps
> > the bulk of processing on the servers where one has more room and
> > flexibility for creativity & interactivity with other processing
> > services and other data stores. DabbleDB might be more the development
> > tool we'd use for such a phone.
> >
> > We'd probably prefer developing for the open source phone.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Darius
> >
> --
> Howard Stearns
> University of Wisconsin - Madison
> Division of Information Technology
> mailto:hstearns at
> jabber:hstearns at
> voice:+1-608-262-3724
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