Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Jun 2017 11:45 UTC
Apple MacStories points to a change in the App Store guidelines, which now state that:

Apps designed to teach, develop, or test executable code may, in limited circumstances, download code provided that such code is not used for other purposes. Such apps must make the source code provided by the Application completely viewable and editable by the user.

How generous.

On a related note, the first reviews of the new iPad Pro 10.5" are hitting the web, and it looks like the best tablet got even better. I have to admit - combined with iOS 11's many changes to make the iPad feel more like a real computer, I'm definitely intrigued.

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Policy
by Alfman on Mon 12th Jun 2017 13:27 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Apps designed to teach, develop, or test executable code may, in limited circumstances, download code provided that such code is not used for other purposes. Such apps must make the source code provided by the Application completely viewable and editable by the user.


How can this possibly be enforced? If apple grants owners the right to code on IOS device for *any* purpose, then the actual usage of this code is implicitly going to depend on what the user chooses to do with it. For example programable software like matlab can be used for any number of purposes, it depends entirely on what the end user does with it.

If apple were genuinely interested in education, then logically they would be forced to concede that even tools like GNU GCC are educational, that's just a fact. However I am virtually certain that their basis for exclusion will NOT be based on whether it's educational, instead it will be based on whether apple considers it a competitive threat.

Edited 2017-06-12 13:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Policy
by fmaxwell on Mon 12th Jun 2017 13:52 UTC in reply to "Policy"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

If apple were genuinely interested in education, then logically they would be forced to concede that even tools like GNU GCC are educational, that's just a fact. However I am virtually certain that their basis for exclusion will NOT be based on whether it's educational, instead it will be based on whether apple considers it a competitive threat.

Despite your suspicion of Apple's motives and your barely contained contempt for the company, the purpose of this is to assure that educational software is not misused to "side-load" malware or as a means of circumventing the app review process.

Users will be able to download, view, modify, and run vendor-supplied source code, but will not have the ability to upload source code that it is downloadable and executable by others using the educational app. This way, educational apps can't be used for the distribution of a whole new unregulated ecosystem of apps, thus avoiding the creation of the kind of petri dish of malware that exists for Android devices.

Edited 2017-06-12 14:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Policy
by darknexus on Mon 12th Jun 2017 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Policy"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Perhaps, but another part of education is code sharing. Hopefully they don't prohibit users from sharing code with one another. Vendor-supplied code is only a small part of learning to code.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Policy
by Alfman on Mon 12th Jun 2017 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Policy"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

fmaxwell,

Despite your suspicion of Apple's motives and your barely contained contempt for the company, the purpose of this is to assure that educational software is not misused for the creation and distribution of malware or as a means of circumventing the app review process.


I want to make one point clear: it's not a contempt for the company, it's contempt for policies where companies rather than owners get to decide what they can do on the devices they "own". While apple is certainly guilty of that, it's actually more widespread than just apple.

Users will be able to download, view, modify, and run vendor-supplied source code, but will not have the ability to upload source code, or executables compiled from it, such that it is downloadable and executable by others using the educational app.


And how will apple enforce that? If (or rather when) code shows up on pastebin, how is apple going to deal with that?

This prevents the creation of an app for "side loading" a whole new unregulated ecosystem of apps, thus avoiding the creation of the kind of petri dish of malware that exists for Android devices.


A) Sideloading ought to be the owner's right.
B) Sideloaded apps operate under the same security model as store apps anyways.
C) The same programming tools that owners use for X, which is approved, can also be used for Y, this is just the nature of programming.

The only way apple can mitigate unauthorized uses of Y (like games/apps) is to make to make X less effective as well (like students learning to write games/apps).


Keep in mind we had the benefit of growing up with open technology (like atari, commodore, ibm pc, macintosh, etc). As a teen, I learned low level programming skills on the PC and I was not held back by device restrictions; I was limited only by my own skills. However much of this is lost on modern generations who are growing up with more closed platforms. There's no getting around it, this lack of access hurts education.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Policy
by darknexus on Mon 12th Jun 2017 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Policy"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

As I see it, this situation is a natural consequence of bringing tech to the masses. They don't want to modify their machines. They don't want to maintain them--I assume you, like me, have had to be family tech support for the relative who clicks on everything?
It's all well and good to demand owners' rights. I even agree with it. However the unfortunate fact is, we're in the minority. We're the people who know how to deal with tech when something breaks it. Can you not see how iOS devices appeal to the average person? No malware, no maintenance, no thought. Just turn on, install without fear, and go. Hell, it appeals even to me since the last thing I want to do after working on servers and networking all day is to fiddle with a computer in my own home.
In a democracy/republic/people-run government, majority benefits tend to win out. Those benefits usually work well for the companies implementing them, too. We wanted tech for the masses. This was the inevitable destination of that desire, like it or not. Apple is actually doing better than most, as they're starting from as restrictive as possible and gradually opening up, bit by bit, until there's a comfortable point between the average power user and the average facebooker.

Edited 2017-06-12 16:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Policy
by Alfman on Mon 12th Jun 2017 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Policy"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

Can you not see how iOS devices appeal to the average person? No malware, no maintenance, no thought. Just turn on, install without fear, and go. Hell, it appeals even to me since the last thing I want to do after working on servers and networking all day is to fiddle with a computer in my own home.



It does not follow that IOS devices would be any less appealing to IOS users if apple supported those who wished to unlock their devices. I'd be hard pressed to think of anybody who would be negatively affected by that.


In the ideal world, IOS would be under the owner's control. And I want to make clear that I'm not calling for IOS to behave more like windows...quite the contrary windows could probably learn some lessons from IOS in terms of application sandboxing. The key is to make these features work for the owner, and never against the owner!

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Policy
by darknexus on Mon 12th Jun 2017 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Policy"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It does not follow that IOS devices would be any less appealing to IOS users if apple supported those who wished to unlock their devices. I'd be hard pressed to think of anybody who would be negatively affected by that.

You haven't been paying attention to the Android malware situation, apparently. Do you know how many people enable sideloading just to install that important Google Chrome update? Hint: the update really had nothing to do with Chrome and wasn't an update to anything. I can think of a whole set of nasty events based on what I've seen on Android alone. Stop thinking as you for a moment: you always check what you're doing, I'm sure, and are naturally suspicious. To understand how we've gotten here and why we'll probably be here for a while, you'll have to put that mindset aside and think like the average user who is, on one hand, getting told over and over and over again that they must install all updates to keep their devices secure and so, when said user sees an "update" to the web browser he is using, they'll do whatever it tells them to do to install it because this is what they have been told they must do! You can't see how people would be affected?

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Policy
by tidux on Mon 12th Jun 2017 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Policy"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

People like that deserve to get owned.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Policy
by Alfman on Mon 12th Jun 2017 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Policy"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

You haven't been paying attention to the Android malware situation, apparently. Do you know how many people enable sideloading just to install that important Google Chrome update?


You will have to cite whatever source you are referring to because in my experience these claims are exaggerated for effect.

Stop thinking as you for a moment: you always check what you're doing, I'm sure, and are naturally suspicious. To understand how we've gotten here and why we'll probably be here for a while, you'll have to put that mindset aside and think like the average user who is, on one hand, getting told over and over and over again that they must install all updates to keep their devices secure and so, when said user sees an "update" to the web browser he is using, they'll do whatever it tells them to do to install it because this is what they have been told they must do! You can't see how people would be affected?


I do consider the needs of such people all the time, most of my friends/family are not tech savvy yet, and I'm being completely honest here, despite their right to sideload apps, it has never been a problem among the people I support, not even once. And that's the thing, denying owners this right is more about control than security.

Edited 2017-06-12 20:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Develop executable code?
by jaylaa on Mon 12th Jun 2017 17:45 UTC
jaylaa
Member since:
2006-01-17

"Apps designed to teach, develop, or test executable code"

Prompted by that line, I looked around and found that there are actually c++ compilers for both ios11 and android. Didn't know that till just now, so that's a pleasant surprise.

My personal definition of what makes a "real" computer, as opposed to an entertainment device, is that you can write programs for it on it. So I guess we're closer to that with these phone OSs.

Reply Score: 3

Meh
by sbenitezb on Wed 14th Jun 2017 20:50 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

That's what laptops are for.

Reply Score: 2