Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 22:54 UTC
Mac OS X And so the iOS-ification of Mac OS X continues. Apple has just announced that all applications submitted to the Mac App Store have to use sandboxing by March 2012. While this has obvious security advantages, the concerns are numerous - especially since Apple's current sandboxing implementation and associated rules makes a whole lot of applications impossible.
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Good move
by frderi on Fri 4th Nov 2011 08:03 UTC
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I for one welcome the change. Apple is one of the only companies which can actually pull off having the majority of its desktop apps use sandboxing by default, making it a technology which actually benefits the user because its being used instead of being an interesting concept ignored by almost everyone.

The PC world we have now is a very different place than what it was 20, 30 years ago. We used to have these puny standalone machines in front of us which could barely run one app at the same time, with little room on them to store any of our data. Back in those days, the personal computer was basically a glorified crossbred between a typewriter and a calculator. These days we have boxes filled with more system resources than most will ever use, and they're storing a ton of personal information, and are mostly available on a global network, the internet.

Yet the basic concept that applications use to run really hasn't changed all that much from the first computers. In all that time, the bottom line remained, when an app has certain privileges to execute, there's no telling what its doing on your machine.

As stated earlier, there's already been a tech around to fix it for quite some time now. Its just that in the world of an uncurated platform, developers tend to be lazy and take the easiest route to get things done. This is no longer possible with the Mac App Store, since it combines technical requirements with the ability to bring your applications to market in a digital way.

I'm not saying the rules for sandboxing applications in the Mac App Store are perfect. There more than probably are things that need further adjustments. We saw the same thing with the App Store for iOS devices. Some people cried foul when it launched, calling the approval process and the rules it tried to impose draconian. But really it turned out to be a such a huge success, that others are copying this model. It made finding and installing software on your devices a breeze, and it strongly discourages piracy, which together with the low unit price of apps makes people much more inclined to buy software instead of copying it.

Apple was the first one to actually try and pull this off on such a big scale. On the App Store, they did well enough that both users and developers benefitted. I seriously doubt apps on the iOS platform would have been such a huge deal if it weren't for the App Store. I'd say give them some credit for actually trying to make this change for the better happen. Nothing is ever perfect from the first round to go, thats why we humans developed reason, to be able to communicate any concerns one may have with another, and when it makes sense, I'm sure the policies will change. The App Store policies changed as well to facilitate things it didn't anticipate, so I'm certain the same is the case with the Mac App Store.

Edited 2011-11-04 08:05 UTC

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