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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RE: Good move
by karunko on Fri 4th Nov 2011 11:27 UTC in reply to "Good move"
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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.

Deep down inside I would like to retort with something along the lines of "if you're too stupid to use a computer you probably shouldn't be allowed to use one", but that wouldn't get me very far, so I'll try with some good old fashioned reasoning instead. ;-)

Looking at the list of "entitlements" in Pauli's article it should be obvious that there are plenty of perfectly legit, non trivial applications that need way more than that, so what's a developer to do? And no, the "sell your application on your own as you did before" argument doesn't cut it: either the App Store is really important and you'd be a fool not to be there, or it isn't -- but then all the people waxing lyrical about the importance of the App Store should eat their own words and go hide under a rock.

But wait, there's more: these "entitlements" are not automatic. That is, that list is not just a list of what an application can do, a developer must still "convince" Apple that his application really needs to, say, interact with a USB device or connect to remote server. Simply put: even more power to the reviewers and plenty of uncertainty for the developer -- and let's not forget that when it comes to the App Store(s) neither transparency nor consistency have a stellar record.

In other words, it could be said that this is the same old excuse that we're being offered each time we're presented with a large, bitter pill to swallow: it's for the children! it's for your own protection! it's for the common good! and so on. This is supposed to look reasonable and even "good" on the surface, but when you start thinking about the implications, or about that bit of freedom (no matter how tiny) that you are going to give up for a bit more "safety" in return, you better ask yourself: is it really worth it?

For my part, I will continue to avoid the App Store as much as I can and if a day will come when the only applications that can be installed are those sanctioned by Apple, I'll just sell my Macs and move somewhere else.


Edited 2011-11-04 11:36 UTC

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