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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Comment by frderi
by frderi on Sat 5th Nov 2011 13:47 UTC
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So if a given software runs amok, it should only run amok within the boundaries of what it's allowed to do. Am I correct ?

No. I'm not 100% acquainted on the technical details on the matter, but its my understanding that there are several types of buffer overflows one can exploit to get root on a system, depending on the system and architecture. On Android/ARM for example, it remains entirely possible to wield a browser vulnerability to get malicious code shell access, after which its relatively trivial to gain root and do all sorts of nasty stuff.

Fair point : there is a trade-off between general usage convenience and decentralization. A centralized system gives an unreasonable amount of power to the repository owner, but also means centralized knowledge about software availability.

My comments on Apple as a software vendor still apply. This isn't a big deal when there is no conflict of interest.

some websites which use ratings and reviews, like Amazon, have a way for users to say "this review is insightful" or "this review did not help", which in my experience works quite well. But I don't think Apple have this in their stores.

Last time I checked, they have a thumbs up-thumbs down style of rating for reviews.

Magazines still have their use though, as they can provide higher-quality reviews than other solutions for "big" software which doesn't change a lot in time such as office suites, image and video editors, CAD tools...

What I miss the most about those times were the in-depth editorials about things you wouldn't have thought of, the gems they hand picked for you. However, I still ended up dumping my magazine subscriptions after I got online because most of the information in them was so horribly out of date. Lets hope initiatives like NewsStand can bring back the great editiorials of the past to a wider audience again.

A bit, sure, but a lot ?

Its not only the purchase process, but the whole setup of the thing. Before you say "But..." I'd like you to consider your joe sixpack neighbour which doesn't know a lot about computers, or your aunt Emma who just happens to have this sort of need. Its these small things that we techies take for granted that a lot of normal users find very intimidating and which hamper them from what they're set out to do.

What do you mean by that ? If I see a nice RSS reader on the Mac App Store, download it, run it, and it turns out that it's actually a basic program which displays a silly picture of a cat with subtext "you got owned !", what is the difference ?

The type of application you mention will never make it trough the App Store's reviewal process, it will simply get rejected for "not working as advertized". Thus you will never find an application like that on the App Store. Which kind of proves the point for a curated market place. Its also the same kind of editorial you find in quality magazines or websites.

Current mobile OSs are an evil dictator's dream toy, is that really the future we want on every computer in the long run ?

I'm more of an optimist than you are, I don't see the future as Orweillian as you do. I'm just not a proponent of the "one OS for every device" like so many Android zealots seem to lust for. They think that for Android to win everyone else in the game needs to lose. I'm much more a proponent of a diversified platform approach. I know, developers are lazy and would prefer just to have to code for one platform, but I'm looking at it from a user perspective. And having used technology for over twenty years now I can attest that when one single platform dominates, it stifles innovation and the end user ends up being the culprit. The desktop PC space can testify for this.

For a flawed real-world analogy, I would understand that my favorite book shop does not have a book I like on its shelves, but if the owner refused taking orders of books she doesn't like, I'd find another book shop.

I don't know where you're at, but in my country I know a lot of shops that will simply refuse to take orders for rare stuff for various reasons… Shop owners decide what to carry and what they don't carry, and what they place in their front windows.

wasn't the point of these magazine apps to introduce on-device content that is updated from the web on the fly instead of going through this kind of bulky procedures ?

IMO NewsStand offers a much better approach for magazines.

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