Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th May 2012 18:06 UTC
Windows Both Mozilla and Google have expressed concern over Windows 8. Microsoft's next big operating system release restricts access to certain APIs and technologies browsers need - only making them available to Internet Explorer. Looking at the facts, it would seem Mozilla and Google have a solid case - coincidentally, the responses on the web are proof of the slippery slope we're on regarding ownership over our own machines.
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RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by ssokolow on Thu 10th May 2012 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

"Interestingly, why Windows on ARM raises concerns about browsers censorship, while the same thing on iOS (Apple essentially bans all other browsers on iOS with their SDK license) doesn't raise concerns?


Apple bans all other browers on iOS? So why have I got three other browsers (Murcury, Atomic Lite and Opera Mini) on my iPhone as well as Safari?
"

Last I'd heard, Apple bans rendering engines other than the Safari-provided WebKit on iOS, so you can make a browser, but unless it relies on external servers to do its rendering, it's little more than a new frontend on Safari Mobile.

I don't know about the other two, but Opera Mini renders pages on the Opera server farm and pushes the rendered results to the phone. (They pioneered the approach the Kindle Fire is now also using)

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 10th May 2012 19:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Last I'd heard, Apple bans rendering engines other than the Safari-provided WebKit on iOS, so you can make a browser, but unless it relies on external servers to do its rendering, it's little more than a new frontend on Safari Mobile.


Exactly my point. So in essence - alternative browsers are banned. Opera's approach is just a workaround (not such a good solution), but it's not what we are talking about.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 10th May 2012 19:28 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

From the iOS SDK license:

“3.3.2 An Application may not download or install executable code. Interpreted code may only be used in an Application if all scripts, code and interpreters are packaged in the Application and not downloaded. The only exception to the foregoing is scripts and code downloaded and run by Apple’s built-in WebKit framework.”


Which translates to - no Google's or Mozilla's JavaScript VM can be used, which translates to - alternative browsers are banned. Note - we are talking about the SDK. So they are banned legally even from compilation, less alone from distribution through the Apple's store. So even if Google or Mozilla decided to use Cydia for their browsers, they still can't do it, since they can't even legally compile them.

Edited 2012-05-10 19:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by Alfman on Thu 10th May 2012 19:50 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

shmerl,

"Which translates to - no Google's or Mozilla's JavaScript VM can be used, which translates to - alternative browsers are banned."

The situation already resembles what's happened with apple devices. Third party apps, such as browsers, will undoubtedly lack integration functionality that MS gives itself.

Not to justify microsoft's policy at all, but it's technically not as severe as apple's because microsoft hasn't explicitly banned all forms of emulators. This means that Java/Javascript/VMs aren't completely prohibited, they just have to be parsed or emulated instead of running natively using JIT-compilation. While this is a definite disadvantage, at least emulation isn't prohibited.

I've been criticized for saying this in the past, but I'm with Thom in pressuring government to step in and set boundaries on how far companies are allowed to go in restricting owners & developers. Government intervention is a far call from perfect or ideal, but the harm caused the absolute lack of intervention is much worse than imperfect legislation aiming to protect consumers.

Reply Parent Score: 3