Steve Jobs Responds To Developer Agreement Concerns

Steve Jobs, personal emailer replier that he is these days, responded to a concerned developer's email regarding this week's SDK kerfuffle His (characteristically brief) take: "intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps."

The exchange started with TaoEffect CEO Greg Slepak emailing Jobs to express his grievances about the newly restricted SDK agreement. Jobs responded:

We think John Gruber's post is very insightful and not negative:


Slepak wrote back to Jobs refuting Gruber's post and explaining that "from a developer's point of view, you're limiting creativity itself." A few minutes later, Jobs replied again, elaborating - or what goes for elaboration, anyway, in an email from Steve Jobs - his company's motivation for requiring apps to be originally written in Objective-C:

We've been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.

It's not the most substantial defence, but it's at least interesting that Jobs himself has entered the passionate debate that's been playing out over the last few days. You can read the full exchange over at Slepak's blog. [TechCrunch]



    Who does he think he's kidding? When did quality control become a priority on App store?

    objective-c, bloated OS, stupid bloated redundant SDK, and poor developer support from the buggy tools to the incorrect documentation ultimately produces sub-standard apps!

    between all of the crap that is the iphoneOS dev platform, another layer written by someone who actually knows what they are doing would have negligible effect!!! infact! one layer that takes all the complexities and stupidity of the iphone SDK out of developers hands is probably going to lead to BETTER APPS!! you know, the reason we HAVE ENGINES!!!

    so just STFU Steve! no developer would buy that! at least give us some credible lie!

    "Cross-platform software toolkits have never — ever — produced top-notch native apps for Apple platforms. Not for the classic Mac OS, not for Mac OS X, and not for iPhone OS. Such apps generally have been downright crummy"

    Maybe they are just crummy by comparison to the same app on a REAL PLATFORM!, really just showing that Apple have NO IDEA how to treat developers!! it isn't competitiveness! its anti competitiveness! and windows didn't need to do anything like this to win did they!! this simply leads to "Exclusive" apps. and that is only bad for the user! at least on the consoles they use different hardware architectures, so focusing on one platform generally leads to better results (tho IW didn't seem to have a problem with MW) but in the mobile arena, its all the same hardware!! same with PC actually. its bad for consumers, its bad for real developers, and the only people it helps are those idiots that are 100% devoted to Apple (as always), developers who only know apple's stupid SDK. Because they won't become completely redundant!

    honestly, if you are in to apps, buy the next iphone at your own peril.

      Woah, calm down!

      You do realise that by making a cross platform API you necessarily limit yourself to the lowest common set of available features.

      By doing this you remove access to the unified design of UI elements and so on that make a platform seem consistant. This is immediately apparent when you run gtk apps in windows or run firefox on OSX.

      For things like a 3d engine this isn't a big deal, but when you abstract away features like the UI/Touch/etc you lose any differentiation (good or bad) in every platform you run on.

        not if they are done properly. cross platform SDKs can give you as much or as little platform specific control as you want. or, again at your choosing, simply adopt the best practices of the platform automatically, there is no reason why you couldn't have a cross platform UI API that adopted and used the proper UI libraries of the specific platforms. (not that I am necessary a fan of strict uniform UI standards per platform, to each his own).

        further more, check this out:

        now does that look like an "intermediate layer between the platform and the developer that ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform"?

        or does it look like something that implements all the finicky optimal solutions to everything on the platform? something that most devs wouldn't have the time to do? thus creating FASTER apps?

        "compiles Javascript to machine code for 40 times faster running" does the official Javascript through Webkit on the iphone do that?? even if it does, it hardly looks like Unity's method is going to give you a substandard app.

    Are flashlight, notepad or tenth grade puzzle apps any better for being written in Apple's SDK? Is anyone really so *mind-bogglingly* stupid to believe this is about app quality rather than another attempt to hurt Adobe?
    Let me subjectively break down the App Store. 50% are straight ripoffs. 40% are poor at best. 9% are mediocre and probably way less than 1% are actually good.
    This isn't criticism of Apple for allowing crappy apps. People should be allowed to have a go and let the market decide. The point is it's a bit late for Apple to get all high and mighty claiming quality concerns because now it suits them.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now