I just read both Apple Insider’s report on the terms change to the license agreement for developers, and daring Fireball’s commentary on it. And even though it sucks for some developers that don’t want to learn how to code with Apple’s tools — which are free by the way. It’s not bad for consumers at all.
First off, the Apple tools are excellent, and they’ll be supporting OS changes before the new OSes come out like they always do. But besides that, they encourage doing things the Apple way: making the interface consistent across applications. I’ve seen some poorly designed iPhone apps that were slapped together, but I suspect those are ports of other phone OS apps. So, as a consumer I say, “no way MJ.” to ports, and I’m glad Apple’s getting rid of this shoddy practice of development. Not that all ports inherently suck, but their interfaces are usually a mish-mash of whatever “cool” thing they could think of rather than sound UI practices.
And what this developer on Apple Insiders bitching about is pretty lame if you think about it: Adobe’s Flash tools cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars, while Apple’s tools you just have to have a free membership in ADC to get them (once they’re released and out of beta). If you want the Beta tools for OS 4.0 you have to pay a $99/year membership fee. With Adobe’s tools you get the program and updates to it before the next year or two where they ship another upgrade to the app for another $200 – $600. So, at worse you’re spending $100 for the beta now, and the money you could make on the AppStore is insane.
All in all, I don’t think Greg Slepak, the developer bitching about the change in the license agreement, has much of an arguement. After reading the Daring Fireball article, in the end Apple controlling where their platform goes is best for everyone invested in the platform, be that by owning one (or more) or developing for the platform.