The 5 stages of 3.3.1

Developers have been up in arms on the news broken by Daring Fireball and TechCrunch.  The reported change in the iPhone developer agreement definitely stops Flash developers from creating iPhone apps using the new tools available CS5, but the sword Apple used also cuts into the heart of the MonoTouch, Appcelerator, Unity 3D, Corona, & PhoneGap communities.  Being a member of the MonoTouch community, I’m directly affected by this reported change.  Easily said, I’ve gone through the 5 stages of grief over the news:

1] Denial

It doesn’t really say that, does it?  I mean, they  must not realize what this will do to other projects not related to Adobe.  I’m sure they won’t enforce it.

2] Anger

Are you F*%#ING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW!?  Don’t they realize that some EA games use Lua!?  Are they going take those apps out of the store?  Don’t give me that “quality of apps” crap!  There are TONS of horrible apps written in native Objective-C!  “Crappy devs will make crappy apps regardless of how many layers there are & it doesn’t make sense to limit source-to-source conversion.”  This is creativity stifling!  Apple’s going to lose so many apps they’ll repeal this decision with the QUICKNESS!  I’m just going to bang out the best apps ever and we’ll see if Apple tries to take them out of the store.  I DOUBT THEY WILL!  What happened to the approval process!?  Shouldn’t that be enough!?  Don’t they understand how error prone manual memory management is!?  FURY!!!

3] Bargaining

Maybe we can team up with other developers and convince Apple to change this.  We can show them of the talent that’ll jump ship.  I mean, we’re not like those “sexy app” guys, right?

4] Depression

It’s over man!  It’s GAME OVER! Damn it!  I wasted all this time! What will become of my projects!?  I’m tossing out my iPhone & I’m definitely not buying an iPad now.  It’ll just be too painful of a reminder that my app is available on it**.  Nothing to see here except a teary-eyed developer :(

5] Acceptance

This sucks likes crazy, but I’ve still got time.  I’ll make updates to Touch Playbook for as long as I can.  MonoTouch is talking about giving developers the ability to create Droid apps and that will kick ass!  Windows Phone 7 is right around the corner and since my app is already written in C#, the port should be very easy.  The HP Slate runs Windows 7 and obviously Silverlight so there’s another port right there.  I’ll get started on that this weekend!  If it wasn’t for MonoTouch, I wouldn’t have gotten as far along as I did with Touch Playbook.  I don’t regret a moment.

Conclusion

I don’t know what the future of MonoTouch and iPhone development is.  Rather, I don’t want to admit what I fear the future is.  I’d love for a miracle to take place where the reported language is altered in 3.3.1 to allow MonoTouch and other quality iPhone development solutions.  However, if that doesn’t happen, MonoTouch still definitely rocks!  For the time being, it feels good to be in the final stage.  I don’t like being so angsty. :)

Update

I do, however, remain hopeful.  I’ve signed the developer driven Tiny Petition against Apple’s reported TOS change and you can too.  You might ask “Abel, isn’t this the barganing step?  Did you relapse?” and I would reply “Not exactly”.  In the bargaining step my thoughts came from desperation in the wake of anger.  Right now, signing the petition springs from hope and a desire to stand with my fellow MonoTouch devs and other devs effected by this.  This time the motivation is less about me and more about the community.

**I’ve already taken a stab at learning Objective-C and would rather use my time on other languages.  I don’t see myself taking up the effort again.  Life’s too short and I really like languages like C# & Ruby.

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5 Responses to The 5 stages of 3.3.1

  1. ManniAT says:

    First of all thanks for that great post.

    One thing I’m not sure about is:
    >>Apple’s going to lose so many apps they’ll repeal this decision…

    Does anyone (except Apple) know the percentage of “third party tool created” apps?
    For sure there are amazing apps which will be affected. But from the perspective of Apple only numbers matter.
    And if (just a number) 89% of the apps are done in obj-c they’ll potentially lose about 10%. Last not least they still have the ability to decide “who is affected” – and so they could say Unity3d is OK for us – which would keep those games in the AppStore.
    There are statements from the Unity3d CEO that they are not affected!

    My hope – the same could apply to MonoTouch. “We” (as the MT developer) are no “bad guys” – we use (although through a layer) the native API, we even use their tools to create XIBs and other stuff.

    Hope dies last :)
    Manfred

  2. Brad says:

    I’m hoping Apple is going to treat this like NYC landlords treat the no-pets clause in leases – that is, they don’t really care about most pets, but they want a pretext to boot you if there is a problem.

    Of course, some of them are fine with cats, but won’t tolerate dogs no matter what. (*cough* Flash *cough*)

  3. Brad says:

    Also: I feel like they’re going to have to do that – if for no other reason than that they have some well-behaved, profitable tenants (I’m thinking EA and their Lua-scripted games) that they’d probably rather not lose. They’ve certainly been selective about enforcement in the past, so why not with this?

  4. abel says:

    Hey ManniAT,

    I have no idea what the percentages are on Obj-C vs Non Obj-C apps. Say we take all of EAs apps, all the MT apps on the MT.info page and all of the Unity 3Ds, that’s a very small percentage of the overwhelming number of apps in the store.

    If they’re playing a numbers game, then we’ve got no chance. MT came into existence in Sept 2009 (correct me if I’m wrong) which is definitely not enough time to get traction in the market.

    More will be revealed, but when it does I’ll be at peace either way. :)

  5. Damien says:

    Man! if you could port your Touch Playbook app to Android that DEFINATELY would be KICKASS!!! Fuck apple in their arrogant asses (No capital A on purpose)

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