I wonder: Is there an opportunity for Alan Kay’s Dynabook? An iPad with a Sqeak implementation that enables any user to write his or her own applications, rather than resorting to purchasing an app?
Apple earlier this month instituted a new rule that also effectively blocks meta-platforms: clause 3.3.1, which stipulates that iPhone apps may only be made using Apple-approved programming languages. Many have speculated that the main target of the new rule was Adobe, whose CS5 software, released last week, includes a feature to easily convert Flash-coded software into native iPhone apps.
Some critics expressed concern that beyond attacking Adobe, Apple’s policies would result in collateral damage potentially stifling innovation in the App Store. Scratch appears to be a victim despite its tie to Jobs’ old friend.
Apple Rejects Kid-Friendly Programming App (April 20, 2010 2:15 pm)
What a difference 3 days makes right? Tom’s Hardware did a great retrospective on the ‘originality’ of the iPad and learned a heck of a lot of Computer History along the way. At the end of the article they plug Alan Kay’s Squeak based programming environment called Scratch. It is a free application that is used to create new graphical programs and is used as a means to teach mathematics problem-solving through writing programs in Scratch. The iPad was the next logical step in the distribution of the program, giving kids free access to it whenever and on whatever platform was available. But two days later, the announcement came out the Apple App Store, the only venue by which to purchase or even download software onto the iPhone or the iPad had roundly reject Scratch. The App Store will not allow it to be downloaded and that’s the end of that. The reasoning is Scratch (which is really a programming tool) has an interpreter built-in which allows it to execute the programs written within its programming environment. Java does this, Adobe Flash does this, it’s common with anything that’s like a programming tool. But Apple has forbidden anything that looks, sounds, or smells like a potential way of hijacking or hacking into their devices. So Scratch and Adobe Flash are now both forbidden to run on the Apple iPad. How quickly things change don’t they especially if you read the whole Tom’s Hardware article. Alan Kay and Steve Jobs are presented as really friendly towards one another.