iPhone SDK terms change draws developer ire; Jobs responds

A change in the iPhone developer SDK terms has caused an uproar among some developers, including one who received a response on the matter from Apple CEO Steve Jobs. At issue is section 3.3.1, which includes a statement that “[a]pplications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited.” Although there are several products that offer such a solution, this new language most notably blocks apps developed using Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, which allows developers to create cross-platform applications using Flash Professional CS5.

After explaining his disagreement to the change, developer Greg Slepak emailed Jobs, stating that there had yet to be “a single positive reaction [to the change], even from John Gruber, your biggest fan,” and adding that the iPhone’s “SDK TOS are growing on it like an invisible cancer.” Jobs responded, pointing Slepak to a post by Gruber that Jobs said “is very insightful and not negative.” Following a second email from Slepak that claimed Gruber was wrong and that Apple is in effect “limiting creativity itself,” Jobs again responded, stating simply, “[w]e’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.”

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