Seems like there is a greater movement towards the freelance economy, but these things still suck to deal with when you are independent.
ACM also comes with free access to Safari Books Online which gives me electronic access to 95% of all professional books I'm interested in.
That's probably my only real gripe with unions. I want the benefits and collective bargaining (of course), and I like the courses they occasionally hold, but I have no desire to effectively donate money to parasites like O'Reilly.
Thankfully my local union (Sveriges Ingenjörer -- Sweden's Engineers) doesn't have the O'Reilly agreement, but I'm still stuck paying for crap such as https://www.nyteknik.se/.
I was hoping for a global union with a broader scope.
This union could defend workers in areas of the industry where abused are public knowledge, like the video game industry or workers sold like meat by IT service companies.
Defending and organizing freelance workers is also a goal, individually and isolated, it's really hard for member of this group to have any weight.
It's also very common to have companies asking for very long hours. Just for reference 48 hours per week/8 hours per day is the baseline from the ILO. And the same could be said for workers that have to take on calls at night or over the weekend (ILO set a 24 consecutive hours rest time per week).
Gender equality is still somewhat of an issue, specially since the industry is mostly male, it's still can be an hostile for women to work in.
Another subject that is not directly linked to the self interest of workers, but in my opinion deeply important, is: the social responsibilities of the companies we are working for.
Tax evasion is really common for tech companies, specially the bigger ones. These taxes are our roads, our schools, social services, police and the list goes on.
Personal data collection is becoming critical. Some companies are collecting personal data in a scale never previously seen. Limiting the collect to what is necessary, ensuring the data is not sold, making sure it's properly secure and displaying clearly and transparently what is collected and why, all of this is really important. Workers having a say in it is important specially since they see the collect from the inside.
Lastly, Internet and tech companies are increasingly important as free speech platforms. Twitter and Facebook were instrumental in the Arab spring for example. These platforms must act ethically, they should not influence people for their self-interests and they should not be a place of censorship. (all this is analogue to journalism ethics and standards in fact).
In most cases, being a tech worker is far from being the worst job ever. The pay is generally good, the working conditions are far from horrible and the job is far from stultifying. There are still some abuses however and these must be dealt with. But we cannot ignore the social impacts of our jobs, this should be the other great subject dealt with by a tech workers union.
From the FAQ:
>Is this a union union with dues and stuff?
>No, this is a non-union union created to bring developers and supporters together for better App Stores for all by focusing on issues that best serve those who create and use apps.
Nice execution, you're doing terrific. /s
> Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July.
> After that, we'll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.
And what will you do when Apple refuses? The app store reached rock bottom long ago, and they are OK with it. Apple can enter any market they want to and roll over you.
For example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscientious_objection_to_mil...
Just seems like a pretty small thing to start your big 'union' with.
- Ability to filter to ONLY show apps that are Paid, with no IAP.
I have found paid apps, especially games, with no IAP, to be higher quality and no broken game mechanics.
I give developers that make that choice my money. I purchase these high quality games and apps just to be supportive of the model. When they release sequels, I purchase those too.
I’m annoyed Apple added a filter for “Price” with only “Any” or “Free” instead of “Any”, “Free”, “One Time Purchase”.
I’m annoyed the “Paid” and “Free” tabs both are littered with IAP.
There’s a ethos difference between recurring IAP to keep using or playing and one time IAP for one time feature unlocks, such as Omni’s Basic and Pro versions. I’m even ok with annual subscription like Ulysses, but that should be classified differently too.
Really the filter should be something like: One Time Permanent Purchase (including permanent feature upgrades), Recurring Subscription, Pay-to-Play (including virtual currency and metered usage), Free.
The Trial option asked for by The Developers Union would allow reclassifying apps using IAP to mock Trial period, back into One Time Permanent Purchase category, to signal their high quality.
In the end of the day its good to see groups of people try to fight for change they believe in. So no matter how I feel about this specific efforts chances of success, its inspiring to see them try. Even if this fails it might encourage other people to join forces and use collective efforts to push for reforms.
If nothing else as the big corporations take more control away from us peons this (union type efforts) is our last way of having any say in the big picture, so we need more, not less of this kind of activism.
That's not to say asking Apple to improve this is bad, but is the first ask not a solved problem?
It strikes me as odd that app purchases are available across a family account but in-app purchases are not. I wonder if they plan to change this.
^Unless you have a really good reason to. ex: payment processing
App Discovery, Fake Apps, IAP Refund, No Trials, Long Review Times, all of these have been long standing problems and Apple has made little to no improvement in those areas. And it is likely Apple thinks the amount of complain are minor, but if you look at it from a different angle, most of these complaints comes from Apps Developers, not Game Developers. And the vast vast majority of IAP, or App Store Revenue are in fact gaming. Take out gaming and you see how many developers are unhappy with the current situation, especially for Indie developers.
1. Trial apps promotion: because once the regular new app promotion ends, so do most of the profits for apps that can't quite make it.
2. More money, in form of apple reducing publishing taxes.
Leave the app store? Start writing software for Windows Phone? Raise cabbages in Sto Lat?
Or at least, it was, the last time I had coffee with my mobile developer friends.
The double standard is kind of funny. There is no way Microsoft or even Google could ever have gotten away with this, but for some reason everyone swallows total device vendor lock-down when it comes from Apple.
iOS can’t eliminate everything, but it helps minimise the risks, by making sure all the apps (if not websites) take a safe-ish approach.
Yes, there is stuff I want to do that doesn’t fit that model. I buy extra devices for that stuff, so my secure stuff remains somewhat secure.
The times I've dealt with the App Store have horrified me. The US Internal Revenue Service is more responsive and has superior customer service. I am not exaggerating. We've had apps approved then denied requiring appeal on later minor updates because some reviewer spotted something and checked a box. We had to appeal to get past that, and the whole thing has a very arbitrary feel to it. Your software is at the whim of something resembling a Terry Gilliam bureaucratic dystopia.
Now? I’m not even happy to intall Ubuntu from the official website because of Bug #1359836 reported about 4 years ago and not yet closed. My “tax” is a choice between Apple, anti-virus, or virus. The risk of state actors adds to that regardless of my choice.
I was an iOS developer myself before looking after parent with Alzheimer’s, so I know Apple’s rules. Also read the developer agreement and kept up to date with all changes by diff-ing the PDFs.
I’d be pleasantly surprised if the IRS turns out to be easier (non-zero chance I’ll end up in the Bay Area at some point). Perhaps my apps were the equivalent of a 9-5 job, but other people had apps the equivalent of houses straddling state and international borders with one part being exclusively used as a home office-factory for a startup in autonomous home defence laser-based dazzling turrets, which had just been given startup investments from outside the USA and had remote workers who may or may not have been technically contractors? :)
Then I might be convinced to actually use the App Store.
I find it interesting that they are starting with the low-hanging fruit of something like free demos. I don't think Apple realizes the burden that things like managing two versions of an app (free/paid) or implementing in-app purchases imposes on developers. Apple has lost touch with developers in how it emphasizes enterprise approaches for things that could have much simpler APIs. They have hundreds of billions of dollars, so why force developers to deal with push notification servers? There's a lot of buck-passing and not a lot of service happening.
The red tape has been reduced in recent years due to better Xcode integration of things like provisioning. But I personally find the way that they've implemented entitlements for all of their niche services to be overly pedantic. I recommend scrapping all of it and moving to a data-driven approach where all entitlements are available and it becomes more of a fill-in-the-blank approach. As in, generate sane defaults and provide tools to do this stuff for us instead of throwing manuals at us. Look to things like Unity and Steam for examples of how to accomplish a lot with a little.
Calls for satisfaction have largely fallen on deaf ears, hence the need for a union like this. I don't mean to pick on Apple, I still think they are doing better than most companies, but they certainly have the resources to treat their developers as well as their users. Also to the original poster: drop the "the". It's cleaner :-P
That sounds like a good way to piss off customers, rather than piss off Apple and Google. If an app stops working, do you think people are going to blame Apple/Google or the company that actually pulled the trigger on disabling their favorite app?
And then Apple can issue refunds for non functioning apps and ban developers forever. Also, if these apps are popular, expect class action lawsuits. In the US law there's a thing which is called a promissory estoppel (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/promissory_estoppel.asp) and it can be argued that if you buy an app, you expect that it keeps working.
P.S. I am not a lawyer
I'd also like to point out that there's some antitrust stuff at work here too, because the app store probably shouldn't be coupled to a specific company/device in the first place. The idea that every app developer everywhere is beholden to Apple, Microsoft (and now Google and Amazon) is just as much of a problem today as 30 years ago. 30% (this might be 15% now?) or more is being skimmed off everyone's profit margin, which is stifling innovation across the board. I think that's what we're really talking about here, and why it's threatening to the status quo.
I'm not saying any of this is good or bad, just that, there are many ways to structure the economy of the future and we're in one that favors multinational corporations with a trillion dollars of combined wealth. Meanwhile individual workers have almost no solidarity, which leaves them with little or no recourse for handling grievances. I'm just surprised that with the unprecedented concentration of intelligence on forums like these that any thought of organizing seems completely out of the question. That's quite a code smell and a rather large untapped market when you stop and think about it.