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If you want to develop applications (or run arbitrary code) on their stack, which they spend billions of dollars developing and maintaining, yes, it will cost you $100/year.

Or you can get a free dev account, but the feature set it more limited and signatures are only good for 7 days.

Apple charges money for features so that they remain in business to keep making more features, and security updates too. So it is, in fact, exactly how they protect users.

> And signatures are only good for 7 days.

And again, how does that restriction protect users? As I see it, it's entirely user-hostile: it ensures any self-created apps aren't really usable.

If the limit was significantly longer, I would mostly shut up about all of this.

Who is this hypothetical person who can afford a Mac and the time to learn how to how to develop iOS applications and yet cannot afford $100 a year? Usually I'm all in favour of freedom, but I just can't see who's actually affected by this.

Okay, here's a personal example:

Apple does not allow dictionary apps on the App Store which actually use the word definitions built into iOS—they are required to provide their own definitions, which either take up precious storage space or are not available offline.

So, I found some old WTFPL-licensed code on Github, spent an hour or so futzing around to make it compile and look pretty on iOS 12 (because I had no clue what I was doing), and came up with this: https://github.com/Wowfunhappy/Dictionary. It works super well, and I use it every day on my phone.

The only reason I can use this app is because I'm Jailbroken.

You spent the time to Jailbreak the phone, but couldn't you also have just paid $100/year for the license to be able to build your own personal apps which can be deployed on your personal devices for 1 year at a time?

Well, that's not why I Jailbroke my phone. I Jailbroke my phone so I could:

• Install a Userscript to de-AMP pages in Google search results.

• Prevent Apple News from saving a history of what articles I read, thus disabling their recommendation engine and preventing a filter bubble.

• Add an extra row of app icons to my homescreen, so I can fit all my apps on one page.

• Get a warning when I set an alarm for PM rather than AM.

...and countless other little things.

Separately, I consider $100 an awful lot of money, especially for a subscription, which I try really hard to keep out of my life.

It's the person who doesn't know how to do that yet. Most people don't get started in software development by writing their own operating system kernel. They're using an existing application with published source code and want to make a little change. It's an ugly hack written by a teenager, they just want to use it for themselves. They'll get better at it as they do it more.

But now you say they have to buy a Mac and pay $100/year. Well, that's a no for that little initial change, so now they never get started to begin with.

Really? GNU/Linux doesn't thrive on billions and provides a near perfect functional alternative. Darwin/XNU is libre software, so it's a contradiction to make people pay for the right to program.

If you have a “near perfect functional alternative” then what exactly is the complaint?

Demanding all software be free is also demanding the end to freedom. People want iOS to be more open because of the incredible value of iOS. Not because there’s an equivalent free alternative at hand they simply didn’t notice.

> Darwin/XNU is libre software, so it's a contradiction to make people pay for the right to program.

This does not make logical sense? That other free software exists is not an argument that all software must be free. Apple has a business model which increasingly relies on selling services and licenses on iOS over selling new hardware. That’s their choice for how to fund their operations, which I’m very happy that they are free to make!

Being forced to make all my code freely available would be an appalling restriction on my own personal freedom. Not to diminish the brutal history of slavery, but what gives someone the right to free access to my work?

>is the complaint?

That Apple's investment of billions into the ecosystem is not an argument I see valid, given the alternatives.

>all software must be free.

Heavens, that's not what I'm saying. I find it contradictory that Apple have open sourced an entire operating system and an entire kernel, and are kvetching over a mere privilege to begin approaching a distro of their OS. I'm not fighting the freedom fight, I'm in awe of the bait-and-switch they're employing.

I think they are trying to protect a billion dollar ecosystem which is their App Store.

Apple's App Store earns developers something like 50%+ more revenue than equivalent apps on Android. No small part of that is due to the ease of piracy on Android.

I do not see any contradiction, nor any "bait-and-switch". The operating system and a kernel are not the services engine which keeps their company running. Open sourcing that code doesn't imperil their primary revenue streams.

The very foundation their ecosystem runs on is free and open source, and up for grabs for forking and modification. However, their proprietary app store is not, and neither is force-loading my own custom apps. In my point of view, this is where I see the contradiction.

Granted the worldwide open source community has had and has nearly zero interest in making a darwin distro with a minimalistic tiling window manager, or anything similar. Yet I see gnu/linux developers create dozens of linux distros and dozens of functionally identical window managers. So much for side-rant.

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