Being upset at this restriction is perfectly reasonable. It is intended to keep authors/editors artificially locked into Apple's products and distribution system. Imagine how you would feel about similar restrictions on other production tools (Photoshop, Visual Studio, Word, Garage Band, etc.) and you would immediately see this is shitty behavior.
Though I do agree with what you are saying: people have a choice not to use these tools. However, the rules of this product are somewhat hidden -- to the point where you probably won't know your restrictions until you've already put in the work. And also Apple is leveraging their platform dominance in an uncompetitive and unfair manner and should be admonished for it.
> you probably won't know your restrictions until you've already put in the work
Do people really start putting significant effort into projects without thinking about legal issues, distribution, etc.? (I don't consider downloading an app and creating a two page test book as 'significant effort')
I do not think Visual Studio is an example that supports your argument.
I haven't spelled its license recently, but the native code compilers are intended to keep authors locked into Microsoft's ecosystem. Whether that is more or less artificially then this product, I would not know.
Having said that, I agree that this is part of a strategy that is designed to corner a market. Some people would phrase that as "good old capitalism at work", though. I agree with them, except for that "good" adjective.
>It is intended to keep authors/editors artificially locked into Apple's products and distribution system.
There is no artificial lock in. They are providing a tool to produce content for their distribution system. That's its point.
The comparison to general purpose tools isn't relevant. Consider if this tool, like iAd Producer, had no ability to export in a format outside of Apple's proprietary one. Would you still be upset?
>And also Apple is leveraging their platform dominance in an uncompetitive and unfair manner and should be admonished for it.
What platform dominance is that? The same people who complain about Apple doing anything that benefits them, seem to constantly tell us that the Kindle is the dominant e-reader and that android is the dominant mobile OS.
How is providing new features for electronic books "uncompetitive and unfair"? How is providing a tool that lets you author books that use these new features "uncompetitive and unfair"?
As for competitiveness, this is the very definition of competition. They provided something better, and also provided a tool that lets people easily create content for this better solution. Isn't your real beef that this is competitive?
As for "unfair", it seems that you're the one who is being unfair. You are taking the position that they should provide you tools for free to do what you want in any way you want. You seem to presume an obligation on their part to comply with your arbitrary view that they should give you something for nothing, without restrictions.
The lock-in would be complete if they change iBooks to only display books that have been published with their variant of epub classes. They don't do this, so would have to agree that you can produce your book any way you want then make it available.
I believe the original author's pain is around the paucity of good EPUB publishing tools, and to have one appear with these restrictions makes them sad. It would have been nice if Apple had said, "If you buy a commercial license to this software for $X we won't constrain your ability to sell the books produced." Then at least there would be a way to use to the tool to produce books that would be salable at both Apple and Amazon's shops.
Clearly Apple sees this as a way to build a library of 'exclusive' content in iBooks and mute the Kindle threat. For me at least that shows me just how threatening the Kindle Fire is to their model.