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One person's receipt validation bug hardly means the "walled garden" (so sick of that term) is dangerous because his update review is taking a week. He's the one who made the mistake. Other computing platforms, such as consoles, have had centralized approval over software titles for decades. It's only become an issue to desktop users who are used to the Wild West and are experiencing a transition to the software model that has existed everywhere else for a long time.

By the way, anyone wanting automated Apple receipt validation code should look at Receigen on the Mac App Store. It generates a validation solution with each new version number.




The initial mistake certainly was the software author's but that's hardly the most important point.

There are at least three key issues brought out by the original post, IMHO:

1) By moving to the App Store distribution from a previous, independent distribution system, publishers have clearly taken a step backwards in terms of being able to push out bug fixes. This is a huge issue and it's irrespective of what other platforms have to live with. It's a clear downgrade of a valuable feature for end-users and that's a problem – particularly because it's largely driven by policy and not technical requirements.

2A) Even worse, Apple's gatekeeping is horribly broken – approval is so opaque as to almost seem arbitrary and therefore cannot be relied upon. This is not the author's fault.

2B) The standards for gatekeeping, such as they are, are not constant. It seems clear that features that were previously acceptable can become no longer acceptable if Apple deems them to be competitive with Apple products. Or, worse, if Apple alters their products in such a way as to overlap with the existing features of a product in the App Store, a program may no longer be approved – essentially without warning and with no grandfathering due to prior approvals.

So, yes, this story says a lot about the controlled environment of a walled garden ecosystem.

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I do have to agree that the term walled garden is completely inaccurate to models companies like Apple are pushing towards. More accurate would be calling it a cell block; you gotta do what the warden wants, when the warden wants, regardless of how arbitrary it is. Apple's push towards centralization is why my mac mini is now sitting unplugged on a shelf -- it's becoming harder and harder to do neat things under the apple system because you have to ask for permission every five minutes.

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I buy computers, because I want programmable tools that I can use for my purposes. I don't buy game consoles. As Apple pursues the game consolization of the Mac, many of us who are "experiencing the transition" are finding the Mac less and less appealing, but Apple is after the general consumer electronics market. They're making it clear that they can happily do without people like me--there just aren't enough of us to matter.

And ironically, despite caring less and less about users like me, they still get my business, because the other computer makers are degrading so badly.

If only someone were interested in making a computer for the rest of us [sigh...]

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