Out of NDA! [Mod edit: Not really, see posts]

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Post: #31
@ ThemsAllTook: That's true to some extent, but there will certainly be work-arounds for pixel precision. Maybe even allowing use of a stylus for applications which require very high precision. The iPhone uses a technique where there is a magnifying glass that comes up for cursor insertion. But the notion that computing won't move primarily toward touch in the coming years, simply because it isn't pixel-precise, doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

@ BeyondCloister: That's a good point, but they'll eventually get it right. They have to, because that's the way things are going. Apple isn't going to give up on the idea just because they screwed it up on the first try. I wasn't thinking primarily of phone communications, but rather wireless, but you're right that if the infrastructure isn't there, it's junk.
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Post: #32
Show me how to type or write with touch and I'll believe you.

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Post: #33
AnotherJake Wrote:The touch interface is most definitely the way computing is going -- no doubt about it. The only question is "when" and what size? The first company to get out there with an affordable "touch computer" is going to utterly dominate that market. And what I'm thinking is something like a giant iPhone or iPod Touch. A new class of device, half-way between an iPhone and a MacBook. It would be like a pre-packaged computing appliance which does all your daily tasks like email and web-surfing, but might also do things like word-processing and office-related tasks like spreadsheets. And with Mobile Me, I would guess that a lot of your storage needs would be found in "the cloud". Maybe the size of a book so you could page through a virtual book using the touch interface. I can imagine this thing would be killer for school and work. You might be right about the MacBook and iMac lines too. What if they did all three?

That's what I had been saying for quite a while, but upon discussion with colleagues, many of them said they would not buy a "psuedo-computer" like that. I would, but they said they would not.

As far as pixel precision goes, a mouse-like interface can be easily simulated using a multi-touch surface, so pixel precision will never be a problem. I think the biggest issue they will have is people like us: game developers and interactive software developers. For decades our interaction model has been molded by the keyboard and mouse. Phasing those out ushers in a new learning curve that 1) Reopens the games market and, 2) Allows for the redesign of commonly held paradigms.

I personally look forward to this paradigm shift, as it allows for a new, highly immersive setup for the gaming industry. However, the input paradigm change will be difficult to overcome initially.

Anyway, I think a touch screen FULL-SCALE computer should be implemented first. That way, people like my colleagues will be satiated, and it will paved the road for changes to smaller platforms in the future. Needless to say, I'm excited!

Mac users swear by their computers, PC users swear at their computers. ~Unknown

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Post: #34
Duane Wrote:Show me how to type or write with touch and I'll believe you.

I too wonder if a tablet-like device would be very easy to type with. I don't personally care about writing though -- too much work. The type pad on the touch works pretty good for its size IMHO, although I've heard others complain.

This brings up yet another thought: What if they're actually working on a programmable touch keyboard? That sounds really cool to me. I wonder if it'd work? What if the touch keyboard is wireless, and doubles as its own device when you walk away from the computer with it?

Taly Wrote:That's what I had been saying for quite a while, but upon discussion with colleagues, many of them said they would not buy a "psuedo-computer" like that. I would, but they said they would not.
Interesting. I OTOH, am not interested in buying something like a MacBook Air, but it has been wildly popular according to reports I've read, so it's hard for me to speculate just how popular this would be. I've also heard that Amazon's kindle has been very successful, and that sounds like a similar class of device. I am personally interested in it as a document reader. I like leaning back away from the computer to read, and I can imagine something like this sitting next to the computer just for that purpose.

The full-size computer using touch has been speculated about for some time now, but I've never been on-board with the idea because I don't fancy the idea of reaching out and smudging my main screen. I dunno, just seems kinda awkward to me -- neat but awkward. Honestly though, I never really grasped how cool touch was until I bought one, so maybe I'm not using enough imagination.
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Post: #35
God—I can't stand the touch's/iphone's keyboard. I need tactile response, and I don't want to waste precious screen real estate on writing.

I just don't see it taking off...

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Post: #36
I just can't believe that developers are sitting with their tail between their legs in allowing Apple to dictate the terms of use when it comes to how people can discuss iPhone application development. If more people just said screw the NDA (which is a grey haven of legality) (just think... reverse engineering is legally allowed), Apple would see that they need to be quicker about rectifying the situation.

I strongly doubt that Apple would pursue legal action or blacklist developers unless they want an even larger uproar from the expanding developer community.

(Besides, any technology to be stolen, has already been stolen.)

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Post: #37
gatti Wrote:I just can't believe that developers are sitting with their tail between their legs ...

One needs to consider very carefully what could happen if Apple decided to release the hounds after some sudden surge of short-sighted courage:

- No iDevGames
- No iPhone development and thus no possible income from that
- Possible financial penalties and ruinous fines ordered by the court

I wouldn't consider backing down from that to be a "tail between the legs" scenario -- maybe more like "brain between the ears". Rasp
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Post: #38
gatti Wrote:I just can't believe that developers are sitting with their tail between their legs in allowing Apple to dictate the terms of use when it comes to how people can discuss iPhone application development. If more people just said screw the NDA (which is a grey haven of legality) (just think... reverse engineering is legally allowed), Apple would see that they need to be quicker about rectifying the situation.

Maybe since I'm not trying to dev for the iPhone, I don't have a full understanding of the situation, but…

Apple made the iPhone, right? Why shouldn't they be able to restrict people from talking about it? I can see being frustrated about it, but Apple makes the device, I think they should be able to dictate what happens, and after all, if you've downloaded the SDK, you've signed their agreement. (No offense).

I'll stop now,

-LG

EDIT: /me notices that gatti is a moderator, and waits to be banned Rasp

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Post: #39
The only reason why I'm saying anything is because this issue is restricting people from sharing processes, approaches, and code which have the capability of making the the development process as a whole more quicker.

If anything, it'll be a main factor in temporarily stinting iphone game development for eager independent developers.

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Post: #40
gatti Wrote:I just can't believe that developers are sitting with their tail between their legs in allowing Apple to dictate the terms of use when it comes to how people can discuss iPhone application development. If more people just said screw the NDA (which is a grey haven of legality) (just think... reverse engineering is legally allowed), Apple would see that they need to be quicker about rectifying the situation.

I strongly doubt that Apple would pursue legal action or blacklist developers unless they want an even larger uproar from the expanding developer community.

(Besides, any technology to be stolen, has already been stolen.)

This is the absolutely wrong view on the subject. I consider it a privilege to be allowed to develop for the iPhone not a right. I also signed a contract under my own free will saying I would obey this agreement. Not only do I have respect for the letter of the law I also have respect the company that supports my ability to earn a paycheck.

Apple has every right in the world to dictate everything about the iPhone, it is their product, it is their platform, and it is their development software.

You made an agreement whether they pursue legal action or not, keeping that agreement is the honorable thing to do.

gatti Wrote:If anything, it'll be a main factor in temporarily stinting iphone game development for eager independent developers.


Maybe that is what they are trying to do. They could have a million reasons to keep it in NDA. I am not happy about it being restricted, and I would love to be able to get more help with my bugs as well as learn some of the techniques I have learned but it is not a prefect world.
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Post: #41
If Apple have the final say on everything that is allowed onto the App Store, I can understand why people wouldn't want to risk getting on their bad side.

Remember, this time last year we were probably having the same discussion about why they hadn't released an SDK. They eventually did, and it was better than most people had hoped for. I'm sure this NDA will go in the same way. In the mean time, it's perfectly possible to just build some excellent games based on what's available, as many people have.
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Post: #42
@ gatti: Yes, it is *extremely* frustrating not to be able to share information publicly. The NDA has definitely slowed me down in my efforts -- no shadow of a doubt about that. And while it is possible that Apple may have legitimate reasons for keeping us all in the dark, that doesn't change the current scenario for us. But still... regardless of how frustrated we may be, this is Apple's product, and I too feel privileged to be able to work on it.

Look, hopefully things will open up sometime in the future. For now, there's no real sense in revolting over it. They're obviously having lots of technical problems and hiccups with recent product releases at Apple, and it looks like there might even be more new products in the near future. I'm cool with cutting them some slack for a while. I just hope they'll be willing to help return us a favor for working with them early-on in this mess, when the time comes.

Until then, my only complaint, and I believe it is a serious one, is that they have not communicated to us what their intentions are with the NDA, nor did they ever communicate their intentions, other than that they let us continue to assume that it'd be just like other beta programs of theirs. *That* is what makes this situation stink so bad to me. But like I said, I'm cool, I'll wait...

Like kodex said, it isn't a perfect world. Indeed, in this situation we could complain about other things too, like how all the lucky ones are earning eighty thousand dollars a week with tac-tac-toe and pong and hang-man and we're earning zilch, even though we're making "good" stuff, but that's the way the cards fell on this one. I'm still happy they're allowing us to get on-board with iPhone, even with all the ugly warts on the deal.
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Post: #43
kodex Wrote:This is the absolutely wrong view on the subject. I consider it a privilege to be allowed to develop for the iPhone not a right. I also signed a contract under my own free will saying I would obey this agreement. Not only do I have respect for the letter of the law I also have respect the company that supports my ability to earn a paycheck.

Apple has every right in the world to dictate everything about the iPhone, it is their product, it is their platform, and it is their development software.

You made an agreement whether they pursue legal action or not, keeping that agreement is the honorable thing to do.




Maybe that is what they are trying to do. They could have a million reasons to keep it in NDA. I am not happy about it being restricted, and I would love to be able to get more help with my bugs as well as learn some of the techniques I have learned but it is not a prefect world.

My thoughts exactly.

AnotherJake: Do they actually make 80-thousand per week?

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Post: #44
Hairball183 Wrote:AnotherJake: Do they actually make 80-thousand per week?

No sale numbers have been released as of yet by apple other then 10,000,000 apps in the first week. There is a lot of speculation about sales. Given the number of apps downloaded, the sale numbers the first few hours, support emails, and crash logs it is not unreasonable to think even the most basic apps have sales in the thousands. Anything in the top hundred will be significantly more popular.

While $80,000 may be a bit of an stretch for a $0.99 game it is perfectly reasonable for a popular $5 or $10 game. Considering the analyst estimated super monkey ball sold $3,500,000 in the first 7 days.
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Post: #45
Quote:AnotherJake: Do they actually make 80-thousand per week?
I have absolutely no clue -- I was exaggerating for the sarcasm of it. But as kodex points out, I did pull the number from an estimate I read online somewhere, and creatively inflated it a bit to make the sarcasm work. I guess I should've added another zero or two just to be sure. Rasp

I'd love to speculate more on what the real numbers could be, but all I know is that the majority of the easy sales are gone, and they went to whomever was lucky enough to effectively be given free money by Apple. In reality, you have to figure on some level that out of ten thousand thousand apps in one week, there could well be a thousand sales for even the lamest of the lame, as kodex points out. And that's just one week.

I received a developer account shortly after the store opened, and had a stupid program already made, which I used to get oriented to iPhone. It's better than a lot of the games already out there, but nowhere near what I would consider a half-decent game, nor original. Speculating on sales stats makes me wonder how much income I have given up, simply because I was not willing to add to the pollution. To be honest though it's been a bit of a fight from day to day as to whether my attitude about holding onto personal integrity is worth it, considering how much Ramen I've been eating lately...
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