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Section 3.3.1: The Least Common Denominator Will Never Be The Best For Anyone

12 April 2010 1,438 views No Comment

Apple’s controversial change of Section 3.3.1 of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement to forbid the use of  “applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer,” has resulted in lot of criticism on Apple’s approach, with many folks depicting this as an Apple Vs Adobe thing. They say its not open, and hence, not good for mankind.

But we think this is the smartest thing Apple, or for that matter, any platform owner, has done in many, many years.

The title of this post more or less summarizes our thoughts on this – if any piece of software tries to serve the least common denominator, it will end up being just that – the ‘least’ common denominator. ‘ The best features of a given platform will go under-utilized. Ever felt a little odd when clicking on a Java button on windows?

Steve Jobs’ response email concludes the argument:

“We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.”

Source: Taoeffect. We agree completely.

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