Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rogue Amoeba Shows Themselves Why Apple Won't Allow Rogue Applications On The iPhone

As reported by Daring Fireball:

Rogue Amoeba Updates Instant Hijack Hack for Compatibility With Security Update 2008-002

Rogue Amoeba’s Mike Ash:

"Apple released Security Update 2008-002 yesterday and this led to a problem for some users on Mac OS X 10.5 using our Instant Hijack component. The Instant Hijack component is optionally installed by Airfoil, Audio Hijack Pro, and Nicecast, and enables these applications to grab audio from applications that are already running. Following the Security Update, ssh and some related programs would crash when they were run on Mac OS X 10.5 machines with Instant Hijack installed."

[Daring Fireball's John Gruber] The unfortunate irony here is that just a week ago, Rogue Amoeba asked Apple to allow for Instant Hijack-style system hacks in the iPhone OS. Rogue Amoeba fixed this bug in under a day, but this sort of incident is exactly why Apple isn’t going to grant third-party developers low-level access to the OS.

And also from the Rogue Amoeba blog (extra emphasis added):

Mea Culpa

March 16th, 2008

Early this morning, it was brought to our attention that Airfoil Speakers for Linux and Airfoil Speakers for Windows both contained a small portion of GPL-licensed code. If you’re not aware, the GPL is a license for open source code, and using GPL code in a closed-source project is a violation of that license. So, having GPL-licensed code in these versions of Airfoil Speakers was a big no-no. What happened here?

Simply put, we screwed up. A 16-line wrapper written by Jon Lech Johanson to access a system API on Windows was being used in Airfoil Speakers, in violation of the GPL. David, the programmer behind Airfoil for Windows, had used the code while making an internal prototype. When he built the official Airfoil Speakers for Windows, he mistakingly reused this code.

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------

It's obvious that Rogue Amoeba is the kind of application / software company that Apple is trying to prevent with the iPhone SDK restrictions from completely ruining the iPhone experience. I have to admit that I would absolutely LOVE an Audio Hijack-like program on my iPhone to record calls - but it could very well be harmful code to the iPhone OS as witnessed here. Very tempting applications can be made but I'm glad Apple is taking the approach they are for restricting the release of applications that may have immense utility, but cause crashes and even bricking of the iPhone.

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