posted on: 2010-12-22 20:01:29
This is a big turning point for "app store" software.

>For starters I won an iPad, I probably wouldn't buy one because of the principles it is built on, ie buy it, and continue to pay for apps. I have this idea that I can use open source software, and contribute by being a user or developer. That being said, I own an iPad and it is a fun toy.

I hate the fact that any software I want has to be purchased through the AppStore, or iTunes. I hate that it is single user, I've downloaded a game and now my roomate uses the ipad and passes levels, I never see them. What kills me is that there is no file management. I have completely legal documents that I want to put on the iPad and use when I don't have internet access. This is not built into the device. So a little plug, get good reader, that lets you download files even if good reader doesn't know what to do with them it will let you save them and put them into folders. It is also a great pdf reader.

I am trying to illustrate how "closed" the iPad is. You have to install an app just to be able to save files. There are other work arounds, email them to yourself or ... maybe some free apps, but still it seems like your media should be easy to put on the device. Its not get good reader and move on.

Games, if you have ever played Battle For Wesnoth it is a turn based rpg war game. It is fun and most importantly it is free. Free, free free. Issued under the gpl, there is a lot of work and art that has gone into this project. Linux, Windows, Mac it is available. Languages? Sure it has been translated to at least 8 but possibly more. Wesnoth is a success of the open source gaming, it looks great, it is fun to play.

So now it is in the AppStore and the arguments begin. Here is an overview. The AppStore is not compatible with the GPL and some developers don't want it to be distributed there. Plus people are now making money off of the selling of the Wesnoth app.

Lets get one thing clear, if you want to download the source code, compile it and put it on your iPad you can and it is completely free. You will not however be able to find a binary version because Apple does not allow this. I do plan to verify this and I will post what it takes for me to install a free version of Wesnoth onto my iPad.

I like this development for two reasons. First this means there is a free set of software available outside of the AppStore. Which encourages jailbreaking and alternative sources of software that are legal. The idea is that if you jailbreak your iPad you will use illegal software, but there are valid reasons to jailbreak.

The second reason is a form of open source advertising, use the AppStore and you pay 6 dollars (might be on sale for 1 right now though), or build it from the source. This will open eyes to open source software. Normally the consequences of open source are limited. If you compare Open Office to Microsoft office, MS office is better and more widely used. The cost of using proprietary software is not always tangible. Wesnoth on the other hand, will get paid for and used. As people realize they can have it for free, hopefully they'll reconsider getting a "closed" product next time and get a product that can use open source programs readily. Maybe even something that runs linux.

Ultimately I like this development because I really like inkscape and I hope it gets ported to the iPad. They could use a similar model, get funding and interest for the project, while still offering inkscape completely free and open source. How about this, three version of the program. Free, paid and paid more. The difference... nothing it just gives users a chance for donations.

I am going to follow up on this post, by compile wesnoth for my iPad from source... after I get back from vacation.


2010-12-22 20:04:08
This is un-edited, It turned out to be a bit long but I will edit it in time. mbs