Laughing at the guidelines

Apple’s announcement yesterday of a Mac App Store is big news. As soon as the event was over, journalists reached out to developers to get feedback on what it means for existing Mac shops. Reading the variety of responses is fascinating to me, and I contributed some quotes for articles in “Macworld”:http://www.macworld.com/article/155061/2010/10/developers_mac_app_store.html and “Cult of Mac”:http://www.cultofmac.com/mac-app-store-more-developer-reaction/65036. There’s also a “write-up on Ars”:http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/10/mac-app-store-boon-or-bust-for-developers.ars.

Here’s “Wolf’s take on the guidelines”:http://rentzsch.tumblr.com/post/1369652253/mac-app-store:

“My fellow Mac developers are laughing at the Mac App Store guidelines. They’re reporting that apps they’ve been shipping for years — a number of them Apple Design Award-winning — would be rejected from the Mac App Store. These are proven apps, beloved by their users. The current guidelines are clearly out-of-touch.”

Every developer I’ve talked to uses at least some private APIs on the Mac, often to work around bugs or limitations in current APIs. It’s disappointing that the Mac App Store is shipping before 10.7, because 10.7 would be a good opportunity to find out why developers still need private APIs and bake support directly into the next version of Mac OS X to solve common issues.

Can you imagine such rock-solid apps as BBEdit or Transmit being rejected from the Mac App Store? It’s going to be a lonely launch day full of hasty iOS ports if Apple doesn’t show some common sense when approving Mac apps.