Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

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Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby vinnie-bob » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:45 pm

for reference:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/11/apple-pushes-back-sandboxing-deadline-as-devs-struggle-with-tradeoffs.ars

Sandboxing is coming in the very near future. What does this mean for Mac Apps, Applescript, Supercard???
Right now I am a little worried. Comments welcome.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Scott » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:56 am

It means there is good reason to worry.

Right now, Apple's geese laying the golden eggs run iOS. iOS is heavily sandboxed, meaning that applications can't really talk to each other, or even have access to each other's data. Is the Mac destined to become more like these appliances? To me, Lion sure makes it look that way (Steve's post-pc era). TBF, it's hard to argue with the majority of your customers telling you they use their computer for little more than email and web surfing.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby vinnie-bob » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:33 pm

Scott wrote:It means there is good reason to worry.
.......Is the Mac destined to become more like these appliances? To me, Lion sure makes it look that way (Steve's post-pc era). TBF, it's hard to argue with the majority of your customers telling you they use their computer for little more than email and web surfing.


Yes, I agree completely, Scott. But it is kind of scary to think about. No Applescript, Unix scripts, no Macro programs, no system wide Audio recording? A lot of people won't miss this stuff. But I will.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Scott » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:03 pm

vinnie-bob wrote: it is kind of scary to think about. No Applescript, Unix scripts, no Macro programs, no system wide Audio recording? A lot of people won't miss this stuff. But I will.

I have often been accused of being pessimistic, but I envision a 2020 Mac needing to be jail broken to allow running any code on it other than what is available from the MAS.

<cue the scary music>
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby FourthWorld4444 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:04 am

Scott wrote:
vinnie-bob wrote:I have often been accused of being pessimistic, but I envision a 2020 Mac needing to be jail broken to allow running any code on it other than what is available from the MAS.

Sadly, I fear it'll happen long before 2020...
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby vinnie-bob » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:16 am

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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Scott » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:43 am

I find nothing reassuring about Apple adding a mechanism to the OS that prevents unsigned apps from running. Like many new Apple "Features"… optional at first; later, not so much.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby HairyHighlandCow » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:32 pm

Do you think it will be possible to sign our apps using SuperCard's standalone maker or another future tool? As I have said before, I'm not ready to commit to a full App Store version of my app at the moment, but I'd like people to keep being able to download it from my website and install it, without a dialog box coming saying it is 'untrustworthy'. I hope that the digital signing process doesn't affect the operation of apps built with SC. For instance, as I'm employing object/card/bg/window userproperties a lot I need to be able to write data to the app. This is one thing that Mike mentioned he had to change when preparing his apps for the App Store.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby marksch » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:06 pm

Hi,

Can we expect SuperCard for Linux anytime soon?

Kind regards,

Mark
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Dave_Higgins » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:07 pm

marksch wrote:Can we expect SuperCard for Linux anytime soon?

I think the phrase "Not gonna happen" comes to mind.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Scott » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:18 am

HairyHighlandCow wrote:Do you think it will be possible to sign our apps using SuperCard's standalone maker or another future tool? ... I'd like people to keep being able to download it from my website and install it, without a dialog box coming saying it is 'untrustworthy'. I hope that the digital signing process doesn't affect the operation of apps … I need to be able to write data to the app.

You can sign an app using terminal… but ANY changes to the bundle will invalidate the signature. So… to have a "trustworthy" app in Apple's eyes, no changes can be written to the bundle.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby sctell » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:53 am

Scott wrote:no changes can be written to the bundle


And I presume we mean by this everything must be reset. By reset it must return to it's starting point before the app was opened. A few questions in this regard.

This must also apply to SC itself?

User properties must be reset?

The contents of any SC objects (Fields, graphics, buttons, menus, lists etc.). They must be reset?

If a field or other SC object was empty when I opened the app and I script set object to empty on closeProject does that guarantee that as far as the bundle is concerned it has returned to it's initial state?

We can't permanently change the objects name, it must be reset?

We can't permanently create or change scripts on the fly? They must be reset?

I presume globals are not affected as they should be reset automagically when the app quits and restarts?

How does SC deal with printing dialogues as settings are retained? This must be outside the apps bundle?

How does the compact command affect the bundle memory footprint?

Are there any other commands in SC that affect the memory footprint of the bundle?

Any resources contained in the app bundle must be fixed? By this I mean they cannot be removed, they cannot be changed and additional resources cannot be added?

SC's on the fly byteCode? compiler generates code as scripts are called I presume all this is reset when the app is quit and does not affect the memory footprint of the app?

I am presuming that you cannot call code outside of the apps bundle so does that mean we cannot use the shell command or the applescript commands?

I'm sure there are many more questions everyone would like to ask. Perhaps we should start a specific thread for this subject?

If Scott thinks that is appropriate then he could set it running by moving this post.

All the best

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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Dave_Higgins » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:26 am

IIRC, Mike had mentioned that one step (not the only) was to see that your app runs properly while locked in the Finder, or from a CD/DVD... In which case the cantModify will be true... Sounds like a reset of sorts since any changes to cards or app resources won't be saved.

I seemed to have gotten that from a post where he answered you here.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby vinnie-bob » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:41 am

sctell wrote:
Scott wrote:I'm sure there are many more questions everyone would like to ask. Perhaps we should start a specific thread for this subject?

If Scott thinks that is appropriate then he could set it running by moving this post.

All the best

Terry


Yeah, I think this topic might deserve to be a new section on the home page here... seeing as this is the direction we will all be heading in less than 6-8 months from now... Even if we just want to use our projects for personal use...
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby vinnie-bob » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:11 am

I have thought about this more... and I understand Scott's concern's that Apple could clamp down on developers at any time, but I'm afraid that is a risk worth taking.

Clearly there are concerns here beyond those which make developers tremble. Apple has chosen to make the closed system model even more closed, but I think necessarily so. We have a very nice ecosystem here where everything Jobs promised regarding the digital hub has now come true. Every one of our devices is connected, by iCloud. We can access our data, contacts, calendars, music, and movies from the desktop, iPhone, iPad. We will be able to put pictures and movies, etc from our iPad, iPhone and Mac desktop/notebooks onto our TVs for the whole family to enjoy (or not enjoy). The iPad and the iPhone have produced many "converts" and encouraged a lot of staunch Windows people to switch over not only to Apple for the iPhone or iPad, but also for Mac desktops and notebooks. Mac sales (in this era of "Apple has forgotten about the MAC!" hysteria) have continued to increase, far outpacing sales of PCs. Part of that was the "coolness" factor of the iDevices and part of it is Mac OS X and less hassles with viruses. The fact that the Mac remains relatively unscathed by virus, trojan, and other malware is a very important part of the brand image. Much to the chagrin of Mac haters and FanDroids, I might add. (And there are a LOT of those people out there -- if you are on Google+ just create a stream with "Apple" and you will be inundated with anti-Apple propaganda like you wouldn't believe)

Protecting the brand from being undermined by malware is important — it is part of that "it just works" feeling. Heck, even PCMag said that OS X was the best system software available — enough even to justify the "Mac Tax". (They said this in a review of Ultrabooks which are about $250 less than the Macbook Air). So keeping the Mac safer than alternative OS's is very important. And let's face it, we are lucky that Windows was around to attract most of the malware creators, who largely left Apple alone. That is likely to change as the Mac gains market share. And that safety feature/Mac advantage must be protected.

So we have code signing and Gatekeeper to deal with. We have to change how we approach our coding so that we can get our apps approved if we wish to be in the App store. But as it is currently implemented, we still can have our cake and eat it too. You can turn off the part that restricts apps and go on with life as we always have for now at least for programs which you use yourself or share with others in our community. Who knows what the future holds in this regard? This will be a time of great change and upheaval from a developer perspective, and I hope we will continue to have SC as a power-user/developer tool. Unfortunately, this may be an "adapt or die" moment in the evolution of the OS. I hope we can adapt.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby HairyHighlandCow » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:51 am

I think I may have been worrying unnecessarily about userprops. I save just about every preference item and all data out to an external SQLite database in my app. So if userprops get 'reset' because they can't be saved it shouldn't affect my app. I have tried running the project while 'locked' in the Finder and so far so good! Looks like it could be more work for people who want userprops to be persistent.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Scott » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:08 am

HairyHighlandCow wrote:I think I may have been worrying unnecessarily about userprops. I save just about every preference item and all data out to an external SQLite database in my app. So if userprops get 'reset' because they can't be saved it shouldn't affect my app. I have tried running the project while 'locked' in the Finder and so far so good! Looks like it could be more work for people who want userprops to be persistent.

Note that if you really need a project that accepts changes you can have one. You just need to put it into ~/Library/Application Support/.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Scott » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:28 am

vinnie-bob wrote:Apple has chosen to make the closed system model even more closed, but I think necessarily so. We have a very nice ecosystem here… Protecting the brand from being undermined by malware is important — it is part of that "it just works" feeling.

That is certainly what Apple would have you believe. They don't market the fact that this also will censor what you will be able to do on your Mac just as with the iPhone. Unfortunately Apple has learned they can have absolute say what folks can run on their devices, where they must go to get it, and still earn billions of dollars in the process (taking a cut just about everywhere possible).

Sorry, but taking away my car keys and forcing me to charter a taxi is simply not an acceptable safety precaution for preventing me from being injured in an auto accident.
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby sctell » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:18 am

Scott wrote:Sorry, but taking away my car keys and forcing me to charter a taxi is simply not an acceptable safety precaution for preventing me from being injured in an auto accident.


I agree wholeheartedly.

I think Apple's real thrust here is to take a cut of each piece of software sold, this is the real outcome they desire.


All the best

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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby FourthWorld4444 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:27 am

marksch wrote:Can we expect SuperCard for Linux anytime soon?

In terms of both technology interests and community personality, I think it would be a good fit for Mark. Ubuntu fanboy that I am I've been trying to pitch the idea to him, but alas I don't think he's interested in that herd of cats. :)
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby vinnie-bob » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:52 am

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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby sctell » Tue May 01, 2012 11:19 am

It seems that to obtain a developer id you need to be a paid member of the Apple Developer Programme at $99 per year.

I have a non paid membership and just received this email, here is the text.

The Mac App Store is the safest place for users to get software for their Mac, but we also want to protect users when they get applications from other places. Gatekeeper is a new feature in OS X Mountain Lion that helps protect users from downloading and installing malicious software. Signing your applications, plug-ins, and installer packages with a Developer ID certificate lets Gatekeeper verify that they are not known malware and have not been tampered with.
Mac Developer Program members can sign applications with their Developer ID now to get ready for Gatekeeper. If you’re not already a member, join the Mac Developer Program today.


I presume this means any programme for the MAS will need signing.

I can't remember the order of things but...

1. Submit your apps to our app store, it's gods gift to software sales.

2. Oh by the way we want a mega cut of your sales

and now..

3. Oh by the way we want another $99 before we will accept your programme.

and next..

4. Sorry your app won't run without signing.

and next

5. You can only sell through us so give us your $99

6. But.. I want to give my software away for nothing.

7. Tough, give us your $99.

It's looking like we are to be milked again. :evil:

On a similar issue will we be able to distribute script projects that are not standalones with the SC Player.
I presume the player will also need code signing by the developer or will they think of a way to disable the scripted projects?


All the best

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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby vinnie-bob » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:35 am

A 2 month update/re-evaluation of Gatekeeper after the release of Mountain Lion:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/09/two-months-later-developers-mostly-positive-about-os-xs-gatekeeper/

Obviously the biggest impact has to be on independent coders. Right now, I think we are an "endangered species."
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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby sctell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:19 am

Hi,

I'm not sure the Gatekeeper issue really affects SC users.

I don't know but have a feeling that the majority of SC users are producing apps for personal or in house use and are not selling their wares. I know there may be a few exceptions but not many.

It would be interesting to see a list of apps available for purchase that have been created using SC?

For in house and personal use Gatekeeper is not really an issue.

The issue that is really going to affect SC users is whether or not Mark & Scott intend to update SC.
It is really starting to show it's age and shortcomings when you try to push it beyond simple fields and buttons.

The developers who are being hit by Gatekeeper are open source/free apps where the developer does not want to spend the $99 required to join in with Apple's party. I believe at some point in the future it will be the app store/$99 or nothing, if you want to sell an app, just not yet as Apple need to get the current situation to be the norm before moving on to the next step.

Apple will have thought through the next 5 years at least, normal business practice but will not divulge their road map.

Well, that's my contribution done. :)

All the best

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Re: Sandbox...not sounding like fun anymore

Postby Mike » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:22 am

sctell wrote:It would be interesting to see a list of apps available for purchase that have been created using SC.


I'm aware of others, but I will let those developers speak for themselves. As for me, YENCO.COM has SuperCard-created Archive, Finance and iKeeper up on the Mac App Store currently and they are all doing rather well. Agenda is still offered as shareware until it too makes the transition to the Mac App Store (just waiting on a particular API to be fully accessible in SC because there is a feature I want to add before releasing that product).

In regards to sandboxing... it has never sounded like "fun" to me. It is just another obstacle Apple has (for better or worse - which is debatable) put up in the way of developers and tools like SuperCard that I'm pretty confident will be overcome. Of course I'm sure Mark would rather be spending his time on other features for SuperCard as much as I'd rather be spending my time on new features for my apps (and being inspired by new features in SuperCard), but this is nothing new. Apple has broken things in the past with OS changes and I'm sure they will continue to do so in the future. On the other hand, OS changes are not exclusive from potential new features in SC. Sometimes those OS changes of the past have resulted in new features or improvements for SuperCard which in turn provide new opportunities for us all.
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