C4 Cancelled: A Loss for the Community

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Everything changes as it grows, some things for the better, but others for the worse. Anyone who’s been a part of the Apple community for the past 10 years can testify how Apple has changed, and changed radically, over that time. Most of the change has been for the better, bringing us faster machines, amazing portable devices, and beautiful software. The changes that Apple has made for the better have caused it to become hugely popular, and gigantically profitable. Unfortunately, change at such a rapid pace always brings growing pains.

Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch has, apparently, cancelled his incredible C4 conference. In a recent blog post, Rentzsh states…

C4 was my attempt to push on the Apple community from the bottom-up.
With that background in place, I hope you can understand how Section 3.3.1 has broken my sprit.

Section 3.3.1 that he is referring to is a change made to the iPhone Developers License Agreement, declaring that any app that runs on the iPhone needs to have been originally developed using the iPhone SDK and the Objective-C, C, or C++ programming languages. What that means for developers is that they are not allowed to use Adobe’s Flash CS5 or any other language or development environment to create their apps. What that means for Apple is that it keeps complete control over its platform. What that means for consumers is less choice, and fewer apps. Then again, considering the wealth of applications available on Windows, and the general level of quality of those applications, maybe it’s not all that bad after all.

The change to Section 3.3.1 happened several weeks ago, but Rentzsch has just posted his goodbye to C4. He didn’t take this decision lightly. Rentzsch is a leader in the developer community, to see his conference go is a huge loss. If he is right or wrong is up to him to decide, but I honestly hope that other developers do not follow his lead. Apple has built a brand on solid hardware and amazing applications, on the iPhone OS and Mac OS X. To see some of the best minds abandoning or taking away from the platform, if that is indeed what Rentzsch is doing, is worrying to say the least.

I hope that if any good can come out of the loss of C4, it will be for Apple to hear their wake up call, and realize that perhaps this time they’ve taken the change a little too far.

Image courtesy of Flickr user somegeekintn

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