Woke up with a thought. In light of the news of Microsoft thinking about buying github combined with the ever increasing trend of creating locked down computers: phones, ChromeOS, MS Always Connected, it occurs to me that the next steps will be to require permission not just to distribute software (app stores), but to also be a developer. Access to the tools will increasingly be through the cloud mediated through these locked devices. Permission to develop could be revoked at any time.

@cstanhope And yet, paradoxically, the infrastructure that enables this level of policing, from the kernel on the device all the way to the web servers dispatching API calls, is all built with openly available tools.

@cstanhope Reminds me of how Texas Instruments treated developers for the TI-99/4 series of home computers, and similarly, how Tandy treated developers for the TRS-80 and Coco families of computers.

@vertigo I'm not familiar with the history. Do you have any URLs or references to share?

@cstanhope Nothing comes to mind right now, except that you had to have permission from them to be an officially licensed developer for those platforms. IIRC, TI in particular would viciously go after anyone who made software for the platform and sold it for profit without having a license. Tandy didn't much care so much, but you couldn't put Tandy/Radio Shack logo on your box without that license, and they'd not be sold through the Radio Shack stores.

@cstanhope hello AppStore where you have to pay for being able to develop for iOS and they can revoke your cert any time afaik

@nielsk Good point. We have already started down that road. As long as open devices are available, we have options if we want them. That's the part that concerns me. Availability of options and whether people care enough to use them. :/

@cstanhope I don't think the GitHub acquisition alone will significantly push things in this direction, but the trend may indeed be visible.
@cstanhope I keep thinking about what you said. I compared your idea with the fact that "Google's got our kids": , i.e. Google is setting up an image of a general benefactor of freedom and security.

Big tech companies may be working on attaching the fact of being something (free license, secure application, good developer) to being a part of their corporate culture.

I classify these thoughts of mine as paranoia, but a rather mild one.

@scolobb The effort to instill brand recognition and trust in the early years is an additional component I had not considered. Microsoft, Apple, and Google all do it in different ways...


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