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No, iOS is not a prison

I shouldn’t have found Gruber’s comment to be such a revelation. Last year, I wrote about Richard Stallman and Eric Raymond’s comments upon the death of Steve Jobs; both of these leading lights of open-source software compared Apple customers to jailbirds. I figured out then that they have a problem with technology users whose priorities are different than theirs. And really, since the prison metaphor is so manifestly silly, what the people who make it are doing is objecting to the choice that Apple’s customers make. The idea that other people take pleasure in something they dislike upsets them.Here’s the sad part: Lee and Eckersley make some really good points. I too wish that Apple would introduce an optional ability to install unapproved apps. Although, when you think about it, jailbreaking provides that ability right now, which means that the world isn’t all that far from Lee and Eckersley’s desired state.I also share the authors’ alarm over Microsoft’s decision to allow the distribution of Windows 8 Metro apps only through its own Windows Store. Microsoft would never, ever have made that move without the App Store’s example, so sure, let’s go ahead and blame Apple for it.But by bringing up the prison thing, the EFF’s authors aren’t making their case more compelling. Instead, they’ve giving readers a convenient opportunity to roll their eyes and reject their argument. Especially readers who happily use Apple devices, and who bristle at people suggesting that they’re patsies for doing so.

via iOS: Can We Declare a Moratorium On the Prison Metaphors, Please? | Techland | TIME.com.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://twitter.com/cimota Matt Johnston

    Not a prison but definitely a walled garden.

    Thing is: walled gardens are usually places of delight and safety, they’re usually good things. I’ve never heard anyone (other than tech press) refer to a walled garden as a _bad_ thing. :)

  • rattyuk

    “I’ve never heard anyone (other than tech press) refer to a walled garden as a _bad_ thing.”
    Matt, I am pretty certain there are plenty of anti-Apple people that aren’t tech press that have definitely implied the same thing.

  • http://mostlythis.com Mac Morrison

    I think an all inclusive package holiday vs backpacking :)

  • http://www.unsuccessfulartist.com/ Sean Ruiz

    Ever seen Pleasantville? A walled garden like a police state or totalitarian regime? Haha, maybe North Korea is a walled garden too.