Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Discussion and announcements regarding the Mac port… er, original version of Oolite.

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Wiggy
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Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by Wiggy »

Plenty of free apps on the Mac App Store. Any chance we'll see Oolite there, or are Apple's T&Cs too draconian for open source?
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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by aegidian »

I think some thinkers among us already have an opinion on that.
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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by JensAyton »

Personal opinions aside… I’m currently not a member of the Mac Developer Program[me], so I don’t know what the terms are. Quite likely not a big problem; there have been issues with GPL code on the iOS App Store, but as long as side installation is possible on the Mac they wouldn’t apply here. It’s possible that it would require “secret” changes to the source code, but from what I’ve seen that doesn’t appear to be the case.

However, an App Store submission might bring up the question of Oolite’s legal status. We can make principled arguments about scope and the idea/expression distinction as much as we want, but if Frontier Dev wanted to squash us they would succeed. They currently seem to be making a heroic effort to officially Not Notice us, and I’d like to keep it that way.

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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by DaddyHoggy »

aegidian wrote:I think some thinkers among us already have an opinion on that.
Nice Blog Ahruman - I think the 2nd commenter perhaps didn't actually read your article... (or chose to deliberately misinterpret it, so he could continue to hug his big shiny apple)
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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by JensAyton »

Hrm, I thought I’d replied to that at the time. Oh well, hardly seems worth it now.

Commenter #1 makes a good point, though. Exactly the same problems apply to Windows Store in W8 and, for that matter, Ubuntu App Centre. Switching to HaikuOS would be a pretty pointless form of protest.

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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by DaddyHoggy »

I like the Ubuntu "App Store" (from that now chilling term "convenience" POV - but I've also got Ubuntu set up to search through a great raft of other repositories that on various forums have been highlighted as useful and respectable.

Although I was almost tempted to get a cheap iPhone (from a friend in Italy where they appear to be unlocked and sensibly priced) - when I discovered from a work colleague that you have to have iTunes installed to activate a refused on principal and practical reasons (my home desktop is Ubuntu and the laptop belongs to work and iTunes is a no-no) - I'm not playing that game - Apple can keep their shiny things...
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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by Cody »

HaikuOS sounds intriguing, though.

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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by Phantom Hoover »

I was under the impression that Frontier didn't have too much power to squash Oolite if they wanted to. What gives them the ability to do so?

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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by CheeseRedux »

Phantom Hoover wrote:I was under the impression that Frontier didn't have too much power to squash Oolite if they wanted to. What gives them the ability to do so?
IANAL, but it seems obvious to me that Oolite is close enough in both appearance and gameplay to (later versions of) Elite that if someone owning the rights to Elite were to show the two to a judge they would easily get past the first hurdle of the legal system. It doesn't really matter what the final outcome of a legal action would be, the Oolite community does not have any way to fight anything in the courts. Simple economics, end of story.

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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by aegidian »

You would not believe the close attention I paid to this issue when I first considered releasing Oolite, born as it was partly because of Frontier Development's takedown of Elite-The New Kind (the code for which was an explicit port to C from Elite's source code).

There are three areas of intellectual property law that could apply:

Copyright.
Oolite deliberately apes Elite's look and feel, but does not use any material (code or artwork) whose copyright could be claimed by Elite's authors or publishers.

Trademarks
Elite was created without much attention to trademarks, because of this commonly used proper nouns (Python, Viper, Coriolis) make up the majority of ship names etc., that makes those words difficult to claim a trademark for (compare them to brand names which use alternate spellings to differentiate them from the commonly used names). Much of the other proper nouns (Lave, Zaonce, Riedquat, etc.) are randomly generated rather than being chosen. Those too would be difficult to claim a trademark for.

Gameplay
Until WotC managed to defend a patent for Magic-The Gathering, game mechanics were not a part of IP law. 'Look and feel' cases have formed part of computer IP law though, but are difficult to pursue.


That said, FD could still choose to take down Oolite, because no matter how spurious the case they could make against Oolite's developers, we would have little or no resources to defend it. The EFF might help, but I don't think we'd be a majorly important case for them to fight.

So, we make nice to FD. Oolite doesn't claim to be Elite, but a close homage to that original game and fully credits Ian Bell and David Braben for our inspiration. We don't make any money from Oolite, and I for one would prefer that it's never used for commercial purposes (although our licence wouldn't prevent such a use).

It would be foolish to assume that FD isn't aware of Oolite, and we're grateful to whoever it is prevents their lawyers from making us their reason for employment.

(IANAL but I married a really good one.)
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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by DaddyHoggy »

I love the footnote... :wink:
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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by Wiggy »

Just to comment on something in Ahruman's blog:
I've always thought that crank handles on cars were very useful and convenient, and believe they should still be included!

Getting back to the Mac Store: it does seem that it is generating a lot of negativity from "power users" and coders; though I suspect that most people, who use their computers as simple tools to do stuff, will flock to it. Developers seem to be profiting too, if they stick to the rules.

Personally, I've always thought it a shame that Apple's Software Update couldn't be rigged to include third-party apps on your machine, so that you can be informed of all updates for everything in one go. The MAS does look as if it will handle this, which is quite good.
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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by colinh »

I'm nervous about the AppStore because it looks like Apple want to turn the Mac (eventually) into a sort of big iPhone. With fart apps.

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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by Commander McLane »

I also don't like it, because it seems to have completely replaced the Mac download page, which used to be a source for freeware and shareware as well. Most of this hasn't made it to the App store, therefore this source seems to be completely lost. Or am I missing something?

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Re: Oolite on the Mac App Store....?

Post by Eric Walch »

Commander McLane wrote:completely replaced the Mac download page, which used to be a source for freeware and shareware as well. Most of this hasn't made it to the App store, therefore this source seems to be completely lost. Or am I missing something?
Yesterday. the mac updated installed a "App Store" application on my mac. I think that is mend to replace it. It is a mini browser that only links to the App Store. I assume it contains the old application list. At least it does contain freeware like the old page. Very little actually, the most are selling apps for € 0.79. Not much, but inaccessible for people like me without credit card.

EDIT: I just opened my old link. At first sight nothing has changed at the moment with the old download page.

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