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Carmack speaks on iPhone at QuakeCon

updated 12:25 am EDT, Mon August 6, 2007

id may develop for iPhone

During the QuakeCon conference in Dallas, Texas this past week, id Software co-founder and technical director John Carmack expressed interest in the iPhone, saying that he has assigned members of the id Software team to investigate creating software for the platform, and recalled an argument with Steve Jobs over the closed nature of the device's development options. According to a GamaSutra report, Carmack wants Apple to allow the iPhone to have an open development environment. "He described arguing with Steve Jobs about this, and Jobs explained to him that the closed environment was necessary to maintain 'security' for the platform. Carmack flatly said (to the audience) he didn't believe Jobs. Regardless of his differences with Jobs, Carmack thinks the iPhone is 'neat,' and has assigned some of his people to look into developing for it."

During his keynote address at QuakeCon, Carmack also discussed the new game RAGE, which was demonstrated at Apple's Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC) earlier this year. Built upon id's next-generation graphics engine, id Tech 5, RAGE is a first-person car racing game with "run-and-gun" play elements similar to other id titles.

More than 6,000 people attended QuakeCon in 2006, and the event has expanded to include the entire series of QUAKE games, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, DOOM 3, and now Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    it is open

    The iPhone does have an open development: AJAX. How much more open does it need to get? You can develop for all the major browsers out there with the same code. That is open development. I remember how slash-dotters were upset about AJAX development too. I guess what they really want is a closed iPhone only development environment.

  1. chrisco

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Pay for AJAX "app"?

    How much would you pay to purchase an AJAX-based game? or productivity suite? or any other type AJAX-based application?

    A lot of developers are in the business of selling software using a model that doesn't require them to store every document, setting, and other info their customers want to save. To develop for the iPhone means changing or adding a completely different business model, and learning a completely new development system.

    It's no wonder there were groans and boos and hisses at the keynote. AJAX excludes "Mac" developers such as the ones who would attend a WWDC.

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple certification

    Unfortunately AJAX won't allow developing "heavy" applications like VOIP clients, complex games, etc.

    I think the right decision for Apple would be to allow some third party developers to develop application for iPhone that after acquiring quality/security certificate would be distributed via iTunes.

    After all, it was Google who developed Google Maps.

  1. dawho9

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Agreed...

    Web based stuff only works so well. Take last night for example as we sat in the theater waiting for Bourne Alt. to start, my wife decided to wipe out her flip phone and played some game.

    So I decided, I should do the same things. Unfortunately, no edge signal in the theater. It was enjoyable watching her play games. :-)

    dw9

  1. dogzilla

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It is not open

    If you can't tell the difference between an Ajax webpage and a real application, then you should step away from the Kool-Aid. I own an iPhone. I Love my iPhone. I've developed several tools for my own use on the iPhone. I *hate* the fact that my tools can't run natively on the iPhone but rather are dependent on the browser and Edge to work. Ajax is great for some apps. It utterly sucks or is unusable for others.

    Every time someone posts a blanket statement with no underlying knowledge, an Angel loses its wings. Please stop.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ajax vs. Cocoa

    As a full-time web developer, and part-time Cocoa developer, you are clueless if you think web apps can work as well as full-blown native OS-X apps. This is especially true for games. I would, however, be happy if the phone had Java and Flash support - which would open up some capabilities. Native apps (with no need for an internet connection) are the most desirable.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Pay for AJAX "app"?

    That's the $150,000 question. Right now, everyone pretty much assumes web-apps are free. What happens when, for example, Google starts wanting $10 a month to use their apps?

    And I know, as a software developer of crappy software, the last thing I want to have to add to my already heavy workload is worrying about user's data, larger broadband connections, etc. Its one thing to make a pointless web-app, but the second you need to store customer information/data, you've got to worry about your server's uptime, security, backend database, security, off-site regular backups, security, etc., for everything. That's a lot of extra time and money being spent by the developer.

    Oh, and finally, there are the security issues (wait, I think I mentioned those). Some people don't want to store their files or data on-line, or their business rules forbid storing data in such ways. Being able to keep the data in your possession would be a nice feature, wouldn't it?

    Especially since, as we all saw from the reports out of the BlackHat and Defcon conventions, the iPhone is so full of security hole potentials and breach possibilities, you may not even want to keep phone numbers on the thing (let alone music, for the one thing we're all concerned about, is people stealing our music and listening to it!).

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    openness, not features

    The point isn't about what applications you can develop with AJAX, but rather the openness of the development environment. He didn't say that the development environment didn't have enough features, but rather that it wasn't open enough. However limited AJAX is isn't the criticism - it is a kind of development environment and is very open.

    "recalled an argument with Steve Jobs over the closed nature of the device's development options. According to a GamaSutra report, Carmack wants Apple to allow the iPhone to have an open development environment."

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Security / Belief

    I'm sure Apple has a number of concerns re. allowing "native" applications, and security certainly would be one of those. At this point, it's probably easier for Apple to just say "Security" rather than "Security, and user experience, and support, and we have our own development plans..."

    The idea of having Apple verify and approve applications is interesting, but how would that work when applications need to be updated? Who would pay for this testing? Who would be responsible if a security problem happened even after validation?

    Apple has historically started out very closed and slowly opened up -- I don't see why the iPhone won't do the same, in time.

    It'll be fun to see what iD would do with an iPhone, given the graphics heavy nature of their games.

    AJAX is far from a complete solution (and Apple knows that) but it's better than the first proposition where third parties were going to be completely locked out.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: security/belief

    I'm sure Apple has a number of concerns re. allowing "native" applications, and security certainly would be one of those. At this point, it's probably easier for Apple to just say "Security" rather than "Security, and user experience, and support, and we have our own development plans..."

    Yeah, but just saying "security" is laughable, since they have no fear of security concerns when it comes to their computers. And its worse when you recall that when they first said 'no apps', it was for fear it would crash the phone or the network. How bad can the iPhone OS be for it to do that?

    The idea of having Apple verify and approve applications is interesting

    Interesting? Sure, but not much use. What of small developers, in-house developers, personal developers?

    Who would pay for this testing?

    The developer, of course, so there goes the small developer.

    Who would be responsible if a security problem happened even after validation?

    The developer. I'm sure Apple would claim its not their fault, even if they did pass it.

    Apple has historically started out very closed and slowly opened up -- I don't see why the iPhone won't do the same, in time.

    Like the open iPod with all those third-party apps?

    AJAX is far from a complete solution (and Apple knows that) but it's better than the first proposition where third parties were going to be completely locked out.

    Well, first, its NO solution. Amazing how people can't see that. The iPhone, when originally announced/shown, had a built-in browser based on safari, with the tout of how its a 'real' browser. Which, most would surmise, would include Web 2.0 support (would be kind of worthless without it, being that Web 2.0 is all the 'rage'). So, by saying "We do apps, Web 2.0 apps using AJAX!" is like saying "We do page layout. Its called HTML!".

    As such, web developers are as 'locked out' (or as not 'locked out') as they originally were going to be. Apple didn't cave or the like, they just spun a situation to make it seem like it.

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