how to alienate a development community

In the open source world, one of the key concepts is all about "community". Without the community to help and drive your development road map either through actual code contributions or Q/A as examples, you don't have much of a project. The latest release of the iPhone 3G has seen a flurry of developers flock to the platform, releasing a slew of app's to the app store. Some very good and interesting app's have been released, and reportedly looks like a huge success for Apple and the iPhone users, who through this large development community are being given a large array of app's to install - choice is good!

So, what does Apple do to it's development community to reward them for their hard work? By the sounds of it, very simply muzzle them. It turns out the Apple NDA that comes with the iPhone dev. kit has some serious limitations placed on developers - according to an article:

Because of the company’s restrictive non-disclosure agreement (NDA), iPhone developers are legally banned from sharing programming tips, discussing code or asking questions of one another in forums or over e-mail.

That smacks in the face of everything we know developers do on a daily basis - they interact with one another, learn from eachother to create and perfect new app's. Have you ever tried coding without looking for a tip or hint online to see how someone else has used a given API? The restrictions on the Apple NDA seem totally wacked out. This must have been written by some lawyer with no idea or input from someone technical @ Apple. I have done work with Apple engineers in the past, and I know they even use open source community forums to exchange tips and seek help from others.

Apple, what gives?


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