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iPhone Developer's Journal - AppleInsider Reveals Details of My WWDC Presentation
We all knew what we were getting into when we agreed to the iPhone Developer Program NDA

Here is the complete article in case you haven't yet seen it.

There are a couple of interesting things going on here that I want to discuss. First is the issue of NDA breaking. I've been asked about this a LOT, especially with regard to iPhone development. It seems that though pretty much everyone on the planet thinks the iPhone SDK NDA is unreasonable and that Apple should lift it and blah blah. Here's my thoughts on NDAs in general:

An NDA is something that you volunteer for, it is willful act, you must choose to agree to the terms of the NDA. No one is forcing you to do it, there are no guns pointed at your head. If you do not like or agree with the terms of the NDA, then do not sign it. However, if you do choose to sign it, then, in my opinion, you lose the right to bitch and moan about the fact that you cannot divulge privileged information. We all knew what we were getting into when we agreed to the iPhone Developer Program NDA, and we all know that when you buy a WWDC ticket, you are bound by an NDA that covers every word overhead, every word displayed, every piece of content in that conference with the exception of the keynote. If we really feel so strongly that these NDAs are overbearing and excessive, then we have the right to voice our disapproval by NOT agreeing to them.

There, now that that's out of the way. So, is what AppleInsider did a violation of the NDA? It depends. If the person writing the article is his own source (the source is only referred to as "an attendee") then he did indeed violate the NDA. However, if the source is truly just some attendee, then the attendee is in violation of the NDA and AppleInsider is free to reproduce that material as much as they like. However, I do wish they had done some journalistic due-dilligence and referred to the quotes as from the attendee and not from me. There are some misquotes, but if I say which ones and how they are misquotes, then I risk breaking the NDA myself ;)

There is one thing that I can confirm without breaking any NDA: the iPhone is hands down, without a doubt, the single most powerful mobile development platform EVER. Whether that platform will see enterprise adoption or whether it will remain plagued by people making $2 flashlights... time will only tell. That won't change the fact that the capabilities provided by the iPhone and the ease with which developers can tap into those capabilities is simply unprecedented. This is easily reflected by the fact that, from what I hear, the iPhone App Store is selling like $1,000,000 per day of applications.

What's really going on here is that there is a huge, burgeoning community of iPhone developers and they are positively begging for community. They want to be able to talk to each other, help each other, learn from each other, and have some place where they can go for support and to hone their skills. They see the restrictive terms of the NDA as an inhibition to developer adoption of the SDK and possibly even an inhibition to commercial-quality applications being produced by first-time developers because there is such a lack of community support.

At some point this community is going to either self-form, and the NDA be damned, or Apple will facilitate it somehow. My hope is that Apple facilitates it.

 

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About Kevin Hoffman
Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

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