Stacks and livecode server?

Mark Wilcox mark at sorcery-ltd.co.uk
Tue Apr 21 04:34:26 EDT 2015


> I wish Apple's rules were clearer on this so we could end the confusion 
> without our community.

Obviously Apple has nothing to say specifically about stacks (a bit too
niche) but I think the rules are quite clear. Previously you could not
download executable code of any kind unless it was JavaScript downloaded
by a WebView. There's then a separate requirement not to significantly
change the functionality of the app, which applies whether you are
downloading code or not (e.g. something very different cannot be in the
original code but not activated until some later time or after checking
a certain value on a server).

More recently Apple has added the option to download JavaScript to their
JavaScriptCore engine, which they exposed a new interface to in iOS7.
The reason that Apple give to only allow code downloading to their
JavaScript runtimes is security. I think they're much less concerned
about what an individual app might do (they can pull it from the store
and even remotely remove it from devices) but rather what might happen
if a vulnerability was exploited in a widely deployed third party
runtime.

> AFAIK they have no prohibition on downloading binary files, so stack 
> files that contain media but no code, or even behavior-driven stack 
> files that contain no code themselves, would reasonably seem to fit the 
> narrowest definition of their TOS.

Yes, you can download bundles of content with no code. The file format
doesn't matter. Unity has asset bundles that can contain code on other
platforms but are content only on iOS. I'm not sure if a stack has
significant advantages over some other format here but I don't see why
you shouldn't.

> But they might even allow stack files that contain code, providing the 
> code doesn't substantially alter the features of the app.

That's certainly against the letter of the rules as they stand. Of
course Apple can't really know what every app with every possible 3rd
party runtime is doing, so you may well get away with it. Who wants to
risk getting booted out of the developer program though?

Mark

-- 
  Mark Wilcox
  mark at sorcery-ltd.co.uk

On Tue, Apr 21, 2015, at 01:43 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
> jbv wrote:
> 
>  >> Richard Gaskin wrote:
>  >> A majority of the projects I'm working on at the moment are
>  >> standalones that download stacks - depending on what your app
>  >> does and the needs of its audience, it can be an excellent
>  >> delivery solution.
>  >
>  > Same here.
>  > But there's a question in my mind for quite a while : as I'm about
>  > to develop apps for some professionals who will use them on iPads
>  > and iPhones, I was wondering how this follows Apple's rules ?
>  > After all, what prevents to submit a first version of the app, and
>  > once it's available on the Appstore, to switch to different
>  > downloaded stacks, with different functions and content ?
>  > Am I missing something ?
> 
> I wish Apple's rules were clearer on this so we could end the confusion 
> without our community.
> 
> I haven't read Apple's TOS in a while, and no matter what the rules are 
> today as we learned in 2010 Apple has demonstrated a willingness to 
> change them drastically without warning, so there's no way to know what 
> they'll be tomorrow.
> 
> So while I can't speak for Apple, that won't stop me from random
> conjecture:
> 
> Any script engine can download files containing scripts from a server, 
> thereby enhancing or even altering the behavior of the app.
> 
> I believe Apple's concern here is merely to make sure the user 
> experience they approve is what end-users get.
> 
> AFAIK they have no prohibition on downloading binary files, so stack 
> files that contain media but no code, or even behavior-driven stack 
> files that contain no code themselves, would reasonably seem to fit the 
> narrowest definition of their TOS.
> 
> But they might even allow stack files that contain code, providing the 
> code doesn't substantially alter the features of the app.
> 
> That is, if you get approval for an app that claims to track football 
> scores, but once it's released it suddenly morphs into a root kit. Apple 
> would probably not want to see that.
> 
> But if the app merely downloads stack files containing data and UI 
> elements for new teams or other things that don't fundamentally alter 
> the app's purpose or behavior, it would be hard to believe they'd ban it 
> from the app store.
> 
> Has anyone here had a discussion with Apple on this?  Anyone using 
> downloaded stack files as data containers in a way that would seem 
> consistent with Apple's TOS?
> 
> I'm not sure this issue is as murky as it seems, and may be quite simple.
> 
> -- 
>   Richard Gaskin
>   Fourth World Systems
>   Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
>   ____________________________________________________________________
>   Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com
> 
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