[OS X TeX] TeXpad (LaTeX iPad editor app) dev's blog post on Mac OS X appstore sandboxing

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Wed Apr 4 19:50:17 CEST 2012


On Apr 4, 2012, at 10:30 AM, Chris Goedde wrote:

> I don't think the situation is as dire as all that. 

I agree. Let me describe the situation a little more clearly.

At the last developer conference, Apple warned developers that eventually applications
sold THROUGH THE APP STORE would have to be sandboxed. Nobody is claiming
that Apple will require that all apps be distributed through the app store, or that all
apps must be sandboxed.

Sandboxed apps are not allowed to call command line programs; instead the app
runs in its own internal world. This is fine for many apps, but doesn't work for TeX,
because the app needs to call TeX and many other command line services to run.
Apple's sandboxing mechanism does allow apps to use certain outside services,
but that doesn't include running command line programs.

Putting TeX inside the sandbox isn't desirable because in the TeX world we
use many cooperating apps, which all need to access TeX.

A couple of times, Apple postponed the sandboxing requirement for the App Store. That's why
the app store still has TeXpad. But they intend to eventually enforce the sandbox

Apps that call TeX can still be sold and distributed, just not through the App
Store. This may create marketing problems, but not engineering problems.

I am NOT among the relatively small number of people who think that sandboxing
might eventually be required of all programs. The Mac is not the same as the iPad.
Apple wouldn't shoot themselves in the foot that way.

Dick Koch

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