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

Chris Goedde cgg.lists at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 20:10:08 CEST 2012

On Apr 4, 2012, at 1:00 PM, Richard Koch wrote:

> However, I don't think that would be permitted because of the GPL software license
> under which many components of TeX are released. Note that the Free Software
> Foundation doesn't allow GPL apps on the iPad for that reason.

Yep. This is very important, and I've thought about this (but forgot about in today's discussion). I think it's very unfortunate, and I find it very ironic that the GPL would be used as a cudgel in this way to keep so-called open software off of politically-incorrect platforms.

> 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.

The problem of future-proofing LaTeX isn't so much that sandboxing might become required for the Mac, it's that the Mac will become increasingly irrelevant. I think that last year Apple sold more iOS devices than it has sold Macs in its entire history, and this discrepancy is only going to get larger and larger. Getting LaTeX to the scientists and mathematicians of the future probably means porting it to iOS, or having the LaTeX back-end run on a server and the front end on iOS, or something like that.


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