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Sandboxing Divides Mac App Store Developers – An Update

Sandboxing Divides Mac App Store Developers – An Update

It was announced by apple Inc. that all the software developers of Mac OS X, in order to get their applications submitted within the Apple’s Mac App Store must undergo a sandboxing process which will be applicable from 1st March, 2012.

The feature of sandboxing is akin to what the Apple Inc. has imposed on iOS. The software developers have been given the permission of using only a prescribed set of API’s which are made a part of the sandboxing application. Moreover, the user is not given the ability to gain access to data and resources that are beyond the reach of sandboxing as well as the absence of permanence of data. The sole benefit associated is concerned with stability and security aspect which means that no malicious application can be installed in the system to provide your Mac system harm. However, a disadvantage has also made its presence felt in the form o limited functionality  which means that an application of the sandbox cannot access directly to any file or framework on the system neither its access will reach the network or any other attached device.

A senior researcher in Ars Technica has explained about sandboxing under his review for Lion In which he stated that working on an application under the rules and regulations prescribed by the sandbox obviously means to minimize the damage that can occur to Mac operating systems in case the program has been compromised with even a small piece of malware. An application passed through sandboxing has the ability to do several actions which are otherwise performed by the user and that too voluntarily. For instance, when the user uses any ordinary application, he will simply delete all the files that are stored within the system. From this it should be remembered that a capable application will not perform such an action, rather it will be forced by the user to perform an action which is destructive for the Mac system.

Many developers, on the other hand, are afraid of the situation if the Apple Inc. discontinues the act of allowing independent applications distribution and imposed a condition under which the Mac operating system developers will be required to distribute their application via the Mac App store only.

Since, Mac is an operating system, it requires to do something more persistent. In order to make a Mac application a part of the Mac App Store, it has to pass through a whole list of capabilities which an application should posses called the ‘entitlements’. Although, Apple has not yet decided as to whether it will impose such a restriction of exclusively obtaining Mac Apps from Mac App Store, but what if it really does?

There is a mixed reaction on the part of the Mac OS X developers as some of them are spooked by the implication of sandboxing in the Mac App Store, whereas, there is a community of software developers which consider it as not a bad feature to apply. The only thing which will be hard is that the software developers will have to work a bit harder in order to request for entitlements, but, this is only for offering benefits to Mac users as it will allow only safe and secure applications to be made available on the Mac App Store and installation of it on the system simultaneously.

A famous developer for Mac applications is quite a pro-sandboxing team member as the owner of Delicious Monster strongly believes that the Mac also requires being safe and securing just like iPhones.

Primarily, Apple Inc. has three ways through which it regulates the safety aspect of applications that are designed for Mac operating systems and iPhones. These three ways are Certification, Code Auditing and now Sandboxing. These three way stand under two dimensions – one they are very valuable in offering services and second is that no one service is perfect in its own.

The major two ways which are an issue for software developers are the Code Auditing and Sandboxing which are currently implemented and are considered as actively dangerous for developers and is also not particularly good for consumers. The method which is considered as the most beneficial for developers as well for users is the Certification method which has not enforced in a broader sense.

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