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Author Topic: XScreenSaver vs. Apple

Icon 1 posted August 01, 2012 04:52            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As with many stories, this one begins, "Well, there's this guy, you see..."

The guy is Jamie Zawinski, famed Netscape hacker and now owner of a nightclub and restaurant in San Francisco. He is also the maintainer of XScreenSaver, a collection of tasty graphical hacks that has been the best-known screen saver for Linux and Unix systems for twenty-one years. Fairly recently, he ported it to Mac OS X...and, from there, he thought it might be kinda nice to have the display hacks available on iOS, too. (Yes, iOS has no need of "screen savers" per se. That doesn't mean these wouldn't be some kickass graphics to display on an iDevice.)

Well, he got it ported, having to invent his own translation layer to support OpenGL on top of OpenGLES to do so (see this post for some of the gory details). And he submitted it to the App Store. And they rejected it.

He thought it was a bug in one of the hacks not launching correctly. So he fixed that, and tried again. And they rejected it again.

Turns out there is an obscure issue that only shows up in "Archive" builds (the ones you submit to the App Store), not "Debug" or "Release" builds, that was keeping the app from running altogether. So he fixes that issue for real, and submits it again.

And...they reject it. Why?
22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations will be rejected

We found that your app, and/or its metadata, contains content that could be misleading to users, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

It would be appropriate to remove or revise any content referring to "screensaver" screen saver functionalities are not possible on iOS devices.

This despite the fact that you can search for "screensaver" on the App Store and find a crapton of apps, including some with that word in the title. And JWZ isn't trying to insinuate otherwise, he just wants to put the display hacks on iDevices so people can run them and go, "Hey, cool!"

They also sent him another rejection citing "10.4: Apps that create alternate desktop/home screen environments or simulate multi-app widget experiences will be rejected". Which really makes no goddamned sense.

Changing the name is not a reasonable option; people already know it as "XScreenSaver," and they will look for it in the App Store under the name it's been known by for twenty-one years, and, if it doesn't have that name, they're not going to find it, which sort of defeats the purpose.

Anyone know anyone at Apple they can talk to about this? This is kind of crappy treatment for a piece of classic code.

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Icon 1 posted August 02, 2012 05:12            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Apparently, somebody must have done something right, because WIN!

XScreenSaver for iPhone and iPad is now available in the App Store (Free). Go get it. [Big Grin]

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Sir Snaggalot!
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Icon 14 posted August 02, 2012 17:56      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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