Sunday, August 09, 2009 - The problem with my self-imposed iPhone boycott is...:

So, it was good to see Schiller respond, especially his clarification that Apple did not request the developers remove any words from the dictionary. Although I’m still not sure I fully understand the reasoning that there are a certain set of “more vulgar” (to use Schiller’s own words) swears that are somehow worse than conventional swear words, which therefore requires Ninjawords to have a more restrictive age rating than other store-approved dictionaries. What’s odd is this also contradicts the developers’ own claims that the rejection letter they received cited only examples of conventional swear words as objectionable.

Anyway, this notion of some swear words being worse than others is precisely the sort of muddy decision that has many developers on edge. And Schiller’s letter did not seem to give the impression that there was anything he felt was hazy about that decision. Apple is absolutely within their rights to make judgement calls about what may be deemed “objectionable” before hosting it on their store, but developers have a right to know, to at least a reasonable extent, what to expect before they’ve written their first line of code if it’s going to be Apple’s way or the highway.