Well, I waited all day for someone else to do this, but since I didn't see it, I guess I'll have to jump in. So with all due respect to Mr. Gruber, here's a translation for Steve Jobs open letter...
"Let me just say it:"
... because I'm completely sick of getting phone calls from analysts about it. And my tech industry pals. And my wife. And my kids. And my barber. And my gardener. Christ, I was in Europe recently and I learned how to say "SDK" in fourteen languages. Okay, fine. I'll give the proletariat what it wants. You want cake, I'll get you some cake.
"We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers' hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users."
... The key word here is "creating." We can't claim credit for all the third party apps if they're all developed using some random OS hacks out there. And you know, if you don't click through our SDK agreement, then we couldn't just copy your ideas if we feel like it (you know, like we did with Konfabulator).
"With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers."
... as we define powerful. And advanced. And mobile. And platform. And ever.
"It will take until February to release an SDK because we're trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once - provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task."
... basically, it'll take that long for us to figure out how to redefine the word "closed" so that it seems like the word "open". That one is pretty tough because people like RMS butt in where they're not wanted. We've brought Karl Rove on board to help us, but it'll still take a few months to work out the details because, you know, I get picky.
"Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones - this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target."
... I really have no idea what the hell I'm talking about here, and compared to the 2.5 billion phones out there any mobile viruses that have popped up would have been beyond insignificant. But hey, I saw a Fox News expose on this, so I thought I'd throw it in here as well. Like how I slipped in the words "most advanced" again? Karl taught me that... if we keep repeating it over and over again, people will begin to think it's true. He's a damn genius, no?
"Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. "
... again, I don't really have a clue about whether this is true or not. I'm pretty sure it's bullshit, but it sounds bad, so I'll throw it out there.
"While this makes such a phone less than 'totally open,'"
... god those fucking Nokia ads have been getting on my nerves.
" we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone's amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs."
... yes, I know I slipped there and used a definite article in front of the word iPhone, but those goddamn Finns are really getting under my skin.
"We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones."
... so please, shut the hell up now through the Christmas season and get all your little dumbass buddies to buy an iPhone, and I promise on a stack of bibles with a cherry on top that Uncle Steve will give you programmer geeks everything you ever dreamed of in a mobile phone... Next year. Really.
"P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch."
... I think the iPod touch sucks as much the Mac mini, but you guys would bug the hell out of me if I didn't mention it. Yes, the weakling, red-headed stepchild in the iPhone family will be able to download Sudoku from iTunes for $8.95 as well. No problem. You stupid sons of bitches.