Faruk, Faruk, you could learn a few things from the old people
I don’t disagree with your assertion “The iPhone and iPad are shifting it even further towards consumers, away from the tinkerers of old, the small little “elite” that excludes the vast majority of people.” — I guess I said the the same thing.
But I disagree vociferously with the assertion that this has changed:
” When they were young, doing anything with a computer required a strong understanding of mathematics, the ability to think in binary and the perseverance to keep exploring things without any book or person around to guide you.”
That has not changed To be a programmer today — you better damn well be able to do that. Objective-C on the iPhone OS absolutely requires that. How on earth did you get to be a programmer at all without some understanding of computing architecture? Even a web programmer?
As far as building your own tools — you can’t — from Apple’s own guidelines:
3.3.2 An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded or used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Documented APIs and built-in interpreter(s).
I think that’s part of Mark’s concern, part of Tim’s concern, and it’s my own concern. I disagree a bit with both that I think the platform is good for the general population — and agree with you on it’s benefit — but I completely disagree with your assertions that the world has changed for the programmers. I’m glad we don’t have punch cards and toggle switches anymore — and that I never had to use them. And I’m damn glad to not have to write Pascal anymore. But effective development still requires logic and still requires architectural understanding of the platform.