Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

Looking for Changes to Apple Program Agreements

If you’re an iOS or Mac developer that ships software via the Apple App Stores then you likely know the hassle of seeing what has changed when Apple puts a new program agreement in front of you. If you don’t accept it you will be cut off from the dev portal. If you don’t review it you’re just being silly and can harm your business.

There are some apps for comparing PDFs, but they tend to be a bit pricey for my tastes as I don’t need to do this as a full-time task. I suffice with converting the PDF files to text and then using a diff tool to compare them.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to get your program agreement PDFs into text format to compare them:

  • Install Homebrew (if you already use MacPorts or Fink then go with that)
  • Install the poppler package to the the pdftotext utility
  • Grab your downloaded copy of the program agreement (or, if you didn’t save it can goto the Legal Agreements section of the Member Center).
  • Review but don’t accept the new program agreement and download the PDF version of the agreement
  • run the command pdftotext -layout -nopgbrk -enc Latin1 $agreement.pdf $agreement.txt
    • you will need to replace $agreement with the name of the PDF file
    • you will have to run this twice, once for the prior agreement and once for the new agreement
  • use your favorite diff utility to view the differences:
    • I like both Kaleidoscope and Changes as both come with command line utilities
    • OS X Developer tools come with FileMerge which can be accessed with the opendiff command line tool

There you go, you can easily review your Program Agreement changes before accepting without worrying because you didn’t read the new agreement.