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Wanna Make an App for That? Stanford U. Streams iPhone Development Course

Professors teaching Stanford University’s latest course on iPhone programming urged students to give away or even sell the applications they develop for the course. After all, plenty of people have made their fortunes selling games or tools for the popular smartphones for about a dollar per download.

“Go post it and make $1-million off your project — I encourage it,” said the professor, Alan Cannistraro, who is also a developer for Apple. Now that’s a motivation to do your homework.

This is the fourth time the university has offered the course, and the professors offer video recordings of all the lectures free online (through Apple’s iTunes store, naturally). The course is overseen by a longtime Apple employee, Paul Marcos.

The first lecture from this semester hit the Web last week. At the outset, Mr. Cannistraro welcomed home viewers, but warned them that the professors would not be able to answer questions from anyone except students officially enrolled in the course.

“We get a lot of e-mails from people asking, Hey, I have problems with this SDK function, can you help me do it?” the professor said, referring to a programming issue covered in the course. “And we can’t, unfortunately.”

Past students have released their creations to the world, with some success. In fact, Stanford’s official iPhone application was developed as a class project in the course a couple of years ago. Students from previous semesters even developed a Web site listing their projects, hoping to make that first million.

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