TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Nov 95 Viewpoint
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Scott T Boyd, Editor-at-Large

Well, as of this writing we still haven’t heard anything of substance from Apple about the MacHack Top Ten <http://www.machack.com/>. Sure, they released a statement about the top 5 items, but it was the same old “important future direction” verbiage we so often hear from Apple. From Apple’s initial response:

“Stay tuned...as we work out plans ”

“There’s a lot of support for this as an idea ”

“We are investigating what would be involved ”

“We’ll consider validating it ”

“We’re evaluating ”

“Any volunteers?”

“It’s a goal ”

“A topic of hot discussion ”

“ as that happens we’ll have a better vehicle ”

“Keep tracking our product announcements ”

[Thanks to Al Evans <al@powertools.com> for picking out the operative phrases.]

Funny, I didn’t think much of the whole Top 10 Developer Issues list idea at the conference, but Apple has committed to address the issues, so I find their lack of action disappointing.

It simply is not common practice for Apple to do market research on the needs and wants of Macintosh developers. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Apple’s relationship with developers lacks a few items.

It’s time for Apple to start delivering solutions to other problems that have long plagued developers. Let’s talk about a few constructive ideas.

Information

At twenty-seven volumes and growing, Inside Macintosh is starting to represent a significant investment for developers, in terms of both time and money. Even so, developers could use much more. For example, as Sean Parent, Photoshop engineer and former Blue Meanie, recently said:

“Apple, what I want is a clear and precise explanation of every external public interface. I want to know what all the limitations, side effects, bugs, exceptional behavior, invariants, assumptions, version history, and supported parameter ranges are. Inside Mac gives me about 10% of that.”

Once we have a good start on that, publishing the information on the Internet and on cheap CD’s would make a great next step.

Overcoming limitations

TextEdit, the Menu Manager, the Dialog Manager, and the List Manager have long represented Apple’s strange affinity for living with arbitrary limitations. They have all evolved just about as far as they can. Maybe it’s time to offer up some new, improved toolbox managers. While it runs the risk of dying of not-invented-here syndrome, would it be that far-fetched for Apple to license some third-party solutions?

For example, imagine the benefit to developers should Apple decide to do away with the 32K TextEdit limit by taking Chris Thomas’ recent suggestion on Semper.Fi, “Just put WASTE in a shared library, license it for inclusion with System 7.6 and beyond, and be done with it.” Well, write some docs and test it a bit, too.

Bringing Apple applications into the 90’s

Where do we start on this one? OpenDoc support in the Finder and MPW? AppleScript support for Apple control panels, SimpleText, MPW, and others?

Attention

Developers need Apple’s attention. Apple needs developers’ attention. It all comes down to rebuilding the relationship between Apple and developers, but we’ll save some of this for later. Don’t forget to check out the web site for further developments, which Apple has promised by the beginning of October.

Picture, If You Will

Rarely does Apple put out advertising that we can all be proud of. Sure, there have been ads that made us feel good, but deep down we usually know that the ads are preaching to the choir. When was the last time we saw an advertising campaign that we all just knew sold oodles of machines? I don’t even know if the “great” 1984 commercial sold many machines.

To be fair, Apple used to have some good ads which managed to deliver the “wow!” factor. I recently thought that they’d made a comeback, but I was rudely surprised to find out that they were actually Compaq ads. I was shocked.

However, it’s all the rage to drive $10B companies from the back seat lately, so here goes. If I was in charge, I’d probably try a few wacky things. First ad campaign? Show developers writing software on the Macintosh. We don’t need nuns with pagers or corporate execs with surfboards, we’ve got real programmers putting together major-league products using Macintosh.

The Mac’s a toy, right? Fine, ask them, “What kind of toy builds products like Adobe Photoshop? What kind of company uses Macintosh to build products which contribute to a $598M annual revenue cash flow?” Coal miners riding in coal cars (“Got a PC? You must be unenlightened.”), dumb dads configuring a PC (how many millions of PC users are going to believe that they’re really dumb if they have a PC that gets the job done?), and a crazed maniac taping an 800 number up on a glass wall (who knows what this means!?!). Could really smart developers who build tremendously great software and make a gazillion bucks be any worse?

Trivia Bits

Why is Ticks one of the worst low memory globals to access directly on the Power Macintosh? Hint: is $16A divisible by 4?

Food For Thought

“Remove these items because they can cause clutter and use a large amount of memory: QuickDraw GX and PowerTalk.”

- from a product installation guide

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

The best video player on mobile
We all know the stock video player on iOS is not particularly convenient, primarily because it asks us to hook a device up to iTunes to sync video in a world that has things like Netflix. [Read more] | Read more »
Four apps to help improve your Super Bow...
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, and whether you’re a Panthers or a Broncos fan you’re no doubt gearing up for it. [Read more] | Read more »
LooperSonic (Music)
LooperSonic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LooperSonic is a multi-track audio looper and recorder that will take your loops to the next level. Use it like a loop pedal to... | Read more »
Space Grunts guide - How to survive
Space Grunts is a fast-paced roguelike from popular iOS developer, Orange Pixel. While it taps into many of the typical roguelike sensibilities, you might still find yourself caught out by a few things. We delved further to find you some helpful... | Read more »
Dreii guide - How to play well with othe...
Dreii is a rather stylish and wonderful puzzle game that’s reminiscent of cooperative games like Journey. If that sounds immensely appealing, then you should immediately get cracking and give it a whirl. We can offer you some tips and tricks on... | Read more »
Kill the Plumber World guide - How to ou...
You already know how to hop around like Mario, but do you know how to defeat him? Those are your marching orders in Kill the Plumber, and it's not always as easy as it looks. Here are some tips to get you started. This is not a seasoned platform... | Read more »
Planar Conquest (Games)
Planar Conquest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $12.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: IMPORTANT: Planar Conquest is compatible only with iPad 3 & newer devices, iPhone 5 & newer. It’s NOT compatible with... | Read more »
We talk to Cheetah Mobile about its plan...
Piano Tiles 2 is a fast-paced rhythm action high score chaser out now on iOS and Android. You have to tap a series of black tiles that appear on the screen in time to the music, being careful not to accidentally hit anywhere else. Do that and it's... | Read more »
Ultimate Briefcase guide - How to dodge...
Ultimate Briefcase is a simple but tricky game that’s highly dependent on how fast you can react. We can still offer you a few tips and tricks on how to survive though. Guess what? That’s exactly what we’re going to do now. Take it easy [Read more... | Read more »
SoundPrism Link Edition (Music)
SoundPrism Link Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***Introductory price for a the first few days after launch - if you're reading this, get it while it's fresh out of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 1.2GHz Silver Retina MacBook on sale...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.2GHz Silver Retina MacBook on sale for $1399 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from... Read more
iPads on sale at Target: $100 off iPad Air 2,...
Target has WiFi iPad Air 2s and iPad mini 4s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch for $100 off MSRP
Target has Apple Watches on sale for $100 for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: - Apple... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Macs available for up to $300 off MSRP, $20 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Watch Super Bowl 50 Live On Your iPad For Fre...
Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for iPad and Apple TV. Get the app and then tune in Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET to catch every moment of the big game. The CBS Sports app is... Read more
Two-thirds Of All Smart Watches Shipped In 20...
Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments according to Canalys market research analysts’ estimates. Samsung returned to... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H Photo has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $180 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1499 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.2GHz Silver... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Apple now offering full line of Certified Ref...
Apple now has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Subject Matter Expert - Experis (Uni...
This position is for an Apple Subject Matter Expert to assist in developing the architecture, support and services for integration of Apple devices into the domain. Read more
*Apple* Macintosh OSX - Net2Source Inc. (Uni...
…: * Work Authorization : * Contact Number(Best time to reach you) : Skills : Apple Macintosh OSX Location : New York, New York. Duartion : 6+ Months The associate would Read more
Computer Operations Technician ll - *Apple*...
# Web Announcement** Apple Technical Liaison**The George Mason University, Information Technology Services (ITS), Technology Support Services, Desktop Support Read more
Restaurant Manager - Apple Gilroy Inc./Apple...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.