TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apr 96 Crabbs Apple
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:Crabb’s Apple

Developers Finally Get a Break

By Don Crabb

The last few months have been tough ones for the Mac developer community. As I am writing this, (1) Sun has made a bid to merge with Apple via a stock swap (a good thing, I hope it’s happened by now), (2) Apple has been pronounced dead by the know-nothing general press (if you ever thought BusinessWEEK would get a clue, you can forget it once and for all), (3) more than a thousand Apple employees have been let go (and while many needed letting go, badly, many were tight with developers), and (4) Apple lost its acting VP of Developer Relations, Shirley Stas.

But the good news for us is that Shirley was replaced by Heidi Roizen, a name well known to the savvy developers out there, and as good a bit of news as we’ve had from the mother ship since Guy the K. was named Apple Fellow and Developer Evangelist last June. By now, Heidi’s tenure as the Vice President for Developer Relations should be well under way.

Heidi’s philosophy, often practiced while the president of T/Maker, was that companies and individuals ought to help others in our industry and make as many friends as possible, especially when it can be done without compromising your beliefs. Heidi’s always believed that you should sow “good” seeds in every corner, because they’ll often sprout later, just when you could use the return favor.

The one negative from all this is that Shirley Stas, who’d been the acting VP for many months and who had done an excellent job, is now out of that job. Although she was not acknowledged by Apple in the press release for Heidi (and shame on Apple for this slight), Shirley has busted her hump to get DevRel back on track and reorganized following last June’s changes. I’m not sure what future role Shirley will have at Apple, but if Apple has a brain in its corporate head it will find the right place for her in the organization. Shirley’s not flashy, but she did right by developers and she should be rewarded for that.

All Heidi, All the Time

Heidi Roizen should not be a new name to you. But in case it is, let’s give her record the once-over. She co-founded and ran T/Maker Company, one of the first Mac software developers (back when development was done in Object Pascal on a Lisa! - and we complain about our development environments today...). T/Maker shipped its first Macintosh title in February, 1984, within a few weeks of the first Mac’s ship date.

Besides running and eventually selling T/Maker, Heidi also has been the president and a board member of the Software Publishers Association, as well as a someone influential within the software marketing community. In short, Heidi understands both developer issues (she’s been there) and marketing issues (ditto). Since Developer Relations now includes all of the developer arms - Evangelism, Developer Support, Developer Marketing, Developer Press, Developer University, and International Developer Relations - Heidi’s got a reasonable organization to build from. And building is what she must do.

Developer-Driven Excellence

Although Developer Relations cannot fix all the marketing and technical problems that Apple has suffered the last two years, it’s now poised to be what it should have always been - the key organization in the company. Apple has tried being a marketing driven company and bombed. It has tried being a technically driven company and bombed. Perhaps it’s time Apple tries being a developer-driven company? Ultimately, it’s Apple developers (for MacOS and whatever comes after it) who will put the company back into the good graces of customers and help dispell the doom-and-gloom “analyses” of the general press.

But for Apple to become developer-driven, it’s going to have to trust us more than it’s ever been willing to. It’s got to get us on board much faster when it comes to new technologies. We should have been pre-alpha testing Copland, for example, in large numbers, and with our input really being parsed, instead of waiting for our DR1s to dribble in only to the biggest developers.

Apple needs to start using us as a resource, not as a revenue source. Apple needs to develop the right mechanisms by which we can be made part of the extended internal developer teams for all key Apple technologies. I can imagine what might have happened with important Apple technologies, like AppleScript and PowerTalk, if only the right developers had been brought onto the teams with real authority.

Had AppleScript, for example, been developed and marketed with the likes of Cal Simone (of Main Event Software and its Scripter) on the team, and with real access to the product marketeers, we wouldn’t be wondering today why Apple had squandered its lead in user scripting. Or why we have to wait for Copland before we get a native version of AppleScript. You can go down the list of Apple core technologies over the past several years and make similar cases.

Heidi is ideally positioned to address issues like this. Coming to Apple as an influential outsider, she sees the benefit of having other influential outsiders (who also bleed six colors) as part of Apple’s extended family. And with her outside track record she should have the clout to get a good hearing for these sorts of developer partnerships from Dave Nagel.

Battles and Wars

But we won’t win all of what we want, and while Heidi will get Apple to open up and embrace us earlier and more often, we’ll have to pick and choose our top needs, some of which I’ve listed here for Heidi’s perusal:

• Make entry-level developer support free, to encourage more Generation-Xers to develop on the Mac.

• Lower the prices for all other developer support levels and increase each level’s exposure to Apple engineers.

• Cut the price of developer tools to the bone. Sell ’em for cost if necessary.

• Work with MetroWerks and your other tool vendors to help develop tools for differentiating our common code base products across platforms (MacOS, Newton OS, Pippin OS, etc.).

• Partner with your MacOS cloners to provide entry to the Apple developers program through them.

• Start now on the next generation of developer tools that will be operational in ten years.

And this list just scratches the surface of what Developer Relations under Heidi Roizen should be able to provide us. A good test for how much we can expect and how fast (and how much of the old Apple corporatespeak we’ll have to endure) will come in a month at WWDC ’96. See ya there.

 
AAPL
$100.58
Apple Inc.
+0.01
MSFT
$45.22
Microsoft Corpora
+0.27
GOOG
$583.37
Google Inc.
-1.12

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Pages 5.2.2 - Apple's word processo...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices. And... Read more
Quicken 2015 2.0.1 - Complete personal f...
The new Quicken 2015 helps you manage all your personal finances in one place, so you can see where you're spending and where you can save. Quicken automatically categorizes your financial... Read more
CleanMyMac 2.2.7 - Delete files that was...
CleanMyMac makes space for the things you love. Sporting a range of ingenious new features, CleanMyMac 2 lets you safely and intelligently scan and clean your entire system, delete large, unused... Read more
MacFamilyTree 7.2.4 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: it's modern, interactive, incredibly fast, and easy to use. We're convinced that generations of chroniclers would have loved to trade in their genealogy... Read more
Videobox 4.1.1 - Download Flash video th...
Videobox allows you to quickly and easily download Flash video from most all of the popular video sites on the internet. Videobox will convert the video into a native Quicktime format so it's ready... Read more
Web Snapper 3.3.5 - Capture entire Web p...
Web Snapper lets you capture Web pages exactly as they appear in your browser. You can send them to a file as images or vector-based, multi-page PDFs. It captures the whole Web page - eliminating... Read more
Picasa 3.9.138 - Organize, edit, and sha...
Picasa and Picasa Web Albums allows you to organize, edit, and upload your photos to the Web from your computer in quick, simple steps. Arrange your photos into folders and albums and erase their... Read more
Tidy Up 3.0.15.0 - Find duplicate files...
Tidy Up is a complete duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. With Tidy Up you can search for duplicate files and packages by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time... Read more
Parallels Desktop 10.0 - Run Windows app...
Parallels Desktop is simply the world's bestselling, top-rated, and most trusted solution for running Windows applications on your Mac. With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can seamlessly run both... Read more
Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.1.3 - Professio...
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing solution.Completely redesigned from the ground up, Final Cut Pro adds extraordinary speed, quality, and flexibility to every part of the post-... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

DotEmu Summer Sale Cuts Several Games’ P...
DotEmu Summer Sale Cuts Several Games’ Prices to $0.99 Posted by Ellis Spice on August 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
King Announces its Newest “Saga” – Diamo...
King Announces its Newest “Saga” – Diamond Digger Saga Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Diamond Digger Saga, by King Digital Entertainment, promises to be another addictive, adorable game in the “Saga” | Read more »
Spacetime Studios’ Greg Mueller Tells Al...
| Read more »
TourStar Review
TourStar Review By Rob Thomas on August 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: BORING TOURINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad When The Ramones sang “Touring, touring/It’s never boring,” they clearly weren’t referring to TourStar.... | Read more »
Track Your Pregnancy with Glow Nurture
Track Your Pregnancy with Glow Nurture Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Outcast Odyssey – An Interview with the...
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, fans got the chance to meet and mingle with several of the artists behind Magic Pixel Games and Namco Bandai’s upcoming card battler, Outcast Odyssey. Considering many of these artists have worked on comics in the... | Read more »
BoxPop Review
BoxPop Review By Jennifer Allen on August 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: UNTAXING PUZZLESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Move from tile to tile to clear the board in this slightly too simple and easy puzzle game.   | Read more »
Breakdown Buddy Review
Breakdown Buddy Review By Jennifer Allen on August 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: FLAWED CONCEPTiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad There’s a good idea here, but Breakdown Buddy isn’t as useful as it tries to... | Read more »
jamstik, the Guitar You Can Take Everywh...
jamstik, the Guitar You Can Take Everywhere, is Now Available for Purchase Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Zivix has announced that their guitar-in-your-pocket, | Read more »
Star Walk 2 - Guide to the Sky Day and N...
Star Walk 2 - Guide to the Sky Day and Night 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The next generation of the best-selling Star Walk, winner of Apple Design Award, used by... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698, save $...
Abt has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698 including free shipping. Their price is $101 off MSRP. Read more
Mac Backup Guru 2.0 Drive Backup/Cloneing Uti...
Mac Backup Guru developer MacDaddy has released Mac Backup Guru 2.0, offering new and enhanced advanced features, such as bootable backups, synchronised volumes and folders, and a Snapshot mode that... Read more
Operate GE’s New Free-Standing KItchen Range...
Think you accidentally left the oven on? Switch it off while on the go. The new free-standing Profile™ Series gas and electric ranges are GE’s second cooking appliances, following their wall oven, to... Read more
Parallels Announces Parallels Desktop 10 for...
The no. 1-selling software for running Windows applications on a Mac becomes an even easier choice for millions of consumers and IT professionals worldwide with the launch of the most powerful... Read more
Apple now offering certified refurbished 2014...
 The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Best Buy’s College Student Deals: $100 off Ma...
Take an additional $100 off all MacBooks and iMacs, $50 off iPad Airs and iPad minis, at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through September 6th. Anyone with a valid .... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, free...
B&H Photo has three 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for Laptops... Read more
Razer Taipan Mouse For Gamers And Non-Gamers...
If you’re a serious gamer on either Mac or Windows PCs, a serious gaming mouse is a necessity for first-tier performance. However, even if like me you’re not much of a gamer, there’s still a strong... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $1899,...
Adorama has the new 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** As more and more people discover Apple , they visit our stores seeking ways to incorporate our products into their lives. It's your job, as a Store Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…Summary** As a Specialist, you help create the energy and excitement around Apple products, providing the right solutions and getting products into customers' hands. You Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.