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
$119.00
Apple Inc.
+1.40
MSFT
$47.75
Microsoft Corpora
+0.28
GOOG
$540.37
Google Inc.
-0.71

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skype 7.2.0.412 - Voice-over-internet ph...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
HoudahSpot 3.9.6 - Advanced file search...
HoudahSpot is a powerful file search tool built upon MacOS X Spotlight. Spotlight unleashed Create detailed queries to locate the exact file you need Narrow down searches. Zero in on files Save... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.0.3 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
iPhoto Library Manager 4.1.10 - Manage m...
iPhoto Library Manager lets you organize your photos into multiple iPhoto libraries. Separate your high school and college photos from your latest summer vacation pictures. Or keep some photo... Read more
iExplorer 3.5.1.9 - View and transfer al...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.3 - Discover and i...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
SteerMouse 4.2.2 - Powerful third-party...
SteerMouse is an advanced driver for USB and Bluetooth mice. It also supports Apple Mighty Mouse very well. SteerMouse can assign various functions to buttons that Apple's software does not allow,... Read more
iMazing 1.1 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
PopChar X 7.0 - Floating window shows av...
PopChar X helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Expanded... Read more
OneNote 15.4 - Free digital notebook fro...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Raby (Games)
Raby 1.0.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.3 (iTunes) Description: ***WARNING - Raby runs on: iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Mini 3, iPad 4, iPad Air,... | Read more »
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (Games)
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** PLEASE NOTE: Oddworld Stranger's Wrath requires at least an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad Mini or iPod Touch 5th gen... | Read more »
Bounce On Back (Games)
Bounce On Back 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Dwelp (Games)
Dwelp 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: === 50% off for a limited time, to celebrate release === Dwelp is an elegant little puzzler with a brand new game mechanic. To complete a... | Read more »
Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Maker...
Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Makers of Scrap Squad Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Relevant Games has announced they will be releasing their reverse tower defense game, | Read more »
Tripnary Review
Tripnary Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRAVEL BUCKET LISTiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Want to create a travel bucket list? Tripnary is a fun way to do exactly that... | Read more »
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is...
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is Now Available for $4.99 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Mmmm, Tasty – Having the Angry Birds for...
The very first Angry Birds debuted on iOS back in 2009. When you sit back and tally up the number of Angry Birds games out there and the impact they’ve had on pop culture as a whole, you just need to ask yourself: “How would the birds taste... | Read more »
Rescue Quest Review
Rescue Quest Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PATH BASED MATCH-3Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Guide a wizard to safety by matching gems. Rescue Quest might not be an entirely original... | Read more »
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone W...
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone Wolf: Dawn Over V’taag Right Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

BEVL Releases Dock Tailored for iPhone 6 and...
Seattle based BEVL has released their first product: an iPhone dock that is divergent in build quality, rock-solid function and visual simplicity to complement the iPhone. BEVL is now accepting... Read more
Black Friday: $150 off 13-inch Retina MacBook...
 Best Buy has 13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $150 off MSRP on their online store as part of their Black Friday sale. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available).... Read more
Black Friday: $300 off 15-inch Retina MacBook...
 B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $300 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina... Read more
Black Friday: Up to $140 off MacBook Airs, fr...
 B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $140 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 128GB MacBook Air: $799 $100... Read more
Black Friday: 13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on s...
 Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $899.99 on their online store as part of their Black Friday sale. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has the new 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new model. Adorama... Read more
Early Black Friday pricing on 27-inch 5K iMac...
 B&H Photo continues to offer Black Friday sale prices on the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac, in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP... Read more
Early Black Friday sale prices on iPad Air 2,...
 MacMall is discounting iPad Air 2s by up to $75 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free: - 16GB iPad Air WiFi: $459 $40 off - 64GB iPad Air WiFi: $559 $40 off - 128GB iPad Air... Read more
Early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices, $...
 MacMall has posted early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices. Save $101 on all models for a limited time: - 11″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $798 - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $998 - 13″ 1.4GHz/... Read more
Why iPhone 6 Tablet/Laptop Cannibalization Is...
247wallst.com blogger Douglas A. McIntyre noted last week that according to research posted on the Applovin blog site the iPhone 6 is outselling the iPhone 6 Plus by a wide margin . Hardly a surprise... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**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
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*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
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**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
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**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.