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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple Security Update 2015-001 - For OS...
Apple Security Update 2015-001 is recommended for all users and improves the security of OS X. For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.... Read more
Drive Genius 4.0.1 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius 4 gives you faster performance from your Mac while also protecting it. The award-winning and improved DrivePulse feature alerts you to hard drive issues before they become major problems... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 - Apple's lat...
OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels entirely fresh, yet inherently familiar. The apps you use every day, enhanced with new features. And a... Read more
Apple iOS 8.1.3 - The latest version of...
The latest version of iOS can be downloaded through iTunes. Apple iOS 8 comes with big updates to apps you use every day, like Messages and Photos. A whole new way to share content with your family.... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.19 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.0.5 - 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
Duet 1.2.2 - Use your iPad as an externa...
Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable. Note: This app requires a $14.99 iOS companion app. Version 1.2.2:... Read more
Alfred 2.6 - Quick launcher for apps and...
Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for OS X. Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords, and file actions at... Read more
1Password 5.1 - Powerful password manage...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
GarageSale 6.9.2 - Create outstanding eB...
GarageSale is a slick, full-featured client application for the eBay online auction system. Create and manage your auctions with ease. With GarageSale, you can create, edit, track, and manage... Read more

New WOTA: U-Boat Compass ‘Wets’ Your App...
New WOTA: U-Boat Compass ‘Wets’ Your Appetite for WOTA: Wolves of the Atlantic. Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Warship Solitaire Review
Warship Solitaire Review By Nadia Oxford on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: A WAR OF NUMBERSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Warship Solitaire might lack frills and looks, but it offers some thought provoking... | Read more »
Keep Track of Your Hectic Work Schedule...
Keep Track of Your Hectic Work Schedule With Shifts Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
All Star Quarterback Review
All Star Quarterback Review By Campbell Bird on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: PLAY YOUR PARTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Train your way to the Super Bowl in this free-to-play sports management game.   | Read more »
Sentinel 4: Dark Star Adds New Campaign...
Sentinel 4: Dark Star Adds New Campaign and More Posted by Ellis Spice on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Wheel & Deal Review
Wheel & Deal Review By Tre Lawrence on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A simple arcade shooter that has a retro feel.   | Read more »
Join the NAVY in a Big New Update for WW...
Join the NAVY in a Big New Update for WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Earthworm Alchemy Review
Earthworm Alchemy Review By Campbell Bird on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: FEED THE WORMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Feed this funny looking worm and dodge bombs in this charming, free-to-play arcade game.   | Read more »
Graphic Novel App netwars – The Butterfl...
Graphic Novel App netwars – The Butterfly Attack has Received Some New Episodes Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
DataVault Password Manager Review
DataVault Password Manager Review By Jennifer Allen on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: SECURE DATA STORAGEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Store your passwords and other sensitive information safely, thanks to... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Releases New Tranche Of OS Updates For...
Apple has released incremental bugfix and security updates for its most recent Mac and iOS versions. OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Update Apple says this update includes the following improvements: Resolves... Read more
Samsung To Be Main Supplier Of A9 Chips For i...
Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper reports that Samsung has beat out its chipmaking rivals, Taiwan’s Qualcomm and TSMC, as supplier of chipsets for the next generations of both its own Galaxy S6 and... Read more
Save up to $340 on iMacs with Apple Certified...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $340 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
AppleCare Protection Plans on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 3-Year AppleCare Warranties on sale for up to $105 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - Mac Laptops 15″ and Above: $244 $105 off MSRP - Mac Laptops 13″ and... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
3TB AirPort Time Capsule on sale for $349, $5...
B&H Photo has 3TB AirPort Time Capsules on sale for $349 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (except... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2 on sale for $446, save $53
Walmart has 16GB WiFi iPad Air 2s on sale for $53 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online orders only, in-... Read more
Save up to $300 on a new Mac, $30 on an iPad,...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
MasterCard Brings Contactless Payment, Apple...
MasterCard, the official card of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the PGA TOUR are bringing the latest payment technology to the spectator experience with the introduction of contactless... Read more
Petitioning Dropbox For Mac OS X 10.4 and 10....
Last week Dropbox announced to its users that app support for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 will end May 18 — disappointing news for those of us who are still getting useful service out of older PPC Macs... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
As an ambassador of the Apple brand, the ASC is accountable for driving sales performance by: Connecting with customers. Discovering customers' needs and values. Showing Read more
*Apple* Tree Children's Center is hirin...
Apple Tree Learning Center is Hiring Preschool Teachers! Phoenix Childrens Academy is a national leader in the early childhood education industry and we are currently Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
As an ambassador of the Apple brand, the ASC is accountable for driving sales performance by: Connecting with customers. Discovering customers' needs and values. Showing Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant- Retail Sales -...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Resellers store. The ASCs role is to grow Apple product Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.