TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Dec 97 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 12
Column Tag: Viewpoint


by Eric Gundrum

A Sense of Community

One thing that separates Mac developers and users from those of other platforms is our sense of community. We tend to seek out each other and band together to discuss our ideas, opinions, and the state of the industry. Macintosh users have created a variety of groups and organizations to help accomplish this. Consider events such as MacHack and the plethora of Macintosh user groups around the world. No other computer platform has such a diverse, yet well connected community of users.

I suspect our sense of community comes from our roots as an excluded platform. Many readers will remember the early days of the Mac when the only way to get one into a business office was through the back door, under cover of darkness. Macintosh users could not call on corporate support staff for assistance or advice about new software. In fact, often Macintosh users were pretty isolated, not having any other Macintosh users around. Macintosh users quickly overcame the limitations of this isolation by locating other Macintosh users and exchanging experiences. Not much time passed before many of these loose associations became formal user groups with regular meetings, special events, newsletters and bulletin boards.

To my knowledge, few such organizations exist in the DOS and Windows communities. I've seen groups of Windows users try to get started, but they never were able to sustain themselves. Other platforms have had some success forming user groups, often with significant sponsorship from the platform vender. However, few such groups have attained the strength of community we Macintosh users take for granted. With so much changing at Apple, the value of our community seems more important than ever.

Sharing Technologies, Sharing Code

The success of the Mac is built upon many powerful and interesting technologies. In fact, these innovative technologies are often a large part of what draws programmers to the Mac, enabling them to create software that would not be practical, or even possible, in any other environment. However, with the recent popularity of the Internet, the world of computing has begun moving so fast that Apple alone cannot provide us with the technologies we need. We can benefit even more by sharing our own technologies with each other. Rhapsody offers many new opportunities for developers to leverage each other's work. The Rhapsody development environment is designed specifically to make sharing code much easier than it has ever been. In fact, there was once a thriving market of third party libraries among NeXTSTEP developers. They understood the value of not recreating code just because "it's not invented here."

With the recent release of Rhapsody you have undoubtedly begun looking at how your software can be moved to the new platform. As you review your own legacy technologies for Rhapsody, think carefully about which of your technologies represent significant differentiation from your competition, and what is just another implementation of the same thing everyone else has to implement. What you should find when you examine your technology is that most the value your product gives to a customer is how you have chosen to connect your various technologies together with a useful presentation to the user. That, and one or two core technologies developed from your own specific expertise are what your customers purchase. All the rest of your program is likely support code added to make your program easy to use in a Macintosh environment.

Looking at Rhapsody's toolbox, Yellow Box, you will probably find that much of the code you struggled so long to get just right on the Mac is already built into Yellow Box; things like styled text with rulers, drawing controls and such. However, there are many technological holes in Yellow Box; network protocols is a big one. Some of these holes have been filled by NeXTSTEP developers in the past. Get on-line and find them. Check out their objects and see if you might save money and release your software sooner by licensing them. Keep in mind that the technology you license doesn't have to be a perfect fit. The dynamic-binding features of the Rhapsody runtime model allow programmers to get in and modify the behavior of existing objects, even without the original source code. You can change a third-party library to work better with your application; you can even change how the Yellow Box objects work.

If you don't find the technology you want already implemented by someone else, then you have another market opportunity: port your Mac code to Rhapsody, making it an independent library, and license it to other developers. If you don't want to be in the business of licensing objects, there will be people who will do it for you. Today, people do this in the Mac community, and if more developers take advantage of the service, more people will offer it. Even if you don't want to license your objects to everyone who wants them, they still are a valuable asset. As you explore other Rhapsody software, you may find another developer has a technology you would like to use. Through private negotiating you may strike a deal to exchange some technologies, some objects. Both of you come out ahead, and our community gets more software, sooner. Share your technology with the rest of the community, and they will share with you. As a result, we will build more software, faster and better than developers of any other platform, and we will do so by working together.


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Path Finder 7.2 - Powerful, award-winnin...
Become a master of file management with Path Finder. Take full control over your file system. Save your time: compare and synchronize folders, view hidden files, use Dual Pane and full keyboard... Read more
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Ea...
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award-winning Civilization series. Set in the future, global events have destabilized the world leading to a... Read more
ForkLift 2.6.6 - Powerful file manager:...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.21 - Connec...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
OnyX 3.1.0 - Maintenance and optimizatio...
OnyX is a multifunctional utility for OS X. It allows you to verify the startup disk and the structure of its System files, to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, to configure the hidden... Read more
Spotify - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
ExpanDrive - Access cloud storag...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Markly 1.5.3 - Create measurement and de...
Markly is a measurement and design-spec plugin/extension for Photoshop and Sketch. It is made for modern Web designers and app front-end developers. You can add specification marks simply by clicking... Read more
Suitcase Fusion 6 17.3.0 - Font manageme...
Suitcase Fusion 6 is the creative professional's font manager. Every professional font manager should deliver the basics: spectacular previews, powerful search tools, and efficient font organization... Read more
Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.2 - Multilingual wo...
Nisus Writer Pro is a powerful multilingual word processor, similar to its entry level products, but brings new features such as table of contents, indexing, bookmarks, widow and orphan control,... Read more

Balls & Holes - Tips and tricks to h...
Balls & Holes is a gorgeous new endless runner that challenges you to make it as far up a mountain as possible before inevitably being sliced into a load of gooey bits. Making this task more difficult are both the wide variety of balls that... | Read more »
Balloony Land offers a fresh twist on th...
Balloony Land by Palringo offers a fresh twist on the match three genre and is out now on iOS and Android. First-off, you'll be popping balloons instead of crushing candy and the balloons will float up and fill the empty spaces instead of dropping... | Read more »
Graphic - vector illustration and design...
Graphic - vector illustration and design 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Autodesk Graphic is a powerful full-featured vector drawing and illustration application right in... | Read more »
Sago Mini Babies (Education)
Sago Mini Babies 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Introducing the Sago Mini babies. Boys and girls love caring for these adorable characters. Feed Robin her favorite mush... | Read more »
PAUSE - Relaxation at your fingertip (H...
PAUSE - Relaxation at your fingertip 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Super Sharp (Games)
Super Sharp 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Your finger has never been so sharp! Cut with skill to complete the 120 ingenious physics levels of Super Sharp and become a cut... | Read more »
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone...
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Assembly is the easiest most powerful design tool on the App Store. Create anything you can... | Read more »
Dub Dash (Games)
Dub Dash 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ARE YOU READY FOR THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE? UNIQUE SYMBIOSIS OF MUSIC AND GRAPHICS | Read more »
Leave Me Alone (Games)
Leave Me Alone 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 33% off launch sale!!! Somewhere between the 1980s and 1990s there exists a world that never was. A world of skatepunks,... | Read more »
YAMGUN (Games)
YAMGUN 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The invasion has begun! Protect the walls of the citadel against waves of enemies! But watch out, you will soon run out of ammo...... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple Products Four Of 2015′s Top Ten Most Wa..., Future’s global technology brand and the UK’s biggest technology website, has unveiled results from extensive research that show • The Smart Home is what excites the public most about... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1174.99 for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only, in-... Read more
App Tamer 2.1 Makes El Capitan Cooler, Quiete...
St. Clair Software has announced the availability of a free update to its App Tamer utility for Mac OS X. App Tamer 2.1 delivers compatibility with Yosemite and improves its support for a number of... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $160 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1849.99 $150 off - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off...
Best Buy has 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Discounted prices available for online orders only... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Save up to $100 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ or 11″ 1.6GHz MacBook Air at the following resellers. Shipping is free with each model: 11" 128GB MSRP $899 11" 256GB... Read more
Save 15% with Apple refurbished Mac Pros
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
TP-LINK Next-Gen Routers Support a Large Numb...
TP-LINK, specialists in consumer and business networking products, have announced the availability of Archer C2600, the company’s next-generation router featuring wireless AC, multi-user MIMO, and 4-... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available starting at $679. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 11″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $679... Read more

Jobs Board

Project Manager: *Apple* Pay - Apple (Unite...
…The iOS Systems team is looking for a project manager who will manage Apple Pay server side integration project resources in a matrix organization, track tasks, prepare Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're Read more
Validation Engineering Manager - *Apple* Wa...
…hardware and software development to lead the validation of the next generation Apple Watch and related products. The Validation Team works closely with many Read more
Senior Payments Architect - *Apple* Pay - A...
**Job Summary** Apple , Inc. is looking for a highly motivated, innovative and hands-on senior payments architect to join the Apple Pay Engineering team. You will Read more
*Apple* Retail for Business Support Supervis...
…is looking for a motivated, outgoing, and creative individual who wants to offer Apple Business Customers an unparalleled customer experience. The Apple Retail for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.