TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 99 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Viewpoint

by Bill von Hagen

For Cross-Platform Standards, the Mac is as Standard as Anybody

This issue's viewpoint is what some might consider heresy - discussing the importance of seeing the Mac an equal partner in "standards". I don't mean this just in terms of this week's hot buzzphrase ("Open Source", anyone?), but rather in terms of time- tested buzzwords such as XML, Java, EDI, and eBusiness.

At first glance, it's odd to see a Macintosh piece whose focus is interoperability and platform-independence. The reason that this is odd is that, as Mac lovers, we're often used to thinking of ourselves as the voice crying out in the wilderness, some sort of hi-tech Mr. Smith in "Mr Smith Goes To Washington." We do this to ourselves by our endless (and justified! - oops) trumpeting of the Mac as the one true platform, but let's face it - that attitude just doesn't cut it in the business world today. To me, the Mac still has clear advantages for most graphics and artistic work, but (to paraphrase) 'the business of America today is eBusiness.' We can design all the web sites, graphics, and other media we want using Macs, but if we want to make the Mac into more than just a niche player, we've got to use it for business and business development - not just for software development to feed the needs of a few million Mac-loving intimates and the occasional convert or new initiates.

The good news is that you can already do this. The tools are already here. You can start now. Today's web environment and the cross-platform thinking it fosters already makes the Mac a viable player. We just have to respin our story a little bit.

To recap the world of eBusiness today in a paragraph or two, Java is a object-oriented language that is compiled so that it can run on any platform with a Java virtual machine. Virtual machines are freely available for almost all hardware platforms, from mainframes (IBM VM), to workstations (almost all flavors of UNIX), to personal computers (Macs, Windows 95, 98, and NT), and even hand-helds (Psion organizers). All of these can run the same platform-independent Java applications, even using a GUI thanks to portable Java GUI libraries such as Swing.

Just as Java is a platform-independent independent way or writing applications, XML is a software-independent way of exchanging data. XML is a markup language that lets you define structured ways of organizing data. The most common use of XML is in defining different types of structured documents and creating documents that conform to them. Businesses have many different types of data that must conform to a specific structure: spreadsheets, databases, and even general-purpose corporate information such as that exchanged via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) formats. All of these have their own rules for identifying the meaning of different portions of the data that they contain. XML provides a unified structure for expressing all of them.

Together, Java and XML provide a platform-independent, software-independent vision for the future of computing. Anyone can play as long as they can follow the standard rules. Macs have specific advantages in specific fields, but darn it, we can also be as standard as anybody.

Regardless of your age, mind set, and favorite tools, the Mac already has everything you need for XML and Java development. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for developing Java applications on the Mac are readily available from vendors such as Metrowerks, Symantec, Smith Resources, and many others. There's a fair amount of Mac XML development software already out there for the Mac, including the HexMac Publishing Tools, the Emile extensible markup editor, Xpublish, bbedit, and many more.

There are also plenty of tools for people like me. Call me a Luddite if you will, but since the early eighties, I've written docs and code in the same tool - a text editor. I love markup languages such as XML because I can still use my favorite editor and produce perfectly formed documents. I can write code in another window at the same time. But enough about me - the point is that the tools are out there, regardless of what you like to use. The skills are out there - a million Mac applications show that we have them. The opportunity is out there.

This isn't suggesting that we stop developing Mac-specific applications. To quote Vladamir Nabakov's Lolita, "Please, don't stop!" The Mac GUI is a wonder of beauty and usability. (Though I will never be able to explain or defend the QuickTime 4 GUI!) There will always be a place for Mac-only applications that take advantage of the Mac OS. I'd frankly expect more of these sorts of applications once Mac OS X is available.

We're not "dumbing down" the Mac, we're wising up ourselves and the business community by nothing more than putting a slightly better spin on the kinds of development you can already do on the Mac. Which is platform-specific things, and standard things. And we can play in the platform-independent, software-independent sandbox as well as anybody.

eBusiness, XML, and Java could be the best things that ever happened to the Mac since PageMaker at the dawn of time. ( which was April, 1984) Some might say that those aren't Macintosh applications or environments per se, but the smart ones among us will be quick to yell "And that's the whole point!" - they're as much Mac applications and environment as they are Windows or UNIX ones. (Spin, spin.) Let's get eBusy.

URLs

Java IDEs: XML Development:
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Capture One 11.0.1.40 - RAW workflow sof...
Capture One is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 400 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It offers... Read more
Capture One 11.0.1.40 - RAW workflow sof...
Capture One is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 400 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It offers... Read more
GraphicConverter 10.5.4 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
Dash 4.1.3 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
Microsoft OneNote 16.9 - Free digital no...
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
DEVONthink Pro 2.9.17 - Knowledge base,...
Save 10% with our exclusive coupon code: MACUPDATE10 DEVONthink Pro is your essential assistant for today's world, where almost everything is digital. From shopping receipts to important research... Read more
OmniGraffle 7.6 - Create diagrams, flow...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
iFinance 4.3.7 - Comprehensively manage...
iFinance allows you to keep track of your income and spending -- from your lunchbreak coffee to your new car -- in the most convenient and fastest way. Clearly arranged transaction lists of all your... Read more
Opera 50.0.2762.58 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Microsoft Office 2016 16.9 - Popular pro...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Around this time every week we're going to have a look at the comings and goings on the other sites in Steel Media's pocket-gaming empire. We'll round up the very best content you might have missed, so you're always going to be up to date with the... | Read more »
Everything about Hero Academy 2: Part 4...
In this part of our Hero Academy 2 guide, we're going to have a look at some of the tactics you're going to need to learn if you want to rise up the ranks. We're going to start off slow, then get more advanced in the next section. [Read more] | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Another week has flown by. Sometimes it feels like the only truly unstoppable thing is time. Time will make dust of us all. But before it does, we should probably play as many awesome mobile videogames as we can. Am I right, or am I right? [Read... | Read more »
The 7 best games that came out for iPhon...
Well, it's that time of the week. You know what I mean. You know exactly what I mean. It's the time of the week when we take a look at the best games that have landed on the App Store over the past seven days. And there are some real doozies here... | Read more »
Popular MMO Strategy game Lords Mobile i...
Delve into the crowded halls of the Play Store and you’ll find mobile fantasy strategy MMOs-a-plenty. One that’s kicking off the new year in style however is IGG’s Lords Mobile, which has beaten out the fierce competition to receive Google Play’s... | Read more »
Blocky Racing is a funky and fresh new k...
Blocky Racing has zoomed onto the App Store and Google Play this week, bringing with it plenty of classic kart racing shenanigans that will take you straight back to your childhood. If you’ve found yourself hooked on games like Mario Kart or Crash... | Read more »
Cytus II (Games)
Cytus II 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: "Cytus II" is a music rhythm game created by Rayark Games. It's our fourth rhythm game title, following the footsteps of three... | Read more »
JYDGE (Games)
JYDGE 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Build your JYDGE. Enter Edenbyrg. Get out alive. JYDGE is a lawful but awful roguehate top-down shooter where you get to build your... | Read more »
Tako Bubble guide - Tips and Tricks to S...
Tako Bubble is a pretty simple and fun puzzler, but the game can get downright devious with its puzzle design. If you insist on not paying for the game and want to manage your lives appropriately, check out these tips so you can avoid getting... | Read more »
Everything about Hero Academy 2 - The co...
It's fair to say we've spent a good deal of time on Hero Academy 2. So much so, that we think we're probably in a really good place to give you some advice about how to get the most out of the game. And in this guide, that's exactly what you're... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deals on clearance 15″ Apple MacBook Pros wit...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $800 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro... Read more
Apple restocked Certified Refurbished 13″ Mac...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Airs starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.8GHz/8GB/128GB... Read more
How to find the lowest prices on 2017 Apple M...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ 2017 MacBook Pros available for $200 to $420 off the cost of new models. Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model from any... Read more
The lowest prices anywhere on Apple 12″ MacBo...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple now offering a full line of Certified R...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
27″ iMacs on sale for $100-$130 off MSRP, pay...
B&H Photo has 27″ iMacs on sale for $100-$130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2199 $100 off MSRP – 27″ 3.... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $899, $100 off MS...
B&H Photo has the 2.8GHz Mac mini (model number MGEQ2LL/A) on sale for $899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished iPad minis...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 128GB iPad minis available today for $339 including free shipping. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included. Their price is $60 off MSRP. Read more
Amazon offers 13″ 256GB MacBook Air for $1049...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256B #Apple #MacBook Air on sale today for $150 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A): $1049.99, $150 off MSRP Read more
9.7-inch 2017 WiFi iPads on sale starting at...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 2017 WiFi #Apple #iPads on sale for $30 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and pay sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 32GB iPad WiFi: $299, $30 off – 128GB iPad WiFi... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Data Center Site Selection and Strat...
# Apple Data Center Site Selection and Strategy Research Analyst Job Number: 83708609 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 18-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: Read more
Security Engineering Coordinator, *Apple* R...
# Security Engineering Coordinator, Apple Retail Job Number: 113237456 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 18-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Firmware Engineer - *Apple* Accessories - A...
# Firmware Engineer - Apple Accessories Job Number: 113422485 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 18-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
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* Store Leader - Retail District Manag...
Job Description:Job SummaryAs more and more people discover Apple , they visit our retail stores seeking ways to incorporate our products into their lives. It's your Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.