TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 00 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Neil Ticktin, Publisher, MacTech Magazine

Mac OS X... Are We There Yet?

I'm sit here today, having just received my copy of Mac OS X beta, and I begin to wonder, as you probably are... what's going to happen with this? When will developers make the jump to X? What does the future hold for us as developers? Now, while I won't profess to being a soothsayer, I'll take the plunge and put my opinion in print for the world to see.

Apple is Serious... this time

The developer community has been burned by Apple's promise of a modern operating system since, say, the early to mid-1990's. Yes, it has been that long. We've been through the original System 8 (not the one that shipped), Copland, rumors of the BeOS, Rhapsody, Yellow Box, and more. Time and time again, Apple has simply not delivered the promise of a "modern operating system". Some were technical problems, some were business problems... and some were just plain old change in direction.

So, why should we believe that this time Apple is going to make this happen?

Two reasons: Steve Jobs and Public Beta. Steve Jobs can't stand to be publicly humiliated. He's stood up saying, "the train has left the station", and that (paraphrased) we're moving forward with Mac OS X, not as a multi-prong strategy, but as a single strategy for the future. Now, whether they ship Q1 2000 or Q2, I don't know... and it doesn't matter in the long run. Steve Jobs will make sure it ships in one form or another, relatively early on next year. He just won't stand for it being otherwise.

How do we know that this isn't just some promise as we've heard before? A public beta. Not only does the general public have tangible evidence in its hands, but early reports are that it runs fairly well... a good indication that we're, in relative terms, close.

Of course, there's always a third reason why things are different this time. Apple has moved into the arena of other, very profitable OS vendors... they are charging for a beta! :) But seriously, you have to believe that they will follow through this time since they are bold enough to charge for the beta.

Yeah, Yeah... I'll Wait

There are already a lot of developers moving to X. But, some of you are holding back. This may be an important mistake, but not for the reasons that you are thinking.

It's pretty clear that the Classic environment on Mac OS X (i.e., the environment responsible for running non-carbonized Mac OS 9 applications) is going to work well. So, yes, your customers can run their Classic apps under X.

The issue is that launching the Classic environment takes time... and frankly, even if it can do something about it, Apple has no incentive to make it launch faster. Your customers will quickly learn that they want to avoid launching the Classic environment if they have a choice.

That's where you come in... you can make their experience with your product a good one, or you can set yourself up for them being disappointed in the Classic situation and blaming your product.

Bottom line: customers will want native and carbonized apps so they can avoid Classic. Now is the time to start working on it.

But I Have So Much to Do!

If you are like me, you have a million things to do, and not enough time to do them. Working on a new version of your application for an operating system that is technically not shipping, just hasn't bubbled up on the list. So, why should you move forward today?

First, I'm not going to tell you what you should do with your project... that's your call to make. Only you have the information to make such a decision. Though, there are a few things to consider.

Anecdotally at least, carbonizing is relatively easy. For example, a typical app could easily take as little as 2 weeks to carbonize to get it up and running. A bit longer to iron the issues out, and then of course testing. But, this is not a several month project, as it may seem.

More importantly, there are other benefits to carbonizing. Let me explain.

The things that slow folks down the most when carbonizing their apps typically are their own bugs. Many engineers are thrilled because they are re-writing bad code that they've wanted to get to for a while, but haven't had time.

Writing code that is properly carbonized actually turns out to be a good way to debug and test your program - and may result in lower QA or tech support costs. Mac OS X tells you now that you are stepping on memory... not some day down the road when you aren't expecting it. In addition, the development and debugging turn around time is much faster than with Mac OS 9 - in part because, you aren't generally crashing your system as you tracking down bugs.

The bottom line is that carbonizing your app is not the challenge or pain that people think it is. It's actually a lot easier, and once through the process, people are generally happy they did it citing that it wasn't as hard as they thought it would be.

Leading the Market

Look... Apple is going to push really, really hard here... hard on their own engineers, and hard on developers. The timing of when they will ship 1.0 will be dependent on two things: engineering and market response. If the market responds saying that they want lots of things changed, then Apple will have to do those in addition to the other items they already know about. Rest assured though... a 1.0 version of Mac OS X will ship sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, the acceptance of X as the current (and only) operating system will depend on market acceptance. I expect to see Apple pushing the timeline forward just ahead of the market. They've got experience with this... just the way they dove in on USB, FireWire, and even Wireless Networking. Yes, it will be a bit painful to make such a leap, but in recent years, Apple has been able to keep that pain period relatively short (look at USB).

Bottom line: Jobs is right... the train has left the station. If you are going to support Mac OS X in a way that will help promote your product, the time is now to carbonize.

 
AAPL
$94.72
Apple Inc.
+0.78
MSFT
$44.83
Microsoft Corpora
-0.01
GOOG
$594.74
Google Inc.
+5.27

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airmail 1.4 - Powerful, minimal email cl...
Airmail is a powerful, minimal mail client.It was designed to retain the same experience with a single or multiple accounts and provide a quick, modern and easy-to-use user experience. Airmail... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.1.12 - Monitor and co...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.37 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.9 - Fo...
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update is recommended for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. This update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected and fixes a rare issue... Read more
FileZilla 3.9.0.1 - Fast and reliable FT...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.Version 3.9.0.1: MSW: Fix installation issue with locked DLLs... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP4 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.6 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
SpiderOak 5.1.7 - Secure cloud backup, s...
SpiderOak is a multi-platform secure online backup, storage, access, and sharing solution engineered for the consumer and small businesses. You must first sign up to use SpiderOak. Running natively... Read more
Espionage 3.6 - Simple, state of the art...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
calibre 1.45.0 - Complete e-library mana...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat L...
Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat Learning Library Sale Posted by Ellis Spice on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
MyTaskList Review
MyTaskList Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EFFECTIVE IF PLAINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s not the most stylish of task management apps, but MyTaskList has all the features you could... | Read more »
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRICKY FLYINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A tough game of careful thrusting and navigation, FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines... | Read more »
MTN Review
MTN Review By Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ADORABLE, SERENE, AND AMUSINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad MTN is an adorable, talking pet mountain that is less game and more zen garden.   | Read more »
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available o...
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available on the App Store Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Bio Inc. Review
Bio Inc. Review By Nadia Oxford on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SICKENING - IN A COMPELLING WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Bio Inc is about orchestrating the medical destruction of a single person. If that doesn’... | Read more »
HELMUT Review
HELMUT Review By Andrew Fisher on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRUNDLE SIMULATOR 2014Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HELMUT is a fun, fleeting time-sink that offers a momentary distraction and nothing else.   | Read more »
Walkr Review
Walkr Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ORIGINAL WALKINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Walking is a bit more exciting thanks to this planet building/discovering sim reliant... | Read more »
Zombie Commando Review
Zombie Commando Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINDLESS SLAUGHTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Briefly fun but ultimately forgettable, Zombie Commando will scratch an itch then be... | Read more »
Swords & Poker Adventures Review
Swords & Poker Adventures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOULLESS POKER PLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swords & Poker Adventures is a mishmash of Poker and RPGing, but it lacks... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Twelve South HiRise For MacBook – Height-Adju...
If you use your MacBook as a workhorse desktop substitute, as many of us do, a laptop stand combined with an external keyboard and pointing device are pretty much obligatory if you want to avoid... Read more
Why The Mac Was Not Included In The Apple/IBM...
TUAW’s Yoni Heisler cites Fredrick Paul of Network World whoi blogged last week that the Mac’s conspicuous absence from Apple and IBM’s landmark partnership agreement represents a huge squandered... Read more
Save $100 on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros, plu...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB MacBook Pro with Retina Display: $1199 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Blurr it 2.3 for iOS – Quickly Blurs Selected...
Hyderabad, India based TouchLabs has announced a new update of Blurr it 2.3, their photography app for iOS users. Blurr it allows you to blur part of the image to hide potentially sensitive or... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only... Read more
Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited...
Amazon.com has introduced Kindle Unlimited — a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to... Read more
New Linksys Wireless Range Extenders Boost Wi...
Linksys has announced its new lineup of Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extenders. Consumers often experience a weak wireless signal in some parts of their house or apartment caused by blocking elements such as... Read more
MacBook Airs available starting at $719
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 & 2012 MacBook Airs in stock today starting at $719. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: 2013... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full 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* 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
Sr *Apple* Engineer - IT - Requisition #: -...
For more information about TIAA-CREF, visit our website . The Apple Engineer will provide engineering and third-level incident support for 300- 500 MacOS desktop/laptop Read more
*Apple* Systems Administrator - DISH (United...
…satellite service provider, and Dish is currently looking for an experienced Apple /Mac Systems Administrator. Apple systems administrator will be responsible for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.