TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jun 01 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 17 (2001)
Issue Number: 06
Column Tag: Viewpoint

by Avi Rappoport

X Here Now

For some odd reason, the keynote at WWDC (Apple World Wide Developer Conference) was supposed to be a "fireside chat". There was amused speculation in the crowd about what that would mean, but it turned into a normal Steve Jobs and Avie Tevanian keynote with a graphic of a fireplace. It was a housewarming party for Mac OS X, partly designed to convince developers to work on native applications but also very much directed at the press. I would have liked to see less flash and more real information about Apple's commitment to fixing OS problems and improving development tools.

The RDF

Those of you who haven't been to a Steve Jobs talk may not believe in the RDF (Reality Distortion Field), but it's a real thing. Think of the best and smartest salesperson you know, selling something they helped build and really love. Jobs is sincere and that makes him hard to resist. I remember walking out of the first presentation of the NeXT machine at BMUG in 1988 going "wow that's cool". And so is Mac OS X, though it's more of an adolescent NeXTStep than anything else. I was pleased to hear Jobs say that they know X 10.0 is not perfect, that they think of it as a "tremendous start", and that they retained the feedback database with over 40,000 items in it. Both end users and developers are demanding better performance and I hope by the time you read this, you'll be seeing major speedups. So the RDF may be a good thing here!

Jobs talked about the power of Unix and the simplicity, elegance and applications of the Mac, and pointed out that Apple will soon become the largest Unix supplier in the world, which got a big hand from the audience. The crowd also liked Jobs's manifesto about why the company is opening stores, and a charming video of the first day a store was open, full of cheerful customers and happy sales people. I was happy to see the realistic approach of installing both X and 9 on shipping machines, but defaulting to 9 — I was worried about my mom and other fragile Mac users being stuck with the unfinished X.

Mac OS X

The main message was that all developers should write X-native applications right away. Jobs and Avie Tevanian both made a big deal about a Macworld Magazine survey of PowerBook owners and their plans to upgrade to X and to native X applications. This culminated in a thinly-veiled threat that customers would migrate quickly from Classic applications to native X applications, perhaps by the end of summer. Maybe they were spooked by developer reluctance, but a lot of folks don't respond well to such negativity.

Apple would only talk about X version 10.0.x, not future changes, which was a big change from previous conferences! There were some nice demos, including a MIDI keyboard program that continued to work without a hitch even when Tevanian was opening other applications such as email. And everyone loved watching the PowerBook wake up instantly, and the company commitment to standards (such as OpenGL) rather than proprietary code. However, the listing of all the features of Mac OS X were not too exciting, I noticed that there was a lot of restlessness in the audience.

The demo of developing a native Cocoa program using Interface Builder was supposed to show how easy it is to wire together an application. Cynics in the audience noticed that the example QuickTime editor requires 1,000 lines of code that we never saw: it was something of an insult to programmers to show them smoke and mirrors like that. PowerPlant and C++ can do the same, though the demo is less whizzy. Again, the general press might be wowed, but not many folks who have tried to write code.

Some of my developer friends really like Interface Builder and Objective C, but most are not interested in learning a new language on a minority platform, even if it's Mac OS X. They'll stick with C++ or Java, but are concerned about speed issues. They want to see more effort put into performance and making all the features of Carbon work properly, especially the low-level drivers. Jobs and Tevanian were intent on convincing people to write native Mac OS X applications, but are they providing enough OS support? The keynote was too overbearing, though the rest of the conference was more positive: time will tell if Apple responds to what developers really need.


Avi Rappoport doesn't write much code any more, now she's an analyst and consultant specializing in web site and intranet search engines at www.searchtools.com. Yes, her name is pronounced like Avie Tevanian, but she was here first and is older anyway.

 
AAPL
$100.96
Apple Inc.
-0.83
MSFT
$47.52
Microsoft Corpora
+0.84
GOOG
$596.08
Google Inc.
+6.81

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airfoil 4.8.9 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
WhatRoute 1.13.0 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the... Read more
Chromium 37.0.2062.122 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
Attachment Tamer 3.1.14b9 - Take control...
Attachment Tamer gives you control over attachment handling in Apple Mail. It fixes the most annoying Apple Mail flaws, ensures compatibility with other email software, and allows you to set up how... Read more
Duplicate Annihilator 5.0 - Find and del...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator detects... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more
jAlbum 12.2 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Quicken 2015 2.0.4 - Complete personal f...
Quicken 2015 helps you manage all your personal finances in one place, so you can see where you're spending and where you can save. Quicken automatically categorizes your financial transactions,... Read more
iMazing 1.0 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (formerly 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... Read more
Xcode 6.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Apple Xcode is Apple Computer's integrated development environment (IDE) for OS X. The full Xcode package is free to ADC members and includes all the tools you need to create, debug, and optimize... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

View Source – HTML, JavaScript and CSS...
View Source – HTML, JavaScript and CSS 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: View Source is an app plus an iOS 8 Safari extension that makes it easy to do one key web developer... | Read more »
Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King: De...
Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King: Deathbat is Coming to iOS on October 16th Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Just in time for Halloween, on October 16 Avenged Sevenfold will be launching | Read more »
Talisman Has Gone Universal – Can Now be...
Talisman Has Gone Universal – Can Now be Played on the iPhone Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tap Army Review
Tap Army Review By Jennifer Allen on September 19th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SHOOT EM ALLUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mindless but fun, Tap Army is a lane-based shooter that should help you relieve some stress.   | Read more »
Monsters! Volcanoes! Loot! Epic Island f...
Monsters! Volcanoes! Loot! | Read more »
Plunder Pirates: Tips, Tricks, Strategie...
Ahoy There, Seadogs: Interested in knowing our thoughts on all this plundering and pirating? Check out our Plunder Pirates Review! Have you just downloaded the rather enjoyable pirate-em-up Plunder Pirates and are in need of some assistance? Never... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Review
Goat Simulator Review By Lee Hamlet on September 19th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THE GRUFFEST OF BILLY GOATSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Unleash chaos as a grumpy goat in this humorous but short-lived casual game.   | Read more »
A New and Improved Wunderlist is Here fo...
A New and Improved Wunderlist is Here for iOS 8 Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Evernote Update for iOS 8 Adds Web Clipp...
Evernote Update for iOS 8 Adds Web Clipping, Quick Notes, and More Posted by Ellis Spice on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Apple Names Ultimate Productivity Bundl...
Apple Names Ultimate Productivity Bundle by Readdle as the Essential Bundle on the App Store Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Updated Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
Mac Pros available for up to $260 off MSRP
Adorama has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 4-core Mac Pro: $2839.99, $160 off MSRP - 6-core Mac Pro: $3739.99, $260... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pros avai...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1379 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more
Previous-generation 15-inch 2.0GHz Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has leftover previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros now available for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $400 off original MSRP. B&H... Read more
21″ 2.7GHz iMac available for $1179, save $12...
Adorama has 21″ 2.7GHz Hawell iMacs on sale for $1179.99 including free shipping. Their price is $120 off MSRP. NY and NJ sales tax only. Read more
iOS 8 Adoption Rate Slower than iOS 7, 6, Hit...
Apple began pushing out iOS 8 updates to eligible devices around 1pm ET on September 17, 2014. However, unlike with iOS 7, which boasted a wide variety of differences from its predecessor iOS 6, in... Read more
LIkely Final Definitive OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks...
Apple has released what will almost certainly be the last incremental version number update of OS X 10.9 Mavericks (save for futire security updates) before OS X 10.10 Yosemite is released next month... Read more
Fingerprints, Apple Pay and Identity Theft Wa...
On Sep 9th, CEO Tim Cook unveiled Apple Pay, along with the new iPhone 6 and iWatch. Apple Pay is a newly developed technology that utilizes a near field communication (NFC) to enable customer... Read more
Amazon Introduces Two All-New Kindles
Amazon on Thursday introduced the 7th generation of its Kindle dedicated e-reader device: Kindle Voyage, its top-of-the-line e-reader, and the new $79 Kindle, with a 20% faster processor, twice the... Read more
Save up to $300 on the price of a new Mac wit...
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

Jobs Board

*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
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and 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
*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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.