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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

CleanMyMac 3.9.0 - $39.95
CleanMyMac makes space for the things you love. Sporting a range of ingenious new features, CleanMyMac lets you safely and intelligently scan and clean your entire system, delete large, unused files... Read more
Apple High Sierra 10.13 - The latest OS...
macOS High Sierra introduces new core technologies that improve the most important functions of your Mac. From rearchitecting how it stores your data to improving the efficiency of video streaming to... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 7.4.3 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro 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... Read more
OmniGraffle 7.4.3 - Create diagrams, flo...
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
VueScan 9.5.86 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
ExpanDrive 6.1.0 - Access cloud storage...
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
Yojimbo 4.1 - Data information organizer...
Yojimbo empowers Mac users to manage, effortlessly and securely, the onslaught of information encountered every day at work and at home, even across multiple computers. Yojimbo stores different data... Read more
Airmail 3.5 - Powerful, minimal email cl...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
Cocktail 11.0 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Numi 3.17.2 - Menu-bar calculator suppor...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more

The best visual novels on mobile
Narrative games have been around for ages, but only now have they been creeping into the mainstream spotlight. These games tell some of the industry's finest stories, and they break new ground in terms of gameplay and mechanics regularly. Here are... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
It's pretty much been one big release after another. We were privy to a bunch of surprises this week, with a lot of games we'd been waiting for quite some time dropping unexpectedly. We hope you're free this weekend, because there is a lot for... | Read more »
Stormbound: Kingdom Wars guide - how to...
Stormbound: Kingdom Wars is an excellent new RTS turned card battler out now on iOS and Android. Lovers of strategy will get a lot of enjoyment out of Stormbound's chess-like mechanics, and it's cardbased units are perfect for anyone who loves the... | Read more »
The best AR apps and games on iOS right...
iOS 11 has officially launched, and with it comes Apple's ARKit, a helpful framework that makes it easier than ever for developers to create mobile AR experiences. To celebrate the occassion, we're featuring some of the best AR apps and games on... | Read more »
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of...
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice 1.00.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.00.00 (iTunes) Description: ************************************************※IMPORTANT※・Please read the “When... | Read more »
Kpressor (Utilities)
Kpressor 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The ultimate ZIP compression application for iPhone and iPad. - Full integration of iOS 11 with support for multitasking.-... | Read more »
Find out how you can save £35 and win a...
Nothing raises excitement like a good competition, and we’re thrilled to announce our latest contest. We’ll be sending one lucky reader and a friend to the Summoners War World Arena Championship at Le Comedia in Paris on October 7th. It’s the... | Read more »
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story...
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Another Lost Phone is a game about exploring the social life of a young woman whose phone you have just... | Read more »
The Witness (Games)
The Witness 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you. You don't remember who you are, and... | Read more »
Egg, Inc. guide - how to build your gold...
Egg, Inc.'s been around for some time now, but don't you believe for one second that this quirky clicker game has gone out of style. The game keeps popping up on Reddit and other community forums thanks to the outlandish gameplay (plus, the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Snag a Certified Refurbished Apple Pencil for...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Apple Pencils available for $85 including free shipping. Their price is $14 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a Pencil. Read more
12-inch 64GB iPad Pro on sale for $749, save...
Adorama has 12″ 64GB iPad Pros on sale today for $749 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iPad minis availa...
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
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros on sale fo...
B&H Photo has 2017 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook: $1199 $100 off MSRP 12... Read more
Sunday sale: 13-inch 3.1GHz MacBook Pros for...
Amazon has 2017 13″ 3.1GHz MacBook Pros on sale today for up to $150 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXV2LL/A): $1649.99 $150 off MSRP – 13″ 3.1GHz... Read more
Looking for a 2017 12″ Retina MacBook? Save $...
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 Offering Up To $455 Credit Toward iPhon...
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are now available at the Apple Store, and you can receive up to $375 credit toward a new iPhone purchase when you trade in your eligible smartphone. Photo Courtesy Apple Just... Read more
AnyTrans Offers iOS Users Three Ways For Movi...
iMobie Inc. today announceed AnyTrans v6.0.1, which now can help iOS users move all data to iPhone 8/8 Plus seamlessly. The software is available both on Mac and Windows and fully able to move all... Read more
Snag a 13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pro for $100 of...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook... Read more
Verizon offers new iPhone 8 for $100-$300 off...
Verizon is offering the new iPhone 8 for up to $300 off MSRP with an eligible trade-in: • $300 off: iPhone 6S/6S Plus/7/7 Plus, Google Pixel XL, LG G6, Moto Z2 Force, Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge/S8/S8... Read more

Jobs Board

Data Engineer - *Apple* Media Products - Ap...
Job Summary Apple is seeking a highly skilled data engineer to join the Data Engineering team within Apple Media Products. AMP (home to Apple Music, App Read more
Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 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
Instructional Designer, *Apple* Product Doc...
Job Summary The Apple Product Documentation team is looking for an instructional designer or a video editor to write user documentation for its professional video Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.