Spotlight: Michael Clark, V.P.Engineering, Marketcircle Inc.
Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 02
Column Tag: MacTech
Spotlight: Michael Clark, V.P. Engineering, Marketcircle Inc.
Your first computer:
The first computer I can remember was an Apple II. I was too young to appreciate it at the time unfortunately, but I do remember it was a kit my dad built, the case was partly made of wood!
What attracts you to working on the Mac?
One of the biggest draws for me when I started working with Apple stuff again was OS X. I love the mix between the great productive GUI and the Terminal. I still do a lot of work on the command line, and I would really miss that if it weren't there.
Another key thing about the Mac platform that I love are the APIs available. Cocoa is amazing, and the new APIs that Apple are adding around Cocoa are really great. CoreData, CoreAnimation, CoreImage, etc., etc. It is a really rewarding experience developing software with these tools because of the speed at which you can accomplish great things.
If I could change one thing about Apple/OS X, I'd:
I am not sure I would change anything. I am not saying that Apple or OS X are perfect, but they are complex ecosystems. You change one thing and that has consequences throughout the ecosystem. I think we (Mac users) have it really good compared to the alternatives so I am happy letting Apple do their thing. They are doing a great job; why throw a monkey wrench into the works?
Okay, I have one thing... Retroactively fix bugs! If a bug is fixed for Leopard, why not put the fix in Tiger? We often report bugs or problems and get the "It's fixed in the next OS" response. I know why they do what they do, but it makes it hard at times for software developers.
What's the coolest tech thing you've done using OSX?
In 2003 we had an interesting challenge on our hands, we needed to write a Palm conduit for Daylite. What made this challenge interesting was the lack of MachO compiled libraries from Palm, their libraries were (still are) built for CFM. All our code is OS X only, MachO, we never did pre-OS X work so really didn't have much experience with CFM based stuff. We ended up having to write a hybrid conduit solution, part CFM (loadable by HotSync Manager) and part MachO (to be able to use our existing business logic frameworks). At the time, AFAIK, we were the only ones to accomplish this, except for Apple.
Where can we see a sample of your work?
Head over to www.marketcircle.com and download either Daylite or Billings. I have had a hand in both products, more so in Daylite than Billings. Then head over to store.marketcircle.com and buy yourself a license for either, as I wrote our online store in WebObjects, as well as our licensing code. ;)
We have some great engineers working at Marketcircle, it would be hard to single out any work I have done on the applications as we all work hard together making sure that all solutions "just work".
The next way I'm going to impact IT/OS X/the Mac universe is:
Well.... I could tell you, but then you know how it goes... :)
Keep posted to www.marketcircle.com for the answer to this question.