[MD1] MacHack: Developers' Top 10 Issues
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[MD1] MacHack: Developers' Top 10 Issues

MacHack PR: Developers' Top 10 Issues

MacHack: The Annual Conference for Leading Edge Developers
c/o Expotech
1264 Bedford Road
Grosse Point Park, MI 48230

Contact: Carol Lynn
Tel: (313) 882-1824


Dearborn, MI -- June 29, 1999 -- MacHack 14 has come and gone, but
news continues to be made. Continuing a long tradition, MacHack has
announced the Top Ten Issues that face Macintosh developers over the
coming year.

The annual list is compiled from submissions made by MacHack
attendees. These concerns then voted on and ranked based on relevance
to these leading edge developers. The list in order of import follows.

Top Ten Developer Issues
as characterized at MacHack 14

Developer issue #1 -- MacsBug support
MacsBug is a critical Macintosh development tool. Developers need
Apple to dedicate engineering resources to this tool and to new ones
like it.

Developer issue #2 -- Greater stability, easier debugging Developers
need increased reliability and greater ease in debugging software on
Mac OS. Debug versions of frequently-used Mac OS routines that
include stricter than-normal parameter checking and error trapping
are always helpful. For example, EvenBetterBusError is a Mac
extension which makes buggy applications more likely to fail during
testing, and hence more likely to be fixed. Apple rolled this ability
into MacsBug, but left it turned off by default. With the feature
disabled, buggy code goes undiscovered and ships to customers.
Sotware testers would like the feature turned on by default.

Developer issue #3 -- Mac OS X look and feel Developers want Mac OS X
to look like a Macintosh, not like a workstation.

Developer issue #4 -- Documentation improvements Developers need
technical documentation to be available sooner, and to be more
complete, accurate, and accessible.

Developer issue #5 -- Better mouse and keyboard Developers believe
that high-end Macs need a better standard mouse and keyboard.

Developer issue #6 -- Machine differentiation for support needs
Developers need Macs to be more clearly-marked because support
staffers need to easily identify users' machines. For example,
currently there are three very different models of PowerBook G3 with
extremely similar names. Support staffers have trouble with the
current designations that distinguish models by the color of their
case or keyboard.

Developer issue #7 -- Extending the OS
The "patching" mechanism for extending the Mac OS in unplanned ways
is important for many reasons, including providing disability access.
Developers need a similar mechanism in Mac OS X.

Developer issue #8 -- Cleaning up Mac OS Developers believe that Mac
OS would benefit from being further cleaned up. Removing vestigial
code from the OS would improve memory footprint and performance
including faster booting.

Developer issue #9 -- Java
Developers need a clear direction on Java. A commitment from Apple
regarding support for Java and Java 2 would be greatly beneficial.

Developer issue #10 -- Open sourcing discontinued tools Many
developers still rely on tools that Apple no longer supports. Open
sourcing such tools would allow developers to maintain and improve
the tools they find essential.

These issues reflect the opinions of MacHack attendees as determined
by popular vote, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of
conference sponsors, employers of conference attendees, or Expotech,

MacHack 2000 will take place June 22-24, 2000, in Dearborn, Michigan.


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