TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Nov 95 Viewpoint
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Scott T Boyd, Editor-at-Large

Well, as of this writing we still haven’t heard anything of substance from Apple about the MacHack Top Ten <http://www.machack.com/>. Sure, they released a statement about the top 5 items, but it was the same old “important future direction” verbiage we so often hear from Apple. From Apple’s initial response:

“Stay tuned...as we work out plans ”

“There’s a lot of support for this as an idea ”

“We are investigating what would be involved ”

“We’ll consider validating it ”

“We’re evaluating ”

“Any volunteers?”

“It’s a goal ”

“A topic of hot discussion ”

“ as that happens we’ll have a better vehicle ”

“Keep tracking our product announcements ”

[Thanks to Al Evans <al@powertools.com> for picking out the operative phrases.]

Funny, I didn’t think much of the whole Top 10 Developer Issues list idea at the conference, but Apple has committed to address the issues, so I find their lack of action disappointing.

It simply is not common practice for Apple to do market research on the needs and wants of Macintosh developers. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Apple’s relationship with developers lacks a few items.

It’s time for Apple to start delivering solutions to other problems that have long plagued developers. Let’s talk about a few constructive ideas.

Information

At twenty-seven volumes and growing, Inside Macintosh is starting to represent a significant investment for developers, in terms of both time and money. Even so, developers could use much more. For example, as Sean Parent, Photoshop engineer and former Blue Meanie, recently said:

“Apple, what I want is a clear and precise explanation of every external public interface. I want to know what all the limitations, side effects, bugs, exceptional behavior, invariants, assumptions, version history, and supported parameter ranges are. Inside Mac gives me about 10% of that.”

Once we have a good start on that, publishing the information on the Internet and on cheap CD’s would make a great next step.

Overcoming limitations

TextEdit, the Menu Manager, the Dialog Manager, and the List Manager have long represented Apple’s strange affinity for living with arbitrary limitations. They have all evolved just about as far as they can. Maybe it’s time to offer up some new, improved toolbox managers. While it runs the risk of dying of not-invented-here syndrome, would it be that far-fetched for Apple to license some third-party solutions?

For example, imagine the benefit to developers should Apple decide to do away with the 32K TextEdit limit by taking Chris Thomas’ recent suggestion on Semper.Fi, “Just put WASTE in a shared library, license it for inclusion with System 7.6 and beyond, and be done with it.” Well, write some docs and test it a bit, too.

Bringing Apple applications into the 90’s

Where do we start on this one? OpenDoc support in the Finder and MPW? AppleScript support for Apple control panels, SimpleText, MPW, and others?

Attention

Developers need Apple’s attention. Apple needs developers’ attention. It all comes down to rebuilding the relationship between Apple and developers, but we’ll save some of this for later. Don’t forget to check out the web site for further developments, which Apple has promised by the beginning of October.

Picture, If You Will

Rarely does Apple put out advertising that we can all be proud of. Sure, there have been ads that made us feel good, but deep down we usually know that the ads are preaching to the choir. When was the last time we saw an advertising campaign that we all just knew sold oodles of machines? I don’t even know if the “great” 1984 commercial sold many machines.

To be fair, Apple used to have some good ads which managed to deliver the “wow!” factor. I recently thought that they’d made a comeback, but I was rudely surprised to find out that they were actually Compaq ads. I was shocked.

However, it’s all the rage to drive $10B companies from the back seat lately, so here goes. If I was in charge, I’d probably try a few wacky things. First ad campaign? Show developers writing software on the Macintosh. We don’t need nuns with pagers or corporate execs with surfboards, we’ve got real programmers putting together major-league products using Macintosh.

The Mac’s a toy, right? Fine, ask them, “What kind of toy builds products like Adobe Photoshop? What kind of company uses Macintosh to build products which contribute to a $598M annual revenue cash flow?” Coal miners riding in coal cars (“Got a PC? You must be unenlightened.”), dumb dads configuring a PC (how many millions of PC users are going to believe that they’re really dumb if they have a PC that gets the job done?), and a crazed maniac taping an 800 number up on a glass wall (who knows what this means!?!). Could really smart developers who build tremendously great software and make a gazillion bucks be any worse?

Trivia Bits

Why is Ticks one of the worst low memory globals to access directly on the Power Macintosh? Hint: is $16A divisible by 4?

Food For Thought

“Remove these items because they can cause clutter and use a large amount of memory: QuickDraw GX and PowerTalk.”

- from a product installation guide

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Backup and Sync 3.46 - File backup and s...
Backup and Sync (was Google Drive) is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a... Read more
iClock 5.5 - Customizable menu bar clock...
iClock replaces the old Apple's default menu bar clock with more features, customization and increases your productivity. Features: Have your Apple or Google calendar instantly available from the... Read more
Garmin Express 6.18.0.0 - Manage your Ga...
Garmin Express is your essential tool for managing your Garmin devices. Update maps, golf courses and device software. You can even register your device. Update maps Update software Register your... Read more
MarsEdit 4.3.5 - Quick and convenient bl...
MarsEdit is a blog editor for OS X that makes editing your blog like writing email, with spell-checking, drafts, multiple windows, and even AppleScript support. It works with with most blog services... Read more
Xcode 11.0 - Integrated development envi...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
DaisyDisk 4.8 - $9.99
DaisyDisk allows you to visualize your disk usage and free up disk space by quickly finding and deleting big unused files. The program scans your disk and displays its content as a sector diagram... Read more
VMware Fusion 11.5.0 - Run Windows apps...
VMware Fusion and Fusion Pro - virtualization software for running Windows, Linux, and other systems on a Mac without rebooting. The latest version includes full support for Windows 10, macOS Mojave... Read more
Apple Configurator 2.10 - Configure and...
Apple Configurator makes it easy to deploy iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV devices in your school or business. Use Apple Configurator to quickly configure large numbers of devices connected to... Read more
Spotify 1.1.15.448. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
MenuMeters 1.9.8 - CPU, memory, disk, an...
MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for Mac OS X. Although there are numerous other programs which do the same thing, none had quite the feature set I was looking... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Marvel Strike Force is adding Agent Coul...
Marvel Strike Force, the popular squad-based RPG, is set to receive a bunch of new content over the next few weeks. [Read more] | Read more »
Lots of premium games are going free (so...
You may have seen over the past couple weeks a that a bunch of premium games have suddenly become free. This isn’t a mistake, nor is it some last hurrah before Apple Arcade hits, and it’s important to know that these games aren’t actually becoming... | Read more »
Yoozoo Games launches Saint Seiya Awaken...
If you’re into your anime, you’ve probably seen or heard of Saint Seiya. Based on a shonen manga by Masami Kurumada, the series was massively popular in the 1980s – especially in its native Japan. Since then, it’s grown into a franchise of all... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special...
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery is a terrifying new nightmare from developer Illumix. Last week, FNAF fans were sent into a frenzy by a short teaser for what we now know to be Special Delivery. Those in the comments were quick to... | Read more »
Rush Rally 3's new live events are...
Last week, Rush Rally 3 got updated with live events, and it’s one of the best things to happen to racing games on mobile. Prior to this update, the game already had multiplayer, but live events are more convenient in the sense that it’s somewhat... | Read more »
Why your free-to-play racer sucks
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re... | Read more »
Steam Link Spotlight - The Banner Saga 3
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry talked about Terry Cavanaugh’s incredible Dicey Dungeons. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience... | Read more »
Combo Quest (Games)
Combo Quest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Combo Quest is an epic, time tap role-playing adventure. In this unique masterpiece, you are a knight on a heroic quest to retrieve... | Read more »
Hero Emblems (Games)
Hero Emblems 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** 25% OFF for a limited time to celebrate the release ** ** Note for iPhone 6 user: If it doesn't run fullscreen on your device... | Read more »
Puzzle Blitz (Games)
Puzzle Blitz 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Puzzle Blitz is a frantic puzzle solving race against the clock! Solve as many puzzles as you can, before time runs out! You have... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

11″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale today for up to $2...
Amazon has new 2018 Apple 11″ WiFi iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores. Be sure to select... Read more
Select 12″ iPad Pros on sale for $200 off App...
Amazon has select 2018 Apple 12″ iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores. Be sure to select Amazon... Read more
Get one of Apple’s new 2019 iPhone 11 models...
Boost Mobile is offering the new 2019 Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max for $100 off MSRP. Their discount reduces the cost of an iPhone 11 to $599 for the 64GB models, $899 for the 64GB... Read more
13″ 1.4GHz Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has new 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP. Overnight shipping is free to many addresses in the US. These are the same MacBook Pros... Read more
4-core and 6-core 2018 Mac minis available at...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 Mac minis available on their online store for $120-$170 off the cost of new models. Each mini comes with a new outer case plus a standard Apple one-year warranty... Read more
$250 prepaid Visa card with any Apple iPhone,...
Xfinity Mobile will include a free $250 prepaid Visa card with the purchase of any new iPhone, new line activation, and transfer of phone number to Xfinity Mobile. Offer is valid through October 27,... Read more
Sprint is offering the 64GB Apple iPhone 11 P...
Sprint has the new 64GB iPhone 11 Pro available for $12.50 per month for new customers with an eligible trade-in in of iPhone 7 or newer. That’s down from their standard monthly lease of $41.67. The... Read more
Final week: Apple’s 2019 Back to School Promo...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $400 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu email address qualify for the discount... Read more
Save $30 on Apple’s AirPods at these reseller...
Amazon is offering discounts on new 2019 Apple AirPods ranging up to $30 off MSRP as part of their Labor Day sale. Shipping is free: – AirPods with Charging Case: $144.95 $15 off MSRP – AirPods with... Read more
Preorder your Apple Watch Series 5 today at A...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 5 GPS models available for preorder and on sale today for $15 off Apple’s MSRP. Shipping is free and starts on September 20th: – 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 GPS: $384.99 $... Read more

Jobs Board

Systems Analyst ( *Apple* & Android) (Jo...
Systems Analyst ( Apple & Android) (Job ID: 572513) + 11751 Meadowville Ln, Chester, VA 23836, USA + Full-time Company Description Computer Consultants International, Read more
*Apple* Mobile App Developer - eiWorkflow So...
…eiWorkflow Solutions, LLC is currently looking for a consultant for the following role. Apple Mobile App Developer Tasks the role will be performing: ? Mobile App Read more
Essbase Developer - *Apple* - Theorem, LLC...
Job Summary Apple is seeking an experienced, detail-minded Essbase developer to join our worldwide business development and strategy team. If you are someone who Read more
Student Employment (Blue *Apple* Cafe) Spri...
Student Employment (Blue Apple Cafe) Spring 2019 Penn State University Campus/Location: Penn State Brandywine Campus City: Media, PA Date Announced: 12/20/2018 Date Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**732093BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 001441-Beaumont-Store **Job Description:** The Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.