TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 00 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Neil Ticktin, Publisher, MacTech Magazine

Mac OS X... Are We There Yet?

I'm sit here today, having just received my copy of Mac OS X beta, and I begin to wonder, as you probably are... what's going to happen with this? When will developers make the jump to X? What does the future hold for us as developers? Now, while I won't profess to being a soothsayer, I'll take the plunge and put my opinion in print for the world to see.

Apple is Serious... this time

The developer community has been burned by Apple's promise of a modern operating system since, say, the early to mid-1990's. Yes, it has been that long. We've been through the original System 8 (not the one that shipped), Copland, rumors of the BeOS, Rhapsody, Yellow Box, and more. Time and time again, Apple has simply not delivered the promise of a "modern operating system". Some were technical problems, some were business problems... and some were just plain old change in direction.

So, why should we believe that this time Apple is going to make this happen?

Two reasons: Steve Jobs and Public Beta. Steve Jobs can't stand to be publicly humiliated. He's stood up saying, "the train has left the station", and that (paraphrased) we're moving forward with Mac OS X, not as a multi-prong strategy, but as a single strategy for the future. Now, whether they ship Q1 2000 or Q2, I don't know... and it doesn't matter in the long run. Steve Jobs will make sure it ships in one form or another, relatively early on next year. He just won't stand for it being otherwise.

How do we know that this isn't just some promise as we've heard before? A public beta. Not only does the general public have tangible evidence in its hands, but early reports are that it runs fairly well... a good indication that we're, in relative terms, close.

Of course, there's always a third reason why things are different this time. Apple has moved into the arena of other, very profitable OS vendors... they are charging for a beta! :) But seriously, you have to believe that they will follow through this time since they are bold enough to charge for the beta.

Yeah, Yeah... I'll Wait

There are already a lot of developers moving to X. But, some of you are holding back. This may be an important mistake, but not for the reasons that you are thinking.

It's pretty clear that the Classic environment on Mac OS X (i.e., the environment responsible for running non-carbonized Mac OS 9 applications) is going to work well. So, yes, your customers can run their Classic apps under X.

The issue is that launching the Classic environment takes time... and frankly, even if it can do something about it, Apple has no incentive to make it launch faster. Your customers will quickly learn that they want to avoid launching the Classic environment if they have a choice.

That's where you come in... you can make their experience with your product a good one, or you can set yourself up for them being disappointed in the Classic situation and blaming your product.

Bottom line: customers will want native and carbonized apps so they can avoid Classic. Now is the time to start working on it.

But I Have So Much to Do!

If you are like me, you have a million things to do, and not enough time to do them. Working on a new version of your application for an operating system that is technically not shipping, just hasn't bubbled up on the list. So, why should you move forward today?

First, I'm not going to tell you what you should do with your project... that's your call to make. Only you have the information to make such a decision. Though, there are a few things to consider.

Anecdotally at least, carbonizing is relatively easy. For example, a typical app could easily take as little as 2 weeks to carbonize to get it up and running. A bit longer to iron the issues out, and then of course testing. But, this is not a several month project, as it may seem.

More importantly, there are other benefits to carbonizing. Let me explain.

The things that slow folks down the most when carbonizing their apps typically are their own bugs. Many engineers are thrilled because they are re-writing bad code that they've wanted to get to for a while, but haven't had time.

Writing code that is properly carbonized actually turns out to be a good way to debug and test your program - and may result in lower QA or tech support costs. Mac OS X tells you now that you are stepping on memory... not some day down the road when you aren't expecting it. In addition, the development and debugging turn around time is much faster than with Mac OS 9 - in part because, you aren't generally crashing your system as you tracking down bugs.

The bottom line is that carbonizing your app is not the challenge or pain that people think it is. It's actually a lot easier, and once through the process, people are generally happy they did it citing that it wasn't as hard as they thought it would be.

Leading the Market

Look... Apple is going to push really, really hard here... hard on their own engineers, and hard on developers. The timing of when they will ship 1.0 will be dependent on two things: engineering and market response. If the market responds saying that they want lots of things changed, then Apple will have to do those in addition to the other items they already know about. Rest assured though... a 1.0 version of Mac OS X will ship sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, the acceptance of X as the current (and only) operating system will depend on market acceptance. I expect to see Apple pushing the timeline forward just ahead of the market. They've got experience with this... just the way they dove in on USB, FireWire, and even Wireless Networking. Yes, it will be a bit painful to make such a leap, but in recent years, Apple has been able to keep that pain period relatively short (look at USB).

Bottom line: Jobs is right... the train has left the station. If you are going to support Mac OS X in a way that will help promote your product, the time is now to carbonize.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Brawl Stars veteran-backed Octopo Studio...
The 2024 PlayX4 B2B is kicking off tomorrow in Ilsan, lasting until the 26th in KINTEX Hall 1, and Octopo Studio has announced that they will be making an appearance. Shooting RPG Bounty Pang will be on show as the developers seek publishing... | Read more »
The Astral Express sets off to bring Hon...
After vanquishing yet another threat and adding a fine hat to their wardrobe, you’d think the crew of the Astral Express would be able to kick back after their adventures in Penacony. Clearly not though, as HoYo has announced the next leg of the... | Read more »
Dragons rein supreme in Pokemon Unite as...
If you were looking for the strongest type in Pokemon and asked the fanbase, I would wager most people's thoughts would turn to Dragon. They hit hard, are often powerful, and get used by some of the toughest trainers. Pokemon Unite is honouring... | Read more »
Players can take a peek into the design...
It doesn’t matter how much effort developers put into their classes, or how many special little mechanics there are; if there is one that wields two blades, I’m ignoring everything else. Diablo Immortal recently announced such a class in the shape... | Read more »
Android users have a new option in the c...
When you are in the thick of a firefight or trying to pull off a mid-combat parkour flip through a squad of foes, sometimes touchscreen control just won’t do it for you. For those intense sessions, you could benefit from a good mobile controller,... | Read more »
Jagex releases the first of three origin...
At this point, I am sure everyone has heard of Runescape, and or Runescape Classic. It has been going strong for 23 years, with constant content and story coming out. Luckily for fans of the game, or fantasy in general, Jagex has announced an... | Read more »
Watcher of Realms unveils new story and...
Watcher of Realms players are in for quite the feast this month, as Moonton release two powerful new heroes, including one that will burst down even the most mighty of foes. Recruit your new friends, and then burn through the Main Quest expansion... | Read more »
Reverse: 1999 continues its trip down un...
The field trip to Australia continues in Reverse: 1999 as Phase 2 of Revival! The Uluru Games kicks off. You will be able to collect new characters, engage with new events, get hordes of free gifts, and follow the story of a mushroom-based... | Read more »
Ride into the zombie apocalypse in style...
Back in the good old days of Flash games, there were a few staples; Happy Wheels, Stick RPG, and of course the apocalyptic driver Earn to Die. Fans of the running over zombies simulator can rejoice, as the sequel to the legendary game, Earn to Die... | Read more »
Top Mobile Game Discounts
Every day, we pick out a curated list of the best mobile discounts on the App Store and post them here. This list won't be comprehensive, but it every game on it is recommended. Feel free to check out the coverage we did on them in the links below... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Amazon is blowing out clearance 13-inch M1 Ma...
Amazon has clearance Apple 13″ M1 MacBook Airs on Memorial Day sale for $300 off original MSRP, only $699. Their prices are the lowest available for new MacBooks this Holiday shopping season. Stock... Read more
MacBook Sale! 13-inch M2 MacBook Airs are onl...
Best Buy has Apple 13″ MacBook Airs with M2 CPUs in stock and back on sale this week on their online store for $150 off MSRP in Space Gray, Silver, Starlight, and Midnight colors. Prices start at... Read more
Apple increases iPhone trade-in values ahead...
Get up to $650 on the purchase of new or refurbished iPhone at Apple using their official Trade In program, now with increased values ahead of WWDC 2024. Trade in your old iPhone, and Apple will... Read more
Amazon has Apple’s iPad discounted to a new l...
Amazon has Apple’s 10th-generation WiFi iPads on sale discounted up to $40 off MSRP, starting at only $334. With the discounts, Amazon’s prices are the lowest we’ve seen for these iPads: – 10″ 10th-... Read more
13-inch M3 MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off...
Best Buy has Apple 13″ MacBook Airs with M3 CPUs in stock and on sale this week for $100 off MSRP. Prices start at $999. Their prices, along with Amazon’s, are the lowest currently available for new... Read more
Weekend Deal! Best Buy has Apple Watch Series...
Best Buy has Apple Watch Series 9 models on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store this weekend. Sale prices available for online orders only, in-store prices may vary. Order online, and choose... Read more
Apple Watch SE on sale starting at $199 this...
Best Buy has all Apple Watch SE models on sale this weekend for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Sale prices available for online orders only, in-store prices may vary. Order online, and choose... Read more
Mac Pro with M2 Ultra CPU on sale for $6699,...
In the market for one of Apple’s Mac Pro towers? B&H Photo has the base Mac Pro with an Apple M2 Ultra CPU, 64GB RAM, and 1TB SSD on sale for $6699 including free 1-2 day shipping to most... Read more
New May Verizon promotion: Switch and get a f...
Red Hot Deal Days at Verizon: Switch to Verizon this month, and get the 256GB iPhone 15 Pro for free, with trade-in, when you add a new line of service. Verizon is also offering a free cellular iPad... Read more
Updated Apple MacBook Price Trackers
Our Apple award-winning MacBook Price Trackers are continually updated with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability for 16″ and 14″ MacBook Pros along with 13″ and 15″ MacBook... Read more

Jobs Board

Salon Manager BTC - *Apple* Blossom Mall -...
Salon Manager BTC - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/144535/winchester-va-united-states) - Job Read more
Omnichannel Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mal...
Omnichannel Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Beauty Consultant - *Apple* Blossom Mall -...
Beauty Consultant - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Hair Stylist - *Apple* Blossom Mall - JCPen...
Hair Stylist - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Blossom Read more
Operations Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mall...
Operations Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.