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

Monosnap 3.5.9 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs. Features Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel... Read more
Tweetbot 3 for Twitter 3.3.1 - Popular T...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.8.0 - GUI for OpenVPN.
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
Bookends 13.2.5 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Quicken 2019 5.11.2 - Complete personal...
Quicken makes managing your money easier than ever. Whether paying bills, upgrading from Windows, enjoying more reliable downloads, or getting expert product help, Quicken's new and improved features... Read more
Bookends 13.2.5 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Quicken 2019 5.11.2 - Complete personal...
Quicken makes managing your money easier than ever. Whether paying bills, upgrading from Windows, enjoying more reliable downloads, or getting expert product help, Quicken's new and improved features... Read more
Dashlane 6.1927.0 - Password manager and...
Dashlane is an award-winning service that revolutionizes the online experience by replacing the drudgery of everyday transactional processes with convenient, automated simplicity - in other words,... Read more
Capo 3.7.4 - Slow down and learn to play...
Capo lets you slow down your favorite songs so you can hear the notes and learn how they are played. With Capo, you can quickly tab out your songs atop a highly-detailed OpenCL-powered spectrogram... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.153 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom)... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Void Tyrant guide - Tips and tricks for...
Void Tyrant continues to get a lot of play in these parts. Probably because the game is just so deep and varied. The next stop on our guide series for Void Tyrant is class-specific guides. First up is the Knight, as it’s the first class anyone has... | Read more »
Summon beasts and battle evil in epic re...
Imagine a tale of conlict between factions of good and evil, where rogueish heroes summon beasts to aid them in them in warfare and courageously battle dragons over fields of scorched earth and brimstone - that's exactly the essence of epic fantasy... | Read more »
Upcoming visual novel Arranged shines a...
If you’re in the market for a new type of visual novel designed to inform and make you think deeply about its subject matter, then Arranged by Kabuk Games could be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a wholly unique take on marital traditions in... | Read more »
TEPPEN guide - The three best decks in T...
TEPPEN’s unique take on the collectible card game genre is exciting. It’s just over a week old, but that isn’t stopping lots of folks from speculating about the long-term viability of the game, as well as changes and additions that will happen over... | Read more »
Intergalactic puzzler Silly Memory serve...
Recently released matching puzzler Silly Memory is helping its fans with their intergalactic journeys this month with some very special offers on in-app purchases. In case you missed it, Silly Memory is the debut title of French based indie... | Read more »
TEPPEN guide - Tips and tricks for new p...
TEPPEN is a wild game that nobody asked for, but I’m sure glad it exists. Who would’ve thought that a CCG featuring Capcom characters could be so cool and weird? In case you’re not completely sure what TEPPEN is, make sure to check out our review... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World guide - Other games that...
We now live in a post-Dr. Mario World world, and I gotta say, things don’t feel too different. Nintendo continues to squirt out bad games on phones, causing all but the most stalwart fans of mobile games to question why they even bother... | Read more »
Strategy RPG Brown Dust introduces its b...
Epic turn-based RPG Brown Dust is set to turn 500 days old next week, and to celebrate, Neowiz has just unveiled its biggest and most exciting update yet, offering a host of new rewards, increased gacha rates, and a brand new feature that will... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World is yet another disappoin...
As soon as I booted up Dr. Mario World, I knew I wasn’t going to have fun with it. Nintendo’s record on phones thus far has been pretty spotty, with things trending downward as of late. [Read more] | Read more »
Retro Space Shooter P.3 is now available...
Shoot-em-ups tend to be a dime a dozen on the App Store, but every so often you come across one gem that aims to shake up the genre in a unique way. Developer Devjgame’s P.3 is the latest game seeking to do so this, working as a love letter to the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

B&H drops prices another $50 on clearance...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance 2018 13″ MacBook Airs by a further $50 with models now available for $250 off Apple’s original MSRP. Overnight shipping, or expedited shipping, is free... Read more
Find the best sales & lowest prices on Ap...
Our Apple award-winning price trackers are the best place to look for the best sales and lowest prices on Apple gear. Scan our price trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and... Read more
Apple has clearance 2018 13″ MacBook Airs now...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at only $849. Each MacBook features a new outer case, comes with a standard Apple one-year warranty, and is shipped free. The... Read more
Save $400 on the 8-Core iMac Pro today at Ama...
Amazon has the base 8-core iMac Pro on sale today for $4599 including free shipping. Their price is $400 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the currently lowest price available for an iMac Pro. For the... Read more
Flash sale! New 11″ 1TB WiFi iPad Pros for th...
Amazon has the 11″ 1TB WiFi iPad Pro on sale today for only $1199.99 including free shipping. Their price is $350 off Apple’s MSRP for this model, and it’s the lowest price ever for a 1TB 11″ iPad... Read more
Weekend Deal: 2018 13″ MacBook Airs starting...
B&H Photo has clearance 2018 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at only $999 with all models now available for $200 off Apple’s original MSRP. Overnight shipping, or expedited shipping, is free... Read more
Apple has clearance 10.5″ iPad Pros available...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available starting at $469. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each iPad, outer shells are new, and shipping is free: – 64GB 10″ iPad Pro... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished iPad mini 4 models...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 32GB iPad mini 4 WiFi models for $229 shipped. That’s $70 off original MSRP for the iPad mini 4. Space Gray, Silver, and Gold colors are available. Read more
Apple, Yet Again, Is Missing An Ultraportable...
EDITORIAL: 07.19.19 Prior to the decision made by Apple earlier this month to retire the thin and light MacBook model with a 12-inch retina display, the Cupertino, California-based company offered,... Read more
Verizon is offering a 50% discount on iPhone...
Verizon is offering 50% discounts on Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models though July 24th, plus save 50% on activation fees. New line required. The fine print: “New device payment & new... Read more

Jobs Board

Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**711346BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 001095-Chesterfield-Store **Job Description:** Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**704899BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000135-Pleasant Hill-Store **Job Description:** **What does Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**707083BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000045-Rockford-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**702908BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 000360-Williston-Store Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**711023BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000012-St Cloud-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.