It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here. Too long. And it’s a sad day to start.
Steve Jobs and Apple is the reason I got into computers. I started off using and developing on an old Apple II+ by Bell and Howell in 1983ish.
When the Mac was introduced in 1984, I begged my dad for one, and thankfully he got me one. The rest as they say is history.
I’ve seen Steve talk, both at WWDCs over many years and during my time at Apple in the Newton group – which was some good talks and some bad “we’re shutting you down” talks.
I respected every time he talked, both good and bad. He will be missed, but I have the upmost confidence in the team at Apple, some of whom I know.
And I have the upmost confidence in us, Apple developers, to uphold the “make your app as good as the Apple apps”.
Rest in peace Steve. I hope you are in Heaven now, meeting Jesus and all the great folks who have passed before you. I’ll look you up when I arrive.
Which, for me isn’t a big deal at all – I had only signed up for it years ago to try the food.
But I wanted to say – wow, what a great conversation – the lady who called was genuinely happy about me coming, and excited for next week. And she’d happily turn off that flag for me in my account.
A pleasant change from faceless application rejections (of which I have not yet experienced).
This morning when I started reading rumors of Apple announcing 10.6 at WWDC on Monday, I thought “not gonna happen”.
My reasoning was the following:
- 10.5 hasn’t been out long enough for a really wide user adaption.
- Users won’t want to pay another $120ish for a new OS so soon.
- Apple doesn’t have enough engineers to add enough new features to an OS to be a big enough upgrade.
Then John Gruber posted a few interesting comments – first to an article about Snow Leopard being ‘pure Cocoa‘. This makes complete sense to me – see the QTKit as an example of the start of that. Having a consistent Cocoa API for everything is a win for newer developers who don’t know (or care) about Carbon.
Gruber also points to TUAW’s post on the subject, in which they comment that it’s a stability and performance release, and even perhaps a grand unifying OS release (Touch/Macintosh/Apple TV).
This unifying theory more than anything makes the most sense to me. Apple, like every Mac programming company these days, is hurting for good people. When they try and hire folks, it’s often a hard sell to get someone to move to the bay area given it’s high cost of living. So, why not consolidate the code, and have one repository containing all three from which you can build off of, with a shared base of source. It would alleviate having to build three large teams, or even three medium teams. One core OS team, and then three smaller teams to do the respective UI and platform specific frameworks.
What would this allow them to provide? Well, we’ve seen two – AppKit and UIKit. How about a third? AppleTVKit? I wonder if one of the unannounced sessions is one on the programming environment for the next release of the Apple TV ‘operating system’? I wonder if Apple will have a built in application store? It would be a fantastic opportunity for Apple to pull ahead in the set top box arena. Netflix Player anyone?
Justin of Second Gear posts a great article on how to have a healthy WWDC. Wise words if you are going.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what we might see at WWDC next week, and I don’t normally like to write posts like this.. I have no insider info, but my friends still work at Apple, and I know where they work and when they are busy and not..
But, in no particular order is my thoughts on what we’ll see at WWDC:
- The ‘secret features’ we were promised. These have to appear. Something called the secret features has to be announced by Steve. I have a few thoughts on what they might be, but I think the biggest one is going to be a new look for Aqua. Or something to replace Aqua. Things have just felt bolted on to me in the ‘shall not be mentioned’.
- Free iPhones for all the attendees. Yes, I still remember the free iSights from a few years ago. Yes, deep down I hope Steve surprises us with the ability to either get free iPhones, or buy the first 5000 without having to line up at a store. Deep deep down I hope we can pick one up with our DVD of Leopard. But then I wake up and realize it’s not going to happen.
- No SDK for the iPhone. I haven’t worked on any sort of SDK, but I’ve been around Apple and Apple developers/evangalists/cocoa api engineers enough to know that they aren’t going to have time to rush out an SDK for third party developers. I hope they have time to finish the iPhone to a good enough quality to not spoil the first day purchasers experiences.
- New enclosures for the Mac Pro’s and monitors. We’ve had these encloses for a long while, I think a good 3 years correct? I understood this at first – hey, we’re switching to Intel, but they’re still Macs! Don’t worry, stick with us. Now.. well now, here we are.. everything is Intel based, we’re on second revisions of chip sets, sometimes third. Let’s see what Jonathan Ives and his folks have been doing.
- Wednesday night is TBD. I think we are going to see Ratatouille on the big screen before the June 29th release date. Which would suck because I want to also go to the Cocoaheads meeting at the Apple store in San Francisco.
I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on what we might see.
It’s been a really good WWDC so far. A lot of great new, iterative work by Apple on OS X’s features. The big hit judging by the lines to get into the sessions is XCode 3.0, the new Interface Builder, Objective C 2.0, and Core Animation.
Speaking of the crowds, I’m pretty shocked at the lines. There are a TON of people here, to the point that rooms are closed as full, not allowing any more people in (probably a fire marshal thing).
Initially during the keynote I said to a coworker “I’ll be upgrading to Leopard just for Time Machine”. After seeing sessions on Core Animation and the Cocoa support for it (all of which I can’t write on) I think Leopard will be most popular because of applications that use Core Animation. There’s enough there to take a chance on writing a Leopard only app.
Last night before the ADC Awards, I headed over to the Metreon to pick up something a bit more healthy than pizza, and I happened upon Brent Simmons eating dinner.. stepping out of my somewhat shy zone, I said hi and introduced myself again, and he graciously invited me to sit with him for dinner.. it was good, but I was nervous – maybe because I’m a user of his software, and I know what it’s like when when users come up and start requesting things.. and he’s a celebrity in a sense.. or at least it feels like it to me.
Tonight I went to a dinner with some of the Portland CocoaHead folks – it was fun, and we’re hoping to restart the group in a few months.
Tomorrow, more sessions, and then the campus bash. Oh, and I have a wicked sore throat.. fun fun!