The Shape of Everything
A website mostly about Mac stuff, written by Gus Mueller
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June 13, 2011

When asked how this year's WWDC was, my standard response was "interesting". There are many many good things coming in OS X Lion and I can't wait for it to ship. For devs like myself that have apps in the App Store which perform a number of different functions (client/server networking, printing, using the microphone and camera, using the AddressBook, un-inhibited access to the file system, etc- I'm talking about VoodooPad here and to a lesser extent Acorn), November is going to be interesting.

Unfortunately I'm not Entitled to be more specific here because of my NDA with Apple. That would be like throwing sand in their face.

Hint.

Hint.

Onward.

So a big change is coming down the line for developers and after realizing just what it meant, I was pretty upset at first. But as the week went by and I started to better understand what is going on with "New Tech" and the nifty new ways that Apple is helping us get there, the more I started to realize that this change will be a very good thing in the long run and doubly so for our customers. This of course assumes Apple doesn't wield New Tech like an axe. Which of course I'm sure they will and devs will scream and blog about it, and then it'll get fixed. And then it'll happen again, and maybe it'll get fixed again. Same as we've seen before.

Steven Frank summed it up nicely for me in a couple of tweets. I'm not sure if Steven was specifically referring to what I'm thinking of, but his thoughts helped me out a bit:

"Having done denial, anger, bargaining and depression, I think I am finally starting to approach acceptance of the App Store. Mostly."

And next:

"The key for me is to grasp that Apple's success drives our success and always has. If we get whomped by them we'll adapt, as we have before."

So my strategy going forward is to just roll with it. I was around for the Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X transition, and I saw what happened to developers who fought back against change and wanted to cling to the old ways. Their apps suffered for it, they lost customers, and things were generally not good for them. OS X Lion is a big change in many ways and it's so much easier to see The Unification coming straight for us like a train. Some of us may have to drastically change our apps, or even rewrite. Some apps will just die from bitrot. Yes, it sucks re-writing perfectly good code instead of adding new features or making bug fixes.

On the other hand, it's so easy to see an OS X (10.8) check box that says "Allow untrusted applications to run". And it'll be turned off by default. Will you be ready for that?

I'll leave you with one final tweet from Steven:

"@monkeydom Yes, that is going to suck. But it'll either work itself out or.. I dunno, we'll start over with a new app."

And a quote from Steve Jobs:

"When I got back here in 1997, I was looking for more room, and I found an archive of old Macs and other stuff. I said, 'Get it away!' and I shipped all that shit off to Stanford. If you look backward in this business, you'll be crushed. You have to look forward."

Update: there's a good read on the dev forums as well.