[Openmcl-devel] Mac App store: will CCL apps fly?

Ron Garret ron at flownet.com
Sat Oct 23 10:03:14 PDT 2010

On Oct 23, 2010, at 7:37 AM, Paul Krueger wrote:

> Apple's array of documentation, sample code, tools, and other forms of developer assistance is absolutely unprecedented in my experience. So saying that Apple doesn't care about developers is just silly.

Perhaps I should have said that Apple doesn't care what developers *think*.  All Apple cares about is that they produce apps.

> Of course they care more about the customer experience because that fundamentally determines their success or failure. But there is clearly a symbiosis between those two that Apple understands very well.

Indeed.  But if the needs of consumers conflict with the needs of developers the developers will lose.

Example:  I do some high-def video editing, which means I need high-bandwidth external disks.  For years I was very happy with my MacBook Pro with a PCI Express ESATA card.  But that machine died, and on the new generation of machines the only way to connect an ESATA drive is to get a Mac Pro.  On their laptops instead of an ESATA connector I get a completely useless and redundant SD card slot.  So now I can download photos of kittens without an adapter (unless I have a Sony camera, in which case I'm still SOL) but now it takes me twice as long to get big files in and out.  (Thank God you can still get a MacBook Pro with FW800 or I don't know what I would do.)  And I'm surely not the only person on the planet who would really love to connect a fast external drive to a laptop.  Does Apple care?  No.  Because *my* being able to connect an ESATA drive to a new MacBook doesn't serve *their* needs.

BTW, I'm not saying that Apple is doing anything sinister.  They're making money hand over fist without breaking any laws.  That's capitalism.  More power to them.  I just don't see a happy future for *myself* (and Lisp programmers in general) in the Mac ecosystem.

> I've been doing and/or managing software development of one sort or another for almost 40 years. Although I'm very weary of reimplementing many of the same things over and over as new hardware/software/tools platforms come into vogue, I also accept that this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. That's the price you pay for also being able to do new things with new capabilities. I don't know exactly how things will shake out, but expecting that any currently comfortable development process will continue indefinitely just isn't realistic. I'm old enough to remember all the resistance to Linux and to OSX and to many other new ideas, when they first arrived too. Developers understandably don't like anything that obsoletes something they've put substantial effort into, but all I can say to younger developers is: "Get used to it".

What bothers me is not so much the obsolescence as the unprecedented control that Apple is taking.  I personally do not want to be beholden to a private bureaucracy that is in no way accountable to anyone but their shareholders.


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