[OT] GameOver Mr. Jobs

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Thu Apr 29 12:32:10 EDT 2010

Jeff Massung wrote:

> Most importantly, as it likely pertains to Rev and other middle-ware
> developers working with Apple on their TOS:
> "We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of
> software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in
> sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform.
> If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools,
> they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third
> party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a
> third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available
> to our developers.
> This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform
> development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one
> platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms.
> Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of
> features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked
> from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available
> on our competitor’s platforms."
> Read into it what you will.

True, most Java-based apps look pretty crappy, but that's not because 
Swing doesn't exist but merely because many Java developers are too lazy 
to use it well.

And it's also true (at least last time I used it) that Flash is almost 
entirely devoid of native-looking controls, so it's well nigh impossible 
to make truly HIG-conformant apps with it unless you carefully craft 
every control yourself.

But tools like Rev and even RealBASIC are used by people who care about 
how well their apps conform to the GUI conventions of their target 
platforms, and make a good effort to do so.

Lumping all high-level multi-platform tools together is shortsighted.

Moreover, in the vertical markets my company builds apps for, we're 
pretty much the only vendor addressing the Mac at all.  If not for the 
cost-effectiveness of multi-platform RAD tools, there would not be a Mac 
version in those categories from anyone.

Win developers simply don't bother doubling their development expense 
just to gain an additional 10% market potential.  We build on Mac 
because we enjoy it, and subsidize it with proceeds earned from our 
Windows customers.

The availability of cross-platform tools is one of the reasons the Mac 
has much software at all.  Can you imagine how few games there would be 
if game developers didn't use their own cross-platform engines?

Mr. Jobs may prefer that the world drop their plans for viability and 
write everything for OS X's 10% market share in Objective-C.  But more 
sober people realize that will happen on a timeline somewhere between 
hell freezing and pigs flying.

In the meantime, apps built for OS X with Rev look and feel a heckuva 
lot better on a Mac than Win apps running under Bootcamp.

And when one consider the cost-effectiveness of development options, 
whether he recognizes it or not that's really what he's asking for 
there: the continued marginalization of Apple's user base.

Moreover, in spite of his best efforts both desktop OSes and mobile OSes 
are becoming increasingly commoditized.  But that's a whole other thread....

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  Rev training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for Rev developers: http://www.revjournal.com
  revJournal blog: http://revjournal.com/blog.irv

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