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WWDC 2007 Roundup

Okay, so how was WWDC 2007, and what can I tell you guys without being sued?

In the corridors and outside Moscone

Well, for one thing I learned the international hand sign for Wolf Rentzsch, I ate my first corn dog, I got to see Elgato's SF office and Stef's Sports Bar, I got to talk with Hal, Aaron, Mark, Doug, Bruce, Braxton, Louk, George, Michael, Blake, Roustem, Dave, Mason, Alan and oodles of other cool people (I have a horrible memory for names, and only limited disk space on this server, or there'd be many more people on this list). I only got to say "Hi" twice to Nadyne from the MacBU, but now that I know what she looks like, I'll hopefully be able to track her down next year and talk usability :-)

Stump was also pretty neat this year. They suspected a Swiss/German conspiracy, and Mark (one of the hosts) picked a fight with John Welch (and lost, of course -- never pick a fight with John...). The usual hilarity, arbitrariness and general wackiness, and the kids had more to do. And of course I only started to have ideas for questions after the show was half over. But I'm going to take notes this year and thus I'll hopefully come prepared next year ;-)

BTW -- I forgot the name of the Swiss scorekeeper at Stump this year, anyone know him?

I also spent a week with relatives in Canada before that and got to see them and Ottawa again, got to see both of the children of my older cousins (one for the first time, and she's cute and very attentive) and ate Beaver Tails, and ham(?) with maple syrup, helped my one cousin build his deck, and I got to watch both "I walk the Line" and "Idiocracy" together with my other cousin. The latter movie is kind of a stupid movie, and a tad slow (heh... how fitting...) but it was still OK. I hope it'll have a long life being re-run on TV. I walk the Line is great, no worries about that ... oh, wait, the topic was WWDC...

The skinny

Well, essentially it was WWDC 2006.2 as someone with a better way with words than me put it. Still, that was OK because it gave me an opportunity to catch some of the sessions I hadn't been able to attend last year, as well as made me feel less bad when I spent my time badgering Apple guys at the labs instead of attending sessions.

There's a lot of stuff for developers in Leopard, particularly Xcode 3 and XRay, and the technologies behind those two are shaping up to be great tools in their own rights. I don't think I'll have to use NSLog() for debugging anymore once I can switch to those.

They also fixed a number of things I've been complaining about, though a few others are still there. So all-in-all, I think it's a decent improvement.

I'm not saying "great", since this year the front-facing features don't seem to be many (a few iApps improvements and Time Machine), and there was a bit too much marketing hype, where one had the feeling they were trying to sell us on the idea of Leopard much more than the actual product. The whole thing about "secret features" felt really awkward (not really a new desktop), and to me it feels they didn't manage to get some important things finished. There seemed to be "holes" in the conference. Maybe they manage to get additional stuff out for 10.5 final, but 4 months doesn't seem like enouugh time for that. The real marketing hype was the whole iPhone development stuff ... they didn't handle that very gracefully. I'm not talking about what they said, but how they presented it in a smoke-and-mirrors fashion.

They did address UI consistency a bit, though, that feels good. Can't say much about the new Finder. Both due to NDA and 'cause I didn't do much with it. But I did catch the odd fix to bugs I'd filed, though no real biggies. Fits right in with the rest of Leopard, I guess.

My guess is that, unless Apple pulls something out of their hat till October, programmers will be supporting 10.4 for quite a while longer. The urge to switch for users isn't as big as it was with Tiger. OTOH, behind the scenes a bunch has improved, and I can see IT departments and developers pushing for Leopard to get those improvements. It'll definitely quickly become many people's development system.

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Created: 2007-06-23 @185 Last change: 2007-06-23 @141 | Home | Admin | Edit
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