1999-01-07 23:23:22 UTC
I was at the BOF meeting at Macworld last night. The news there was better
than one might be lead to believe based on the discussions that are taking
place on this list.
Here is what I understand based on statements made by Apple employees.
Since so much was said this is far from a complete report.
- They intend to deliver at least a watered-down version of OSX Server to
developers. After all, they need developers to write apps. If WO is
included, there will likely be a charge, but less than $995. Apple is
basically giving away the developer version of WO4.0 ($99) to academia. So
your guess is as good as mine regarding the developer price.
- Apple is operating in a new paradigm. They no longer pre-announce
products. They work in secret and they only announce products if they know
for sure that they will deliver and when. They believe that the surprise
effect is better from a marketting point of view. Several Apple employees
claimed to have been surprised by some of the announcements at the keynote.
Besides, this approach eliminates the vaporware factor. In the long run
this could give Apple more credibility with its customers, while, alas,
antagonizing its developers. Remember that Apple has promised the moon
several times in the past but not always delivered. Now delivery is
- Regarding YellowBox for NT (and I suppose that applies to 98 as well),
they are working on some arrangements for licensing it. In the end the
arrangement may be that they don't productize it, but I think that when it
is ready and the time is right for its introduction, they will release it.
- I also got a sense that OSXServer is a product that is very much alive. I
think that they very much want to continue to improve on it in the future;
whether these improvement are introduced as new versions of OSXServer or
rolled into OSX or find there way in a wintel version, I don't know. They
are modest with this entry in the server market. They seem to be
approaching it with caution. But they did not set any limits to how far
they will take the technology in the future.
- They confirmed that OSXServer for wintel would not ship in February -- no
plans to productize it at all at the moment.
- Regarding Objective-C vs Java, they did not say anything negative about
objective-C. They simply said that they are promoting Java, which is
currently a second class citizen (nothing said about demoting objective-C).
They want to bring the benefits of the frameworks to multitude who program
in Java. I left thinking that learning Java might be a very good idea, but
that objective-C would continue to serve me well for several years at
I also found more info at the Apple booth today:
- No PPP (but I found a hardware solution -- see my previous e-mail)
- They seem to realize that they need to provide OSX (not server) to
developers -- It may be in the form of a GM version in the first half of
I think that in the past, we were given scenarios of what would happen in
the future, and that future did not always come. Now, if we are only given
a snapshot of the present, it does not mean that there is no future. On the
contrary, the future may be brighter. Clearly, they do not want to break
anymore promises -- that is a very good sign indeed.
J e a n D r o l e t