Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New York Apple Leopard Tech Talk

Last week I attended my first Apple developer event, the New York City Leopard Tech Talk. It was like a mini-WWDC, or at least that was what the Apple people told attendees, and after seeing the stuff that has leaked out after WWDC about features, that is understandable. One of the Mac developer blogs I read is Red Sweater, and he had some thoughts on the Boston Leopard Tech Talk

So what was it like? A lot like the previous MS developer events, i.e. PDC, but a bunch of things stood out (in no particular order):
  • MS and Apple presenters are pretty much equally good
  • If MS presenters would send you to a blog or point you at MSDN, Apple presenters point you to ADC, the Leopard Early Start Kit, but above all else if you wanted a feature or particular bug fixed, File a bug report and email a presenter
  • A piece of critical demo hardware always fails :)
  • NDA, NDA, NDA!
  • Apple doesn't do swag. Apple gave out an itenerary for the day. MS would have made sure you walked away with some glossy print material, a bunch of CDs, a plastic bag, even at a free event. You may have tossed that material in the trash almost immediately, before you even left the conference, but you know free stuff, even junk, makes you feel appreciated ;)
So how does Leopard look? Well what I saw was mostly developer features, all the end-user focused stuff is public knowledge, but boy do I want to build Leopard apps. Core Animation is amazing, that Leopard preview doesn't do justice to what is possible and how the new Xcode helps developers do things that were previosuly extremely hard. Speaking of Xcode, I can't wait to get my hands on this release. One of the issues I have had working with Xcode is that the workflow is so much different, and after years of trying I must say, worse than Visual Studio. It seems Xcode 3.0 with Interface Builder 3.0 and Xray 1.0 largely fixes these issues for me. Xray is amazing, an amazing piece of tech. I wish I had this available for Windows apps.

In short, no development technology I have seen in recent memory has me as excited as the Leopard stack.