Each year, WWDC changes in subtle ways. Some changes are driven by growth, and that can be both good and bad. Also, serendipity struck once again.
Itis taken two days for everything to sink in. I mentioned before that the phenomenal growth of WWDC attendance is causing interesting, even unpleasant problems. It used to be that, at lunch, we were all served a very nice meal semi-cafeteria style. Youid walk along a long table, grab a plate, bread, select an entree from a big stainless steel tray, and have a seat. Servers would place big pitchers of iced tea on the table. You could go to the dessert table and have as much as youid like.For the last two years, however, lunch is in a plastic box. Accordingly for the first time ever, I have passed on every single lunch, ending up in meetings with various developers who have also chosen to go to a nearby restaurant. Jillians, Cha-Am (Thai) and The Thirsty Bear are very nice.
I donit know if WWDC can get any bigger. Some things may have to change next year to meet the challenge of growth. Long lines for sessions, horridly long lines for the menis restroom after each session (sweet revenge for the ladies), and ho-hum food may require WWDR to truly Think Different in 2008.
Speaking of food, I had a pleasant offsite lunch meeting with Sam Hartman, the Kerberos Chief Technologist and Stephen Buckley, the Executive Director of the MIT Kerberos Consortium -- which will officially launch in September.
For the first time, Kerberos will have an official home, supported by M.I.T and other Consortium members. This is a good thing.
Itis interesting how we met. Mr. Buckley has a Google search set up to search each day to find any publications that mention Kerberos, as I did on Wednesday, and that precipitated an e-mail communication. It turns out we were all at WWDC, so I joined him and Mr. Hartman for lunch and got a background briefing on Kerberos. Kerberos, incidentally, is a play on Cerberus, in Greek Mythology, the three headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. There have been some minor tweaks in Kerberos for Leopard, nothing major, but thatis all they could tell me.
Meeting like that is wonderful serendipity thanks to modern technology.
I attended two sessions on Java today, and I must say that I am really impressed with the state of Java and Appleis commitment to Java on the platform. Programmers who want to leave Carbon behind but are allergic to Cocoa and Objective-C will find that Java is a really great way to build beautiful apps that are also cross-platform. Of note is the java-dev mailing list at http://lists.apple.com. For those into video production, check out Cineshot from Cinegistics, an amazing Java app.
I saw a demo of the Quartz Composer, which is a powerful piece of Apple software. Anyone involved with graphics content development should look into this tool.
Apple is not video taping the sessions this year. The archive of the sessions consists of the slides plus the audio. That seems to be a problem when presenters go live to the UNIX command line to demo something. Weill just have to see how that works out.
In one Java session, some cross-platform ideas were being demonstrated with the help of Parallels Desktop, and the affordances that Parallels Desktop provides for cross-platform development and testing, in the hands of an expert Apple presenter on stage, are simply stunning. In talking to several attendees, I heard the same story. Parallels Desktop is helping Apple make inroads into the enterprise in remarkable ways. The arrival of Parallels Server, that is, the ability to run Windows Server products on the Apple Xserve, is going to rattle even more cages.
After the demo, the speaker invited us to give a healthy round of applause to Parallels, and we did. Thanks Parallels, youire our hero.
I learned, in an IT session, about a tool that can help corporate administrators roll back a Mac OS X image to a previous version. Itis called Radmind, from the University of Michigan, but the scuttlebutt was that it can be a bit hard to install. Time Machine, of course, will be able to do that a lot more simply for the home user.
Now that I think about it, weive all just experienced five consecutive days of cloudless blue sky, light breezes, and 70F+ temperatures. Oh man, thatis just about more beautiful weather than any mortal can withstand, but somehow we survived it. Plus, I get a 25 percent oxygen boost compared to Denver. Hmm, maybe thatis why Iim experiencing WWDC delirium.