Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why WaveMaker Went Mac (& Why We Ain't Going Back)

A year ago, I bought a Dell desktop running Windows Vista. Last week, I finally got it working…mostly.*

This week, we are releasing WaveMaker for the Mac (OS 10.5 Leopard to be specific) and Safari. Although the Mac is a visual platform, it has always been behind on WYSIWYG development tools. With Wavemaker, the Mac is leaping back in front.

The WaveMaker Visual Ajax Studio download for the mac is at http://www.wavemaker.com/downloads or just click here.

After many years of languishing in the education and design ghettos, Mac has once again become the defacto standard of leading edge techies. I attended an open source CEO conference recently where I was the only PC user at a breakout session of 10 people.

Our press release included a spiffy quote from Jean-Louis Gassé, General Partner at Allegis Capital and ex-Apple executive: "WaveMaker's Visual Ajax Studio for Mac comes at a very opportune time. Apple is gaining momentum in the Enterprise and WaveMaker gives enterprise users an easy and visual way to build Web applications."

Mac developers had their moment, back there in the days of Hypercard and Filemaker pro. Now the Mac platform is becoming a defacto standard for developers once again.

Here are some of the key reasons the entire silicon valley seems to be moving to the Mac:
  1. Ajax platform of choice: Safari is lightning fast and leads the pack in standards-compliance. I can't remember the last time I saw any web app demoed on Internet Explorer, and if Firebug* ever gets ported to Safari, Firefox will be in trouble.
  2. Video platform of choice: we just went through a 3 week death-march to create a new screencast for WaveMaker. Of that time, about 8 hours was spent creating content - the rest of the time was spent wrestling with the brain-dead video software we were using on the PC (Camtasia). In contrast, my 12 year old niece just created a 30 minute class presentation using i-movie. Enough said.
  3. The Incredible shrinking desktop: with more and more compelling web applications, I find myself spending less and less time working within my Windows desktop.
  4. The disaster that is Vista: given that I have to relearn the whole user interface to move from XP to Vista, I might as well relearn an interface that actually makes sense.
  5. That cool backlit logo on the Mac laptop: let's face it - the knowledge that you will look good in a coffee shop probably sells more laptops these days than Ghz or RAM stats.
When I was in college I saw Steve Jobs demo the Apple Lisa in front of about 30 of us Stanford Comp Sci nerds. It is still to this day the best demo I have ever seen, despite the fact that the Lisa flamed out famously. I know that Macs will never take over the world, but it's sure nice to see them back in the race.

Then there's also the part about it just plain works! Which brings us back full circle to my Dell/Vista saga: after spending dozens of hours, many hundreds of dollars on utilities that didn't work, and a spectacular lack of help from Dell (the answer ended up being on an Intel site, having to do with the Intel Matrix storage manager, not that you really wanted to know).

Interested readers may also want to check out another good blog post on why PC developers are moving to the Mac.

*corrected - original post confusingly said Firefox, causing a great deal of what passes for glee among the trolls ;-)


Wes Kroesbergen said...

What does 'If Firefox ever gets ported to Safari' mean?

Anonymous said...

"The disaster that is Vista" is actually the exact opposite of what you refer to here. Relatively little changed in the way of UI. And the things that did were def better than the XP version.

And your last point about the Apple logo may have been a bit of a joke but still is a perfect example of Mac user pompousness for no good reason. And yes.. I do own a Mac for many reasons.. but one of them is not to show off my hardware in a coffeeshop.

Your products may be good, but your opinions in marketing leave much to be desired.

Anonymous said...

Way to alienate the majority of your target audience.

Alex Duffield said...

My guess is that "Firefox ever gets ported to Safari, Firefox will be in trouble" actually meant "Firebug ever gets ported..."

But thats just a guess..

Anonymous said...

well.. flame, but same as the blog entry - win, linux, bsd, whatever users can use macs, and switch vicaversa but mac user can't use anything else, because someone could see them using computer with uncool logo :D

Unknown said...


Bonjour from Paris!

Read your point #2. and felt your PC pain ... I just discovered this utility that works brilliantly on a Mac: http://www.varasoftware.com/products/screenflow/

Feel free to ping me when you get homesick for Paris!

Alexander in Paris.

Christopher Keene said...

@all - I confusingly posted Firefox instead of Firebug. Firebug is an incredibly useful Javascript debugger and an important reason that the Ajax community is staying with the Firefox browser (at least until Safari has an equivalent plugin).

I humbly apologize for alienating the majority of my target audience - I promise never to give my opinion on this blog again.

Anonymous said...

Love the Bluth Company logo in the screenshot! :)

Anonymous said...

I recently moved back to Mac after about 15 on the PC. I tried using Safari in parallel with Firefox, since Firefox is what I use on other platforms. It's fast and is all "Mac"-y. But then I heard about how the beta of Mac version of Firefox 3 was made to integrate with the look and feel of the Mac I installed that. Everybit as fast as Safari, looks like a real Mac app, and has all of the great plugins for Firefox. So I see no reason not to use Firefox 3.

Christopher Keene said...

I agree that Firefox 3 is good, tho still not as fast as Safari (at least as of Beta 4). I'm just waiting for the GA release