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What the Muses Deign: “Of mice, men and milestones”

By Porruka (, May 10, 2002

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If you’re wondering where the followup to the shareware vs. commercial software discussion, don’t fret. It will be back in the next installment. If you don’t know what this is all about, check out the link and give your feedback.

No, this installment of the column is a time for reflection. You see, your humble narrator recently passed yet another year into the history books, Apple is quickly approaching another major release of Mac OS X (10.2, and how rapidly, of course, is a matter of some discussion), and on the 15th of May, MacEdition will celebrate crossing the transom into its third year of publication.

WWDC – What Would Doughnuts Cost? Why Would Developers Congregate?

Two years ago, MacEdition launched with little fanfare (well, as much as we could generate, but still ...), coincident with the opening of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple was struggling to get Mac OS X out the door just as we were struggling to get our site out the Web door.

Two years later, the Macintosh community has crossed the desert that was Mac OS X 10.0.x, missing all sorts of essential utility, and moved into the relative oasis that is 10.1.x. It’s certainly no paradise, but more and more people are able to get real work done with the operating system, and more developers are finally bringing essential applications (like Photoshop 7) natively to X. In the course of the last two years, we’ve suffered our own droughts, of course, from lack of content to DNS outages (and learned many lessons along the way). Coming out of it all, though, is the same desire to provide useful, informative and entertaining content to the professional Mac community, and while no one’s perfect, our feedback indicates we’re improving all the time.

Apple is promising that WWDC 2002 will bring developers to the gates of the garden that is Mac OS X 10.2, the next major release. Judging from the promotions Apple is throwing at this year’s conference, however, fewer developers are expected to attend. Cost? Apathy? General economy? Reduced platform support? Any or all these issues could be contributing to the apparent decline in numbers, but one thing is certain: Whether it’s a perceived lack of interest or simply a major push, Apple considers this WWDC to be quite important a milestone.

Two years, every two weeks

I’d like to take a moment to commend our most regular columnist, CodeBitch. If you’re into HTML, standards and Web sites that “work best” on more than one monopolistic browser, you should know her content. Every other Monday from the beginning of MacEdition time, CB has grated and groused, glorified and griped, about all things browser and how those issues affect the real-world application of getting MacEdition out to the world (or choices made along the way). From columns like: “Eleven reasons it’s your fault,” discussing things that are under the control of everyday web designers, to discussing browser issues that only have “feedback” as a recourse, CB has been a rock in keeping those who care about cross-platform and cross-browser Web experiences informed and educated – all from the Mac perspective, of course.

Publicly I’d like to say, “Thank you,” to CB for all the great work. Like many of our staff, she actually has a day job to go to. That makes her accomplishments all the more impressive. If you do any HTML markup, you owe it to yourself to browse her archives.

Two years, too many NyQuil shooters

Of course, there’s the other side of the coin; the content you can never predict. Such is the case with The Gay Blade and his NMR Report. It’s a bit risqué, given that it generally covers those deep dark secrets from the Planet of Cupertino (and friends). But that’s just the way we like things. Of course, it seems to be equally popular with the masses too.

Can we say that consistency has been a hallmark for everyone’s favorite hairless rodent wrangler? Not even close. Quality is always preferable over quantity, certainly. But hey! what can you do? TGB, thanks for thinking of us when you can think straight (so to speak) at all.

Standing between the code and the codpiece

Ever heard of Adam Gillitt? If you’ve read ZDNet in the past, you probably have. He can also be found on these very pages. We’re proud that Adam chooses to convey his life with Mac OS X through his Aquascaping column. Eliot Hochberg shares his insights into digital video (and whatever else comes up) through individual articles and his series, The New Hollywood Workshop. We have Plain Old Resellers and Plain Old Consumers (without any connections to speak of). We have ProNews (quick blurbs of interest). We have rants and we have raves. And finally, we have this column, which, for all its effort, is still just the by-product of the overactive imagination of MacEdition’s editor-in-chief.

We’re pleased to have been a part of Club Macintosh and grown dramatically over the last two years. Next year at this time, there will be much more to talk about. And in the meantime, perhaps we’ll see you at WWDC, which should be all about milestones of its own.

Porruka (a pseudonym) is Editor-in-Chief of MacEdition. Read previous “What the Muses Deign” columns.

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