The Newton Effect
I don't link much to other sites just to link any more, preferring instead to write original thoughts, but this post by Steve Olechowski at BurningDoor about the problems of developing for mobile devices on a Mac was something that struck me close to home as I'm a wannabe switcher:
... to put it bluntly, there's no good way to develop for
* Symbian C++
* Microsoft Mobile
on a mac. there is a gcc port of the brew environment sans emulators, but it doesn't compare to the visual c++ version. microsoft mobile i understand, that's fine.
and no, virtual pc is not the answer. don't get me wrong, virtual pc is an amazing peice of software but i've tried running visual studio and codewarrior inside of it, and it all works fine, but too slow to be productive.
on the j2me side, i've even stooped to installing red hat in a virtual pc, and running the supported linux development tools and using X to present it to the powerbook, but that's too slow as well.
Very interesting. Steve has had to go back to being a dual laptop guy, developing on his Thinkpad for mobile stuff and everything else on his Mac. Good to keep in mind for us Mobheads who want to be Macheads as well...
This is all Apple's fault of course. Despite being built on open underpinnings, everything about OSX is closely guarded by Apple. Obviously they haven't considered mobile development a priority, which is why we're not seeing much support from mobile vendors (Sun, Symbian, etc.) for that platform. If Apple said "we want OSX to be the best mobile development platform" they would do what it takes to get the tools and tool makers on board, but they're obviously not doing this.
We could call this the "Newton Effect". Steve Jobs got pushed out by Sculley, who's pet project was the Newton, thus anything PDA-like has gotten no attention since Steve regained controls. Now... we all *know* that an iPod successor is coming and maybe a Mac Tablet. And I've noticed that Steve has given way too much interest to iSync and Sony Ericsson's phones in recent keynotes to be completely oblivious to the effect these gadgets have on people. It is without a doubt in my mind that some sort of multi-function portable gadget is coming from Apple. Why would they be working on and demoing InkWell? Just for fun? No! To use it on some pen-based device!
So maybe when this new thing launches whatever it is, the Newton Effect may cease and Apple will pay a bit more attention to mobile development. Maybe. It's a long stretch to think so, but it'd be nice, wouldn't it?