Worldwide developments.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Greetings from a quite non-humid, beautiful, sunny San Francisco, quite a contrast from the heat-plus-humidity of (positively) Atlanta. I’ve said I wanted to do this once and so I have: I’m at the Apple WWDC, that would be the Worldwide Developers Conference, and here I am, arguably not a developer.

However, this kinda works because Apple has said they want to expand the definition of ‘developer’ to include (embrace, even) content developers alongside those who write boxcarloads of lines of text like:[jcbView setFrame:thatFrame];Content developers. That would be the people who write and create podcasts and, on a more professional level, work in the creative arts to create what is unfortunately called these days, product.Most of these folks, the actual code developers, are laboring to create new generations of the tools that make the tools, and so mixing them with tool users might be a little awkward. Do they have much to say to each other?I am amidst a polyglot group, wearing a staggering variety of t-shirts festooned with logos of Apple Developer Conferences past and companies present, struggling with laptop-laden bookbags and waiting for the next session or meal (cocoa or pizza?)I’m also in a strange parallel world where every laptop is an Apple laptop, where every computer screen displays the beautiful OS X (Tiger or Leopard) interface, and thus Apple’s marketshare is 100%.

This is, of course, quite unreal.Here’s one more unreal thing. A guy wrote the blogging app I’m using. Another guy owns it now and is making the most of it. They’re both here, in this very room, as I type. The code they slaved over is making these words flow from me to you.This is also a world (maybe this part is quite real) where a group of people can sit in a circle, MacBooks out in every lap, and have a “social” gathering where the sociality is all directed into and out of the screen.

Even at the sessions, there are the “edge sitters,” folks who grab the seats by the aisles so they can stretch power cords over to wall outlets and run their machines for hours without draining their batteries. On their screens are almost-ubiquitous chat windows and web browsers, calling up sites and documents mentioned by the speaker, or, as frequently, working on their own code, only glancing up when the speaker cracks a joke or perhaps, performs a song (this was a great treat to see in person, by the way. That probably says more about me than about the musicianship.)

So I’m here, Odwalla juice in hand, wandering off on day three of this experience, learning a bit, but mostly observing a world that I usually only visit online.