The March/April 2010 edition of REALbasic Developer Magazine hit my inbox this morning. Besides the normal BKeeney Briefs column Marc Zeedar and I have a spirited debate on whether or not REAL Software should devote existing resources to making REAL Studio work with iPhone apps.
Note the italics on ‘existing’. While I think it would be a nifty idea, overall, I question the wisdom of diverting resources from an already small development team to a product that might be doable. Is this a Mac OS X only product or is it cross-platform? I seriously doubt that it will be cross-platform but perhaps I’m wrong. The point is that there are a ton of issues to figure out and then the question then becomes, “What are we going to give up in the desktop versions while this is being developed?”
Other thoughts: Apple makes a boatload of money from developers buying Mac hardware and this product has the potential to take that revenue away. One could certainly argue that it has the potential to sell more iPhones/iPads/iPod touches because more applications will be available. But Apple has 140,000-ish apps right now. Would 10,000 more, or 100,000 more really mean anything to Apple?
It also has the potential of being a potential support issue for Apple. Assume for a second they allow RS to make iPhone apps. The RB framework has a bug (because that’s never happened), or Apple changes the SDK one day and doesn’t give RS advance notice (Apple is secretive, no?), and now tens of thousands of RB iPhone apps no longer work. Will the developer, RS or Apple get the blame? Apple. Just like how Microsoft gets the blame for crappy drivers and crappy 3rd party apps made by bad developers, Apple would get the blame. Apple guards the keys to their kingdom very closely because they want it to be associated with a classy, premium product that “just works”.
Anyway, you can read the debate between Marc and myself in the magazine. My guess is you can figure out my viewpoint. 😛 Marc argues, the opposite.
My regular column talks about making your projects more Agile-ish without going full-bore in using the Agile process. It’s not as hard as you think and your clients might really like it.