Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An Open Letter to Apple

Every time Apple releases a new version of Mac OS X, Developers get shafted a little bit. We develop the apps that complement and enhance Mac OS X and make it great and what do we get for this? Releases of Mac OS X about a month after everybody else. It’s no secret that with paid ADC accounts we get a free copy of Mac OS X as it’s stated clearly on the ADC Site ( ), which is why anybody who knows they are getting a free copy wouldn’t buy one. Well I am not here to endlessly bitch about it, I am here to provide an easy to implement solution... certificates. I propose instead of letting developers sit by waiting for Leopard to come a month late and let everybody else get a copy of Mac OS X Leopard when it comes out right away, let developers sign up on the ADC site for certificates for a specific Apple store if you want it. Instead of mass mailing out these certificates to every developer (wether they will be at a Apple store or not, thus potentially leading to some abuse of the system) open a form on the ADC site that checks our credentials (knowing if we have an account with a free copy of Mac OS X (Select, Premier or Student ) or not), and then lets say the form can contain the Apple Store we plan to go to and then give us a printable (or mailed to us) certificate that when we go to the Apple store on Leopards launch date we can redeem for a copy of Leopard. I am guessing that due to the close time frame of Leopard in October it’s probably too late to create this so that certificates are mailed to us. So I suggest this

  1. Create a Section on the ADC site that lets developers sign up for a printable certificate (optionally with a serial code pattern unique to the particular apple store) to be redeemed at a specific Apple Store for Mac OS X Leopard
  2. This form validates our ADC account and when it’s all submitted sends this information to the specific Apple store. 
  3. When Mac OS X Leopard launches developers print this certificate out and go to the Apple store
  4. When at the apple store the employees scan a barcode on the certificate or enter in some unique serial number/code and in combination with a simple thing like our drivers license for ID, validates us and takes the full price off of leopard and thus developers get a copy of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard! :D
Thus Developers are happy! We get Mac OS X Leopard at the same time as everybody else, like it should be, and don’t have to wait a month to get it in the mail. Everybody wins! I realize that perhaps I haven’t thought every detail of this out, but it seems entirely plausible to me to have some system in place so developers who are genuinely entitled to a free copy of Mac OS X because of their paid ADC account can go to the Apple Store and pick up a copy the same day as everybody else. Heck I’d pay a small fee for the convenience of picking it up the same day as everybody else. Like I said this is just a suggestion, but I think as a developer instead of endlessly complaining about it we should put forward solutions to this problem and appropriately communicate them to Apple. The main reason I post this here is because I think there needs to be some open debate about this long before Apple publishes Leopard and we hear the moans of developers waiting for their copy of Mac OS X to arrive, the only alternative to this that I can see at the moment is for Apple to mail our copies of Mac OS X to us early (but then they could not really ensure AFAIK that the mail system only delivers them to us on the appropriate date all at once.) What does everybody else think about this?