WWDC: Sweet and Sour

It's been such a hectic time, I'm way behind on blogging. I haven't even talked about the incredibly great time I had at HOPL-III, but I'll get to that when I can.

The keynote is the only part of WWDC I can talk about because of the NDA covering the rest of the conference.

Of course, it goes without saying that the keynote was very disappointing. People waited a year to hear about the secret new features, only to see 10 of 300 new features, 8 of which were shown in last year's keynote, the other 2 of which made no difference to developers.

Then, as John Gruber put it perfectly, the insulting bullshit we were fed about iPhone "development". John read my mind, either that or he was sitting within earshot at lunch on Monday. ;-) I told Sam DeVore that I would have been satisfied with being told that Safari was the best they could do for developers at this point, but to try to dress up that as an actual "Sweet" SOLUTION for iPhone development was a total joke. It's not. And if they were going to make developers use Safari, then at least make it possible to install an "iPhone app" like we can a widget in Mac OS X - click an install button and have it appear as an icon in the iPhone menu, and have the application appear without the safari navigation controls (url bar, toolbar, status bar). This would have been the absolute minimum thing to do to show respect for developers at this point. I completely understand it's a hard problem to solve, and I know they'd love to have done more already, but as John said, why not just be honest and say so rather than pretend like this isn't crap.

The other thing that sucked about the keynote was NOT BEING AT THE KEYNOTE. That's right, I wasn't there. They couldn't fit all the attendees at WWDC, so instead of having a first come first serve solution, they decided to minimize their problem by physically SEGREGATING all student attendees from the rest of the crowd on Monday morning and not letting us upstairs until everyone else was already sitting down watching the keynote. We were led into an overflow room which already had hundreds of attendees in it watching the start of the keynote on a video screen. I missed the start of the keynote, so I haven't seen the PC guy and Steve Jobs video yet.

I realize that us students didn't pay so it's fair that paying attendees get in first, but they could have done better than to segregate us without telling us why (seriously, when I asked why I had to go in the room the Apple people refused to tell me, and when I explicitly asked if I would see the keynote they refused to give me an honest answer) then telling us they'd do "everything they can to give us the best experience possible" and then getting us in the room LATE so we missed the start of the keynote. They had at least two hours to get students in an overflow room before the keynote started and they didn't.

Again, it's a total lack of respect. No respect for developers who want to make the iPhone better, and no respect for their future developer base (students), making us feel even more like second class citizens and lying to us to boot.

Well, another session is about to start so I better run to get in another huge lineup before it's too late.

Written on June 13, 2007